Counseling C o u n s e l i n g    

Do both Helen and Craig provide “Counseling” services?   Does health insurance cover Counseling or Psychotherapy?
How does Counseling differ from Coaching or Hypnosis?   Are sessions “confidential”?
How do I know when to seek Counseling?   What special counseling services does Helen provide?

How many Counseling sessions are needed for me to feel better?

  What is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker?

Do both Helen and Craig provide “Counseling” services?

No, only Helen provides counseling services. If you are not sure what service you need, we will speak with you first, to help you determine which service is most appropriate for you.

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How does Counseling differ from Coaching or Hypnosis?

Counseling services are provided by Helen to couples, groups, and individuals who may be struggling with life transitions, relationship problems, depressed mood, anxiety and/or compulsive or addictive, self-defeating behaviors. Helen, like most mental health providers, uses the terms “counseling”, “psychotherapy” and “therapy” interchangeably. There is an emphasis on the client’s past, and its impact on present ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. In the first couple of sessions, Helen takes a thorough, psycho-social history, assesses what services are needed, and formulates a treatment plan with the client. 

Helen sees therapy as a collaborative process, with both the client and therapist actively involved in working toward change. Problems and goals that you would like to work on or achieve are identified. Helen asks questions that will uncover thinking, behaviors and/or patterns that may be keeping you from reaching your true potential. Core beliefs developed early in life are identified and explored in sessions to help the client make connections and changes. Helen often assigns homework, such as reading or journaling, as well as trying on new behaviors or ways of thinking outside of sessions.

Helen is trained in many types and methods of therapy/counseling, from cognitive-behavioral to solution-focused therapy to hypnotherapy. Her theoretical approach is eclectic, and her methods depend on the person, problems and history of prior counseling. Helen will ask you what was helpful and what was not helpful to you in your past experiences in counseling.  Her clients find her to be very easy to talk to. She is very compassionate, empathetic and gentle, yet she can be confrontational when necessary. Helen gives supportive suggestions, feedback, interpretations and psycho-education regarding issues and problems. She refers to other professionals when needed, such as psychiatrists, psychologists and family physicians.  Many of her clients take some form of antidepressant or other medication. With the clients’ written consent, Helen collaborates with other medical professionals who are treating the client to provide the best care possible.

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How do I know when to seek Counseling?

Individuals may seek counseling just to have an objective, qualified professional act as a sounding board. They may feel a sense of low self-esteem, and not understand why, much less how to change it. They may want to understand their thinking about relationships, or their behaviors in relationships. Some people are experiencing loss from a death or another traumatic event in their lives.

If you have been through a recent loss, job change, move or other stressful life transition, you can benefit from the support and guidance of a licensed therapist.

Some people may want to understand whether thoughts or feelings they are experiencing are “normal”, or if they are dealing with a mental illness, such as clinical depression or debilitating anxiety. If you have experienced depressive or anxious symptoms for more than two weeks, you would likely benefit from counseling.

Couples often seek counseling to learn effective communication and conflict resolution skills. They benefit from learning about their strength and growth areas to increase couple compatibility and harmony.  In other cases, couples may enter counseling to better understand one partner’s mental illness or addictive behaviors and recovery process. Helen works with couples of all types, providing a number of methods to help couples get the most out of the counseling process.

Group Therapy is often the appropriate treatment of choice for people who feel isolated by the nature of specific issues such as paralyzing anxiety or emotional overeating. It is also useful for people who find themselves in repeated dysfunctional relationships.

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How many Counseling sessions are needed for me to feel better?

Most people report feeling better after just one session. For some, only a few sessions may be needed.  For others it may take anywhere from a few months to a few years. Much will depend upon how long the issues have been a problem, the kinds of issues or symptoms dealt with, and your level of motivation to change. Helen will be frank about what she thinks the treatment plan should be, but ultimately, how long you choose to be in therapy is up to you. It is strongly advised that you discuss terminating therapy with Helen first, and take the time necessary to put closure to the process and the therapy relationship. Likewise, if Helen believes she cannot be effective in helping you, she will tell you so, and give you appropriate referrals to other professionals.

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Does health insurance cover Counseling or Psychotherapy?

Your insurance may very well cover these services. Helen is a preferred provider for many major insurance plans, including but not limited to: Aetna, Bellsouth, Cigna, Empire Health, Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS), United Health Care and United Behavioral Health. If she is not a provider for your specific plan, you may be covered under an Employee Assistance (EAP) benefit plan she is approved for, or under your “out of network” benefits. When using your health insurance benefits, outpatient mental health treatment is subject to “medical necessity” which means it will be necessary to submit a mental health diagnosis to be considered for payment. Ongoing treatment may need to be approved by the insurance company. Also, your plan may limit the number of sessions available per year.  Please ask Helen and your insurance company to clarify these often confusing questions if you are unsure.

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Are sessions “confidential”?

Yes, under most circumstances. There are very few circumstances under which Helen may be legally or ethically mandated to disclose information without your written consent, such as in the case of suspected child abuse, or if you are a suicidal, homicidal or in a psychotic state, and clearly a danger to self or others. More detailed information on confidentiality is provided in her office paperwork.

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What special counseling services does Helen provide?

PREPARE/ENRICH is a relationship enhancement program for couples which utilizes the PREPARE/ENRICH inventories. The program can be used with premarital, cohabitating and married couples. Over 1.5 million couples have completed one of these couple inventories, since 1980. 

For more information about the inventories, see

Some Major Topics Covered in the Couple Sessions are: 

  • Communication Skills
  • Relationship Strength and Growth Areas
  • Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Financial Issues
  • Intimacy and Sexuality
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Personal, Couple, and Family Goals

The C.A.L.M. Method

C.A.L.M. is a process proven to help individuals manage and eliminate unwanted cravings or urges to act-out compulsive and self-defeating behaviors. Understanding how cravings and urges to act-out originate from powerful changes in brain chemistry gives you that “aha” moment where you realize “IT IS NOT MY FAULT!”.  C.A.L.M. makes you responsible for your recovery. Using education about the brain and cravings, NLP techniques, relaxation methods, and cognitive-behavioral techniques, C.A.L.M. gives you the tools you need to beat the cravings and urges to smoke, overeat, spend too much, gamble or act out sexually.

CALM is a four-step process, usually done in one, two-hour session, sometimes with reinforcement sessions. The process was developed by Rick Glantz, an addiction counselor and nationally known trainer in the areas of addictions, eating disorders and compulsive behaviors.  Helen has attended his training and enjoys doing C.A.L.M. sessions and teaching these methods to clients.

C          stands for:        Connect to Consciousness
A          stands for:        Alleviate Anxiety
L          stands for:        Logical Liabilities 
M         stands for:        Mobilize and Move On

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What is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker?

A clinical social worker holds a master’s degree or doctoral degree, as well as a clinical level state license. Eligibility for the clinical license requires three years of post-graduate work and supervision, followed by passing the advanced state licensing exam from the American Association of State Social Work Board. Licensed Clinical Social Workers may practice independently, much like Clinical Psychologists, providing counseling and psychotherapy.

Clinical social work is distinguished from other mental health professions by its emphasis on the person in the context of his/her environment. This approach incorporates the dynamics of individuals, couples, families, and groups with the cultural, ethnic, and organizational factors within which a person’s development occurs. Clinical social workers work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, schools, and various types of mental health and health care organizations. See for more information.

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