FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
1. What is a counseling session like? Do I lie on a couch and talk about my parents?
Answer: No. Only in the movies. It’s about communication. You sit in
comfortable chairs and discuss the issues that are troubling you with a trained
2. What’s the difference in therapy and counseling?
Answer: Not much, really. Therapy is the treatment of a disorder of some kind. Counseling is a technique for identifying the nature of a troubling problem and coming to an agreement to cure it. Our team of specialists blend the two.
3. How long are the sessions?
Answer: One hour will be set aside for your exclusive time with a counselor. Typically, the hour with you will last about 45 minutes. That gives the counselor time to record of the progress you have made and prepare for your next session.
4. How many sessions will I need?
Answer: Maybe three or four sessions. Maybe many, many more. It varies depending on the severity of the problem and how long you have suffered with it. Something you suffered since you were a child can’t be compared with an issue that just happened to you. To begin, you might set aside four sessions. After that, you and your therapist can see the improvement you have made and make an estimate as to how long you should plan to continue.
5. What if I want to switch counselors?
Answer: This rarely happens, but our counselors work as a team. If your need is better suited to one of our other therapists, they are amenable to making that happen. In fact, they might even suggest it. That is one advantage of working with a team of specialists.
6. Can my children or parents meet together with me and my counselor?
Answer: Absolutely. No doubt you are part of a unit we call a family. What affects one, affects all. Your counselor will, no doubt, suggest it.
7. What is so special about a counselor-therapist?
Answer: First, some special human qualities: They are non-judgmental. They are patient. (Change takes time). Their personal rewards come from seeing their clients improve over time. Second, they have completed not less than three years of post-graduate work in their field in a university program and served as interns working under a trained supervisor for over 2000 counseling hours before they were licensed by the state as a therapist. Our therapists have served many years since they were first licensed. You might say, there is not much they haven’t seen.
8. How do I know counseling therapy will help me?
Answer: Everyone can be helped by counseling with a competent therapist. All of us have experienced disturbing incidents in the past that may not have been resolved, and the memory of them still bothers us. Some of us are suffering from intolerable situations in the present that keep us from experiencing the joy of life that we deserve. Your counselor will guide you in laying those issues out so they can be addressed and a plan made to resolve them.
9. What is the difference in a psychologist, a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist?
Answer: They are all alike in that they are all concerned with the workings of the mind and how it affects our behavior and general health. However, their education, training and approach to their jobs are quite different.
Psychologists are persons who have done extensive study on the science of the mind. Their studies include aberrations in the mind and how they affect behavior. Their approach to understanding a patient’s problems includes the application of highly sophisticated tests to reveal any particular deviations from normal which need to be addressed. Sometimes they offer personal counseling, but more often their work is applied to extreme behavior problems such as may be found in a hospital or treatment center.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors whose studies have specialized in the chemistry of the brain and how that affects behavior and general life satisfaction. Their solutions to a patient’s problems are the prescription and administration of medications. They rarely conduct any counseling.
Psychotherapist are persons whose studies have included aspects of both the psychiatrist and the psychologist, but whose focus is on helping the patient identify emotional and behavior problems (as well as interactive social problems) and begin a process to confront and defeat them. Their training and education have included a large battery of strategies that have been tested and used with success. Their tools are communication and training. All the members of the Life With Hope team are licensed psychotherapists with many years experience helping people of all ages and backgrounds like yours.
10 I have been court appointed to see a therapist. Can you help?
Answer: Probably. Call our office to inquire about which therapists are qualified to help your special need.
11. Should I stop my medications before I see a counselor?
Answer: No. Continue taking medications prescribed by a doctor. If, after you have completed your counseling sessions, your counselor believes you need a change in medications, a call to your physician will be made to discuss this.
12. How soon can I be seen?
Answer: In an emergency, you will be able to see a counselor on the same or next day. Ordinarily, you can be scheduled as soon as the next regular day (Sunday through Thursday.) If you select a particular therapist, it will depend on the next availability he or she has. It could be immediately or you might have to wait several weeks.
13. Do you take insurance?
Answer: Yes. Our counselors are each on several of the larger, most prominent insurers in Florida, but each therapist has a different list. (Click on Contact Us at the top of this page.) To learn more about your insurance coverage, you have to ask your insurance company or contact our office with your information, and we will research it for you.
14. How much does a counseling session cost?
Answer: More than a haircut and less than a 15 minute visit with your doctor. Our therapists all depend on their earnings for their support. They have set their own fee schedule. If payment of their standard fees is prohibitive, sometimes a payment schedule or a fee reduction can be applied.
15. What methods of payment do you accept?
Answer: Cash, personal checks, MasterCard, Discover and Visa.
16. How do I start the process of growth through counseling?
Answer: Click on the CONTACT box on the right side of each therapist's page or contact the Life With Hope, LLC office by telephone (727 600-8081) or by FAX (727 865-5150) or by email at [email protected] Indicate your phone number, fax number or email address and the time you can be reached. Someone will contact you to set an appointment for your initial session.
17. Are the therapists available to speak to my club or group?
Answer: Yes. Subject to time availability, they would be glad to bring a program to your club or group. They are currently interested in talking to groups about the need to detect signs of mental health problems in children early enough to intercept them before they erupt into behavior that will get them in trouble with the law.
18. Where are you located?
Answer: At 3607 Alt. 19, Suite B in Palm Harbor, Florida -- south of the Klosterman intersection and north of the Alderman intersection on the west side of the street in Brook Executive Park.
19. If I don't live in your practice area (Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, Florida), how can I find a competent therapist?
Answer: Go to the website www.aamft.org and click on the box, "Find a Therapist."
19. Will Life With Hope therapists furnish information to the courts on request?
Answer: Our therapists will not testify in court nor furnish courts or any other person any information about your case without your permission or unless ordered by the court. If ordered to testify by the court, special fees and a retainer will be required.