Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
What is “Therapy”?
Therapy, often referred to as counseling, is a process of working through issues that are important to the client while having a trained, objective person guide the experience. Therapy helps clients work on past, present, and future situations. Therapy can be about one specific problem, or it can be about multiple. Something to mention is that therapy is a collaborative event; it requires an active role from both the client and therapist for change to occur.
How long will I need to attend therapy?
Therapy length is determined on a case by case basis. During your initial intake and clinical interview, each client will receive a tentative plan for addressing the goals for treatment.
Changes to the treatment plan may occur, however, all modifications to the plan will be discussed at length with the client. No changes to the treatment duration will occur without the client’s consent.
Is therapy confidential?
Generally, everything you discuss with your therapist is confidential, with a few exceptions. All therapists (psychologists, social workers, counselors, etc.) are mandated by law to report any instances of child or elder abuse when we hear of them. Additionally, we are required to report instances of a specific threat of harm to another person. Finally, we would break confidentiality when a client makes statements about wanting to hurt themselves, with the hope and intent that we would be able to work to ensure our client’s safety. As you may notice, the underlying principle is that we would break confidentiality to maintain the safety of our clients and those around them.
With children and adolescents, confidentiality can be somewhat more complicated. While parents of these clients are legally entitled to relevant information that is shared in therapy sessions, it is highly recommended that some level of confidentiality is maintained with underage clients. This ensures that these children and adolescents feel comfortable talking freely with their therapist, thereby building trust and ensuring that therapy can be productive. Typically, children and adolescents are encouraged to share important information discussed in therapy with their parents, such as thoughts, feelings, and ways they are working on coping with things so that parents can support their child’s growth at home.
How does your military experience help me? I have never been in the military.
My 19 years of active duty military service provided me exposure to cultures and mental health practices all around the world. Through those experiences, I learned that there is not a one size fits all method for working with people because we are all raised in varying environments with different values and beliefs.
Bearing witness to the joys and sorrow of people around the world has equipped me with an ethical yet compassionate approach to working with clients from all walks of life. I whole-heartedly believe that every person embodies the capacity to heal and be healed through genuine love, respect, and kindness towards mankind.
Why don’t you accept insurance?
There is a process that all mental health providers must go through to accept medical insurance. You must apply to be on an insurance panel where the insurer (i.e. Blue Shield, Anthem Blue Cross, Tricare, Sharp, etc.) decides whether to approve the provider to accept their insurance. Unfortunately, as an associate, there are not any insurance panels in California that allow Associated Professional Clinical Counselor or Associate Marriage and Family Therapist to join their insurance panel. Once the associate completes their post graduate experience and receives their full licensure, they are eligible to apply to the various insurance panels. Once they are approved, they are allowed to accept insurance.
Additionally, many insurance companies require a counselor to submit a mental health diagnosis in order to provide treatment. In some cases, this diagnosis may negatively impact on the client. Certain diagnoses may not be covered under the insurance plan, may compromise employability, and/or become an ever-present component of one’s medical records.