Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if therapy will help me?
"Therapy" is not a single, black-and-white, good-or-bad thing. It is not a medicine that either works or doesn't work. Therapy is for mental health what exercise is for physical health--you tend to get out of it what you put into it. And like there is not one physical exercise that "works" for everyone, there is not one therapeutic approach that "works" for everyone. When we start physical exercise for the first time, it can be difficult and uncomfortable even though the end result is improved physical health. Similarly, when therapy begins to work through those struggles that are negatively impacting your life, it's not always a pleasant experience even though the end result is improved mental health.
We understand that sharing your challenges with another person can feel scary or uncomfortable, and we are not here to force you to do anything you are not ready to do. We are here to meet you where you are, supporting you as we work together through any struggles you may have. How you feel is never wrong, but if your feelings are causing difficulty in any area of your life then therapy can provide a safe and supportive way for you to understand and work through them. During the therapeutic process we do not tell you what you "should do" or judge your actions as right or wrong. We aim to give you the tools to process and respond to challenges in a way that is best for your mental and behavioral health, and the only person who can truly determine what is best for you is you.
We are here to guide you through the process of determining your needs by offering empirically-supported treatment options that will increase your emotional intelligence, problem-solving skills, tolerance and processing of challenging situations, social skills, and to offer support in any other area of need. Whether you have specific goals for change, want to change or get help but don't know where to start, or just need a safe place to get some fresh perspective, therapy can always be helpful because you are the one in charge.
How do I go about getting started with therapy?
If you'd like to come in to talk about anything at all, you can give us a call at (803) 675-8227 during our business hours, or send us a message using the contact form here on our website. We can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. When we get in touch with you we'll find out your information and preferences for insurance and billing, and we'll schedule you for an intake session where you'll sit down with one of our counselors to begin the assessment process. Therapy is completely on your terms, and you are not required to commit to a certain number of sessions.
I see you mentioning "mental health" and "behavioral health." How are they different?
Mental health refers to your biological state of mind. If you are diagnosed with a mental illness, it means your behaviors are not within your control because they are the result of a biological condition or disorder. Examples of mental illness diagnoses include bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and adjustment disorders, among others. Behavioral health refers to one's state of mental/emotional being and/or choices and actions that impact that state. Behavioral disorders are defined by symptoms over which people do have control--they are consciously choosing to engage in behaviors that may have a negative impact on them, or on the people around them. Substance abuse disorders, gambling addiction, eating disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder as some examples of behavioral disorders. It is possible for a diagnosis to fall into both categories, but knowing the distinction between mental and behavioral health is useful for understanding the underlying cause of a disorder, which in turn is useful for helping determine the most beneficial course of treatment.
I'm not sure I can afford therapy. How do I figure out if it's an option for me?
We accept several insurance plans in addition to cash rates if your insurance does not cover mental health services. We understand that not everyone can afford our cash rates, so we do offer sliding-scale fees that are based on income and ability to pay for those in need. We are eager to help as many people as we can, and we invite you to call our office at (803) 675-8227 so we can work together to find a payment plan that is feasible for you.
If I come to therapy will I definitely get a diagnosis?
A diagnosis is not just a label given out because a counselor or doctor "thinks" that someone has it. In order to receive a diagnosis from any medical or mental health professional, a person must meet specific criteria for that diagnosis. During our intake process we will collect information with a variety of diagnostic tools and assessments, and typically the information we collect is sufficient to determine whether someone qualifies for a diagnosis. Not everyone who seeks therapy will qualify for a diagnosis. Many people do not have a mental or behavioral disorder, but are still struggling with a challenging life situation, relationship issues, or other obstacles that require additional guidance and support. You do not need to have a mental or behavioral disorder in order to benefit from therapy.
How long does each session last?
A typical session lasts for 45-55 minutes, though the intake appointment where information for the diagnostic assessment is collected can last for 60-75 minutes.
What if I start therapy and I don't like it?
Change and improvement of yourself is not usually an easy or comfortable process, and we will always be there to support and guide you during the triumphs and challenges of your therapeutic journey. It is essential to establish a trusting and genuine relationship between the therapist and the client in order to have any measure of success from therapy, and it is a fact of human nature that a client will sometimes be able to establish a better therapeutic relationship with one counselor than with another. That is completely okay! All of our counselors are knowledgable and skilled, and they all have different backgrounds, areas of expertise, and personalities.
You might be a great fit with the first therapist you see, and that's great! But if you discover after a couple of sessions that you'd rather work with a therapist of the opposite gender, that is okay, too. Perhaps your therapist will learn that your challenges fall into another therapist's area of expertise, and if so then s/he might explain that and ask for your input regarding who you would prefer to see moving forward. We welcome your input and will never be offended if you need to see a different counselor in order to be most successful, because your well-being and success in therapy is the goal of every counselor at Thrive. We don't encourage switching counselors without careful consideration, but we are always happy to investigate those feelings and ideas with you to make sure you have the best chance for success!
How many sessions will I need?
There is no set number of sessions to achieve your therapy goals. It will depend on many factors, but we are here to support and guide you for as long as you need to achieve your goals.
What happens if I miss a session?
At Thrive we definitely understand that sometimes things happen, and unforeseen circumstances can cause someone to occasionally need to cancel a session. We ask that you cancel your session at least 24-hours ahead of time so that we may offer that time to someone else in need if possible. There is a $25 cancelation fee for sessions missed without giving appropriate notice, although we are happy to waive that fee if documentation of an unavoidable conflicting event (such as a doctors note, accident report, flight itinerary, etc.) is provided.
If you have any other questions not addressed here or on our website, please contact us so we can make sure you have all the information you need!