Switch to Accessible Site
Yvonne Byrd Gaspard, M.Ed,LPC,NCC
THERAPY FOR CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS, ADULTS AND FAMILIES
Common Questions

How can professional counseling help me?
 
A number of benefits are available from participating in professional counseling. As your counselor I will be able to provide support, assist you in developing problem-solving skills and coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, co-parenting and domestic violence issues. I will also asset you in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns and the hassles of daily life. I will also assist you in gaining a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
  
  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence 
 Do I really need professional counseling? 
 
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, counseling is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Profession counseling provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. 

What is professional counseling like?

Professional counseling will be different for each individual because each person has different issues and goals. It can range from short to long term.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Counseling sessions are usually scheduled weekly.
 
It is important to understand that you will get more results from counseling if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of counseling is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life.  Therefore, beyond the work you do in counseling sessions,  I may suggest some things you can do outside of counseling to support your progress - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking professional counseling are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.   
 
Does what we talk about in counseling remain confidential?
 
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and counselor. Successful counseling requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the counselor's office.  Prior to counseling, you will be asked to sign a confidential disclosure agreement ( HIPAA). HIPAA is the health insurance prortability and accountability act of 1966. This agreement assures the privacy of all health information.  A copy of this act will be provided to you during your initial visit to my office. Your written concent is necessary for me to share any information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Attorney, Judge) etc. By law as your counselor, I will not be able to release any information without your signature on the HIPPA document.
 
State law and professional ethics require that I maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
 
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If as your professional counselor I have reason to suspect that you are seriously in danger of harming yourself or has threated to harm another person.