Jeanene Smith MA, LPC, LMFT

Therapy Q&A
Here are some common questions and answers people often ask before beginning therapy.  I hope you find them helpful.
Q. I am not sure if I need a therapist or a counselor or a coach.  Is there a difference?
A. Yes. A Licensed Professional Counselor has a Master's level degree as well as 3000 hours of intern work to be fully licensed.  A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist also has at least a Master's level degree, must also do 3000 hours of intern work but is also the only license that requires 750 hours of the 3000 to be with couples or families.  

When you see the letters LPC-I or LMFT-A you can know that person is still in their intern level.  The letters are dropped when the training is complete and you will only see LPC or LMFT.  A Life Coach does not have a requirement for opening their office, but they can have a certification which does not ensure that any training has been done under a supervisor.  An LPC or an LMFT is a Life Coach.  But they also have the training to understand life development stages, family relationships, communication patterns and pathology.  I enjoy being a Life Coach for many individuals and couples.   

​Q. Why do people come in for therapy?
A. There are many reason people come to see me.  Sometimes it is to deal with a long standing issue of communication, or problems with anxiety or depression.  Sometimes it is in response to a life change such as divorce, children or work. Many people come seeking advice as they pursue their own personal growth and development.  

Working with a counselor or therapist can provide insight, support and new strategies for all types of life's challenges.  Therapy can address grief, stress management, depression, anxiety, body image issues, life path direction, parenting and relationship patterns.  

Q. What happens in therapy? 
A. In the initial session, I will ask detailed questions about your history, your life, and what brought you to the office.  We will discuss the best way to reach your goals.  Therapy is work. I do ask clients to work in between sessions as that gives them optimum results.  For clients who like to read, I may ask them to read.  If that is not the way you learn best, we will concentrate on other ways for you to be successful. 

Q. What do you mean by "confidentiality"? I have stuff I don't want anyone to ever find out!
A. Both my professional ethical codes consider what you say in therapy to be confidential.  That means no information about your therapy can be discussed without your approval except in these special cases.  
   *EVERYONE, including you is required by law to report knowledge of abuse or neglect to a child or elder.  
   *If you reveal information that indicates a clear and immediate danger of injury to yourself or others.  
   *Or when a judge court orders a subpoena for records or for me to testify at a court hearing. 

Q.  How much do you charge per session?
A.  I see people on a sliding scale based on their monthly income level.  My fees range between $55 - $100 per session depending upon your income level.  We will discuss your fee before you come in so that you will know exactly how much it will cost.  I charge more for in home visits but they can be very productive.

Q.  Will it cost more for couple or families?
A.  No. My rate is the same no matter who is in the room.

Q.  How long does therapy last?
A.  That is a good question!  Unfortunately there is not just one simple answer.  Please plan to stay for 60 minutes and an initial session may last longer.  If you mean how many sessions does it take, that includes many things.  The amount a time a person may be in therapy depends on the person, what is the problem or task and how hard they can work.  

Q.  Do you take insurance?
A.  With the new health laws coming into place, I am looking into taking insurance.  After all these years it may be time for a change.  Please keep checking back with me to see if I am on your panel.  In the meantime, for my clients who want to file with their insurance I will give you a receipt with all the codes on it that you will need to file on your own for reimbursement.  

​                        If you have other questions please do not hesitate to call or email.    

                                                                                                                 I look forward to talking with you!