Frequently Asked Questions About Counseling and Coaching

What is Counseling

Counseling involves a confidential, caring, non-judgmental environment for listening, talking and strategizing ways to help you:

  • Voice your concerns, tell you story and uncover the solutions to make the changes you desire
  • Understand how the problems and emotions you struggle with have occurred and are maintained in your life
  • Learn and master the skills to help you cope better today and increase your resiliency and emotional intelligence
Will it work for me?

Many people experience considerable benefit from counseling, some even after just a few sessions. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between motivation, realistic goal setting and positive outcome in counseling. Counseling is a collaborative process. It is not something that is done “to” you, but rather “with” you. The vast majority of people I have worked with in counseling feel better and do better as a result of the time we spent together. As with anything in life, counseling is not “one size fits all.” An important initial aspect of counseling is being a good fit with your counselor. If you feel after our first few sessions that I am not the right counselor for you, we will discuss this openly and I will work with you to find someone who better matches your style and/or problems.

What does it cost?

Individual sessions are $110 for a 50-minute session. Couples sessions are $130 for a 50-minute session. Group sessions are $35 per session.

Do you take insurance?

As of 6/8/2015, I no longer offer insurance billing. I am happy to provide you with a monthly statement of services rendered. You can submit these forms to your insurance if you qualify for reimbursement. I have realized that the hours I spend as a therapist checking insurance, billing, re-billing, following up on billing, logging sporadic payments and being denied payments come at the cost of soul sucking frustration. This limits and interferes with the hours I devote to working with the people I am honored to serve. Contact me if you have questions or need more information.

Does it mean that I am ill, sick or damaged if I’m in counseling?

Seeking counseling does not mean that you are ill, sick or damaged. I think of it as an important part of human education, a means to understand and improve coping with your emotions, behaviors, and relationships. Regardless of how you were referred, counseling works to help people with struggles in personal development that may have occurred recently, or may have evolved over many years, sometimes from early childhood.

How often are counseling sessions?

Most counseling is weekly or once every two weeks. As you begin to feel better we discuss decreasing your session frequency and focus on relapse preventions (skills and strategies to avoid a relapse in emotions or behaviors). Ultimately, YOU determine how long you stay in counseling. The majority of change typically occurs within 10-18 sessions, but is dependent on the problems addressed and your willingness to modify thoughts and behaviors outside of the counseling session.

What benefit should I feel afterwards?

Research has shown that counseling is effective in reducing unwanted symptoms, improving relationships and increasing self-esteem and self-acceptance. As we are all individuals wired to respond in different ways and times, generalizing an outcome is impossible. The process and the journey of counseling are often as important as the goal. Most people I have worked with state that they end each therapy session feeling better, emotionally stronger and more in control.

How will I feel during counseling?

Counseling sometimes involves exploring painful feelings and memories. This can be experienced as a relief but it may also stir up uncomfortable feelings. Counseling can also involve laughter and humor. Please keep me informed of your experience as you go through your sessions. I will work to pace the intensity of each session to align with your preference and values.

What is the difference between counseling and coaching?

The majority of people come to counseling to help them cope with or resolve painful feelings or experiences from the past or present. The focus is on reducing the pain and returning to or discovering healthy functioning. On the other hand, the emphasis of coaching is on improving or increasing quality or satisfaction with life, learning to experience more happiness, success or inner peace. I have considerable experience with and enjoy the process of both counseling and coaching. Some people I work with move through counseling and continue into coaching, others have initially sought coaching but realized that counseling was more appropriate at this point in life. I use a coaching, strengths-based, here-and-now approach with all of the people I work for. Counseling is often reimbursable through insurance, while coaching is not a reimbursable service.

How do I get started?

To set up your first session, call me at: (864) 517-6118 or email at laurie@abalancedlife1.com.