FAQs about counseling and therapy
We know you probably have questions about what counseling is all about. Sometimes it is hard to make that first phone call not knowing what to expect or even what to ask. Here are a few answers to common questions we get asked by clients. Feel free to call me at (209) 602-1513 with other questions!
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FAQs about Counseling
Are you accepting new clients?
At this time, both Cheryl Fink and Charlene Rose have slots available. Cheryl Fink's services include (but are not limited to: Couples counseling, grief therapy, trauma work, and faith based counseling (upon request). Charlene Rose services include trauma work, depression and anxiety, working with military families, couple's therapy, and school related concerns for children and their parents. Miranda Palmer is currently booked up and does not have a waiting list at this time.
What kind of people do you work with?
Most of our clients are intelligent, successful people who are struggling in an area of their life (relationship issues, life changes, depression, anxiety) and really want to find lasting change. We work with women, men, children, and teens of all faith traditions from age 10-70+
When do you meet with clients?
We have day and evening appointments available. Our goal is to find a time that is a good fit for you (and your partner if it applies) and schedule that as your regular time. This way you can easily plan for your weekly appointment. Evening appointments go quickly, so call to see if we can accommodate your preferred time. If we cannot initially, we will make every effort to move you into a slot that is a better fit as soon as one opens up.
How often do you see clients?
Usually, to start, we see people weekly. Most people are pretty fed-up and frustrated by the time they come for counseling. Having weekly sessions at the beginning allows us to create some momentum for change and get you feeling better faster! We reevaluate this schedule and as you start to feel relief, and reach your goals.
How long does therapy last?
Therapy appointments last either 50 minutes or 80 minutes, depending on what type of counseling we are doing. Each person and situation is different. we see most clients anywhere from 8-20 sessions, but how long we meet is always up to you. Specific timetables differ based on the size of the change you are looking for, how deep the hurt goes, your commitment to change, and the complexity of the issue.
What payment methods do you accept?
You can pay by cash, check, or credit card. We accept Visa and Mastercard.
How do I schedule my first appointment?
If you have decided that one of the therapists here may be the right person to help you reach your goal, scheduling your first appointment is easy. You can give us a call at (209) 602-1513 to schedule your first session. Be sure to leave a message if we are with a client, and we will call you back promptly, usually within 2 business days.
What insurance do you take?
We work with most PPO insurance plans as out of network providers. To find out if your preferred counselor is on a specific insurance list, please give us a call. We do our best to keep our work together separate from insurance companies. We find that working with insurance companies leads to a third party dictating the duration of our work together, and how we work together. In many cases, insurance requires a mental health diagnosis, which is not appropriate in all cases and can have long standing consequences.Working without insurance increases your privacy, and gives you the utmost choice and control over your healing process. While we do not provide billing for insurance, we will provide you with a receipt for payment you can use to seek reimbursement from your insurance company. Not billing for insurance allows us to keep fees lower, and leaves more time for doing what we love, seeing clients.
What if I am not sure about counseling?
Going to counseling the first time (or returning to counseling) can be scary. You may not know what to expect, you may fear being labeled as "crazy," or you may have only seen images of counseling on television with a brown leather couch, and a man with a beard. Trust me, we don't have a beard or a brown couch! We will do my best to walk you through the process and answer any questions that you have. We see counseling as a service to you. If your needs are not being met, we are very open to making changes to ensure that you are getting what you want and need. If that means connecting you with another therapist, making a change to the way we are working, or even making a plan for a break from counseling, we can do that. You should come to counseling (and stay there) because of free choice and a genuine desire to make changes in your life. Your first session is really an evaluation session that allows us to get to know one another. You are under no obligation to continue with counseling if it doesn't feel like a good fit for you.
How Do We Work?
We tailor our work to meet your specific needs. We are trained in many different ways of helping people. After you and your counselor clearly identify what the problem is and what you would like to see change in your life, your counselor will discuss options for change. Research has shown that having a good fit between the therapist and client is more important than the specific tools that we use. So we will work to develop trust in the relationship and make sure that you feel comfortable with whatever tool is being used.
- For people who are looking for a specific tool Cheryl and Miranda offer:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy CBT
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR (Miranda only)
- Empowerment therapy
- Gestalt Therapy
- Gottman Approach (for couples)
- Strength based therapy
- Emotional Freedom Technique
- Miranda also is continually working on learning new interventions- currently I am integrating Emotionally Focused Therapy into my skillset. It is an amazing intervention for married and dating couples, and for mother-daughter relationships.
If there is some other specific counseling technique you are looking for, please let us know. We can discuss how that option may be helpful in your situation.
- What Will Happen If I Come To Counseling?
Here is a short summary of what you can expect from start to finish in therapy with us.
You pick up the phone...
You call us at (209) 602-1513 to find out more about how we can help. You provide us with a brief overview of what the problem is, we answer any questions, and share how we can help. From our talk you get a brief idea of our personality and how we work. We discuss fees, and your schedule. At that point, we will provide you the opportunity to make an appointment.
You decide to make an appointment...
We make an appointment time and ask for a private email address. We provide you with a secure signon where you will read over forms, fill out electronic consent forms, and submit personal history securely.
We walk back...
We show you the room where I do counseling. The room is private, simple, and comfortable.
We start the session....
We get the payment out of the way so it can be off your mind. We introduce ourself, talk about the limits of confidentiality, and review briefly office policies. We discuss any questions you may have about the process.
It's all about you...
We will then invite you to let me know more about the problem, how it is affecting your life, and what you would like to change. We will ask for clarification and ask additional questions to make sure we have a good idea of the issue. Depending on the complexity of the issue, it may take us more than one session to fully explore the issue.
In the middle or towards the end of the session we will switch gears and talk about how we can help now that we more fully understand your problem. We will discuss some options and decide whether to schedule ongoing sessions together. If this is not the right fit, or the right time, we will discuss some resources that may be of help to you or we will provide a referral to someone who is a better fit.
You will find that we are present and available during our times together. We will work towards the brief outline that we made together, consistently checking in to make sure we are on the right track. We talk about concerns, questions, or confusion that you have openly without any worry of judgment.
It is a good fit, your working hard, and you notice a change!
You start feeling better and finding relief. We start to talk about how much longer therapy will last, so we can start preparing for the end of therapy. We put safeguards in place to make sure you never get down to the point you were when you came into therapy. You will determine what was most helpful, and what can apply to other areas of your life.
When you have met your goals, and have a plan to stay healthy in the future, we say goodbye. We discuss reasons why you might come back (for instance if you were to lose a spouse unexpectedly), any final questions you may have, and say goodbye for now, or forever.
Now this is a very brief overview and does not take into account hiccups or bumps along the way. Whatever the issue that comes up, we can discuss how this impacts therapy. Examples of unexpected bumps might be, "I got transferred at work," "I lost my job," "I am just not ready right now, I want to wait for the right time."
If this process sounds like what you are needing, give our office a call at (209) 602-1513 or click on "Contact Me" to send me a message. While e-mail is an easy way to communicate, it is not completely secure. Use e-mail according to your comfort level, but phone calls are always available for improved privacy.
- What If I am Christian?
- What If I am Not Christian?
You can feel better without sacrificing your faith!
Being a Christian has not made you immune to hurt. Sometimes you feel like there is something wrong with you, or that the way you feel is a punishment from God. Your pastor gives great sermons, but does not offer counseling that will help you feel better. You might also worry about the privacy of getting counseling at your church. All of this leads you to feel more alone, frustrated, and hopeless.
God does not want you to suffer like this!
Counseling can help you heal. Your worry, hurt, and shame can be replaced with peace and understanding. You may notice you sleep better, feel better, and start enjoying your life again! People may comment on how happy you look as the weight of this problem is lifted off of your shoulders. Your confidence may return, and you can look back at how you were feeling and wonder why you waited so long to get help.
We understand the fear of trusting your most difficult problems to someone who is not of your faith. Christians we have worked with find comfort in knowing that we can “speak their language” and understand their beliefs.
We give talks to graduate students about how and why to integrate faith into therapy to teach the next generation the skills that we have researched and developed. We want to show you that counseling can be a safe place to resolve this problem and feel better.
Give our office a call today at (209) 602-1513 for your free phone consultation and start taking care of yourself today!
- How Do I Schedule My First Appointment?
Therapy is about meeting you where you are at!
We offer faith based services as a benefit for those clients who are looking for that service. However, we know that there are a variety of faith and religious backgrounds, including atheist and agnostic that people come to therapy with. We will respect your beliefs. We also understand that people sometimes have trauma around their experiences in religious or spiritual activities, we can help you to heal, even if your trauma is related to religious experiences.
We want people to connect with some sort of support network while in therapy. Whether it is in a church, a commune, a core group of friends, or a dance class doesn't matter to me.
We never push faith values on clients. We accept people into my practice based on the fit of your counseling needs and my specialities, not on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, marital status, or relationship status.
Give our office a call at (209) 602-1513. Let us know what you are needing, and we will let you know if, how, and when we can help. We get clients into services quickly, so you don't have to wait weeks to feel some relief! Ready to schedule now? Click on "Register and Schedule" to see available appointments and schedule right now!
If we are not the right fit, we are always happy to get you connected with the right counselor for you. We are more concerned that you find relief from your pain, than with who you see. We answer our phone frequently during the day, and return calls promptly if we are in session when you call. You have nothing to lose!
If you have decided that one of the therapists here may be the right person to help you reach your goal, scheduling your first appointment is easy. You can give us a call at (209) 602-1513 to schedule your first session. Be sure to leave a message if we are with a client, and we will call you back promptly, usually within 2 business days