Frequently Asked Questions
Does therapy really work? Isn’t it better for me to solve my own problems?
That answer really depends on you, the client. Therapy is not a magic fix-all and requires motivation and work both inside and outside the therapy room. Therapy works best when you, the client, are open and honest with your therapist - this includes being honest with your past, your thoughts and feelings, and also when you believe something isn’t working within the therapeutic relationship between you and your therapist. Your therapist can’t fix your life, but will help guide you through your own journey and be a support as you work on the changes that you want to make.
A therapist doesn’t solve your problems for you. Rather, he or she helps you clarify issues so you can solve problems on your own with a therapist’s guidance, support, and expertise. The goal of therapy is to make you more self-sufficient, not more dependent.
How often should I come to therapy? How long are the therapy sessions? How long do I have to be in counseling?
How often you come depends on you, the client! Weekly, biweekly (i.e once every two weeks), or monthly are all common options. CORE does not see clients more often than once a week.
Intakes and assessments can take up to 90 minutes, while counseling sessions are typically 50 minutes.
Unless you are court mandated for a specific number of sessions, there really is no minimum or maximum time frame to be in counseling. Typically, progress is seen after 6-8 weeks. If you have a specific time frame in mind, talk to your counselor about what that may look like for both of you.
Do I always need to have something to talk about?
Not at all! Sometimes your therapist will want to revisit something you said in a past session, have an activity or homework assignment for you, or may just ask a question that leads into a full-session discussion.
Does my counselor talk about me to other people? What is a Release of Information (ROI)? Why would I want to fill out an ROI?
Your counselor may talk about your case to other professionals in their field solely for the purpose of consultation, which helps them increase their skills and knowledge for their sessions with you. Counselors at CORE never reveal any information about you that would make you identifiable to anyone else.
A release of information (ROI) is a form that you, the client, would complete if you’d like your counselor to be able to discuss information related to your care with another individual, such as a family member, doctor or lawyer. This form helps protect your privacy by letting counselors know who they are able to talk to about your case. Additionally, on CORE”s ROI form, you can specify exactly what information your counselor can release and what information will remain confidential.
Let’s use an example of when an ROI might be helpful for you, the client. Let’s say you lost your phone and needed to reschedule with your counselor, so you ask a family member to call your counselor to reschedule for you. If there is an ROI signed by you for that particular family member, your counselor will know that it is okay to talk to this family member and reschedule the appointment. Without the ROI, the counselor will not be able to even confirm or deny that you are a client at CORE.
Another reason you would want to complete an ROI is if you are a mandated client. Sometimes courts and/or probation officers require counselors to confirm a client’s status, progress or attendance for therapy sessions and/or group sessions. This information cannot be sent without a completed ROI to the court and/or probation officer.
What’s the difference between a social worker, counselor, therapist, psychologist and psychiatrist?
Sometimes even finding the right professional to best fit your needs can be challenging, as all of the above are in the mental health field! Let’s break it down.
A therapist is someone who is specifically trained to work with individuals who are wanting to treat or improve their mental or physical needs.
A social worker will have the credentials MSW, CSW, LMSW, or LCSW.
A counselor will have the credentials LPC, or PLPC if they are provisionally licensed. Counselors have a Master’s degree and are specifically trained for what many consider ‘traditional therapy’. Counselors can see individual clients, couples, families and/or conduct group therapy sessions. Some counselors have specific populations they see and have different credentials for those populations.
An LAC stands for Licensed Addiction Counselor; these counselors focus on populations dealing with substance use and other addictions.
An LMFT stands for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; these counselors focus on couples and family counseling.
A psychologist is someone who has their PhD in a psychology-related field. Psychologists can conduct therapy sessions, but are specifically trained in administering assessments and carrying out research within the mental health field.
A psychiatrist has their MD, or Medical Degree. They are a doctor who specializes in mental health disorders and can prescribe medication. They typically do not conduct therapy sessions.