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Frequently Asked Questions


How can therapy help me or my family member?


  • Therapy is a safe, confidential relationship where you can freely discuss your experiences with a trained mental health professional. There are different types of therapists and therapies but the majority of treatments are aimed at helping you build greater self-awareness and effectiveness in your life and relationships. Therapy addresses thinking patterns, emotional experiences, and behaviors that impact your life. Your therapist will help identify your goals for treatment and work collaboratively with you the achieve them.


What type of therapy does my therapist practice?


  • Therapists at Seal Beach Counseling practice research-based and validated forms of treatment. Each therapist is different in how they approach their work. Some therapists focus more on thoughts while others work more with feelings. Some therapists spend a lot of time addressing your past while others are more oriented in the here-and-now. It is important to ask a potential therapist how they approach therapy at the outset of treatment.


Is therapy confidential?


  • Your relationship with your therapist and associated medical records are confidential just like your meetings with other medical professionals. Confidentiality is in place to allow you to be as open and honest with your therapist as you would like and know it will not leave the room. There are limits of confidentiality related to harming one’s self or others. Your therapist will explain the limits of confidentiality at the outset of treatment.


How long does therapy take?


  • The average length of time one stays in therapy is 12 sessions, however, it is different for everyone. Many factors contribute to how long one stays in therapy including issues addressed, connection with the therapist, type of treatment received, motivation for treatment, and many other factors. Your therapist will discuss the course of treatment at the outset of your counseling relationship.


Does my child have the same level of confidentiality as an adult?


  • Minors generally have the same right to confidentiality as adults in order to encourage openness and safety. Therapists will discuss a minor’s care with their parent or guardian when there are safety issues or other serious concerns. Many therapists involve parents, family members, and school representatives in a minor’s treatment as a way to impact the minor’s living or school environments.


Does my therapist give me advice?


  • Therapists are not trained to give you advice but rather help guide you towards making your best choices. Therapists will help you weigh the pros and cons, uncover motivations, and anticipate consequences for your life’s choices.


What if I do not like something my therapist said or if I feel like we are not a good fit?


  • Please let your therapist know. Therapists welcome feedback regarding your needs and experiences within therapy. Therapists are comfortable talking about the relationship they are having with you and will take steps to resolve issues coming in the therapy.


If I go to therapy, that means there is something wrong with me, right?


  • Making the choice to seek out therapy is a tremendous act of courage. The truth is that many people from a variety of backgrounds benefit from working with a therapist. Therapy is a form of self-care that is similar to visiting the doctor’s office to address a physical issue or get a checkup. Simply living can be so challenging these days, therapy is a great way to learn how to do it skillfully.


How long is a therapy session and how often am I expected to go?


  • Therapy appointments are typically 50 minutes and scheduled weekly. You and your therapist may potentially alter this frame depending on your needs.


What do I do in a session?


  • Your therapist will ask questions to help facilitate the process. The more you bring into each therapy session, the more productive the sessions can potentially be. It is best to think about what you would bring into the session each week.


Does the therapist talk about themselves?


  • The therapeutic relationship is unique in that it is all about you! Your therapist is trained to focus solely on you and what you want to work on. With that said, the more you work with a therapist, the more you may potentially learn about them just like any relationship.


Will my therapist prescribe me medication?


  • No. Your therapist does not have prescription privileges; however, they can assist in connecting you to a psychiatrist for an evaluation.

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