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Therapy FAQ


What is mental health therapy?

Behavioral or Mental health therapy involves speaking with a psychiatric professional who's job it is to promote a healthy mental state in their clients. Consider this; when you develop a physical illness like a common cold, you might take an over the counter medication and rest knowing that soon you'll be feeling better.  If you're not feeling better and the symptoms are getting worse, you might visit your family doctor or a specialist.


The same is true for mental health therapy.  Day to day, you might experience stress, sadness, anger, frustration and apathy but these feelings usually pass and are broken up with moments of joy, contentment and a sense of well-being. If the darker feelings and moods do not pass, seem to be getting worse or are negatively impacting your relationships, work and self-esteem,  talking with a mental health therapist can help.


How do I know if I need to see a therapist?

If you are unsure if you need to see a behavioral health professional, consider these questions;


  • Are you enjoying your relationships with friends, co-workers and family members?

  • Do you feel like your life is productive and functional?

  • Are you able to maintain emotional balance when in stressful situations?

  • Are you able to work through disagreements with others and resolve conflicts quickly?

  • Are you sleeping and eating in regularly intervals and in healthy amounts?

  • Do you abstain from or use low to moderate levels of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes or recreational drugs?

  • Are you usually content and satisfied with your life and relationships?


If you answered "no" to any of the above questions, it might benefit you to meet with a mental health professional. Keep in mind that you don't need to wait until you are in crisis to see a therapist.  Many clients maintain a healthy perspective on their life and goals by seeing their therapist on a regular basis. In doing so, when a life crisis does occur, they have a support person already in place to help them keep on track.


What happens during the first session?

During the first session or "intake session", you will have an opportunity to share your concerns about the issues you are dealing with. Your therapist may ask about your life now, your childhood and the circumstances which brought you to where you are emotionally. If you are uncomfortable talking about your past, mention this to your therapist. Ultimately, the goal of every therapist is to assist their clients in reaching a place of emotional balance and a healthy mental state.  


Does therapy work?

For clients who understand that they can use their time in therapy as a tool to better their life, therapy can bring relief and healing. If a client is ready to let go of old, destructive patterns of behavior and thought and embrace new ways of thinking and living, therapy can be very effective.


How long does therapy take?

The length of therapy depends on the client's specific needs. Some clients come in for a few sessions and others continue therapy for a longer period of time.


How do I choose a therapist?

Our Intake Coordinators can help you find a therapist who best fits your needs. Consider the following;

  • Do I feel more comfortable speaking with a male or female therapist?

  • What are the core issues bringing me in to therapy? 

  • After reading the profiles on the Redmond Counselor's page HERE, who seems to be the best fit?


What's the difference between a therapist and a counselor?

There is no technical difference between a mental health therapist and a mental health counselor.  In the state of Washington the term is interchangeable. Both a licensed mental health counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist require a masters degree in mental health counseling, the completion of the state or national counselor examination and 3,000 supervised client counseling hours.


How do I choose between the different types of therapies?

Most counselors are trained in dozens of therapies and specialize in a few because of their professional interest and preference.  It may be more productive to focus on locating a therapist who has experience dealing with issues similar to your concerns.


Does my insurance cover therapy?


Understanding your insurance plan, covered services, and covered providers is an important part of self-care. Our intake coordinators will check your insurance coverage and benefits but ultimately, it is the client's responsibility to confirm coverage.  Please have your insurance card handy when making your first appointment.


How long are the sessions?


Therapy sessions are generally 53 minutes in length. 


Can I extend the length of my session?

You can extend sessions by making arrangements in advance. Insurance does not usually cover multiple sessions in the same day so there will be an additional out of pocket cost to you.


How often should I come in for therapy?

It is advised that clients come in weekly but for more acute issues, twice weekly may be needed.


Can I make an appointment for a loved one or a friend?

Yes, you can help your loved one walk through the process of making their first appointment.


Can I come to appointments with my child | partner | friend?

Yes, you can attend part or all of the first session with your loved one.  It is advised that clients see their therapist on their own after the first session unless the client requests the support.


Can I communicate with the therapist before my child |partner |friend has their first appointment?

Yes, loved ones can send a private email to the office and this will be forwarded to the therapist. The therapist will not respond to these messages due to privacy concerns.


What if my therapist doesn't seem like a good fit?

This happens occasionally.  Feeling comfortable with your therapist is an important aspect of therapy. If you don't feel comfortable with your therapist, please contact the office and we will make arrangements for you to see another therapist.


Can I see more than one therapist at a time?

Yes, Many insurance companies allow for up to 7 sessions per week.  Clients seeking extra support during a difficult time may want to create their own "intensive" experience by seeing various practitioners over the course of a week or month.


How can I get the most out of therapy?

  • Therapy is a partnership between a client and their therapist, be an active participant

  • Tell your provider your goals for treatment

  • Consider the bigger, more concerning issues to focus on

  • If you feel you're not making progress, tell your therapist

  • Be open and honest; don't say you're feeling fine if you're not

  • Share frustrations with your relationships, self-esteem, school and work life with your therapist

  • Keep an open mind, you will be hearing many new ideas

  • Remember that your therapist has worked with hundreds or thousands of clients, they are a vast resource of what has worked for other people in your situation

  • Take therapy home; keep a journal about your progress and practice new concepts in your everyday life

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