Common Questions

Is therapy right for me?

Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of a therapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. 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.

What can I expect in a therapy session?

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. During therapy sessions it is standard to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to do some "homework" outside of the therapy session, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. Between sessions it is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and in between the sessions. It is the function of the therapist to listen, to understand, and to be helpful to the fullest extent of her professional training. It is your responsbility to help the therapist understand your life situation, thoughts, and feelings, and to have the courage to try to master problem areas. Although no one can solve your problems for you, we are usually quite successful in helping clients cope with their own difficulties.

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

Therapy can provide insight and new perspectives into life's challenges and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a therapist can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics, and can ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful. Overall, people in therapy tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict, and improved quality of life.

Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
  • Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
  • Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior
  • Increasing confidence, peace, vitality, and well-being
  • Improving ways to manage anger, depression and moods
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
  • Improving listening and communication skills
  • Enhancing the overall quality of life

What are your office hours?

Our office is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. We are open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Friday. We do not have appointments available on the weekend.

Do you prescribe medications?

Our clinical licenses do not allow us to write prescriptions. If it is determined that you may need medication, we can refer you to your family doctor or a local psychiatrist for evaluation. We are always happy to consult with a client's physician whenever needed.

Do I need a referral for counseling from my primary care physician?

Most insurance companies do not require referral from a primary care physician; you can call us directly to schedule an appointment. It is always wise to check with your insurance company before calling to schedule an intial appointment.

Do you provide the service of Christian counseling?

We do not provide traditional Christian counseling services. On a personal level, our therapists are active in their Christian churches, and have strong connections with their own spiritual faiths. However, our training is from a clinical perspective, rather than pastoral care. It is our job to determine if you have a spiritual faith that provides a basis of strength and comfort for you. If so, we attempt to help you find a way to utilize that spiritual faith to work toward your personal growth and goals. We work with clients from many different religious preferences, and have complete respect for our clients' values.

Do you perform psychological testing?

No, we do not do psychological testing or evaluations. Once again, we will be happy to make a referral to a licensed psychologist for such services if needed.

How long is a therapy session?

We schedule clients on the hour. Therapy sessions are scheduled to last 50 minutes.

Do you have a waiting list for new clients?

The length of time that it takes to get an intake appointment scheduled varies. In some cases, a new client may be seen within a week's time. In other cases, particularly if you require late afternoon appointments on a consistent basis, you may have to wait a few weeks before we can make an intake appointment for you. We are committed to providing quality care to the clients on our current caseload. Once you are seen at James River Counseling for your initial visit, we will then be able to provide sessions for you in a timely manner that will meet your needs. Most often, we like to see new clients on a weekly basis to get the process started. Again, please call our office manager and she can help you with scheduling

Due to insurance liability issues and office space constraints, we do not offer internships or residencies for graduate students enrolled in Master's level counseling programs. Our three counselors have been certified by their licensure boards to provide clinical supervision for post-graduate residents in counseling who are seeking licensure. However, we do not have the malpractice insurance coverage or the space available for those residents to see clients in our office.