A. Counseling is a way to gain perspective and make sense of your behavior, emotions, and relationships in all areas of your life. Through counseling, you will learn to identify positive and self-defeating patterns of behavior in addition to learning to express your feelings in a healthy way and environment.
You will learn to cope with and ultimately extinguish any symptoms of short-term or prevailing depression, anxiety, and/or other mental concerns. Communication skills for dealing with conflict and resolution can be addressed and developed. Counseling also helps with understanding and coping with various forms of loss and working through the pain that comes with it in order to heal. Additionally, counseling can also be used as a vehicle for finding meaning and self-fulfillment in a constantly changing world.
What can I expect from Counseling?
A. Every person’s experience in counseling is as unique and individual as that person is in their own life. Counseling is a type of learning; about one’s self, feelings and relationships. Just as in any learning environment, clients who participate actively, attend sessions, complete homework and are open and honest with their counselor will experience the most benefit.
Counseling should not be considered a quick “fix.” Every therapist at Avalon Counseling is passionate about seeing you achieve your goals for fulfillment. The therapist and client will work to develop a collaborative relationship in which the client feels comfortable exploring areas in their life where they may feel dissatisfied or experience pain. Together the client and therapist will determine new processes for dealing with these issues successfully.
It is common for clients to experience discomfort or increased anxiety during the therapeutic process. Confronting long-standing self-defeating beliefs can be difficult and may produce feelings of anger or resentment towards the therapist. Bringing these feelings up during your session, along with any other questions or concerns you may have, is a very beneficial and a natural part of the counseling process.
Does Avalon Counseling accept Medicaid or Medicare?
A. Dr. Stapp is an approved in-network provider for Medicaid. At this time we do not accept Medicare. We will be happy to make appropriate referrals to other clinics in the area who participate in Medicare.
Ethnicity, Cultural or Spiritual Beliefs
What if my ethnicity, cultural or spiritual beliefs differ with my counselor? Can the counselor still relate and help me.
Avalon Counseling is not a religious agency. However, our providers come from diverse backgrounds and bring with them various educational and philosophical perspectives. If you have a preference we will work with you to see that the counselor assigned is an appropriate fit for you. Our goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment that meets all of our client’s therapeutic needs.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, etc.?
A. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who primarily treat and help manage your symptoms with medication. They typically do not provide counseling although there may be exceptions.
Psychologists are doctorate level therapists. They spend an average of 5-7 years in graduate education, training, and research before receiving a doctoral degree. As part of their professional training, they must complete a one-year supervised clinical internship in a hospital or organized health setting and at least one year of postdoctoral supervised experience before they can become licensed and practice independently.
LPC’s, LCPC's, LMFT’s, and LCSW’s are master’s level therapists. They spend an average of 2-3 years in graduate education and training before receiving a master’s degree. As part of their professional training, they must complete 2,000 – 3,000 supervised clinical hours before they can become licensed and practice independently.
Practicum students, interns, and fellows are graduate or post-graduate level counselors-in-training who are unlicensed and working under the direct supervision of a psychologist or board-approved counselor.
Can you shorten the information required on the new patient forms?
The forms are designed to save our patients time and money. Most patients report completing the information before their appointment reduces stress, results in higher quality data, and ultimately a better understanding of what they want to accomplish in counseling. The requested information allows us to assess whether our clinic provides the services match the patient’s presenting issues. We can then work with the patient in identifying a clinician who is best suited to address their issues. Finally, for patients billing their insurance, the information requested is required by third party payers to determine if the patient’s issues are covered in their policy or medically necessary. We designed the forms to be user friendly and the information submitted is secure. Patients without Internet access can arrive at our office early to complete the forms or we can mail the forms to your home or office.