What is Individual Counseling like?
Individual Counseling (a.k.a. Talk Therapy, Psychotherapy, Treatment, Counseling) is such an interesting concept when you really think about it! You are meeting someone you’ve never met and talking about things that you’ve convinced yourself nobody wants to hear. The reasons people often waver to come in…”I don’t know them”, “How can they understand?”, “They’ll judge me”, “I don’t like talking to people” are often the EXACT reasons you should try it! A trained psychotherapist goes through thousands upon thousands of hours of supervised training and continued education to develop an approachable, non-judgmental and unbiased experience for the clients they serve. Counseling is often referred to by therapists as “holding space”.
Holding space means to be with someone without judgment. To donate your ears and heart without wanting anything back. To practice empathy and compassion. To accept someone’s truth, no matter what they are. To allow and accept. Embrace with two hands instead of pointing with one finger. To come in neutral. Open. For them. Not you. Holding space means to put your needs and opinions aside and allow someone to just be. them. selves.
What you experience with counseling is an hour you’ve set aside just for you to do nothing else but engage in self-reflection and discussion with a trained professional that assists in processing the world around you. You’d be surprised how much change you can facilitate by simply committing to an hour of therapy. Here are some changes clients have experienced:
- Finally applying for a new job AND getting it!
- Processing traumatic memories that have held them back.
- Changing their negative internal dialogue and improving confidence.
- Improving relationships with friends, family, spouses or children.
- Learning how to communicate more effectively.
- Talking about the death of a loved one and learning to move forward through the grief cycle.
- Creating real, actual, yes – I’m telling you it exists, WORK-LIFE BALANCE.
- Feeling confident in stepping away from addiction and excited for a life of sobriety.
- Going back to school to get into the career they really wanted.
How long do I have to do counseling for?
The length of therapy is often discussed after assessment and treatment plan are developed as it is individualized. Treatment length is influenced by how often you can come in, how much you follow through with your set goals, and how long it takes to feel stable after those changes are made. I’ve had clients come in for a One-And-Done session just to talk through a difficult decision they are about to make in a safe place. I’ve had others that choose to come for maintenance style sessions for YEARS after their final goals are achieved (typically every 3 months based on preference) to check in, re-align their actions with their values, and keep moving forward. Bottom line is, the length of therapy depends on a bunch of factors specific to you, but in the end even after recommendation from your therapist, YOU decide how long you’d like to commit. (Note: If you are trying to find a specialty therapist, for example for OCD, EMDR, ART, etc. there may be a more regulated process.)
How much does it cost?
Individual Counseling is provided at Gulfside Counseling, LLC for $125/clinical hour (50 minutes). I do not accept insurance, however, I do offer a sliding scale based on income for a limited number of slots. I do this because I believe quality therapy should be accessible to ANY income bracket. Sometimes cost does determine best fit when searching for a therapist, and that’s ok! I can provide a SuperBill upon request which can be submitted to your insurance provider if you’d like to request reimbursement, however I cannot guarantee success with this. Give your insurance a call and ask them how it all works.
When can I start?
Give me a call for your free 15 minute phone consultation. It’s a way we can make sure I’m the best fit for your therapeutic needs and you can ask any other questions you may have. If all is well and I have openings, I’ll get you scheduled ASAP : ) I can’t wait to meet you!
Jessica Lombardo is a licensed therapist practicing on the gulf side of Pinellas County (get the name now? 🙂 ) in Largo, Florida. Jessica has been in the field for over 10 years and facilitates individual, couples, teen and group therapy in both her private practice, and a local adult residential facility.