FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
GENERAL COUNSELING QUESTIONS
What does research show about the effectiveness of counseling?
Research increasingly supports the idea that emotional and physical health are closely linked and that counseling can improve a person’s overall health status. According to respected and scientific research, mental health counseling effectively decreases depression and anxiety-related symptoms such as pain, fatigue and nausea. People who have been in counseling report higher self-esteem, increased levels of happiness, improved relationships and so much more. But, you don’t have to take my word for it – google it!
How will I know when it’s time to see a therapist?
The most common thing I hear from many clients is, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” Most people struggle with one issue or another at some time in their lives, and many suffer for months or even years before taking steps to begin therapy. Think about where you are right now in your life… Are you satisfied with your life or feeling lost and wondering if there is more for you? Do you feel stuck, repeating the same thoughts or patterns? Do you worry about the little things or the big things? Are you able to tackle the bumps that life throws at you, or do you have trouble managing the roller-coaster of life. If your answer is yes (or even maybe), then counseling could be helpful to you. Request more information here.
How many sessions does it typically take?
We often recommend sessions once a week, but the exact number of weeks and/or sessions depends on each individual’s goals. We will collaborate to create a plan of action to meet your specific goals and based on this, we will decide together how often to meet and for how long. Some clients come for a few sessions, follow through on recommendations between sessions, feel better and move on. Others return to tackle new changes in their lives or stay longer to address more complex issues. It is hard to predict how long therapy will take, but coming to counseling is always your choice and we will only continue as long as it is helpful to meeting your goals.
I’m a very private person. Is my confidentiality completely protected?
Yes. By law, counselors are required to protect your confidentiality including the things we talk about in session as well as your health records. There are times when your counselor is legally obligated to break confidentiality such as cases of suspected child or elder abuse, a threat of harm to another person or if you are danger of harming yourself. In any situation, I will discuss any sharing of information with you in advance and request your written permission.
This confidentiality extends into the community. If we were to see each other in public, I will not say hello – I don’t ever want a client to have to explain how they know me. I am always open to speaking with you outside the office, but you get to make the first contact.
Types of payments accepted
A Stable Connection currently accepts cash or credit card. Our preference is that you save your credit card information to your secure and HIPAA compliant client portal so session fees can be paid automatically at the end of each session. While we do not currently file directly with insurance agencies, we will provide you with the paperwork necessary so you can submit those fees and obtain reimbursement for any out-of-network covered services.
EQUINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY (EAP) QUESTIONS
Is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) right for me?
Do you learn by doing as opposed to watching or listening? Have you found yourself stuck and unable to move past a difficult experience or situation? Do you have difficulty trusting others or building relationships? If so, EAP may be a good fit for you. The experiential nature of EAP provides opportunities to practice the skills you are learning in real-life situations with horses who provide honest and immediate feedback. This can help you to recognize patterns of thought and behavior that may no longer be helpful and allow you to make a change. The intuitive and honest nature of horses often allow clients to learn how to trust again after trauma or when reentering society after deployment. EAP does not dismiss traditional talk-therapy methods – it combines them with unique gifts that horses can offer you.
I’ve never been around horses before. Can I still participate in this kind of therapy?
No horse experience is necessary to participate in an EAP session. We just ask that you come with an open mind and a willingness to challenge any unproductive thoughts or behaviors that may come to light as you spend time with the horses. We will start wherever you are and progress at the pace that works for you.
What should I wear to my equine assisted psychotherapy session?
Please dress for the weather and wear clothes that are comfortable and that you do not mind getting dirty. We will conduct EAP sessions rain or shine, hot or cold as long as it is safe to do so. Also, you must wear shoes that fully enclose your feet and that will stay on when walking through water or mud. We encourage you to apply sunscreen and/or bug spray in the summer and to layer clothing including gloves and hats in the winter.
Bad weather plan?
We operate year-round and try to avoid cancelling sessions unless absolutely necessary. In inclement weather such as extreme heat, cold or heavy rain, we can move sessions inside our barn. In the event of dangerous weather, your counselor will call you to cancel or choose to have an office session.
What happens during an EAP session?
Upon arrival, you and your counselor will meet briefly in the office to discuss any concerns or goals you may have for your session. When ready, we will proceed to the barn, arena or pastures to spend time with or complete specific activities with the horses. Based on your interaction with the horse(s) and the horse’s responses to you, your counselor may ask questions about what happened and/or support you in processing any insights you experienced to help you achieve your session goals.
Can I come visit the farm?
Our farm is private property and in order to protect everyone’s privacy and confidentiality, we do not allow visitors.
Will I get to ride the horses?
There is no riding in EAP – all work with the horses is done on the ground. This enables you to form a more authentic relationship with your horse partner without the interference of mechanisms of control such as bridles and saddles. For some clients struggling to deal with trauma, rhythmic riding can be helpful. Rhythmic riding is not recreational or riding instruction – it is a therapeutic intervention that, if appropriate, will be discussed well in advance and preceded by extensive work on the ground.