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FAQ & Policies

What is counseling? 

Professional counseling is a collaborative effort between a counselor and a client, family, couple, or group. In the process, counselors help clients to identify goals and potential solutions to problems that cause emotional distress, improve communication and coping abilities, and promote behavioral change. Counseling often helps clients learn effective ways to deal with problems by building on their strengths.

How is New Leaf Center different? 

There are plenty of professionals who are very qualified to help address your issues. Many will work with your mental health issues and others can help with your addiction problems. At New Leaf Center, we work on both at the same time. Dr. Wesley has unique expertise and credentials in both addiction treatment and mental health and marriage and family therapy. He is a mature professional who has several years experience as professional counselor and counselor educator. He is a leader in the counseling community.

How do I know if I need counseling? 

There are times when you may need help dealing with problems or feel overwhelmed. During these times, you may benefit from the expertise of a trained mental health professional. Counseling might be a good idea when you are having difficulty functioning in important areas of your life (e.g., work, school, relationships) or your emotional pain becomes uncomfortable. To seek counsel is not a sign of weakness but a manifestation of strenghth. Top athletes, performers, writers and even parents and individuals wanting to change and accomplish more, seek counsel and advice from those who know. Getting help from an expert in human relationships, mental health and addictions, can change your life.

What kinds of problems are appropriate for counseling?

Professionals can offer help for a variety of difficult problems. Here are some of the most common issues:

• Depression
• Anxiety
• Substance abuse
• Family or relationship issues
• Grief or loss
• Adjusting to transitions
• Trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and much, much more.

Do I need to take medication?

Not necessarily. Not every client is in need of medication and many of our clients do not take any psychiatric (psychotropic) medication.  However, individuals with certain diagnoses such as severe depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia often take medication as it is the most effective treatment. Most individuals who are taking medication also benefit from counseling. For example, clients with severe depression may benefit from an antidepressant medication as it may lift their mood and allow them to more fully participate in counseling.

How often are the sessions?

Most counseling is once weekly, at least initially, although it can be up to three times per week in certain circumstances. After some initial improvement, the length between sessions may be increased.

What is the difference between a counselor, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist?

A counselor is a mental health professional who typically has a master’s or doctorate degree and extensive training in mental health counseling. A psychologist is a mental health professional who has obtained a doctorate in either Clinical or Counseling Psychology and has training in psychotherapy and psychological testing. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) who has specialized training in the treatment of mental health concerns. Typically, psychiatrists focus on prescribing medication and medication management.

How long does each session last?

Most individual counseling sessions last for 50 minutes. Group therapy often lasts for 90 minutes with some special groups lasting longer.

How will I pay for counseling?

Most fees for mental health services vary depending on the therapist’s training and method of payment. Many insurance plans cover mental health services offered by our clinicians, including Medicaid programs and other government-sponsored health coverage programs. If you do not have health insurance, you may opt to personally pay for your services. Your counselor will explain the payment process before you start counseling and answer any questions.

Is my privacy protected?

All mental health professionals are required to abide by their respective Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, which require them to protect the confidentiality of information discussed with their clients. As a client, you are guaranteed confidentiality of the information discussed during counseling within the boundaries of the client/counselor relationship. Clients have to provide written permission to release information about their counseling, and their permission is limited to a specific period of time. The only exceptions to confidentiality occur when the counselor believes the client is a clear and imminent threat to hurt him/herself or someone else, a court requests the client’s records, or the counselor suspects the client to be abusing or neglecting someone unable to care for him/herself.

© 2013 New Leaf Center
Counseling, Supervision and Training