Common Questions

How do I know if me or my child needs counseling or Play Therapy?

Seeking counseling does not mean that there is something wrong with you or your family. On the contrary, it shows that you are doing something right…taking care of YOU! When the issues that you experience begin to dominate your daily life, it may be time to reach out to a counselor to alleviate the pain, suffering and make a positive change to improve your relationships, and overall satisfaction in all areas of your life. The following issues are often the focus of attention when individuals and families seek counseling.

  • Child behavior management and emotion regulation
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders and other Neurodevelopmental concerns
  • Anger and Stress Management
  • Anxiety (General, Separation, Social, OCD, Specific Fears)
  • Child Abuse Survivors and Domestic Violence
  • Depression
  • Grief and Loss
  • Foster Care Placement (Kinship and Agency) and Adoption
  • Life Transitions
  • Parent Coaching
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Communication Skills

How is counseling more beneficial than talking to a friend or family member?

It is wonderful to be able to share with a friend or family member that you trust! However, a trained professional counselor has developed skill and understanding with respect to the techniques and methods that are necessary for your success with implementing change. Friends are not bound by the standards that professional counselors follow, and oftentimes are partial to your perspective and relationship, and this could create a hardship. Seeking the expertise and empathetic support from a professional counselor provides the guidance and insight you might need to develop an understanding of your situation and what you need to make an impactful change.

Will I feel better during counseling?

Initially, you will notice an improvement, or some relief of your emotional distress. However, it is not uncommon for this to be temporary. It is important to know that counseling may uncover some feelings that are deep rooted, and may make you actually feel worse for a short time. During counseling, as we build a strong therapeutic relationship, we will look at behavior patterns, thought patterns, emotions and situations that cause you distress, or situations that you may have difficulty embracing. It is common to experience a range of emotions, including anger, confusion, sadness and elation while you are in counseling, and these should decrease in intensity over time, and be exchanged with healthy and balanced emotions and approach to life in the situations you experience. A committed and consistent approach to your growth often leads to benefits that outweigh the pain you may experience in the beginning of counseling. For parents/guardians of children in counseling, it is important to embrace the child’s positive changes and implement the skills learned in parent meetings to meet the needs of your child as they grow and internalize their new skills. Parents feel better when their children feel better!

How long will I need counseling?

Every situation is different, and each individual is unique. The length of counseling depends on the presenting concern, its severity and your goals for treatment and wellness. Counseling is usually more successful when consistent appointments are kept and recommendations are followed (including homework!). Together we will discuss a schedule and therapeutic treatment plan that will best meet your needs.

If my child needs counseling, will I need counseling also?

When you bring your child or teen in for counseling, the primary focus will be on your child and the goals we have established for your child. However, children flourish most when they are fully supported by their loved ones, and it is important for the parents/guardians to be a part of the process. We provide periodic feedback and an educational perspective through coaching and consultation so that you are involved in your child meeting the goals we have established, as well as learning new approaches to managing behaviors and emotions, aligned with your child’s healthy development. Typically, our counselors and therapists will meet with the parent/guardian every 4-6 sessions to discuss progress, goals and to provide guidance and tips for parenting your child, aligned with your child’s specific needs.

Family Therapy or Couples Counseling may be a necessary part of the process, and will be addressed as the need arises. If it is decided that you would benefit from individual counseling, in addition to your child’s counseling, you may be provided a referral within our practice, if there is a clinician you would prefer, or would be a good fit for you.  Otherwise, we would provide you with a list of referrals that may be a good fit for you and your concerns.

How do you handle scheduling and cancellations?

Our clinicians handle their own schedules, beyond your initial visit.  We do have a 24-hour cancellation policy, where the full session fee that was scheduled is charged to your account if a 24-hour notice is not provided.  However, we understand that things happen that may be outside of your control, so there is grace, as well.

We do not follow school closings to cancel sessions, so your session will remain scheduled unless you and your clinician mutually agree to cancel.  Please note that the cancellation policy may still be enforced.

Do you accept insurance?

While some of the clinicians are contracted with insurance companies, not all of our clinicians are contracted.  The client always has the choice to use their insurance benefits, or to pay fee for service for their counseling and therapy.

  • When using your insurance, we are required to provide a diagnosis, which may or may not be a benefit for future employment, securing other insurance policies or for establishing pre-existing clauses.
  • When using your insurance, your insurance company has control over your treatment, and has permission to view your records and determine your course of treatment.  If you choose to pay fee for service, you determine if the services are necessary, and how you would like to structure your treatment goals and progress.
  • Sometimes, insurance companies will pend payment, or deny your claims, leaving you responsible for a portion or all of services that you otherwise thought were covered to be paid.  We have a great tool to help you determine what your out of pocket costs are, and this is provided to you prior to your first appointment.
  • If you choose to not use your insurance, and your counselor or therapist is contracted, you may be asked to sign a waiver declaring your desire to not use your behavioral health benefits.
  • Please speak with your counselor regarding the insurance plans that they are participating providers with. In the event that your counselor is not on your insurance plan, Embark Counseling Services, LLC can either bill your insurance on your behalf to use your out of network benefits, or provide you with a superbill for you to submit to your insurance company for any potential reimbursement.