What is Counseling & What Should You Expect?

Whether you are seeking counseling for the first time or have been to a therapist before, you may have questions about what to expect.

Learn more about the counseling process in the video below.

Or scroll down to read our Frequently Asked Questions about therapy and our services.

Common Questions About Seeking Counseling or Therapy Services

 

  • Counseling is a process of self-exploration, clarification of values and beliefs, emotional awareness, and growth. It is the act of seeking support to live a better life.
  • Therapy can be for any issue such as mental health, career, or relationship concerns. However, a counselor can also help with general life concerns and serve as an objective sounding board, whether for making decisions or simply to support personal and professional growth.
  • You may choose to make changes in your attitudes, perceptions, and behavior as you progress.
  • We all struggle with life’s challenges from time to time and a therapist can help put things into perspective and provide skills for coping and thriving.
  • In therapy, you learn tools to help you make changes in thinking, mindset, feelings, or behavior. You also build skills to improve interpersonal or family relationships, cope with difficult emotions or situations and support your best self.
  • Learning to trust yourself, for example, can help you make more effective decisions. Learning to motivate yourself can help you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. Learning how to identify your needs can help you let go of behaviors that don’t serve you and find ones that do, increasing your satisfaction and fulfillment. Learning to love yourself, just as you are, can help you feel better and live life with greater ease and contentment.
  • Counseling is a process that takes courage, patience, and an open mind. Ultimately, working with a counselor can help you practice and make the changes in your life that help you build a life worth living.
  • Throughout our lives, we will provide maintenance for the machines, objects, and processes we use regularly to ensure their longevity. For example, a car needs an oil change, your A/C needs a tune up, you give your physical body a check-up, etc. You may even prioritize your physical health.
  • But how often do you give your mental health the same amount of care? We use our minds every second of every waking day and more. Our emotions impact everything from how we feel, our physical health, our relationships, the choices we make and the behaviors we engage in.
  • Research has shown that counseling may contribute to increased productivity, enhanced self-respect, and improved communication in all kinds of relationships.
  • Whether you are dealing with mental health issues or not, counseling can guide you through the most difficult of life’s situations.
  • Most people can benefit from counseling services at some point in their lives. Seeking professional assistance is a sign of good coping skills and intelligence, not a sign of weakness.
  • The feeling of being stuck is usually what brings most people to counseling. Sometimes people feel stuck in a dissatisfying career, relationship, mood, thought pattern, mindset or unhelpful pattern of behavior.
  • Are your concerns getting in the way of enjoying your daily life? Do you feel overwhelmed, worried, or unsatisfied? Are you finding it challenging to make the changes you want to make in your life? Are you feeling stuck or unsatisfied in your relationships?
  • What is necessary is a change in strategy. A new approach.
  • A counselor is able to offer an objective and caring perspective, utilizing your strengths, to help you move forward. Learning new skills, identifying possibilities for your future and unblocking emotions will usually bring relief, clarity, awareness and a renewed energy to face life’s challenges.
  • A very common misconception is that things need to be “really bad” before you even consider counseling. You can feel fine and have healthy coping mechanisms and still benefit from therapy.
  • If you are living with issues that are reducing your quality of life, it is time to see a therapist. It’s easier to make changes when problems are mild, but it is never too late to get started.
  • On your first visit, your counselor will ask you many questions to find out what brings you to counseling, what you hope to gain from your visits, and information about your history.
  • The initial session is a chance for you to get a feel for your counselor’s style and to make sure that it is a “good fit” for you.
  • Together you will develop a plan for moving forward and working towards your counseling goals.
  • Sometimes the process may be energizing, exhausting, or even painful. Emotional healing may become personally enriching and impact all areas of your life.
  • We will do everything possible to provide a positive counseling experience for you.
  • Prior to your first session, it’s important for you to complete the intake form you receive in your email after booking your appointment. This will provide your therapist with relevant background information so he/she can make the best use of your time together and identify strategies and a plan to reach your goals.
  • You may also take some time to consider what changes you would like to see in your life on both a short-term basis (within the next 3 months) and a long-term basis and discuss that with your therapist when you meet.
  • The initial counseling intake is generally 60 minutes. Families and couples may find a 90 minute session more helpful.
  • Follow up counseling sessions can last from 45-90 minutes, depending on your needs and preferences. At times your therapist may recommend 60-90 minute sessions, for EMDR or marriage counseling for example.
  • If you are dealing with an urgent situation or “crisis” in your relationship, you may opt for a 90-minute session. 90 minutes gives you more time to concentrate on your situation so you can leave the appointment with some resolution.
  • If you have less time to come in for appointments whether due to traveling for work or busy schedules, you may opt to schedule for 90 minutes and come less frequently, but get more done when you come.
  • When beginning therapy, we typically recommend that you see a therapist weekly to get started.
  • Once you have developed some coping skills around your goals, it is common to taper sessions to bi-weekly for continued maintenance until you have reached your therapeutic goals.
  • However, sessions may be scheduled more or less frequently.
  • The number of sessions needed varies with each person and problem, which will be discussed during the initial sessions.
  • It is also important to do your own reflection and work in between sessions.
  • For counseling to “work”, whether it be individual therapy, couples or career counseling, you must be an active participant, both in and outside of sessions.
  • At Eddins Counseling Group our goal is to find the counselor that is the best fit for you and your specific needs.
  • Our care coordinators are trained to understand your unique concerns and find the right match for you.
  • Each of our counselors has specialized training and continues to stay current with evidence-based practices in their area of expertise.
  • Our goal at Eddins Counseling Group is to ensure that you are matched with a therapist who has unique training and experience with your primary concerns to ensure a successful outcome for you.
  • Our counselors meet you where you are and counsel from an empowering and nonjudgmental place.
  • All therapists and counselors in practice have completed a minimum of a Master’s level education in a counseling related field.
  • They can even have their PhD in such fields, but the minimum is always a Master’s degree.
  • We understand that your daily life can be hectic and how hard it can be to fit counseling into a busy life.
  • Eddins Counseling Group offers early morning, lunchtime, evening and weekend appointments as well as online therapy to fit your scheduling needs.
  • Some clients opt for longer, less frequent “intensive” sessions. This allows you to “get more done” in each session with more space in between to practice new skills.
  • Every situation is different as some people come into therapy for additional support through transitions or life stress while others seek help to improve behavioral health symptoms such as depression or anxiety.
  • For mental health concerns or symptoms such as anxiety, depression, panic, disordered eating and similar concerns, extensive research has shown that between 57% – 62% of clients improve within an average of 12 sessions.
  • The actual length also varies on the extent of the symptoms you are experiencing as well as your previous experience.
  • What the research also shows is that therapy is highly effective for clients who complete therapy.
  • Privacy and confidentiality is an essential part of counseling.
  • Everything you tell your therapist is confidential with few exceptions.
  • Exceptions include safety such as danger to yourself or others or abuse/neglect of a child or elderly person.
  • Your therapist will discuss this in detail with you before you begin.
  • Further, your records are subject to privacy laws designed to keep your information private and secure in all formats.
  • Read our Privacy Practices and Privacy Policy for more information.

 

Common Questions About The Services We Offer

 

We offer many kinds of counseling services including, but not limited to the following: To see all of the services we offer, click HERE.
Yes! We offer couples counseling for all different kinds of couples including:
  • Married couples
  • Same-sex couples
  • Couples looking for counseling before they marry
  • Unmarried couples
  • Couples who parent together
  • Couples without children
  • Couples with, self-described, communication, trust, or fidelity issues
  • Couples struggling with infertility
And More
We work with children ages 3+, teenagers and adults, couples and families of all ages.
  • No, only a medical doctor such as a psychiatrist, ob-gyn or family practice doctor can prescribe medication.
  • However, your therapist may refer you to an appropriate medical provider if it would be beneficial for you.
No, we do not offer court mandated anger management classes. We do however, offer individual therapy for anger management.
No we don’t currently write Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letters.
Depending on the situation, your therapist may be able to write a letter for you for work or school accommodations. A letter can only be written after an assessment and evaluation process, even if your therapist already knows you. In some cases, your therapist may refer you for additional testing.

 

What is a Therapist & Questions About Qualifications & Abbreviations

There are so many abbreviations and types of mental health providers it can be confusing! Plus, there are several paths to becoming a therapist, though all require a minimum of a Master’s level training followed by a “residency” in mental health counseling services. Learn more about the different qualifications of our therapists.

While many therapists are licensed at the Master’s level, some may have also completed a PhD program.

A therapist is any mental health professional trained to conduct talk therapy using proven counseling methods and interventions.

 

  • All therapists and counselors in practice have completed a minimum of a Master’s level education in a counseling related field.
  • They can even have their PhD in such fields, but the minimum is always a Master’s degree.
  • A licensed professional counselor or LPC completes a Master's degree program designed to train them in mental health counseling or therapy.
  • Upon graduation, an LPC must complete an additional 2-4 years of supervised therapy to become eligible for full licensure as a therapist. Typically during this time, LPC's complete additional training and/or certification in one or more areas of specialty.
  • A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) completes a Master's program in counseling, case management and mental health advocacy.
  • After completion of their graduate degree, LCSW's must complete an additional 2-4 years of supervised clinical therapy to be eligible for full licensure as a therapist.
  • A Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) completes a Master's program in counseling focusing on marriage and family systems.
  • However, their curriculum includes general mental health counseling skills and training.
  • After completion of their graduate degree, LMFT's must complete an additional 2-4 years of supervised clinical therapy to be eligible for full licensure as a therapist.
An LPC Associate is a therapist who has completed their masters degree and is working on their 2-4 years of post-graduate supervised clinical work and specialization areas.
A practicum student is a graduate student who is completing their clinical internship and training in mental health counseling.
  • A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialized in psychiatry and mental health after medical school.
  • A psychiatrist typically prescribes medications and not talk therapy.
  • We do not currently have any psychiatrists in our practice.
  • Your therapist can refer you to an appropriate provider should the need arise.
  • At Eddins Counseling Group some of our therapists are also trained as life coaches.
  • A life coach, similar to a therapist, focuses in on specific goals to help you improve your relationships, career and day to day life.
  • Life coaches can help you clarify your goals, identify the obstacles holding you back, and then come up with strategies for overcoming each obstacle.
  • A Career Counselor with Eddins Counseling Group has a minimum of Master's level training in Counseling plus the additional specialty focused training in career counseling.
  • Career counseling strategies include techniques to help you identify your strengths and skills, clarify goals and implement successful career and job search strategies.
  • Techniques may also include specific career coaching strategies such as promoting yourself effectively at work, career advancement or career change.
  • Learn more about our Career Counseling Services. 
  • A Health Coach at Eddins Counseling Group has a minimum Master's level training in Counseling plus an additional certification in Health & Wellness Coaching.
  • Health Coaching may include learning dietary strategies to support positive mood management; coping with health and wellness crises, or achieving specific health and wellness goals.
  • Health coaching is not a weight loss service nor does it replace a dietitian's services.
  • Learn more about our Health Coaching Services.

 

Questions About Rates & Insurance

 

  • Our fees range depending on the provider, but are within the FAIR pricing standards of the Healthcare Bluebook.
  • Search for Individual Psychotherapy or Family Psychotherapy in the bluebook.
  • Initial sessions are longer in length and at a higher cost while subsequent sessions are for 45-minutes unless other arrangements have been made with your provider.
  • Payment is expected at the time of service.
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, personal check or cash is accepted.
  • We also accept Health Savings Account and Flex Spending Account cards from your employer.
  • Career counseling services may be tax deductible as a “job search” expense if applicable. Ask your career counselor for a statement of services for your tax records.
We do have limited providers available at a reduced rate depending on your needs and availability.
  • We are considered out of network for insurance purposes. Our friendly staff can help you verify what portion your insurance will cover, should you have questions.
  • If you have a PPO plan, you can request a statement of services that can be used to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement from your out of network mental health benefits. (See question below on "How to Get Reimbursed By Insurance.")
  • Utilizing private pay is a huge advantage over most insurance since you will not be term-limited in your therapy, your insurance company will not be given any details of your therapy and you will not be given a diagnosis (this is helpful in case your medical records are subpoenaed for example).
  • As we are a specialty practice, we can also discuss with your insurance company your eligibility for a single-case agreement (SCA) depending on the service requested and your insurance provider. An SCA works the same as using your in-network benefits if approved.
  • You can also use your HSA or FSA plan to pay for therapy.
  • For additional questions, give us a call at 832-559-2622 Mon-Fri 8am-6pm or schedule a free consult here. 
  • If you will be seeking reimbursement from your insurance company under your out of network benefits, we have partnered with Reimbursify to assist you.
  • Reimbursify is an app to help patients who pay out-of-pocket to get reimbursed by their health insurance.
  • Once you sign up with their app you can upload the superbills we provide you with to simplify the reimbursement process from your insurance.
  • Reimbursify will submit your superbills to your health insurance on your behalf.
  • You can click here to get 5 free submissions and learn more. After that, there is a small fee for them to submit your claims.
  • Reimbursify is safe, secure, and HIPAA-compliant.
  • Please note that marital or couples counseling is not covered by insurance as it not considered a “medically necessary” service.
  • To confirm, call your insurance company, and ask specifically, “Do you cover diagnostic code Z63.0 used for marriage/couples/premarital counseling?”
  • You want to determine whether they consider Z63.0, problems in relationship with spouse or partner, to be a medical necessity.

 

Covid-19 Related Questions

We continue to maintain regular disinfecting and sanitary procedures in our offices to protect from the spread of Covid-19. If you have an in-person session scheduled we ask that you wear a mask to your appointment and maintain social distancing while in our waiting area. Hand sanitizer is available for your use as well as touchless check-in.

  • Some therapists are available for in-person sessions currently and some will become available in the coming months.
  • Online therapy will continue to be available at any time beyond the pandemic.
Yes. We do have some therapists available on a limited basis for in-person sessions.

 

Emergency Policy

In case of an emergency, you can call any of the following emergency numbers: 911, United Way Crisis Hotline (713) 228-1505, MHMRA Crisis Unit (713) 970-7000 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room for assistance.

We look forward to meeting you!