Common questions about counseling
How long will it take for me to feel better?
Some people see results after just a session or two. On average, 6-8 sessions get many people on track for common issues. Keep in mind that everybody is different though; some people want to continue counseling once a month, or once a week for preventative maintenance. Other people will want to schedule counseling sessions on an as-needed basis when things come up. This is just fine as well. We will talk about what you are looking for and help you find what is best for your situation.
What are the different kinds of mental health professionals?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (MD) that specializes in brain chemistry and how it impacts our thoughts and feelings. They can prescribe medications that may help you feel better.
A psychologist has a doctorate degree (Ph.D., Ed.D, DSW, or Psy.D), but it’s not a medical degree, so they cannot prescribe medications. In Texas, to call yourself a Psychologist, you must have a doctorate degree and be licensed by the state as a Psychologist (LP).
A psychotherapist generally refers to any licensed, master’s or doctorate level mental health practitioner that is licensed by the state:
- LPC – Licensed Professional Counselor
- LCSW – Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- LMFT – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
- LP – Licensed Psychologist
What is the difference between counseling, therapy, psychoanalysis, and life-coaching?
- Counseling refers to a process of working through current situations that are presenting emotional difficulty and a sense of unbalanced living.
- Therapy (or psychotherapy) typically refers to a deeper level of emotional work involving more detail of your personal and family history, examining the influences those experiences have on your current life, and specific work to restructure the old templates that continue to pull you into discomfort and imbalance.
- Psychoanalysis is a very intense process of examining your life from earliest memories through the present and analyzing the conscious and unconscious elements of the mind. Usually provided by doctoral-level providers with a great deal of experience and highly-specialized training. Psychoanalysis requires 2-4 sessions per week, for 5-10 years, or more. Psychoanalysis is quite expensive, especially considering multiple sessions per week over a number of years.
- Life-coaching looks at how to reach specific goals in your life using your strengths to move you towards personal, professional, emotional and spiritual contentment. A life coach may not have a graduate degree or any licensure.