Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Counseling? What Is Therapy?
The terms of counseling and therapy are used interchangeably. Counseling involves a collaborative process where you work with a licensed professional who supports you in resolving personal conflicts and emotional difficulties.
Your therapist will begin the process by completing an intake. The intake process allows your therapist to have a deepened understanding of your past experiences, how they shape your current reality and allows your therapist to provide you with insight into your current thoughts, behaviors and problems.
The intake often takes the first two to three sessions and involves exploring:
Your current concerns and symptoms
Your family of origin and childhood
Current family dynamics
The ultimate goal of counseling is to enhance your sense of well-being and happiness, however the specific goals for how to reach this vary with each person. Counseling is designed to empower and support you through the process of change towards your goals.
There are several different types of therapy but all have the goal of supporting you in making the changes you desire in your life. Therapists create a safe, confidential and protected space for you to talk about things that might be difficult or vulnerable, or that you worry could feel burdensome to friends or family. Many of our clients seek services because they need a place to address certain issues with effective, professional guidance, professionalism and expertise. Together, we’ll identify your particular goals and create a plan of action using research-based techniques to get you where you want to go!
Why do people go to therapy?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges and make changes in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Deciding whether or not to see a therapist is one of personal preference. Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired.
You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support to provide you with the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me? What can therapy bring to my relationship?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life.
Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn.
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
Developing skills for improving your relationships
Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
Improving communications and listening skills
Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
How long do I need to be in therapy?
The length of time in therapy varies significantly depending upon your unique, individual circumstances and goals. When you initially meet with your therapist they will help you explore and better understand what therapy will look like for you.
Some people complete short term therapy in as few as six sessions. Others have more complex issues that may require longer term therapy. It is not unusual to be engaged in therapy for six months to a year. Typically, you will meet with your therapist on a weekly basis. Depending on your goals and progress you’ll likely move to biweekly or monthly appointments after the first month or two.
Can you guarantee that I will feel better?
Oh, how we wish we could make that promise! In our experience, the majority of clients find a great amount of relief and improvement through therapy; however, there are no guarantees. In therapy, we strive to keep an open line of communication. We want to make sure we’re meeting your goals and get feedback from you about how the process is going. We work a lot like a coach in the sense that we value goal-oriented, progressive work that really gets you where you want to go. We pride ourselves on helping clients really move forward in their lives!
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
Are therapy sessions confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive information that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. All clients receive a copy of the consent for services form which outlines “informed consent” and you can expect that what you discuss in session will remain confidential unless you authorize disclosure of the information.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
How much does it cost?
The cost of counseling services will vary depending upon whether you use insurance or not and also per insurance plan. To give you the most accurate estimate of your cost, we suggest contacting our office and providing us with your full insurance information so we can verify your mental health benefit coverage.
Please remember that a quote of benefits and/or authorization does not guarantee payment or verify eligibility. Payment of benefits is subject to all terms, conditions, limitations, and exclusions of the member’s contract at the time of service. Any cost not covered by your insurance is your responsibility.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
Depending on your current health insurance provider or employee benefit plan, it is possible for services to be covered in full or in part. Please contact your insurance provider to verify how your plan compensates for psychotherapy services.
I’d recommend asking your insurance provider these questions to help determine your benefits:
Does my health insurance plan include mental health benefits?
Do I have a deductible? If so, what is it and have I met it yet?
Does my plan limit how many sessions per calendar year I can have? If so, what is the limit?
Do I need written approval from my primary care physician in order for services to be covered?
How much does my insurance plan pay for an out-of-network provider?
How do I get started?
Call 715-602-4321 or email Front-Desk@windingriverscounseling.com and ask to schedule an appointment. Once you provide your contact information, you will receive a link to a patient portal where you can complete required forms and enter your insurance information if applicable. The forms can be completed online so there’s no need to print them! Please have all forms completed by the time of arrival for your first session.