703-224-1630; Fax 703- 841-2752
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to be Catholic?
No, you do not have to be Catholic to receive counseling or to take part in a group program at Family Services. Our services are available to all, regardless of religious preference.
How long will it take to get better?
Because everyone’s situation is different, there is no standard length of treatment or a way to predict when you will begin to feel better. However, our clinical staff make it a priority to listen to, address, and adhere to each individual’s preferences, needs, suggestions, and goals for treatment.
How much does it cost?
If you and a member of the clinical staff decide that our service is appropriate to your need, your individual circumstances will be discussed and a fee will be agreed upon. The full fee for a 50 minute session with a clinician is $100. We accept medical insurance and can reduce your fee based on a sliding scale that takes into account family size and income level.
Is the staff multicultural or multilingual?
We consistently provide counseling services in English and Spanish. We have multilingual staff available to provide therapy in some other languages as well.
How do I know that what we talk about will be kept private?
Catholic Charities is committed to protecting your privacy. You are also protected by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which requires us to protect the privacy of your information. Generally, we will only disclose your information with your written authorization, but in some instances we may disclose your health information without your authorization. For instance, we may coordinate, without your authorization with insurers for payment purposes. In cases of emergency, we may also be required to disclose your health information without your authorization to certain government and law enforcement agencies, or to your family members or other persons. You will receive our Notification of Privacy Practices at or before your first appointment at Catholic Charities. You may ask any questions you may have during your intake interview.
What if I don’t like the therapist assigned to me?
First, remember that it takes a little time for you and your therapist to get to know each other. You may not feel comfortable with your therapist right away. If you do not like the therapist assigned to you, you have several options. You can dialogue with your therapist about your concerns and reservations, or you can directly contact the Director of Family Services, Dave Cavanaugh, at 703-841-2531 x26, who will assist you in finding the right therapist for you.
Will the therapist be a competent professional?
Yes, all of our staff have received Master’s level or higher degrees in the fields of Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Pastoral Counseling, as well as postgraduate clinical training in various specialized areas. Our staff have an average of 12 years of post-graduate experience.
What is counseling?
Counseling—or psychotherapy—is a professional relationship with a therapist to help you with personal problems. The counseling relationship differs from both social friendships and traditional patient-doctor relationships. Rather than giving you specific advice, counselors serve as skilled listeners who help you clarify issues, discover wishes, and explore feelings, which can help you deal more effectively with your problems.
How does counseling help?
Counseling offers us the opportunity to identify the factors that contribute to difficulties and to deal effectively with the psychological, behavioral, interpersonal, and situational causes of those difficulties.
It is therapeutic to talk about our concerns. Most of us have probably had the experience of relief after talking with a friend or family member about something we had been holding in. Usually our concerns seem more manageable when we talk about them with someone we trust. As we talk, our perspective on the problem often begins to change. Talking with a counselor can also help us to:
• pinpoint problems --- and understand aspects of the problems that may be improved
• identify negative or problematic thinking patterns that contribute to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, and develop a more positive outlook
• explore learned thoughts and behaviors that create or maintain problems
• regain a sense of control and pleasure in life
• discover strengths we have and learn to use them to grow stronger in other areas.
Counseling goes beyond the obvious, and helps get us unstuck. It is often the case that we know what we should be doing to help us feel better, but can't seem to be able to do what we know we should. Counseling helps us work through the obstacles that keep us from doing what we know would be helpful.
Isn’t it better for me to solve problems on my own?
A counselor doesn’t solve your problems for you. Rather, he or she helps you clarify issues so you can solve problems on your own. The goal of counseling is to make you more self-sufficient, not more dependent.
But I’m not crazy!
You don’t have to be severely disturbed to speak with a counselor. On the contrary, it’s a sign of health to recognize when you have a problem and to seek help for it.
What kind of problems do people come to counseling for?
People encounter many problems and find support from friends and relatives. Counseling services can help when concerns last too long, when the problem interferes with family relationships, when the problem affects school, work or friendships, and when problems are complicated and are better handled by trained professionals.
What can I expect at my first visit?
At the first session, you will be asked questions to clarify your current situation and past history. You will receive an information packet at or before your first appointment. Please fill out and bring in the forms enclosed. Your therapist will spend most of the first session developing an accurate understanding of who you are and how we can help you.