Choosing A Counselor
The importance of choosing a qualified therapist, coach, and guide cannot be overstated.
The right counselor will provide support for the client, and their partner or family members by building a trusting therapeutic relationship that leads to progress, positive transformation, and resolution of issues.
Remember, counselors are people with their own personal strengths and weaknesses and areas of expertise just like everyone else. Choosing the right counselor may be one of the most important choices you make in the beginning of your therapeutic work.
I enjoy working with people who don’t fit into the standard mold, so to speak. Especially those seeking a deeper experience of meaning, purpose, and self expression in their life.
Risks and Benefits of Counseling
To allow you to make an informed decision about your treatment, it is important to understand some of the benefits and risks of counseling.
Counseling can benefit you, your spouse and family, and then project out to extended family, friends and community. These benefits are derived through enhancing one's life skills and resolving underlying issues that block positive, life-enhancing experiences. Counseling can increase one's self understanding, self fulfillment, enjoyment in life and enhance one's contribution.
Potential risks include experiencing discomforts, such as confusion, anger, depression, or frustration during therapy as you grapple with the present, recall, work on and therapeutically resolve unpleasant or traumatic events from the past. Seeking to resolve concerns between family members, martial partners, and others can similarly lead to discomfort as well as relationship changes that may not be originally intended.
Point of perspective, the unresolved past always shows up in the present. We, however, may not be good at identifying it's manifestations. In this regard we often just repeat old patterns. Other benefits may also include improved abilities to cope with stressors, a greater understanding of self, personal goals and values, and an increased sense of self esteem, self awareness and evolving spiritual fulfillment.
Confidentiality in the therapeutic setting means that therapists have a responsibility to safeguard and use information obtained during treatment in a way that is in the best interest of the client. If you have any questions about confidentiality after reading this please discuss it with me.
All identifying information about your assessment and treatment is kept confidential. While I may consult with other professionals regarding your case in order to gain a better understanding and ability to assist you, no identifying information will be shared without your consent. When the need arises for me to coordinate with family members, significant other, or professionals, you may ask me or I will ask you, then you will need to sign a release of information form, that will allow for discussions and / or correspondence. You may, if urgent, give a verbal release over the telephone, then sign a release later in my office.
When it comes to confidentiality and insurance company's you should be advised that most insurance company's have you sign a general release which gives them access to all information they deem necessary. Because I feel confidentiality is of the utmost importance, I recommend that, whenever, you sign any insurance release that you release pertinent information only.
Your confidentiality is protected under law. However, the State of Montana has legislated exceptions to confidentiality. In certain situations, mental health professionals are required by law to reveal information obtained during therapy to other persons or agencies without your permission.
Such exceptions are as follows:
A mental health professional is required to report suspected child abuse or neglect and to report suspected abuse of the disabled or elderly. Failure to do so can result in the professional's license being revoked.
A mental health profession is required to disclose information to law enforcement personnel in order to protect the patient or others when there is a probability of imminent harm.
A mental health professional may be required by the court to disclose treatment information in proceeding affecting the parent-child relationship.
A mental health professional may disclose confidential information in proceeding brought by a patient against a professional.
There is no confidentiality of mental health information in connection with criminal proceedings, when a professional's records are subpoenaed.
In the treatment of a minor client, a mental health professional may advise a parent, managing conservator or guardian of a minor, with or without minor's consent, of the treatment needed by or given to the minor. A minors confidentiality is an important aspect in building trust and making therapeutic changes.
For clarification of these boundaries, please feel free to discuss your questions or concerns with your therapist.
With any life-threatening emergency, please dial 911.
It is important to know that as your counselor, I work hard to provide the service that you need. However, I do not provide 24 hour emergency or crisis service. If you feel you may need emergency or crisis service, please discuss this ahead of time.
Many crises can be prevented or minimized if the issues are addressed and preparations are put in place in advance. I also understand that emergencies are not predictable and often not preventable. Again, if you are exprienceing a life threatening emergency, call 911.