Stress Management Family Counseling Center
Call Us: 970-223-2256

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a Psychologist differ from other mental health professionals?

Are our sessions covered by insurance?

What can I expect at the first appointment?

Do you prescribe medication?

How long does therapy take and how long are our sessions?

How is therapy different from talking to a good friend?

How can I tell that the therapist and I are a good match?

What should I tell my child about therapy?

How do I communicate with my child’s therapist?

 

How does a Psychologist differ from other mental health professionals?

Psychologists receive one of the highest levels of education of all health care professionals, spending an average of seven years in education and training beyond four years of undergraduate schooling. A Licensed Psychologist must hold a Doctoral degree in psychology, have at least one year of pre-doctoral internship training and at least one year of post-doctoral supervision. Licensed Psychologists have also passed National and State licensing board exams. Many psychologists have earned a Master’s degree prior to completing a Doctorate.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has completed a degree in medicine and specializes in mental health conditions. Most psychiatrists are not trained to provide psychotherapy, but focus on diagnosing and medicating people with psychiatric conditions.

A licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), and a licensed professional counselor (LPC) must hold Master’s degrees in their profession and have two years of post-masters supervision. Certified addiction counselors (CAC) have varying levels of education and training specific to addressing substance abuse. Sadly, in Colorado, anyone can call themselves a psychotherapist and practice therapy. A Registered Psychotherapist, for example, is allowed by law to practice psychotherapy, but is NOT licensed by the state and is not required to pass ANY licensing exams. Similarly, Life Coaches train people to achieve a specific personal or professional goal, but there is no state or national licensing or registration requirement and no formal regulation of Life Coaches.

When seeking help, don’t hesitate to ask a potential mental health practitioner about his or her degree, specific training and experience, and level of expertise.

Are our sessions covered by insurance?

Insurance typically covers all or part of therapy. You should always check with your insurance provider to determine what coverage you have for mental health or psychological testing. You can also check to see which of our psychologists are members of your insurance panel. Many insurance providers require that you received an authorization prior to your first visit, so please ask about this as well. While our staff may be able to assist you with insurance questions, please understand that your insurance coverage is an agreement between you and your insurance company.

What can I expect at the first appointment?

You will be asked to come 15 minutes before your first session, so that you can fill out any necessary paperwork. This ensures that you will have the full session time to speak with your psychologist. All sessions are 45 minutes in length. During the initial session, you will have an opportunity to explain your concerns to your psychologist. In addition, the psychologist will ask you several questions about your current situation, history, medical concerns, medications, and prior counseling. Typically, the first session or two are utilized to obtain a thorough history in order to develop the best treatment plan for you.

Do you prescribe medication?

No. Only medical personnel are licensed to prescribe medication in Colorado. If you are taking medication, your psychologist will work with your doctor to ensure that everyone is working together for your benefit. If needed, we will be happy to recommend a psychiatrist for you.

How long does therapy take and how long are our sessions?

There is no predetermined or prescribed length for therapy. Each person’s treatment is unique. Therefore, the length is influenced by many factors such as the problem, patient goals and history, events from the individual’s environment (e.g., work, family) and the specific therapeutic treatment. Most often psychotherapy’s lasts 6 to 12 sessions was more difficult and/or complex situations requiring longer treatment.

How is therapy different from talking to a good friend?

Therapy refers to treatment for psychological and life problems. A good friend can listen, but a psychologist has the skills and professional training to help you learn to manage when you are overwhelmed. Psychologists and clients work together to understand problems and come up with plans for fixing them. The focus is generally on changing ineffective thoughts, emotions, or behaviors for individuals, groups, couples or families.

How can I tell that the therapist and I are a good match?

The right match when choosing a psychologist is important. First, verify that the psychologist you are considering is professionally trained and licensed for independent practice. Next, ask about their experience with your specific problems such as depression or anxiety, and with certain groups such as children, teens, adults or the elderly. It also may be useful to ask about treatment approaches, fees and insurance. Finally, a good rapport is critical, so choose a psychologist with whom you feel comfortable and at ease.

What should I tell my child about therapy?

What you say to your child about therapy may depend on the age of the child and the presenting issues. In general, it is best to describe therapy as a positive support and a safe place to talk about problems or issues. It is a place where parents can learn how to create happier home environment and kids find tools to cope with daily problems.

How do I communicate with my child’s therapist?

Parents generally need to be supportive and involved in the therapy process. This may include attending parent consultation sessions individually, providing feedback to the psychologist in an ongoing way, or scheduling family meetings. This is important to discuss at your first session so all family members are as involved as they need to be.