Do you have a question?
If you're like most parents, you have many. We understand. Below are some questions about the process of counseling that we hear a lot. (click on the question to expand the text below)
Is therapy right for me/my child/my family?
How will I know when it's time for counseling?
How can therapy help my child/teen?
- Developing anger management strategies
- Reducing anxiety
- Improving peer relationships
- Dealing with transitions
- Gaining coping skills for parental divorce
- Working through grief & loss
- Developing social skills
- Expanding communication
- Improving self-esteem & confidence
- Regulating mood & emotion
- Managing stress effectively
What is therapy like?
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
What is your role as a counselor/therapist?
What is Thrive Counseling's therapy approach?
How long will it take before my problems get better? How long will therapy take?
In some cases, we have had clients come in for just a few sessions but we also have other clients that desire continued support. It can range from a few weeks to a year or more. Some clients find four to six sessions to be helpful, especially when dealing mainly with specific parenting issues and questions. Usually however, children and families need a minimum of between six and twelve sessions to benefit. Most people begin to see significant improvement in three to six months. More sessions may be needed for more serious difficulties.
Keep in mind that most emotional and/or relationship problems have evolved over several years, and it is unrealistic to expect them to be solved quickly. In most cases, sessions are scheduled weekly and then spaced farther apart as your goals begin to be met.
The length of counseling or therapy cannot usually be determined ahead of time, but the decision to continue or not will ultimately always be yours. We will periodically discuss your progress to determine how many sessions might be needed.
Some clients will engage in therapy for a period of time and then take a break from therapy knowing they can return at any point in time for "booster" sessions or if difficulties arise.
How do I start counseling?
What will happen in my first session?
Is therapy confidential? Will what I share be kept private?
Basically, all records are for documentation and personal review, and are never shared with anyone, unless permission has been granted to do so or legally required. At times, collaboration with other professionals is necessary to provide the best treatment, and it is standard practice to share only the relevant information, without personal or distinguishing information.
There are certain circumstances in which confidentiality must be broken and are as follows:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The child discloses something that indicates the possibility of abuse, neglect or a situation in which the child could be harmed. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
- The court issues a subpoena for a trial requiring documentation of therapy sessions.
- A release of information is requested by the parent and/or child.
We are bound by legal and ethical obligations to protect your privacy and rights as clients, and it is our commitment to you to uphold the highest level of confidentiality with your records.
In working with children, confidentiality sometimes gets a little tricky. Parents often want to know what is happening in the play room and what the child is expressing during therapy. You need to know that our responsibility is to protect the rights of the child we are working with, which requires that the specifics of the sessions cannot be discussed with the parents.
That does not mean that parents are left out of the therapy process, nor imply that you will not be informed of what the focus of the sessions is. We are free to discuss broad themes and general areas of concern during parent consultations, but not what is said or done as part of the play. Thanks for helping us keep your child's rights protected!
Do you prescribe medication?
Do you work with courts or custody evaluations?
Why is my child having problems? What causes this?
Some are caused from emotional stress at school or home. The child may be bullied at school or have separation anxiety from their parents. They may be witnessing fighting in the home between parents or worried that their parent is under a great deal of stress. They may have sleep issues, sadness, and can develop physical symptoms which can keep them home from school.
Some problems are caused from learning disorders. Some children and teens are undiagnosed so are sitting in a classroom with others wondering why they can't understand what the teacher is presenting and other kids can. They start to feel stupid and worthless. This may present as acting out behavior or depression.
Others are caused from being a gifted child. Most of the time gifted children are bored in school. Behaviors may show as poor attention span, boredom, daydreaming, power struggles, irritability. They may need less sleep and may question rules.
Some are caused from biochemical abnormalities in the brain. There are various neurotransmitters in the brain that affect our moods. Serotonin and Dopamine are two of the most important ones. Dopamine is one that brings pleasure and happiness. If there is a deficiency in the dopamine levels, mood can be affected and behavioral issues can arise. Depression and drug addictions are just a few disorders caused from this. Bipolar disorder has been linked to problems in the limbic-thalamic-cortical circuit in the brain.
Sensory integration dysfunctions are another cause of behavioral problems. This is thought to be an inefficient neurological processing of information received through the senses, causing problems with learning, development, and behavior. These children are over sensitive or under sensitive to sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound.
Still others are caused due to a lack of structure or consistency in the child's life. Children need consistent rules and consequences to learn self-discipline. They need to know what to expect next in their lives in order to feel safe and secure.
Is there anything I can do to help?
2. Be consistent with your rules and expectations. There will be times when your child or teen will not like or agree with your rules. They may behave like they don't like you because of this. Being your child's friend need not be your goal for now. It is more important to resist the urge to win them over. They need you to be their parent.
3. Talk about morals and values. They need to know what is right from wrong. They are barraged with media and friends telling them one thing. They need to have a strong sense of value and know the difference between inappropriate and appropriate behavior.
4. Avoid fighting. Fighting only fuels hostility and does not solve the problem. Maintain the mutual right to disagree. Don't try and reason with someone that is upset. It is a waste of time. Wait until tempers have cooled before trying to sort out a disagreement. Don't try and talk kids out of their feelings. This will only make matters worse. You can acknowledge a child's feelings without condoning it. This will help defuse anger.
5. Bring back the balance to your family.
6. Consider counseling for your child/teen or for yourself or family. Therapy has been shown to be a very effective tool to decrease the tension and problems in children and their families. By working with a third party you are able to look at the issues from a different perspective and receive the support and guidance you need.
We would like to help you through this hard time.
questions about pricing & location
Where is your office and what are your hours?
We offer flexible hours with daytime and evening appointments. Please call or e-mail our Intake Coordinator for availability.
How much does counseling cost?
- The first visit your therapist will gather information regarding your/your child's background and symptoms. You and your therapist will develop a therapy plan and set goals. This session will be a 50-minute session. The cost of the initial assessment is $130.00. This price reflects the additional paperwork for an initial assessment session.
- A 45-50-minute session is $105.00. This is a basic follow up session.
- Younger children are not able to handle 45-50-minute therapy sessions. A 30-minute individual session or play therapy session is $60.00.
- Adults and Teens: 1.5 hr group a week is $220.00 a month ($55.00 per group).
- Children: 1 hr a week is $160.00 a month ($40 per group).
We also provide a limited number of reduced-fee spaces in each therapist's case load. If you feel that you qualify for one of these slots, please inform your therapist at the beginning of your first session. Because these slots are limited there may be a waiting list. If there are no slots immediately available we are able to provide you with other low-cost or sliding-scale referrals.
What if I have to cancel my counseling session?
The office has voice mail so you can leave a message or email our Intake Coordinator directly. On some occasions, you therapist may be able to conduct telephone sessions if you are available, but not able to come into to the office. The payment is the same as an in office sessions which can be paid online by credit card through pay pal.
Please note that insurance companies do not reimburse for missed appointments.
How do I pay?
Payment for session is expected before the session begins. You can either pay directly in cash/check/credit card when you arrive for your appointment or pay in advance online through PayPal. Due to office policy, we are not allowed to see clients who have not paid for their session upfront.
Will my insurance company pay for counseling?
Payment is expected in full at the time of service. If you wish to use your insurance benefits, it will be necessary for you to file for reimbursement directly with your carrier. You will be provided with a receipt for the counseling service at the end of each session that is made to attach to your claim form to submit for reimbursement. Please note that we do not complete any insurance paperwork.
Why Don't You Accept Insurance?
Savings: You pay less because we don’t spend valuable hours on insurance paperwork.
Privacy: Insurance requires diagnosis to authorize treatment. These negative labels can follow a client through life and interfere with insurability later. Your files are NOT shared with anyone.
questions about types of therapy
What about Group Therapy?
Children's Groups are very effective to treat children with behavioral problems, poor social skills, low self-esteem, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Using therapeutic games with younger children, the goal of my groups is to increase your child's emotional intelligence. There are five elements of emotional intelligence:
- Social skills
- Identifying feelings
- Containment of feelings
**Children groups meet weekly for an hour. To ensure each child receives a rich group experience, we only allow six children in a group. The parent meeting is quarterly with each parent having the option to meet individually with the therapist at any time.
Like children's groups, the prime goal of adolescent groups is to enhance your teen's emotional intelligence. Unlike younger clients, though, teens are more focused on talk therapy than play therapy, although there are times when teens engage in activities appropriate to their age.
Group therapy provides a safe place for adolescents to talk about "everything." Let's face it, teens feel there is just about nothing they can discuss with their parents and that robs them of a needed adult perspective. Group offers them a safe place to talk about their concerns and receive feedback from the adult therapist. At the same time, your teen will be challenged by his or her peers when the group detects that she or he is being less than honest with them and himself, or making a bad decision. As with children, parental input is key to successful adolescent therapy and always welcome.
Adult groups are weekly and run 1.5 hours. Members of the group share problems and issues they are facing. Group is beneficial to deal with low-self esteem, feeling awkward in social situations or problems with interpersonal relationships. Group therapy also is effective in working through depression, anxiety and similar emotional challenges. Because there are strict rules governing confidentiality, group therapy provides a safe place for you to overcome the challenges affecting your life. You must be prepared to give at least a three-month commitment to allow time to build the supportive relationships you will gain in group therapy.
Do you offer services to teenagers?
questions about play therapy
What is Play Therapy?
In play therapy, children do not have to talk directly about their problems to gain relief. Play therapy allows children to distance themselves from difficult feelings and memories, which would normally be too challenging for them to talk about directly.
In play therapy, children learn they can safely express difficult feelings to gain a sense of relief. When children express their feelings and thoughts in play therapy the difficult feelings and memories become less intense. This results in problem behaviors decreasing or being eliminated altogether.
In play therapy, children will play out difficult feelings or stressful experiences in order to gain an understanding of them. Creative thoughts are encouraged and children can work through and find solutions to their problems consciously and unconsciously during play therapy. Children can then regain a sense of control and safety in their lives resulting in increased self-confidence and changes in behavior.
When adults face a problem, they will usually think about what happened, look at it from different perspectives, talk about it with someone they trust, and plan how to handle a similar situation in the future. During play therapy, children do these same things using their imaginations.
As a method of counseling children, play therapy has been found to be effective for children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Play therapy is also an excellent way to help children recover and heal from stressful or traumatic experiences.
What are the benefits of Play Therapy?
- Children experience a therapeutic relationship with the play therapist; the play therapist provides an environment for the child that encourages healthy growth and development, improves self-esteem, allows self-expression, facilitates problem-solving, and supports the development of self-control
- Children become more self-aware; they learn to identify their thoughts and feelings; they begin to discover and understand themselves, which leads to the formation of a healthy self-concept
- Children develop empathy and begin to understand and respect the thoughts and feelings of others
- Children learn self-control by making appropriate choices and decisions for themselves, thus taking responsibility for their own actions
- Children learn healthier ways of interacting with others and better ways of coping with difficult situations
- Children learn to correct their misunderstandings and develop more realistic ways of thinking
- Through children's self-expression in play, adults are better able to understand children; this leads to adults being able to support children more effectively
- Play therapy reduces anxiety about traumatic events in the child’s life such as illness, death, parental conflict, separation and divorce. It:
- Reduces the effects of trauma when abuses have taken place,
- Treats childhood depression,
- Promotes higher emotional intelligence,
- Reduces sleep problems, and
- Treats behavior and school problems
Will my child and I be seen together or Individually?
We offer play therapy because we believe that sometimes children need a special place to express themselves safely and to have their voices heard and acknowledged. Often children are afraid to express themselves to their parents for a number of reasons. The benefit of having an understanding play therapist is that children will feel free to express themselves without being afraid of hurting their parents or of causing their parents to disapprove of them.
There have also been concerns in the past that therapists who work only with children will exclude the parents from the therapeutic process, thus causing the parents to feel even more inadequate. For this reason, we believe that as a parent, you need to be an integral part of the therapeutic process with your child. You are the key people in the life of your child and need to be acknowledged for this extremely important role that you play. When providing parent counseling services to you, we will help you to understand your child better and learn new ways of interacting with your child. This will enable you to be a source of continuing support to your child long after therapy has terminated.
We also believe that family counseling, where your family is seen together in therapy, and filial play therapy, where one parent and one child are seen together in therapy, provide enormous benefits when needed. These methods offer a way of tying everything together so that your entire family system benefits.
We offer a variety of ways for you and your child to work in therapy. Depending on your particular needs, you and your child may see me individually and/or together.
Can I watch my child in Play Therapy?
What toys are in a play room and why?
Why Play Therapy?
Play Therapy is an option for children who are having difficulties coping with life situations. Though children may not be able to express themselves fluently with words, they are fluent in the language of play. Play Therapy allows them to express themselves in the way in which they are most comfortable.
Does my child need Play Therapy?
How does Play Therapy work?
How long does a child receive Play Therapy?
What's the difference between Play Therapy and playing with my child at home?
Who is Play Therapy for?
Children with a life threatening condition, and their brothers and sisters, have to deal with experiences and emotions that are new and troubling. Play Therapy gives them an opportunity to work through those feelings and allows them to come to an understanding of what has occurred. The parents may also gain a better understanding of what their child may be going through.
Play therapy especially benefits children 3-12, and helps children take responsibility for behaviors, establish creative solutions to problems, accept themselves and others, experience and express emotions, learn respect for feelings of others, cultivate relational skills with family, gain pride in their abilities, and more!
questions about counseling for teens
Why should I consider therapy for my teenager?
Who should attend Adolescent Therapy?
How do I introduce therapy to my teenager?
The relationship that develops between the Adolescent Therapist and the teenager is very important. The teenager must feel comfortable, safe and understood in a trusting environment. This will make it easier for the teenager to express his/her thoughts and feelings and to use therapy in a helpful way. Therefore, a positive introduction by the parents is the first important step toward successful Adolescent Therapy.
Parents should explain to the teenager that they will be going to see a therapist, the particular problem that is interfering with the teenager's growth and that the therapist is going to help make things better for both of them. Even if the teenager denies obvious problems, s/he can just agree to meet the therapist and to see what therapy is like.
As a parent, how am I involved in my teenager's therapy?
- Parents – Initial Session(s)
- During the initial meeting with parents, the Therapist will want to learn as much as possible about the nature of their teenager's problems. The Therapist will ask for information about his/her developmental, medical, social and school history, whether or not previous evaluations and interventions were attempted and the nature of those results. Background information about the parents and family is also important in providing the Adolescent Therapist with a larger context from which to understand the teenager.
- During this session, the Adolescent Therapist can also answer any of the parents' questions or concerns, including how to best approach their teenager about therapy. This process of gathering information usually takes one to three sessions.
- Parents – Continued Involvement
- Subsequent sessions with parents are important opportunities to keep the Therapist informed about their teenager's current functioning at home and at school as well as for the Therapist to offer some insight and guidance to the parents. The Therapist may provide suggestions about parenting techniques and alternative ways to communicate with their teenager, as well as provide information about adolescent development.
- Parent – Parent Reports
- Our therapists often ask for parents to complete an At-Home "Parent Progress Report" to bring with them your teen's session. This check sheet is a quick way to alert your therapist to any "happenings" since your last session. There is also a space to indicate you would like to request a callback from your teen's therapist to discuss a concern.
How will you work with my teenager in therapy?
Transference is a therapeutic phenomenon by which clients "transfer" emotional feelings they have toward others in their life toward the therapist. Because teenagers are in the process of developing independence and detaching from their parents as they mature, the nature of this detachment may make them reluctant to form a bond with another "parental figure," such as the therapist. For this reason, Adolescent Therapists sometimes find that an activity can be a helpful component to the therapeutic process. Depending on the teenager, art therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, and other experiential programs can be effective adjuncts to "talk" therapy.
What about confidentiality in Adolescent Therapy?
How do I get feedback about my teenager's therapy?
Instead, the Adolescent Therapist will communicate to the parents her understanding of the teenager's psychological needs or conflicts and provide suggestions or recommendations where appropriate.
What specific issues does Adolescent Therapy address?
- Communication & verbal expression
- Self-observation & insight
- Impulse control Capacity to trust and to relate to others
- Social skills
- Identity issues
- Emotional support
- Conflict resolution
- Relations with friends or family
- Anxiety and fear
- Depression and irritability
- Anger and aggression
- Coping with frustration
- Poor school performance or learning disabilities
- Low academic effort
- Oppositional and conduct problems
- Alcohol and drug use
- Inappropriate sexual behavior
- Abuse and trauma
- Separation or divorce of parents
- Emotional issues related to medical problems
- Death of a friend or family member
How will I know when my teenager's therapy is done?
At the end of therapy, the Adolescent Therapist will take the opportunity to say goodbye to the teenager and parents by offering her thoughts, feelings and words of hope and encouragement for the future.
questions about parent & family counseling
What is Parent Counseling?
- worried or concerned about your child
- powerless or helpless because what you are doing may not be working and you don't know what to do to change things
- angry and frustrated with your child's behaviors
- confused and uncertain as to what is really the best way to parent
- guilty or ashamed that somehow you may have failed as a parent
- discouraged and inadequate because your child is experiencing problems
How can Parent Counseling help?
- You will be supported in identifying and expressing your feelings related to your child's difficulties so that these feelings will not interfere with your parenting
- You will be supported in exploring various ways of interacting with your child that will improve the relationship between you and your child
- You can learn new parenting skills and behavior management strategies
- You will be updated on your child's progress if he or she is involved in play therapy; you are provided with the general themes the child is expressing in play therapy and ideas to work adaptively with the child at home; additionally, you will have an opportunity to provide me with information about significant changes in your child's behavior as well as to update me on important events that have occurred between play sessions
- You can learn specialized therapeutic parenting techniques, such as advanced listening and comforting techniques, if your child has experienced a stressful or traumatic event; children exposed to a trauma usually need therapeutic parenting following the trauma; normal parenting practices are often not sufficient to help the child heal and recover from the trauma
- You will be supported in dealing with other issues causing stress in your life that may be impacting on your ability to help your child
How do your own experiences as a child impact your parenting?
It is important for you to be aware of how and where you learned your current parenting strategies. Then you are able to make decisions about building on your current healthy parenting skills and discarding and replacing the more unhealthy parenting approaches.
What is Family Counseling?
The relationships between members of your family are deep. Individuals in your family are tied to each other by powerful emotional attachments that will persist over the lifetime of your family. Family counseling focuses on the relationships and interactions between your family members.
What are the Benefits of Family Counseling?
- You and your family members can change unhealthy patterns of interacting and communicating with each other to more functional patterns of interaction
- You and your family members can strengthen relationships between each other
- You will understand how your childhood family relationships and extended family relationships can impact your current family relationships
- You will learn how a healthy family structure contributes to healthy family relationships
- You will learn to encourage separateness of individual family members, while still maintaining and developing connectedness between family members
questions about filial play therapy
What is Filial Play Therapy?
Filial play therapy has been successfully used with many child and family problems including:
- Anxiety and depression
- Anger and aggression
- Relationship problems
- Single parenting, step-parenting
- High conflict divorce
- Adoption/foster care
- Family substance abuse
- Chronic illness
What are the Benefits of Filial Play Therapy?
- You will learn basic play therapy skills so your child will be able to benefit from the therapeutic aspects of play long after professional services have ended
- Your child will develop a more positive perspective of you as a parent
- You will be able to understand your child better
- Your child's problem behaviors will be reduced or eliminated
- You will learn new parenting skills
- Communication with your child will be opened up and improved
- You will develop self-confidence with your child, thus reducing your stress and frustration levels
- Your relationship with your child will be strengthened
- You will learn about the importance of play for your child
- Your family's ability to have fun together will be enhanced
- You will develop coping skills for future problems