A F.A.Q., or Frequently Asked Questions, page offers answers
to common questions that we encounter frequently. If you
have a question that is not addressed below please contact
What is Discovery Counseling?
Discovery Counseling is a non-profit (501c3) Christian
ministry that has provided thousands of hours of services
to adolescents, adults, couples, and families since 2002.
What is counseling?
Counseling is a collaborative process between you and your
counselor. This process begins with identifying your
goals, setting objectives, and measuring your progress
along the way. Counseling then helps you objectively
look at your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors so you
can develop more effective ways of dealing with life
Change can happen! Nine out of ten Americans surveyed
by Consumer Reports said that counseling had helped them.
In other studies, half of the clients were making improvements
after eight sessions of therapy, 75 percent after six months
There are some risks to counseling. It is important to
consider how major psychological changes may impact your
current relationships. Treatment may be emotionally painful
at times and not all people experience improvement. Sometimes
there is a need for psychiatric consultation and/or medication
during periods of depression, agitation, or other emotional
Sessions between you and your counselor may be emotionally
and psychologically intimate. The relationship, however,
will remain on a professional level rather than a personal
one. Therefore, contact will be limited to the paid sessions
in the office or over the phone. You and your counselor
will not engage in physical contact, socialize, give gifts
to each other, nor establish any relationship other than
the professional counseling relationship. The only focus
of the counseling sessions is on your concerns.
Should I seek counseling?Prolonged feelings of loneliness,
depression, anxiety, and/or hopelessness
Marital or family unhappiness
Concerns about a child's behavior or adjustment
Distress over personal relationships
Inability to set or attain goals
Worry about eating patterns or weight
Frustrations with employment or co-workers
Sadness due to death, separation, or divorce
Struggles with unhealthy habits or patterns
Disappointment with life
People seek counseling for various reasons. Some of the
common reasons are:
What about a crisis?
If you are in need of emergency services, please call or
do one of the following: Call 911; or Go to the closest
How much does counseling cost?
Your sessions may be covered by your insuance or EAP (Employee Assistance Program.
We process payments for sessions covered by most insurance companies. If you have an insurance plan we canít process, we will provide you with a receipt needed to submit directly to your plan for reimbursement.
Payment for counseling is expected at the start of each session.
The fee for service covers a 50-minute session fee. If you do not cancel a minimum of 24 hours prior to any
scheduled appointment, you will be held financially responsible
for that appointment.
You are expected to pay the prorated session fee for phone
calls made by the counselor at your request. The charges
for letters, assessments, consultations, copying records,
legal research, testimony, etc. need to be arranged with
the counselor prior to these services being provided.
If at any time you are unable to make a payment or if
your financial situation should interfere with your treatment,
your counselor will work with you to develop an acceptable
How do I get started?
Our counselors will be happy to schedule an intake appointment
for you with a counselor. At the initial intake you will
be advised of your rights as a client, fill out the necessary
paperwork, and develop a strategy for pursuing ongoing
counseling with your therapist.
When does counseling end?
Stopping treatment is usually a mutually agreed upon ending
of the therapeutic relationship but some circumstances
may result in premature termination. You may discontinue
services whenever you choose, for whatever reason you
choose. Some examples of circumstances that a counselor
may stop treatment may include but are not limited to:
nonpayment for services; not following treatment recommendations;
three missed appointments; no appointments in two consecutive
months unless advised by the counselor; threats to the
counselor, the counseling center, or others associated
with the counselor or the center; and/or some problem
emerges that is not within the scope of practice or competence
of the counselor.
What is confidentiality?
Confidentiality means that information about you is never
released to others without your written permission. Everything
said in therapy is confidential and will not be disclosed
except when reporting is required or permitted by the
HIPAA Privacy Standard (see below) or Virginia law. Exceptions
to confidentiality include the following:
1. suspected abuse of a child, developmentally disabled
person, or a dependent adult;
2. potential suicidal behavior;
3. threatened harm to another, which may include knowledge
that the client is HIV positive when there is an unwillingness
to inform individuals with whom the client is intimately
4. when required by compulsory process.
Information may also be disclosed if you sign a written
authorization or in the event that you file a complaint
against your counselor. Payment by check allows bank employees
to view names of Discovery clients. If you have caller
identification on your phone, the name of the agency may
appear on the monitor. Further, if you seek insurance reimbursement,
you will need to sign a form allowing Discovery to release
confidential information to the insurance company in order
to facilitate payment. In keeping with generally accepted
standards of practice, supervision and consultation may
be made regarding the management of your treatment with
other mental health professionals, including other counselors
in the center, who are bound by the same rules of confidentiality.
In some situations cell phones may be used by counselors
to contact clients. Please note that e-mail is NOT a confidential
means of communication.
What are my rights as a client?
Therapy is understood to be a choice made by you, among
available options. Options include other counselors,
counseling centers, therapies, support groups, self-help
resources, and other modes of treatment. Medical treatment
may also be a viable option. You may also choose not
to seek treatment at this time.
If therapy is chosen, your symptoms may worsen before
improving, fail to improve, or continue to worsen. Some
clients need only a few sessions to achieve their goals,
while others may require months or even years of counseling.
You have the right to terminate at any time, however, it
is understood that premature termination may result in
the return or worsening of the initial problems and symptoms.
It is appropriate for clients to raise questions about
the counselor's orientation and training, diagnoses, fee
policies, and course of treatment. We try to answer these
questions during the intake. All communication between
you and counselor is considered to be part of the clinical
record, which is accessible to you upon written request
to view or to obtain copies. Records are maintained for
a period of seven years from the date of your last appointment.
You are encouraged to talk with the counselor directly
if dissatisfied with services received, desirous of a second
opinion or referral, or if intending to discontinue appointments.
You may contact the Executive Director of Discovery if
the counselor is not able to resolve your concerns.
Each of the counselors at Discovery are a student intern, a resident in counseling or
licensed with the rules of the Commonwealth of Virginia.