I want to start therapy, how does this work?

Great! Let’s see if we’re the right fit, send an email at hillary@betterbalancecounseling.com, fill out the contact form on the website here, or give us a call. No matter how you reach out first, we ask that all clients have a quick chat over the phone to see if we’re the right fit and to ask and answer any preliminary questions. Some things we’ll need from you during that phone call:

1. We obviously need to get an idea of what is going on that has you reaching out. This can be brief. We’re trying to get a sense if we have the tools to help you.

2. What is your availability for sessions? Do you have a flexible schedule or do you need evenings/weekends? Figuring this out in the beginning will help me see if we can accommodate your schedule.

3. How do you want to pay for the session? Do you want to use insurance or are you going to pay out of pocket? If you’re using insurance, we will verify your benefits as a courtesy so there are no scary surprises when it comes time to submit the claim. In order to check your benefits, we’ll need your insurance ID number and your birth date.

4. Once we’ve gone through all of the logistics, we’ll be sending you our “new client forms” to have filled out prior to our session. It is a good-sized document so it’s really helpful to have it filled out before and not use precious session time to work on it.

What do I expect in the first session?

The first session can produce some anxiety in clients. You’re meeting one of us for the first time and it’s hard to tell your story [again]. We do not have an agenda for the first session. We let you talk and we do a lot of listening. The first session is very conversational. We make notes here and there when something comes up that I’d like to check-in on again. The first session is very conversational. You may have been waiting to tell this story for a long time and we’re not going to get in your way.

How long do I have to do this and how often should I see you?

This is a great question. We don’t think someone should have to be in therapy forever. We want to work on whatever is bothering you and allow you get out “in the real world” and practice what we’ve talked about. In the beginning, we usually see clients weekly because this is when they are feeling the worst.  We know this isn’t always an option due to timing or finances so we are flexible. We do ask that clients are actively in therapy, come at least twice a month or every 2 weeks.

I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own.

People who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. In our work together, we’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, counseling is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with counseling. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

We are so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success.

Contact Today

137 N. Oak Park Avenue Suite 206
Oak Park, IL 60301

(708) 665-6733

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