Stepping into a counselling relationship is a big and beautiful decision which should be understood fully to reap its full benefit! To help you do just that, we have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions from Connect Group Clients, old and new, to help you feel secure and confident in your counselling process with us.
I see you are a social worker- why should I see a social worker compared to another mental health practitioner?
Social workers offer similar therapeutic offerings to other mental health practitioners, however, view the client systematically. What this means, is that they consider the client and their presenting problems with their family, work, schooling, friendships, romantic relationships, upbringing, religious and cultural affiliations, nationality, political climate and societal context in mind. As social workers, we believe that individualising the client and their problems blindsides us and them to externally contributing factors which we need to prepare the client to challenge or change in order for their wellbeing to be sustained.
Social workers are also trained with reference to the law and therefore have statutory knowledge supporting their approach. In light of this we can offer court related services like mediation, child and caregiver assessments, forensic reports etc.
When is the ‘right’ time to seek out counselling support?
Whilst there is no right or wrong time to seek out counselling support, there is definitely a greater benefit if you seek it out in a preventative manner or at least within the formulation stages of your struggles. This doesn’t mean that seeking out counselling support in the ‘trenches’ of your struggles is not helpful too- it does however mean you have more to work through so therefore may need a longer and more intensive process. We love to challenge the idea that counselling is ‘only for problems’; counselling fosters self-reflection which is an essential life skill for good decision making and ‘problem avoidance’ strategies too! So can we challenge you to use counselling preventatively? Get into counselling before any problems arise so that you are equipped to cope with them well when they come.
What counselling approach(s) do you use in counselling?
I am a generalist practitioner which means I draw on a variety of counselling modalities to inform my practice. Foundational to my approach is the ‘client centered’ modality which suggests that we match our approach to the client, actively listen to their story, recognise they are their expert in their own reality and empower them with the skills to continue their own therapeutic journey in our absence. When matching my approach to the client, I draw from Narrative Therapy, Trauma-Informed Practice, The Strengths-Based Approach, Attachment Based Therapy, Solutions Focused Therapy and sometimes, The Enneagram too! Always happy to expand on the bouquet of therapeutic modalities on offer, so ask me about your preferred modal in your next session!
What client ‘issues’ do you work with?
As a generalist practitioner I have experience with a wide array of client struggles. Through this vast experience I have specifically enjoyed and focused on, trauma therapy, court reports & statutory assessments, intimacy and couples therapy, family mediation, self-esteem and identity, gender diversity, attachment and self-harm risk assessment and prevention.
What is an intake session?
An intake session is the first session with your new therapist which serves 2 purposes;
1) To assess and fully understand the referral reason and suggest possible intervention strategies and,
2)To get to know your therapist and their approach, ask questions and feel comfortable with the idea of coming back.
Intake sessions don’t always result in the client coming back for more sessions. Sometimes the client and therapist are not the right fit for each other in which case we will refer you elsewhere. A good therapist is always happy to make a referral if it’s within your best interests.
How many sessions do I need?
It depends on the kind of therapeutic service you seek and how complex the case. As a rule of thumb though, we encourage clients to book a minimum of 8 sessions to really start to see a difference.
How long is a session?
A session is 50 to 60 minutes long. We usually start to wrap up the session at the 50 minute mark giving the client 10 minutes to self-regulate before getting back into their day.
What ages do you work with?
I work with 13 year olds and upward. Teenagers and all ‘their drama’ are my favourite clients to work with, with couples and intimacy work coming in at a close second. I do not work with children unless it is for a statutory assessments.
Do you prescribe medication or diagnose mental illness?
No, we do not prescribe medication nor diagnosis. However, through talk therapy, we can assess and speculate potential diagnosis and medication needs. We then refer to a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist for the formal diagnosis
Are you affiliated with medical aid?
We are a cash practice which means that we provide you with a receipt of payment once your account is settled with us which you may submit to your medical aid for a refund. Note it is the clients responsibilities to discuss the benefits and limits associated with their medical aid and our services.
How does confidentiality work in session?
Everything that is shared in the session is confidential unless harm to self or others is disclosed or suspected. My clients safety is a top priority to me so sharing with parents and other authorities is only a protective measure.
I’m a parent of a minor in therapy. When and what will you share with me regarding my child’s process?
I offer parents feedback either via email or in-person once every 6 to 8 weeks. This feedback is always informed by what your child is comfortable with me sharing. I always equip my parents with feedback that helps them effectively assist their children at home.
I am a divorced parent whom wants my child have some sessions. Does my co-parent need to consent to the counselling too?
We review the decreed parenting arrangement to answer this question legally.
However, regardless of the legal instruction, we always encourage consent and cooperation from both parents as it contributes massively to a more effective therapeutic outcome for the child
Have any other questions we can answer for you? Pop us a mail at email@example.com and we will get you some answers!