Frequently Asked Questions
I have never been for counseling before. What is counseling like?

Counseling is talking to a qualified individual in a safe nurturing environment. For individuals,  counseling is working
through issues that are problematic to an individual.   For couples, counseling is uncovering the couple's cycle of
interaction, their dynamic, and learning to understand and change that dynamic. It is also enhancing the positive
aspects of the relationship. For families, counseling is assisting all family members to feel heard so that they can
explore the negative cycles of interaction. In some cases structural change is necessary; in other situations, the
counseling is more solution focused.

There is an initial session where the counselor will assess how much of a crisis the family is in, or how severe the
relationship issue is. Next a counseling plan will be developed that will be discussed with the client, couple or family
during the second session. After the second session then, counseling enters the initial stages. This is when the
counselor and client are getting to know each other. Here the client starts to relax and feel safe with the counselor.

The next stage is the working stage. This is when the actual work of counseling begins. Clients may be given
homework assignments. They may be asked to journal what is good in the relationship or what has changed in the
past week. The ending stages of counseling often involve maintenance of the changed behaviors and interactions.

How do I know that you are qualified to do counseling?

Be an educated consumer. Ask the counselor for a listing of his or her qualifications.  A counselor who holds a
Ph.D. has obtained the highest degree a university gives. However, if the Ph.D. is in microbiology, the person
holding that degree probably is not trained to help you with your relationship.   So, it is important that the counselor
hold a Ph.D. in one of the social sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Social Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy,
Social Work, Counseling, Mental Health Counseling).

A person who holds an Masters Degree in Social Work (M.S.W.) is qualified to do social work. These persons often
do counseling and are then called a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). They may have additional training in
Marriage and Family Therapy. Ask them if they do. For more information on social workers, please view
http://nasw.org.

Marriage and Family Therapy is very different from Individual Therapy.  An MFT has a degree from a university
giving specialized training in this field. Many other programs of training in the social sciences often give but one
course in Marriage and Family Therapy whereas a program giving out a specific degree in MFT will have at least 45
credits in this field. You can explore
http://www.aamft.org for more information and education about the field.

All counselors working under MFT NY have graduate training in marriage and family therapy either from a university
or a specialized training school. Several individuals in the MFT NY Team are pioneers in the field, having been
instrumental in influencing its direction. They have also been instrumental in the fight for licensure in NYS. Since
MFTs were recently licensed in NYS, MFT NY therapists either are already licensed as MFTs or hold a permit to
practice under the careful supervision of a supervisor while they complete the necessary requirements for licensure.

How long are the counseling sessions?

Sessions are 50 minutes once per week. As the counseling progresses, the client and therapist may decide to
schedule the counseling sessions once every other week and then eventually once per month.

I am depressed because of my relationship. Does this mean I will be in counseling for the next fifteen years?

Absolutely not. Traditionally the more psycho-analytically based therapies were longer term.  For a whole host of
reasons, managed care being one, the more recent therapies are more focused on the here and now and on
solving the problem or issue rather than probing into why the issue arose in the first place. At MFT NY the therapy is
individualized. In some cases a more in-depth approach is requested. For the most part, counseling is brief, lasting
about 25 sessions. This varies according to individuals, couples and families.  People work and explore differently.
Some individuals/couples work faster than others.

Do you accept insurance?

At the end of each counseling session, you are provided with what is called a "super bill." This is a receipt that can
be submitted to your insurance provider for reimbursement if you want to apply for out of network coverage. It lists
the counselor's name, license number, length of session code,  and the diagnosis code. In other words, it contains
all the information necessary for your insurance company to reimburse you. It is a good idea to call your insurance
company at the beginning of therapy and ask them if they reimburse for out-of-network providers. All managed care
companies have direct access to your case and your treatment. This has a direct impact on confidentiality. MFT NY
respects confidentiality.

I am part of a couple but we are gay. Do you see gay couples?

All couples who are in committed relationship are seen by the MFT NY staff. This includes premarital couples,
engaged couples, heterosexual couples, and gay and lesbian couples.
Relationship, Couple, or Family Issues                                Single Parent Household Issues
Pre-Marital Counseling                                                        Issues Around a Family Business
Chronic Illness                                                                     Sexual Abuse
Anxiety                                                                                 Incest                                                                  
Depression                                                                          Anger Issues
Substance Abuse                                                                Violence in the Couple or Family
Sexual Problems                                                                  Divorce or Family Transitions
Communication Problems                                                    Bereavement
Parenting Issues                                                                 Adolescent Issues
Feelings of Isolation                                                            Self Esteem or Self Worth
Remarriage
People pursue counseling for many different reasons. Counseling can be helpful for thinking something
through with a person who is experienced in seeing patterns in a person's life. It can also be helpful when
an individual has an issue that they are interested in solving.  Counseling can be seen as going for
consultations (second opinions), solving issues or problems, or exploring motivations for behaviors.
Why Do People Pursue Counseling?
Reasons people give for going for counseling
I have never been for counseling before. What is counseling like?
How do I know that you are qualified to do counseling?
How long are the counseling sessions?
Do you accept insurance?
I am part of a couple but we are gay. Do you see gay couples?
Tell Us Your Questions
542 Lakeview Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY 11570                      19 West 34th Street, New York, NY                        70 Glen Cove Rd Roslyn Heights NY 11577

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Marriage and Family
Therapy of New York