Counseling Associates of the Four States - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is counseling?

Counseling is a unique relationship between the client and the trained professional. It allows you to sort through your concerns in an emotionally supportive and safe environment. Your struggles may stem from past hurts, disappointments, trauma, or from current situations that feel overwhelming or unmanageable. We can help you heal from these wounds and reclaim you life by gaining an understanding of these issues and learning new and healthier ways to cope. This will lead to a decrease in anxiety, depression and other undesirable emotions/conditions and lead to feeling more joy and contentment in your life.


How can counseling help?

It is often hard to for people to ask for help. We often think that we should be able to handle our problems on our own or that others are dealing with worse things. It can be daunting telling a stranger your thoughts and feelings and this often causes people to struggle with their issues for years before reaching out and getting help. We have compassionate, highly skilled counselors who understand these fears and can facilitate you sorting through your concerns and gaining clarity and strength to overcome your struggles. We believe that each person has the potential within themselves to heal and it is our responsibility to provide the atmosphere and therapeutic relationship to allow these changes to occur.


What will I need to know when I call?
We will ask if you prefer male or female counselor and a general idea of your concerns so we can help select a counselor.  If you have insurance, please have your card ready so we can let you know or find out what your insurance will cover.
Do you take my insurance?
You can visit our insurance page for a list of insurances that we accept.  Not all counselors can accept each type of insurance, but we can call and find out what your insurance will cover.
Professional counselors are bound by legal and ethical guidelines to keep all information discussed in sessions confidential. No information is shared with any other person without the written consent of the client or their legal guardian. Exceptions to this are when a life is in danger and we must follow the “duty to warn” guideline to keep someone safe.
Where are you located?
We are in our new office on 26th and Jackson.  The address is 705 W. 26th Street
What can I expect at my first visit?

When you call our office to schedule an appointment you will have a knowledgeable and compassionate person to help walk you through the process. We will make sure you are set up with a counselor who will meet your needs. We will verify your insurance benefits so that you will know what is covered and what your co-pay is before your first appointment. You can complete your paperwork from our website or come in 20 minutes prior to your appointment time. Sessions are between 45-60 minutes and are usually weekly. Your counselor will determine the course of treatment and will discuss that with you.

How many sessions do I need?

This can vary greatly depending on the situation. Sometimes, short-term counseling of 4-6 sessions is all that is necessary to help find resolution to a problem. Other times it may be necessary to extend counseling to months or years depending on diagnosis and treatment goals. Your counselor will be able to provide you with some general guidelines at your first appointment when you discuss the presenting problem.

Will I be prescribed medication?
Counselors are not medical physicians and do not prescribe medications. However, we have found that there are times it is helpful, and perhaps necessary, to refer our clients to their family physicians or psychiatrists (physicians who specialize in medications for mental health problems) for medications to help reduce symptoms. Your counselor will be able to discuss this with you further based on your individual concerns.
Can I bring a family member to my session?
You can bring anyone you want to a counseling session. However, your counselor may find it beneficial to see you individually or may suggest people to include depending on the presenting problem, and they will explain this to you.
How long does a counseling session take?

A typical session is from 45 to 60 minutes. Some sessions may be 30 minutes if a longer session is not appropriate.

What is an LPC? What kind of training do they have?
Licensed Professional Counselor. All LPC’s licensed in the state of Missouri are required to hold graduate degrees in counseling or psychology with specified course requirements including practicum and internships that involve working with clients. In addition to graduate degrees, LPC’s cannot receive their Missouri licensure until they have completed two years of supervised experience under a fully licensed LPC.
When is payment due?
Unless something has been arranged with our Office Manager, payment is due at the time of the appointment.
I’m worried about someone other than myself. What should I do?
Explain to your loved one why you are worried about them and how you are willing to support them. You cannot force someone to go to counseling who does not want to, but you can provide them with sources of information and people who may be able to help. Most of the time, the first step is the hardest and if you can be there to help them make that step, then they are more likely to continue.
What if my counselor isn’t a good match for me?
Sometimes you meet someone who you don’t feel comfortable with or feel that they understand you and your specific situation. If this happens, you are in control and have the right to express your concerns to the counselor. All the counselors at CAFS want their clients to feel comfortable and good about the relationship they have and would much rather refer a client to another counselor who may be a better match, than proceed with counseling when there is something that does not feel right. If you have any questions or concerns, you are also entitled to get a second opinion. Remember, this is your mental health care and you are in charge.
For emergencies:
In an emergency where you are concerned for your wellbeing or of another person, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911. If you are calling 911 for someone else, do not leave them alone until they are with a professional.