FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are you accepting new clients?
We are currently accepting new clients at 10000 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20901. Face-to-Face, in-home visits and technology assisted counseling sessions are available Monday through Sunday including early morning and late evening, by appointment only. You can contact the office directly via phone at (301) 370-6613 to schedule your appointment or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Will my information be kept confidential?
The decision to see a counselor, in order to share your most personal experiences and issues can be frightening. Many people want to believe that the information that they share and even the fact that they are visiting with a counselor will be kept in the strictest confidence. Licensed professional counselors are required by law to keep ALL information confidential. The only exception is if there is reason to believe that a person’s life is in danger, a child is being sexually or physically abused, or if they receive a court order for information pertaining to a case for trial. If a therapist does not keep strict confidences, they are in danger of losing their license. In other words a therapist cannot share any information about you or what you have talked with them about to anyone unless you have first given them signed permission to do so. If you are under 18 and seeing a therapist, your parents do have access to your records. However, most therapists discourage parents from trying to obtain information in this manner and encourage either the child, parent or both to open a dialogue with one another.
Will my counselor say, "Hello!" to me in public?
In order to preserve your privacy and maintain confidentiality your counselor will not approach or acknowledge your presence in any setting outside of the office. However if you chose to approach your counselor outside of the office She/he may acknowledge you but not the therapeutic relationship you share.
The manner in which we chose to handle this situation should be discussed in advance. Some people do not want anyone to know they are in therapy and some people want to introduce their counselor as their counselor. Whatever you prefer, your counselor WILL respect your wishes.
Can our family invite our counselor over for dinner?
In order to maintain an appropriate counselor-client relationship, it is important for a counselor to avoid entering into a dual relationship with you. A dual relationship describes a connection to your counselor in a way other than as counselor-client. An example of a dual relationship is becoming “friends” with your counselor. As the therapeutic relationship grows and trust and respect are developed, it is very common for people to want to be friends with their counselor. This shift in the relationship would deteriorate therapeutic boundaries. Examples of boundary crossing would be: entering into a business arrangement, your counselor calling you “just to talk”, being invited to a party or social gathering by your counselor, or your counselor hiring you to work for them. Other boundary crossings might include a counselor hugging or touching a client in any way, particularly if that client has expressed discomfort with being touched. Some clients want to shake hands or give their therapist a short hug after a session. Since everyone is different in the area of touch and affection, it is important for you as a client to let your counselor know if it disturbs you when they touch your arm, etc., and it is important for a counselor to respect your needs.
Counselors should treat you with respect and in a professional manner. THERE IS NEVER A THERAPEUTIC REASON FOR A COUNSELOR TO DEVELOP A PHYSICALLY INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU! If your counselor tries to engage in a sexual relationship with you or even hints at the possibility, they are looking out for their interests and not yours and need to be reported to their licensing boards.