Listed below are common questions that individuals have asked about the counseling/ therapy process:
What is therapy?
NYCMFT services are provided directly to you, and your payment is made directly to us at the time of each session. If you wish to submit for reimbursement from your insurance company, we will provide you with the required information. However, before making the decision to use your insurance coverage to reimburse you for therapy, please consider the following: Therapy is a process in which a trained, emotionally uninvolved licensed professional acts as a guide or catalyst in assisting the client to understand more clearly their motives, behaviors, and values, and to make more rational decisions about their life. A therapist does not attempt to solve problems for you. They will provide you with insight and offer new ways of looking at your situation, allowing you to solve your problem. This process will vary depending on the style of the therapist and client, and the particular problem the client is experiencing.
What types of credentials do therapists have?
While there are many different therapists that fall under the category, mental health professional, their training and credentials are distinct. Listed below are the primary mental health professionals and their credentials:
- Psychiatrists: are medical doctors (M.D.) who have spent several years in clinical psychiatric training. They can assess, diagnosis, treat as well as prescribe medication.
- Psychologists: hold a Ph.D., Psy D., or Ed.D. Their training typically includes 4-7 years of graduate course work and an internship. They usually specialize in clinical or counseling psychology. Most states require psychologists to take a credentialing examination.
- Social workers: hold a MSW (master of social work) and have completed 2-years of graduate course work with a supervised clinical internship. In addition, most states require social workers to take a credentialing examination.
- Marriage and family therapists: hold a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and are licensed in most states.
- Mental health therapists: hold a master’s degree in counseling or related and are licensed in most states.
- Psychoanalysts: hold a graduate degree in counseling or related field. Typically, have spent at least 2- years in clinical supervision. In most states they are required to take a credentialing examination.
What are the different counseling/ therapy services?
Individual therapy: this involves one-on-one sessions between a therapist and client. These sessions are usually scheduled once or twice a week, depending on the severity of the client issue. The sessions usually last 45 minutes, allowing the therapist the remainder of the hour to process notes that will assist in treatment planning.
- Couples counseling: this particular type of counseling is effective for couples who are experiencing relationship difficulties.
- Couples counseling: is also ideal for those who are considering marriage and want premarital counseling. In couples counseling, each person has the opportunity to express their feelings with the therapist. The goal of couples counseling is to identify the underlying issues in the relationship and instruct the couple on ways to improve their communication system and to resolve conflict.
- Family counseling: unlike couples counseling, a family therapist works with not only a couple, but with other family members as well. Family counseling allows interaction among family members in a setting where they can express their feelings and explore family roles. Due to other issues that may have been revealed during family counseling sessions, it is not uncommon for a family member to require personalized attention. If this does occur, the therapist will offer that person individualized sessions or a referral.
- Group counseling: this type of counseling offers individuals the ability to increase their interpersonal skills and to develop social support networks. During group sessions, members share feelings, ideas, and situations with each other. Unlike self-help groups, group counseling sessions are facilitated by a licensed mental health professional. Most groups have a specific theme such as divorce or separation groups, women’s group, survivor groups, relationship groups, mood disorder group, etc. Group sessions general last from 1 ½ to 2 hours and meet once a week.
What are the different therapy approaches?
Depending on their clinical orientation, therapists can use different approaches to assist clients. Each approach has a different focus or perspective and may use different research methods or techniques. It is not uncommon for therapists to use more than one approach when working with clients. Listed below are the common modern approaches to therapy.
- Biological approach: focuses on how our genes, hormones, and nervous system interact with environment to influence our personality and development.
Cognitive approach: examines how we process, store, and use information and how this information influences our personality and development.
- Behavioral approach: emphasizes how we learn new behaviors or change existing ones.
- Psychoanalytical approach: stresses the influence of unconscious fears, desires, and motivation on thoughts, behaviors, and the overall development of personality.
- Humanistic approach: takes into consideration the uniqueness of each individual in terms of self-direction and free will.
We at NYCMFT use a biopsychosocial therapuetic approach to assist our clients. We are rooted in the belief that psychological issues affect us physically, and physical issues affect us psychologically.
How long will it take before I start feeling better?
This probably one of the most difficult questions to answer. Depending on your situation and its severity, the number of counseling sessions will vary. There are two distinct timetables for counseling. Short-term or brief counseling, usually requires anywhere from 10-25 sessions. Long- term therapy can range from 1 year and beyond. Whether you receive short-term or long-term counseling will depend on the nature of your problem and the therapist’s theoretical orientation. During your initial visit, it is often a good idea to find out about therapist’s clinical orientation and whether they view your situation requiring short-term or long-term treatment.
During the counseling process, it is quite common for individuals to experience sadness, pain, guilt, anger and a host of other emotions. Sometimes clients will leave feeling worse than they did prior to the session, and may not want to come back for future sessions. This is part of the therapeutic process, which occurs when client progress is being made. Remember, counseling is about identifying emotions, feelings, and behaviors and for some individuals they will re-experience feelings that they have packaged for many years. Therefore, it is a strong possibility that clients will encounter some discomfort when talking about certain situations.
Remember: a good therapist does not attempt to solve your problem for you. They act as a catalyst to help you solve your problems successfully.
Will anybody know that I am receiving therapy?
Nobody will know that you are going for therapy unless you decide to reveal that information. Professional therapists are guided by legal and ethical guidelines. Each state has its own set of guidelines regarding confidentiality. It is important you ask your therapist about their responsibility regarding limits of confidentiality.
What is the typical cost of therapy?
Therapy and counseling fees will vary depending on the therapist, the client’s presenting concern, and the services requested. NYCMFT employs licensed therapist. Our fees are generally considered to be within the acceptable range (UCR) by most insurance companies, and psychotherapy is typically covered by insurance (out of network coverage). For more information on our fees, please see “Fees and Insurance” section.