Common Counseling Questions

Here are some common counseling questions as well as info on the services we provide. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other counseling questions! We offer a complimentary counseling consultation to get all of your counseling questions answered.

What is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker?
What is the difference between a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Psychologist?
What’s the difference between “Psychotherapy”, “Therapy”, and “Counseling”?
Do you prescribe medications?
How long will treatment last?
What happens during the free consultation?
What can I expect in the first few sessions?
Are my sessions confidential?
Do you see children or teens?
Do you see families?
Why do I need to see a professional? What about self-help books, friends, or ‘riding it out’?
Can I see you in the evenings?
What if I need to cancel my counseling session?
Do you accept credit cards?
Do you accept insurance? What are my options?
What do I need to know about insurance?
How can I schedule an appointment?

 


What is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker?

A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) is someone who has a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) and has fulfilled all of the licensing requirements in their state. In Colorado you must complete a minimum of 3,360 hours of practice for at least two years after obtaining your Master’s degree. You must also have regular clinical supervision during the entire time and pass the Licensure and Jurisprudence examinations. An LCSW is qualified to give a diagnosis for mental health issues, but only psychiatrists can prescribe medications. Most often the LCSW and the psychiatrist work together if it is determined that medication is something the client wants to pursue.

I have both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Social Work, which have given me broad training in addressing the many facets of a person’s life, from psychological and relational to the social. I have also received additional clinical training to further strengthen and expand my skills. It is important to evaluate any therapist you are considering to make sure they have adequate training in the methodologies they are using.

What is the difference between a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Psychologist?

A Psychologist has a doctoral degree in either clinical or counseling psychology and can be a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. Like a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Psychologist can diagnose and treat mental health issues, but cannot write prescriptions. Many Psychologists enter research and academia, and may be certified to administer certain psychological assessments. Both types of professionals can receive training that is focused on the clinical practice of psychotherapy/counseling.
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What’s the difference between “Psychotherapy”, “Therapy”, and “Counseling”?

“Therapy” is short for “Psychotherapy.” For many people, the use of the terms counseling and therapy is a matter of preference. Some say that the difference is that a therapist has more training, can treat more severe issues, and may offer longer term and more in-depth treatment. A counselor’s focus may be on specific issues and have a shorter term, more targeted approach. At A Peaceful Life, there is significant overlap between these two treatment approaches. We have helped clients treat severe issues swiftly, but we also have a very targeted approach in all treatment we provide. I think that you, the client, get to decide which term you feel most comfortable with because ultimately it is your treatment. I am happy to be your counselor, therapist, or psychotherapist.
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Do you prescribe medications?

No. However, we can refer you to a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner who can prescribe the medication. We will coordinate between each provider and make sure that the necessary communication happens between therapy and medication management.
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How long will treatment last?

This depends on what you are coming in for. Many clients are in treatment between eight and twelve sessions. Together we will draft a plan for your treatment so that you understand the road map and can change it at any time. If you want to come in for a certain number of sessions, we can work with you to select goals that would be realistic within that time frame.  And , of course, you can always stop treatment at any time.
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What happens during the free consultation?

We will chat, either in-person or by phone for 30 minutes. We can cover your counseling questions and what you want to get out of therapy.  We can talk about any counseling questions or concerns you have, and we will explore what therapy would look like (how often we would meet, who would be involved, etc). If we decide that it would be beneficial to work together, then we can schedule the first session. If we don’t think it would be a good fit, we can help you find a different provider. It is important that you feel comfortable  and confident A Peaceful Life will meet your needs. Our first priority is helping you. If that means finding the right therapist for you, we would gladly help you find someone who can provide what you need.
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What can I expect in the first few sessions?

It is important that everyone who will be involved in therapy be present at the first session to cover the basics. We will go over your paperwork, fees and answer any counseling questions you may have. We will go over a brief history of the presenting issues and talk about what’s going on now. We will talk about your goals for counseling and explore what you can expect in treatment, as well as any treatment limitations.  Plans for how often we should meet, who will be involved in treatment (for parenting or family issues), and what other possible support or services you may need will also be discussed. Finally, we will come up with a treatment plan that will be a road map of your goals and how we plan to get there. Though the assessment phase can last up to two sessions, you will leave the first session with a clear sense of where we are going with therapy. You may receive a questionnaire that will help provide a better snapshot of what’s going on for you at this time. After that, each session is tailored to meet your specific needs and goals.
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Are my sessions confidential?

Absolutely! Your privacy is very important  and is protected by law under HIPPA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and the Colorado Revised Statutes 12-43-218. With the exception of some legal and safety issues (threat of suicide or homicide, child abuse, and certain legal proceedings), nothing about your treatment is divulged to anyone without your consent. All of your records are stored in locked cabinets or with digital encryption. The Privacy Practices are outlined in detail in the New Client forms.
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Do you see children or teens?

No, we don’t provide services to children or teens unless they are part of a family session. Children younger than 12 benefit more from play therapy and we are not play therapists. Some particularly mature teens could do regular talk therapy, so if you have a teen that needs help give us a call and we can assess whether your child’s needs are a good fit for what we can do.
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Do you see families?

Kat rarely does any family therapy any more, but if you need family therapy please call and you can determine together if the type of family therapy you need is a good fit for Kat’s practice. Kat can make some referrals to other great family therapists if you need them.
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Why do I need to see a professional? What about self-help books, friends, or ‘riding it out’?

Having a strong support system is vital, and learning through books or online resources can be very helpful. However, a friend cannot fully assess the issue from a professional standpoint, and may have a hard time helping you due to their own limitations. You also may not want to “burden” them with your problems, so you may not fully open up. Friends also tend to give advice, which is well-meaning but often may not be helpful. The amount of information out there these days is overwhelming, so reading books or surfing websites alone may leave you feeling more frustrated because your efforts don’t result in the change you want. Most of these self-help approaches are not specific enough to help you address your unique circumstances.

Ignoring the problem is also an option, but the cost is high in terms of unhappy relationships, anxiety, depression, poor performance, and physical symptoms.  Most likely you have already tried everything that you know of. Ignoring the problem could come from feeling helpless rather than from choosing to get better.

It is courageous and wise to seek professional help. You deserve to live a happier and more meaningful life. When you know that things are not getting better on their own, and you have tried everything you can think of, taking the next step to talk to someone is a great choice. Contact us with your counseling questions today.
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Can I see you in the evenings?

Yes, hours are flexible. We have a variety of evenings and times available. If you don’t see something that you need on our online calendar, you can call to check availability.
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Do you offer phone sessions?

If you are unable to come in for your session, your therapist may be available to schedule a phone session. Speak with your therapist about what that entails.
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What if I need to cancel my counseling session?

In an effort to accommodate as many clients as possible during the limited time available during a given week, it is necessary to have a cancellation policy that is fair and reasonable for all concerned. It is in the spirit of showing respect for each other that the following policy was created. To avoid being charged the full price of your scheduled session(s), cancellations must be made 24-hours in advance, i.e., Friday appointments must be canceled by Thursday. Monday appointments must be canceled by Sunday. By providing this notice you are also helping other clients have sufficient time to respond to new appointment opportunities. There is no charge in the case of illness, injury, extreme weather, or family emergency.
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Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, VISA, Mastercard, HSA/FSA (with credit logo) are accepted.
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Do you accept insurance? What are my options?

No, however, you may contact your insurance provider to see if you can be reimbursed for therapy with “out-of-network” benefits for “outpatient mental health services.” We can provide you with a statement to submit to your insurance. It also may be possible to deduct qualified health expenses from your taxes, so check with your tax preparer.
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What do I need to know about insurance?

Insurance companies require that they decide what our goals should be, how long you get to be in therapy, and what your options are. They also require a diagnosis to authorize treatment to prove “medical necessity.” This diagnosis is in your file, and can follow you around and interfere with your ability to get insurance in the future.  If a diagnosis is warranted, it should be private and up to you to share at your discretion. Ethically, we cannot justify providing a third party insurance company with as much information as they require to justify paying for services. For more information as well as articles about how to use your benefits if you choose, see Insurance 101
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How can I schedule an appointment?

  • Call directly:  (720) 443-1947.
  • Email: Send a secure email on the Contact Form
  • Book Online

Your call or email will be returned in 24-48 hours or less unless otherwise stated on the voice mail/website.
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