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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
Services We Offer
Thrive is proud to offer a variety of therapy options for clients of all ages and seasons of life. The most common therapeutic options are listed below, you may click on an option to read more about it or continue scrolling to read about all of the options listed. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you feel your specific needs are not described by one of these options. We are eager to help anyone in need, and we are happy to accommodate other therapeutic needs if we possibly can.
A diagnostic assessment takes place at the start of services, and it begins with an in-depth interview with the client(s) (and the guardian if the client is a minor) where background information, family medical and mental health history, and information about current struggles and behaviors are collected. More specialized assessment measures and/or interview forms may be used in addition to the interview process if necessary, as well. All of the information collected during this process is used to determine whether the client(s) meet the criteria for a specific diagnosis, and also to aid in the development of treatment goals and decisions regarding which treatment methods are most appropriate.
Therapy for Individuals
Individual outpatient therapy will consist of sessions between an individual client and his or her therapist, and can take place at our office location, in school, or in the home. Individual therapy can take place from 1 to 4 times per month, depending on the client's needs. Individual sessions can provide you with support and guidance for any struggle that you may be facing, whether it is an ongoing challenge like anxiety or depression or a significant life event, like the death of a loved one or a divorce. If the individual client is a minor, please refer to therapy for children and adolescents (described below) for more information.
Therapy for Children and Adolescents
Therapy for child and adolescent clients, like therapy sessions for individuals, can take place at our office location, in school, or in the home 1 to 4 times per month. When the client is a child or adolescent we typically incorporate family sessions into the treatment plan in order to treat the "whole" person, because we believe the family plays an important role in helping a child grow and meet therapeutic goals. The terms and limits of client confidentiality with minor clients and information that can be shared with parents will be reviewed during the first session to ensure a transparent and honest therapeutic relationship with both the clients and the parents or guardians. In addition to the rooms used for counseling appointments we also have a game room in our office, which can help younger clients feel more at ease if the therapy process is intimidating for them. Sessions for child and adolescent clients can provide much-needed support during challenging life events, as well as diagnosis and support for any ongoing struggles like anxiety, depression, or social challenges.
Family therapy will consist of the family as a whole attending sessions, which can take place at our office or in the home. There are many dynamics at play in every family, and family therapy can be a great way to teach or clarify roles, rules, and boundaries for parents and children. It can be difficult to communicate some things to the people closest to you, and family therapy can create opportunities to open those lines of communication and to create a more open, functional dynamic of communication between family members. Some life events can take a toll on families, such as the illness or death of a family member, financial difficulties, divorce, or remarriage, among others, and working through these things together can allow families to become closer and stronger by doing so.
Marriage is one of the most monumental decisions we make in life, and there are so many important factors to consider that the process can be overwhelming. There are some things on which a couple may not agree, but not yet realize that simply because those things haven't happened yet. It can be hard to anticipate things that don't yet seem relevant, or to plan for situations that seem unlikely, but these can be the things that end up being the biggest challenges for a couple. Pre-marital counseling provides couples with an objective, supportive space where they can ensure that there is agreement or acceptance of differences on the things that will influence their marriage the most, such as each person's desire to have or not have children, philosophies on long-term career plans, deciding where to live, and expectations regarding relationships with friends and family members, among many other things. We also offer Christian-based pre-marital counseling for couples that prefer a faith-based approach.
Even the strongest relationships and marriages face highs and lows, and there are many ways that counseling can benefit a couple. Whether you're struggling with communicating effectively, trust issues, opposing parenting styles, conflicts related to a blended family, or any other challenges with your significant other, Thrive can help you process and work through these things together. We are eager to give couples the tools they need in order to have a successful and fulfilling relationship, and we encourage couples to consider therapy if they are facing struggles together, no matter how frustrating or hopeless it may seem. (Please note that if domestic violence has occurred therapy must take place at our office.)
Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling
Challenges stemming from the excessive use of drugs, alcohol, other substances, as well as to activities like gambling, eating, exercise, or sex, are difficult to acknowledge and overcome, and at Thrive we are here to offer a safe, supportive place to guide you through this process. Many times it is not just the biological factors of addiction that must be addressed, but also underlying issues that may be contributing to the use of substances. Regardless of the cause, length, or severity of any substance use issues, we are here to support you as much as you may need in order to take back control of your life.
For some people, their faith is an integral part of their lives, and for them it may be beneficial to acknowledge and incorporate their faith into their therapeutic process. There may be times when you seek Christian counseling for prayer, to gain a stronger grounding in your faith and beliefs, or to try to improve your understanding of Christian values. For many people going through struggles and transitions in life, a counselor who shares in your faith and who will incorporate prayer and biblical principles throughout the counseling process can be instrumental in helping you through these seasons of your life.
This is a counseling approach that takes the best practices of traditional counseling and adapts them for delivery to clients via electronic means: e-mail, phone, video sessions. Distance counseling can take place in the comfort of your own home, which can be beneficial for clients with limited mobility or transportation options. It can also allow multiple family members who reside in different areas to come together in order to work through issues with the guidance of a counselor, providing the option of family therapy when it may not otherwise be an option due to the geographical distance between family members. Thrive Family Services LLC can serve consumers who live in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina through distance counseling. (Please note that it is important to clarify with insurance providers whether distance counseling is included in their mental health coverage prior to the start of this service. Cash rates and our sliding scale fees for families in need are also available if your insurance does not cover distance counseling.)
Mind Body Medicine Groups
Mind Body Medicine is a therapeutic approach provides a safe and supportive small-group setting to help you work towards self-discovery, reducing and relieving sources of stress, and cultivating your optimal health. It teaches a series of effective research-based healing tools to help you work through life changes, stress, and reaching your best potential for overall well-being in an intimate and supportive group setting. To learn more about this approach we welcome you to visit Mind Body Circle, or to contact us through our website (addressing your message to Christine Vasquez).