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   Why Do People Pursue Counseling?

People pursue counseling for many different reasons. Counseling can be helpful for thinking somethingthrough with a person who is experienced in seeing patterns in a person's life. It can also be helpful whenan individual has an issue that they are interested in solving. Counseling can be seen as going forconsultations (second opinions), solving issues or problems, or exploring motivations for behaviors.

   Reasons people give for going for counseling

  • Relationship, Couple, or Family Issues                               

  • Pre-Marital Counseling                                                           

  • Chronic Illness                                                                           

  • Anxiety                                                                                                                                                           

  • Depression                                                                                  

  • Substance Abuse                                                                      

  • Sexual Problems                                                                     

  • Communication Problems                                                     

  • Parenting Issues                                                                     

  • Feelings of Isolation                                                              

  • Remarriage

  • Single Parent Household Issues

  • Issues Around a Family Business

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Incest      

  • Anger Issues

  • Violence in the Couple or Family

  • Divorce or Family Transitions

  • Bereavement

  • Adolescent Issues

  • Self Esteem or Self Worth

   Tell Us Your Questions

  • 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?

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 workingthrough issues that are problematic to an individual.   For couples, counseling is uncovering the couple's cycle ofinteraction, their dynamic, and learning to understand and change that dynamic. It is also enhancing the positiveaspects of the relationship. For families, counseling is assisting all family members to feel heard so that they canexplore the negative cycles of interaction. In some cases structural change is necessary; in other situations, thecounseling 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 aPh.D. has obtained the highest degree a university gives. However, if the Ph.D. is in microbiology, the personholding that degree probably is not trained to help you with your relationship.   So, it is important that the counselorhold 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


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 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 ofreasons, managed care being one, the more recent therapies are more focused on the here and now and onsolving the problem or issue rather than probing into why the issue arose in the first place. At MFT NY the therapy isindividualized. In some cases a more in-depth approach is requested. For the most part, counseling is brief, lastingabout 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 canbe submitted to your insurance provider for reimbursement if you want to apply for out of network coverage. It liststhe counselor's name, license number, length of session code,  and the diagnosis code. In other words, it containsall the information necessary for your insurance company to reimburse you. It is a good idea to call your insurancecompany at the beginning of therapy and ask them if they reimburse for out-of-network providers. All managed carecompanies have direct access to your case and your treatment. This has a direct impact on confidentiality. MFT NYrespects 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.


        To schedule an appointment call or E-Mail us at

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