Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Table of Contents
1. Is what we talk about in session kept confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a therapist and client. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust and confidentiality. We provide every client a "Privacy Disclosure Statement" that goes into detail about the privacy of sessions.
Every employee of New Life Counseling must sign a confidentiality agreement upon becoming employed in our practice. We adhere to strict guidelines as to maintaining the privacy of our clients.
We will not release any information about you or any appointments you may have or have had to anyone without your prior written authorization. We will not schedule or cancel appointments for you through any third party unless you have provided our office with your express written consent to do so.
State law requires therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children or the elderly to the authorities, including child protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources
If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming themselves or has threatened to harm another person
2. How can I make sure no one will know I am seeing a counselor?
As indicated above we make every effort to protect your confidentiality. We however have no control over and will assume no responsibility if you encounter someone you know on the grounds of our property or if someone may see you entering our building.
3. How long has NLC been open?
Dr. Ryan Dunn started New Life Counseling as a solo private practice in August of 1996. It has grown over the years to include 2 locations and now has a staff of 16.
4. What are the credentials of the counselors?
Every counselor is licensed by the state of Ohio to diagnose and treat mental health disorders. Some have earned a supervisory designation which allows them to supervise others in their field.
5. Do you see children? What ages?
We do treat children in our practice. We have several counselors who can work with your child to provide effective clinical therapeutic measures which have been proven to be effective and produce positive outcomes. We see children age 4 through their adolescent years.
6. Do I need a referral from my doctor
You normally do not need a referral from your doctor to be seen by a counselor. Every insurance company is different though, so you may want to call the member services number of the back of your insurance card and ask them if a referral is necessary.
7. Can my spouse come with me?
If you are coming for individual therapy, you are welcome to bring your spouse with you to your initial appointment if it will make you more comfortable. Your therapist will develop a plan for your treatment and will help you to manage those individual appointments in a way that is beneficial to you. If you are coming in for relationship or marital therapy then it will be most beneficial for both of you to attend every session, unless otherwise instructed by your counselor.
8. If I am bringing my child, will I get to talk to the therapist?
Normally the answer is yes. Our counselors will often take a few moments either before they speak with your child or after to make sure they talk with the parent or guardian. This keeps the therapist informed about any specific issues or concerns that the parents have since the last visit. Sometimes the therapist will want to talk with the parent or guardian after they have had time with the child in an effort to communicate any specific issues that arose during the session or to aid in any “homework” assignments the therapist gave the child. Though it is rare, there may be times when the counselor has taken extra time with your child and needs to move on to their next client and therefore they are unable to talk with you.
9. If I make an appointment for my child, do I have to be at the appointment as well?
When you call and make that first appointment for your child, and your child is a minor, we do require that you come to the first appointment. A lot of background information is gathered at the first session and it is imperative that the parent or legal guardian is there to assist in providing the necessary information. In the event that the child’s parents are divorced or are not in the child’s life, the custodial parent or the legal guardian must accompany the child to the appointment. If the child is a minor we are mandated by state and federal regulations to insure that only the person who is legally responsible for that child be the one who makes the appointments and brings them to the first appointment. We require that you bring copies of the appropriate custodial documents with you to the appointment so that we can keep those on file.
After the first appointment, parents will not accompany the child into the counseling session.
10. What is counseling exactly?
This answer is going to differ from person to person. It's completely subjective, and depends on the values, viewpoints, and style of the counselor. And typically, it isn't what it's shown like in the movies.
In general terms, counseling is a collaborative, therapeutic relationship. A counselor (also called a therapist) and a client facilitate a relationship based on comfort, trust, confidentiality, and rapport. They work together on specified goals for the betterment and benefit of the client. The therapist assists the client by providing a non-judging, unbiased environment, designed to foster positive inner growth and change. If this sounds like something that could benefit you, please contact us. We can get started today, or consult further about whether this is the right thing for you.
11. What type of clients do you see?
Our office sees many different type of clients, including individuals, couples, families, adolescents, and children. Please click on the services tab to see if we are able to assist with the issue or need you are having.
12. How long and how often are sessions?
The first session, known as the Intake Session, usually last almost an hour. Sessions after that are typically 50 minutes in length. If you need more/less time, we can certainly accommodate and determine a better length for you.
Generally, clients are seen once a week. This is something that is determined by your needs. You are very welcome to consult with us and we can discuss what you feel might be best for you. Being seen more or less often is mainly determined by your needs, but your preference on how often you are seen is also considered.
13. When do you offer sessions?
Our counselors see clients Monday through Friday and have a variety of day, afternoon and evening appointments available. We make every attempt to work with your schedule when making initial and follow up appointments.
14. What if I have to cancel or I forget my appointment?
Keeping your scheduled appointments is imperative to successful treatment. When our office staff or counselors schedule an appointment for you, we are reserving that time specifically for you. Unlike some other medical offices, we do not double book appointment times. We know that setting aside those 50 minutes specifically for your care will allow you to reach the full potential of your treatment. Because we set that time aside specifically for each client, we are not always able to fill that time if you do not show for an appointment or you cancel the day of your appointment.
We do understand that sometimes life events do require us to cancel an appointment. We require that all clients give a full 24 hour notice if they will be unable to make it to an appointment. This includes initial intake appointments. If you do not show up for an appointment or you cancel within 24 hours of a scheduled appointment you will be charged a fee of $75. If you late cancel or do not show for an appointment on two consecutive occasions, you will be required to pay the late fees in full before any further appointments are made. New Life Counseling counselors reserve the right to terminate clients who habitually late cancel or no show for appointments.
Insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid will NOT pay for late cancellation or No-Show fees. Any fees incurred are the responsibility of the client or the client’s responsible party in the case of a minor.
15. What is the office like?
Our offices are located in a private building and all of our office is on the ground floor and handicapped accessible. Our office provides a safe, relaxed, and comfortable environment from our waiting room to our counseling offices. All of our offices are tastefully decorated and have comfortable seating. Our spacious waiting room provides enough seating to comfortably accommodate you when you arrive.
Our pleasant office staff will greet you upon arrival, check you in and collect any co-pay, deductible, or self-pay amounts that are owed. They will collect any paperwork that you may have and will make a copy of your insurance card and will notify your counselor that you have arrived. You will be asked to complete a Brief Mood Survey upon arrival that will be used by your counselor to assess how you are doing before your session starts. Your counselor will greet you at the door and guide you to their office for your session.
Our office plays contemporary Christian music in our waiting room and throughout our administrative office. You will be offered a variety of beverages that you may take into the counseling sessions with you.
16. Where is your office located?
We have two offices. Our main office is located in downtown Dover, on the corner of West Third and Walnut. We also have an office located within the Fishcreek Nazarene Church in Stow.
17. What can clients expect to feel prior to the initial session?
You might feel nervous and overwhelmed with the feeling of wondering what to expect. If you’ve never had prior counseling, you might even wonder what it looks like. The most important factors in counseling are trust and comfort. We will be talking about you and your life in a way that suits your comfort and builds your trust. Once we gain that and have a working relationship where these exist, we can explore deficits and the things in your life that are hindering you from achieving your goals, causing you discomfort, or confusion and anxiety. Counseling can be a scary notion if you’ve never had it; however it is our aim to make you as comfortable as possible and work at your pace.
18. What paperwork will I need to complete before I come to a session?
There are several documents that you will need to complete and bring with you to that first appointment. The New Client Intake Form is a questionnaire that is used to gather data from you that will be entered into your client file. It tells your counselor a lot about your past, the presenting issues, what you want to get out of therapy, and other important information. There are also documents you will need to complete that authorize our staff to submit claims on your behalf to your insurance carrier; authorize us to speak to other health providers, legal counsel, pastors or family members about your care or treatment; and acknowledge your understanding of our office policies.
19. What if I forget to bring my paperwork with me to my first appointment?
The paperwork is required to be presented prior to your session starting so that our office staff can make sure that you have signed all documentation granting the counselor the authorization to treat you. Therefore, you cannot see a counselor without the proper documentation being completed. If you forget your paperwork but you have arrived at least 15 minutes prior to your appointed session time, you will be given paperwork to complete in the office. If you arrive within five minutes of, at the time of, or after the start time of your appointment, you will need to reschedule for another time.
20. What do clients feel during the first session?
Walking in the door to a new counselor is the scariest part of counseling. It’s also one of the bravest steps you can take in improving your life and creating a happier, healthier you. Once you do that, then we can work as a team to continue taking steps toward your happiness and improvement. It will be more understandable because we will be working collaboratively, so a lot of that anxiety in initially coming in should subside.
21. How do sessions start?
In the initial session, your therapist will get to know you, your strengths, weakness and the reason you are seeking therapy. They will answer any questions that you have about the counseling process or anything that you are interested in. Your therapist will explain the counseling process and get to know a little more about what brings you in. Your therapist will have already gone over your intake information, and will use the information from the paperwork you provide, as a background but will like to explore what brings you in more thoroughly. You and your therapist will create somewhat of an outline of what you’d prefer your sessions/treatment to look like. Your therapist will then devise a custom plan on how to proceed with your personalized treatment to reach maximum results. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions at the beginning of therapy. If you are going through extremely difficult challenges, you may need a 90 minute session. There may be times when you are asked to read a relevant book or to keep track of certain behaviors. It is important to integrate what has been discussed in session into your life. Therapy is most effective if you commit 100% to the process.
22. How do sessions end?
Sessions end when we have reached the fifty minute mark and can conceptualize and summarize the work you have done for that day. Often times, we will create future goals, assign homework that may entail reading from resources we provide or you can purchase, completing issue specific worksheets or other item the counselor may feel is appropriate for you. These sessions are for your benefit so our counselors will work with you to decide what additional actions or activities you feel are most appropriate! Your counselor will end each session by scheduling your next session or perhaps several sessions which may be weekly or bi-weekly depending on what suits your needs.
23. When does therapy end?
Therapy ends ideally when the client and the therapist can recognize that goals have been reached and for the client there is a sense of life accomplishment. Therapy can also end if the client feels as though they are at an impasse, not fitting with the therapist, are not ready to change, and so forth.
24. What if I don't connect with my therapist?
If you feel as though you and your therapist are not ‘fitting’ well together, we are happy to schedule you with a different member of our clinical staff or refer you to another therapist outside of our practice. Being open and honest is a key in therapy, and being able to tell your therapist that you desire a different counselor is your right.
25. Can therapy help me?
There are a number of benefits available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, tools and strategies for many issues. If you do not feel that you have major issues, a therapist can simply help you with managing personal growth. They can give a fresh perspective on your relationship, work and life in general. 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. Therapy can help work through major disorders and life issues or it can simply give you encouragement.
26. How long will counseling take?
Treatment is a highly subjective experience, and as such the length of time is dependent upon the individual. Length of treatment is determined by the client's motivation, complexity of the presenting issues, and availability of resources.
27. What types of counseling does your group offer?
Individual Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Couples Therapy, Play Therapy, Pre-Marital Counseling, E-Therapy (Skype/Phone), Pain Management, Hypnotherapy
28. What are the differences between a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and a Psychiatrist?
A Licensed Clinical Psychologist ( Ph.D. or Psy.D.)is a mental health provider licensed by the Psychology Board in the State of Ohio. A Licensed Psychologist typically has a doctoral degree in psychology or a related field, and training which includes over 100 credit hours of graduate or post-doctoral supervised training. While on a pre-doctoral and post-doctoral internship, the student provides mental health services under the supervision of a Licensed Psychologist.
Once the degree is completed (post-doctoral stage), the potential psychologist must find mental health agencies and supervisor(s) who will support them in their pursuit of licensure. Once they find such sites and persons, they register their "supervisory experience" with the state committee noted above. They then complete 2,000 hours of supervised practice, after which time they apply for licensure. Once the supervised experience is completed and the license is approved, they become a Licensed Psychologist and are eligible for unsupervised independent practice as a licensed mental health provider.
A Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (L.P.C.C.) is a mental health service provider licensed by the Board of Professional Counselors and Social Workers in the State of Ohio. A Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor typically has a master’s degree in psychology or a related field, training which includes 30 - 45 credit hours of graduate work and a 1,000 clock-hour internship. While on internship the student provides mental health services under the supervision of a licensed provider.
Once the degree is completed, the potential counselor must find mental health agencies and supervisor(s) who will support them in their pursuit of licensure. Once they find such sites and persons, they register their "supervisory experience" with the state committee noted above. They then complete 3,000 hours of supervised practice, after which time they apply for licensure. Once all work except for the 3,000 hours is complete (coursework, etc.) they can register with the state committee as a candidate for licensure. At that time, they can call themselves Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselors (L.P.C). Once the supervised experience is complete and they have completed and passed the appropriate licensure examination, the license is approved, and they become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and are eligible for unsupervised independent practice as a licensed mental health provider.
A Licensed Social Worker (L.S.W.) is a mental health service provider licensed by the Board of Professional Counselors and Social Workers in the State of Ohio. A Licensed Social Worker typically has a master’s degree in social work. Licensed Social Workers differ from Licensed Clinical Psychologists and Licensed Professional Counselors in that their training and areas of work typically involve working with larger systems (Families, Schools, etc.) rather than individuals or couples.
Once the degree is completed, the potential Licensed Social Worker must find mental health agencies and supervisor(s) who will support them in their pursuit of licensure. Once they find such sites and persons, they register their "supervisory experience" with the State committee noted above. They then complete 3,000 hours of supervised practice, after which time they apply for licensure. Once all work except for the 3,000 hours is complete (coursework, etc.) they can register with the state committee as a candidate for licensure. Once the supervised experience is complete and the license is approved, they become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and are eligible for unsupervised independent practice as a licensed mental health provider.
A Psychiatrist is a licensed physician, who completed their training in medical school and treats their clients through the use of medication.
29. What is EMDR ?
EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a psychotherapy approach which assists in relieving the stress of traumatic events as well as assists in helping someone fulfill their potential. EMDR uses specific, focused strategies which stimulate access to dysfunctionally-stored information, forging new associations within and between memory networks.
30. What is psychological testing and when should it be done?
Psychological testing is used to help a mental health professional gain a greater understanding of the presenting issues of a child or an adult. It can be used to help determine a diagnosis such as ADHD, Depression, learning disabilities, fitness-for-duty evaluations, domestic violence evaluations or other health issues. It is often used when a diagnosis is unclear. Psychological testing is NOT always needed.
31. Do you offer psychological testing?
Yes. Our Psychologists are able to provide a variety of testing measures that are used for diagnosis, treatment planning and reporting purposes.
32. Will insurance cover mental health services?
New Life Counseling is contracted with Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare and is a participating in network provider with most major insurance carriers. A list of the insurance companies we are in network with is provided here. We are an "out of network" provider for other insurance companies. Many insurance companies provide mental health services under the medical portion of your policy. At the time you schedule an appointment, as a service to you, our member of our dedicated administrative staff will call your insurance provider to check your insurance eligibility, determine if you have mental health benefits, and gather information pertaining to any deductibles you may have and what any co-pay or co-insurance amounts will be at the time of your visit. If you wish to call to see if mental health services are covered, please ask the following question.
Do I have mental health benefits?
What does my plan cover for "out-patient, out-of-network mental health"?
What is my deductible and how much has been met?
Are there any co-pays or co-insurance fees that apply?
Is pre-authorization required?
How many sessions per calendar year?
33. Will you bill my insurance?
Our insurance billing staff will send a claim to your insurance company within 24 hours of the completion of your session. Insurance normally takes between 30 to 60 days to process.
34. What are your counseling fees?
The fee for a new Intake (your first session) is $150.00. After the initial session, fees are as follows:
Individual sessions: $120.00
Family sessions: $130.00
Extended sessions: $180.00
35. What are you consulting fees?
Our standard consulting fee is $125.00 per hour plus travel expenses
36. What are your fees for premarital counseling?
Our premarital counseling is a 6 week program. The fee for premarital counseling is $300.00 and includes an online testing fee, workbook fees, and the fee for the counselor. This fee is not insurance billable and the total fee for the program is due at the first session. However, these fees can be purchased as a gift for the couple or in some instances may be partially underwritten by the couple’s local church.
We have a sliding scale reduced fee program that is available on a limited basis. The sliding scale fees range from $95.00 - $125.00. Proof of income, expenses, and family size are required. Call for details.
38. What form of payment do you accept?
You can pay your co-pay and balances with Cash, Check, Visa, Discover, MasterCard, or American Express. You can make a payment in our office, over the phone, by mail, or directly through our website. You also can ask our staff about keeping a credit card on file and we can automatically charge your card for any co-pay associated with a completed session or for any balances that may occur once insurance payments are received or for any other fees.
39. What is the difference between addiction, abuse and dependence?
Addiction - Inability to control an impulse despite negative consequences associated with pursuing it
Abuse - A maladaptive pattern of behavior that is not considered dependent
Dependence - When an individual persists in a behavior despite problems related to that behavior, dependence may be diagnosed. Compulsive and repetitive use may result in tolerance to the effect of the behavior and withdrawal symptoms are possible when behavior is reduced or stopped
40. What are your social networking policies?
Websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all social networks available for counselors to use but they all have strict protocols to follow in regards to privacy. Boundaries are a great thing when it comes to social media. Relationships between client and therapist are deep and profound, built on respect and sometimes evolving into an abiding feeling of deep connection. But as mental health professionals, we have an obligation to keep social media to a therapist/client relationship and not a friendship.
41. Do your counselors dispense medications?
No, our counselors are Licensed Mental Health Counselors who are not authorized by the state of Ohio to prescribe or dispense medications. You will need to contact your medical doctor or a psychiatrist for your prescription medications.
42. How can I contact New Life Counseling for an appointment or other information?
Our office hours are
8:00 AM to 8:00 PM - Monday through Wednesday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Thursday
8:00 AM to 1:00 pm on Friday.
Therapist office hours vary per therapist and range from 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM.
Phone – 330-343-6600
Fax – 330-343-6405
Facebook – New Life Counseling
The office is closed during all major US holidays.
43. Are you a religious organization?
We are a private counseling practice. We offer non-denominational Christian counseling to those individuals requesting that service. We are not affiliated with any church or religious organization. All or our therapists are Christians and active in their respective churches.
44. Do you have to include religion in therapy?
Absolutely not! Approximately 25% of our clients involve their faith in their therapy. Faith and religion are included only at the discretion and request of the client.
45. Do you go to court?
No, we do not go to court.
46. What are the main systems of psychotherapy?
The following are short descriptions of various psychotherapy approaches. Our therapists use various systems unique to their own training and philosophical orientation, which may or may not include the approaches described below.
Psychoanalytic - This was the first practice to be called psychotherapy. It encourages the verbalization of all the patient's thoughts, including free associations, fantasies, and dreams, from which the analyst formulates the nature of the unconscious conflicts which are causing the patient's symptoms and character problems.
Behavior therapy/applied behavior analysis - Focuses on changing maladaptive patterns of behavior to improve emotional responses, cognitions, and interactions with others.
Cognitive-behavioral - Generally seeks to identify maladaptive cognitions, appraisal, beliefs and reactions with the aim of influencing destructive negative emotions and problematic dysfunctional behaviors.
Psychodynamic - A form of depth psychology, whose primary focus is to reveal the unconscious content of a client's psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension. Although its roots are in psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy tends to be briefer and less intensive than traditional psychoanalysis.
Existential - Based on the existential belief that human beings are alone in the world. This isolation leads to feelings of meaninglessness, which can be overcome only by creating one's own values and meanings. Existential therapy is philosophically associated with phenomenology.
Humanistic - Emerged in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis and is therefore known as the Third Force in the development of psychology. It is explicitly concerned with the human context of the development of the individual with an emphasis on subjective meaning, a rejection of determinism, and a concern for positive growth rather than pathology. It posits an inherent human capacity to maximize potential, 'the self-actualizing tendency'. The task of Humanistic therapy is to create a relational environment where this tendency might flourish.Humanistic psychology is philosophically rooted in existentialism.
Brief - "Brief therapy" is an umbrella term for a variety of approaches to psychotherapy. It differs from other schools of therapy in that it emphasizes (1) a focus on a specific problem and (2) direct intervention. It is solution-based rather than problem-oriented. It is less concerned with how a problem arose than with the current factors sustaining it and preventing change.
Systemic - Seeks to address people not on an individual level, as is often the focus of other forms of therapy, but as people in relationship, dealing with the interactions of groups, their patterns and dynamics (includes family therapy & marriage counseling). Community psychology is a type of systemic psychology.
Transpersonal - Addresses the client in the context of a spiritual understanding of consciousness.
Body Psychotherapy - Addresses problems of the mind as being closely correlated with bodily phenomena, including a person's sexuality, musculature, breathing habits, physiology etc. This therapy may involve massage and other body exercises as well as talking.