Questions & Answsers

What is counseling?

Counseling, also called therapy, is a professional relationship that focuses on personal concerns and issues in one's life. Counselors serve as objective skilled listeners. They can help you to clarify issues that are of concern to you, and help you to discover how you can deal more effectively with these concerns. As a counselor/therapist, I will be your guide and help you explore the things that need to change in order to help you have a better life.

Counseling is different for each person, and everyone has different issues and goals for therapy. It is important for you to understand that you will receive more results from therapy if you are an active participant in the process. Beyond the counseling session, I might also suggest you read a pertinent book or journal some of your thoughts on a specific topic to help support the process. Counseling is non-judgmental and collaborative, you are the focus and I will provide you with support and understanding and help you explore your feelings and reach your goals.

How is counseling helpful?

Making the decision to engage in counseling can bring you benefits. It is helpful just to know that someone understands and will listen to your concerns non-judgmentally. Counseling can provide you with a new perspective on a difficult problem, or point you in the direction of a solution. You may find counseling to be wonderful help for managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, or the hassles of daily life. It's important to know that benefits you obtain from counseling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from counseling can include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your personal goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek counseling
  • Finding new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications skills — learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
  • Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviors and develop new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

I decided I would like to start counseling. What do I do next? What is a counseling session like?

The first step is to schedule an appointment for your initial session. During your first visit you can expect to spend time reviewing the therapy contract for services and completing any additional forms necessary to engage in the therapeutic process. Your first visit will also allow us both to determine if we are a good fit for working together. It is important for us to have a rapport and for me to feel confident that I can help you with your concerns. It is also a time for you to ask questions about me and my approach to counseling. Please download the forms, complete them, and bring them to your visit.

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between you and the counselor. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. I will provide you with a written confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss with me will not be shared with anyone. There may be times when you want me to share information, or give an update to someone on your health care team, such as your doctor. By law, as your therapist, I cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission, except for a very few specific situations. State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality; exceptions include but are not limited to:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse.
    The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person.
    The therapist is required to notify the police.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself.
    The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional steps may need to be taken.

Do you take insurance?

Yes! I do take Fidelis, TRICARE, Pomco and MHN insurances. If your insurance is not one that I am paneled with, you may want to ask your insurance company if they pay for an out-of-network provider. Additionally, if you have a flexible spending account, you can submit a receipt from my office for reimbursement.

Additionally, I am also on the panel for several Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Many companies offer services through an EAP as part of their benefits package. Consult your Human Resources department to find out if you are eligible.

Many clients actually decide to not use insurance for counseling. They feel counseling represents an investment that they make in themselves, thus giving them a greater sense of empowerment and freedom.

The decision is always yours on whether you want to use your insurance coverage or pay out of pocket. I would need to submit regular records to the insurance company in order for them to cover your services. There is no exception to this rule; all insurance companies request medical records and can require me to release any part of your file at any time. By allowing them to pay for part of the service, you are giving consent for them to access your records.

What are your fees? Do you offer a reduced fee?

Please contact me to discuss fees for service. On a very limited basis, a sliding scale fee based on your income and ability to pay for services can be discussed.

What forms of payment are accepted?

Cash, check, and credit cards are accepted for payment. Checks can be made out to Counseling Connections.

What if I need to cancel an appointment?

Please be note that your appointment was reserved for you. If you need to cancel your appointment, please notify my office at least 24 hours in advance. If this notice is not provided or the appointment becomes a "no show," you will be responsible for the full cost of the session. Your understanding and respect of this policy is appreciated.

Pet Loss Support Group

Pet Loss Support Group

In this group, we work together to understand the human-animal bond and the impact on your life, explore the nature of grief, and provide you with an opportunity to share your story, honor your pet's memory, and nurture yourself.

Groups form on an ongoing basis with 2-5 people. They are held on Mondays 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. If there is sufficient demand, groups can be held in the afternoon as well.

These groups are now done on a secure online platform. No in-person groups are available at this time.

Individual Counseling is also available with Anne Marie. She is also available to speak on pet grief and loss for your group or organization.

Call Anne Marie at 585-615-5492 for more information or to register.

Anne Marie Farage-Smith, LMHC
$175 (4 Weeks)
Advance Registration & Payment Required.

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