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What is CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. By exploring patterns of thinking that lead to self-destructive actions and the beliefs that direct these thoughts, people can change their negative thought patterns to improve coping. The therapist and client actively work together to challenge irrational beliefs and decide on behavioral changes. Because CBT is an active intervention, one can also expect to do homework or practice outside of sessions.

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What is SFBT?

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is about focusing on solutions, rather than on problems. Often so much time and energy, as well as many resources, are spent on talking about problems, rather than thinking about what might help us to get to solutions that would bring on realistic, reasonable relief as quickly as possible.

Problems do not happen all the time. Even the most chronic problems have periods or times when the difficulties do not occur or are less intense. By studying these times when problems are less severe or even absent, we discovered that people do many positive things that they are not fully aware of. By bringing these small successes into their awareness and repeating the successful things they do when the problem is less severe, people improve their lives and become more confident about themselves.

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What is Mindfulness?

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness:

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
On purpose,
in the present moment, and
nonjudgmentally.”

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to, and seeing clearly whatever is happening in our lives. It will not eliminate life’s pressures, but it can help us respond to them in a calmer manner that benefits our heart, head, and body. It helps us recognize and step away from habitual, often unconscious emotional and physiological reactions to everyday events. It provides us with a scientifically researched approach to cultivating clarity, insight, and understanding. Practicing mindfulness allows us to be fully present in our life and work, and improve our quality of life.

The benefits of Mindfulness include helping individuals to:

  • Recognize, slow down or stop automatic and habitual reactions.
  • Respond more effectively to complex or difficult situations.
  • See situations more clearly.
  • Become more creative.
  • Achieve balance and resilience at work and at home
  • Multiple other psychological and physical benefits.

Since the late 1970’s there have been more than 1000 publications documenting medical and psychological research on mindfulness which demonstrate its validity and breadth of application.

What can I expect from counseling?

Your first session is all about information gathering and getting acquainted with each other, as well as orienting you to office policies regarding appointments, payments, etc. I am here to work with you to formulate treatment goals which will begin on the first visit, but will also be consistently reevaluated as therapy progresses.

Due to the very nature of psychotherapy, as much as I would like to guarantee specific results regarding your therapeutic goals, I am unable to do so. However, with your participation, we will work to achieve the best possible results for you. Please also be aware that changes made in therapy may affect other people in your life. For example, an increase in your assertiveness may not always be welcomed by others. It is my intention to help you manage changes in your interpersonal relationships as they arise, but it is important for you to be aware of this possibility nonetheless.

Additionally, at times people find that they feel somewhat worse when they first start therapy before they begin to feel better. This may occur as you begin discussing certain sensitive areas of your life. However, a topic usually isn’t sensitive unless it needs attention. Therefore, discovering the discomfort is actually a success. Once you and I are able to target your specific treatment needs and the particular modalities that work the best for you, help is generally on the way.

I am always happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have throughout the counseling process.

What is the difference between Professional Counselors, Psychologists and Psychiatrists?

Licensed Professional (or Mental Health) Counselor (LPC): A psychological counselor is a mental health professional who has a master’s degree (MA) in psychology, counseling, or a related field.  A Licensed Professional Counselor is qualified to evaluate and treat mental problems by providing counseling or psychotherapy.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW): A clinical social worker has at least a master’s degree in social work and training to be able to evaluate and treat mental illnesses. In addition to psychotherapy, social workers can provide case management and hospital discharge planning as well as work as an advocate for patients and their family.

Psychiatric or Mental Health Nurse (RN): Some nurses have had special training in providing mental health services. Depending on their level of training and certification, they can evaluate patients for mental illness and provide treatment in the form of psychotherapy. In some states, they are also licensed to prescribe and monitor medications, sometimes independently and sometimes under the supervision of a medical doctor.

Psychiatrist (MD): A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness. As a medical doctor, a psychiatrist is licensed to write prescriptions. If you are working with a psychiatrist, a lot of the treatment may be focused on medication management. The psychiatrist may provide the psychotherapy, or the psychiatrist may refer you to a counselor or other type of mental health professional.

Psychologist (PhD, PsyD, EdD): A psychologist has a doctoral degree (PhD, PsyD, or EdD) in psychology. Psychologists receive an education in evaluating and treating mental and emotional disorders and further training in treatment methods, psychological theory, and behavioral therapy.

Licensed psychologists are qualified to do counseling and psychotherapy, perform psychological testing, and provide treatment for mental disorders. With the exception of a couple of states, psychologists cannot write prescriptions or perform medical procedures. Often a psychologist will work in association with a psychiatrist who provides the medical treatment for mental illness while the psychologist provides the psychotherapy.

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Do you prescribe medication?

No, as  Licensed Professional Counselor I do not prescribe medication. Medication may be prescribed by a Psychiatrist or other MD, or possibly a Nurse Practitioner. I will, however, work in conjunction with your prescribing practitioner should medication issues arise during our sessions.

Are my sessions confidential?

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of effective psychotherapy. However, there are instances where I am compelled to share information from our sessions.

I will always keep everything you say to me completely confidential, with the following exceptions:

(1) You direct me to tell someone else and you sign a “Release of Information” form;

(2) I determine that you are a danger to yourself or to others;

(3) You report information about the abuse of a child, an elderly person, or a disabled individual who may require protection; or

(4) I am ordered by a judge to disclose information. In this case, my license does provide me with the ability to uphold what is legally termed “privileged communication.” Privileged communication is your right as a client to have a confidential relationship with a therapist. The state of Georgia has a very good track record in respecting this legal right. If for some unusual reason a judge were to order the disclosure of your private information, this order can be appealed. I cannot guarantee that the appeal will be sustained, but I will do everything in my power to keep what you say confidential.

Please note that in couple’s counseling, I do not agree to keep secrets. Information revealed in any context may be discussed with either partner.

How can I schedule an appointment?

You may schedule an appointment by calling my office at 678-654-9237.

Although I generally will respond to messages the same day, please allow 24 – 48 hours for me to return your call.  Should you need to leave a voice mail message please leave a few good times during the day that you may be reached.

I do not discuss therapeutic issues via email in order to protect your privacy, so I do prefer to speak with you personally. However, you may also email me at KatHainesTherapy@Hushmail.com to inquire about appointments or if you have other general questions.

Can I use my insurance plan?

I am considered an out-of-network provider. I can provide you will a receipt (superbill) for you to file with your insurance carrier. I encourage all clients to contact their insurance company to see if they reimburse for out-of-network mental health services.

There are advantages and disadvantages in choosing to use your mental health benefits. Advantages may include a lower fee, while disadvantages may include having to assign a diagnosis, loss of confidentiality during the claims process, and forfeiting your right to choose how many sessions you feel you need. Should you have further questions about this, please contact us.