Frequently Asked Questions

 It is very typical to have questions about  counseling.  Please read through the FAQ’s below as they may help bring clarity to any concerns you may have.

How do I know when I should seek help?

There are many different signs that might tell you that you should try counseling. A few of these are:

  • Feeling unhappy for no reason
  • Not being satisfied with your life
  • Having trouble making decisions
  • Having trouble setting or reaching goals
  • Being tired for no reason
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Changes in sleeping or eating
  • Acting in ways that you don’t like
  • Acting in ways that get you in trouble
  • Problems with alcohol or drugs
  • Relationship problems
  • Having trouble at work
  • Thinking about death a lot or thinking of hurting yourself
Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of their friends and/or family as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide 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
What is therapy like?

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around 45-50 minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

Yes! Our therapists are in-network with a variety of insurance companies. Click HERE to find out if we are in-network with your insurance carrier. We will gladly bill out-of-network for other insurance companies.

To determine your mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • Does my insurance company require prior authorization before I begin counseling? (If required, obtaining prior authorization is as simple as a phone call to your insurance company.)
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
How much does counseling cost?

Individual Therapy Sessions: Your expense varies based on your insurance benefits.

  • At your appointments, pay ONLY your co-pay, co-insurance, or deductible. We bill your insurance for the rest.
  • We will contact your insurance company to verify your mental health benefits prior to your first appointment.
  • We accept cash, check, Visa or MasterCard.

Group Sessions: $40

Clinical Supervision with Ericka Martin (for counselors seeking licensure): $85

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and therapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.

As outlined by the American Mental Health Alliance, some risk to privacy may be involved when coordinating with insurance companies.

What self-help resources do you recommend?

We’ve found that online apps and articles can be a great supplement to professional counseling.

Are you an equal opportunity employer?

Yes, Star Meadow Counseling is committed to equal opportunity and considers qualified counselors without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, marital status, protected veteran status, disability status or other applicable legally protected characteristics.  You may notice “Christian Counseling” as one of the services provided at Star Meadow Counseling. Know that we do not require or inquire about the faith of our staff members. Rather, they may elect to opt in or out of providing this service, just as they do for the other services offered.

Star Meadow Counseling

Provides Therapy Services to:
Vancouver WA | Salmon Creek WA | Ridgefield WA | Woodland WA | Battle Ground WA