Common Questions [FAQ's]
- 1. Do I really need counseling? I can usually handle my problems.[+]Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, counseling is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation for the better by seeking counseling. Counseling provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
We usually don't hesitate to call a professional plumber, car mechanic, or bookkeeper when we need help in those areas of our lives. When we need help in relationships, why wouldn't we also call a professional counselor to help us with that?
- 2. How can counseling help me?[+]A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Counselors can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem, or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from counseling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from counseling include:
- Getting a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
- 3. What is counseling like? What should I expect?[+]You can expect a very relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Our counselors pride themselves on making you feel right at home. You will also be able to set the pace of the sessions… no one will force you to go where you aren't ready to go. They may encourage you for your own good, but you will not be forced.
Every counseling session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during counseling sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes or more depending on your needs. The counseling process can 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 take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain emotions. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking counseling are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of counseling and your counselor:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
- An unbiased, objective, and fresh perspective on the issue you are struggling with
- 4. Is counseling at Restoration Counseling Service Biblical?[+]Your faith is an important aspect of who you are, and we respect that! In fact, our counseling integrates biblical principles as well as the findings of scientific research.
If you prefer to keep your counseling sessions secular, that's not a problem either. We will always do what's best for you in helping you to reach your goals in a manner that you are most comfortable with.
The counseling is about you and for you, not about us. Our only agenda is to help you.
- 5. Is medication a substitute for counseling?[+]In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, counseling addresses the cause of our distresses and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative and holistic approach to wellness.
- 6. Do you accept insurance?[+]We do not bill any insurance companies. There are several reasons for this and they benefit you (our clients) in very important ways.
We are a fee-for-service counseling office, which means we do not file insurance claims. Nevertheless, if you decide to file your own claim for reimbursement from your insurance company, we will be happy to provide you with the documentation you will need. Many of our current clients do this. We recommend that you contact your insurance company in advance to see if they will reimburse you for "out-of-network counseling" if this is important to you.
Also by having you fill out and mail the insurance claim form, instead of us, we can keep our rates reasonable. This arrangement also allows our counselors to spend more time in session with you instead of filling out insurance forms! Most other counselors will give you 40-45 minutes for an appointment, at Restoration Counseling Service you will get 55 minutes or more every time! That's about 25% more time for you. The truth is that we don't enjoy filling out those forms any more than you do, but do you really want to pay someone else to fill out your forms or to focus on solid, helpful counseling? We agree.
Because we don't divert our attention to insurance companies, you will benefit from shorter waiting room times, more focused attention from your counselor, longer appointments, and overall better care. Furthermore, when insurance companies are involved, their needs and procedures often become the driving force of the counseling, not what is in the best interest of you, our client. Do you want your counselor spending their time meeting the needs of your insurance company or answering solely to you?
And finally, many insurance companies will have a set number of sessions they allow per diagnosis. In other words, if your marriage is in trouble the insurance company may allow you 6 sessions of marriage counseling per their policy. How can they determine that you need 6 sessions when they don't even know what your specific challenges are? This is like your auto mechanic saying that your car only needs an oil change when the transmission just fell out!
We do firmly believe that your counseling needs are best determined by you and your counselor only, without an insurance company in the middle.
- 7. How long will I/we need to be in counseling?[+]How long you remain in counseling is a matter best left in your hands. Counseling is a process and change does not happen overnight. For instance, you will be given homework periodically and asked to apply what you are learning to your everyday life. So a good way to look at the process and time frame is to be sure you are putting as much into it as you can in session and outside of the session. However, if at any point you feel that counseling is not helping, please inform us and we will work together to find out what we can do to help the process be more effective.
That being said, counseling goals can be accomplished in a few short weeks or can take a year or more. Our goal is to not be needed by you anymore. When that has been accomplished, we are content because you are.
- 8. My spouse and I need counseling, but he/she refuses to come. What should I do?[+]We realize how disappointing it is to not have your spouse want to participate with you in counseling. But you do not have to go through this alone!
Although it would be beneficial if your spouse did attend counseling with you, the relationship can improve by working on your contribution to the relationship. Your counselor will work with you to explore what patterns have developed that are keeping you and your spouse from experiencing the marriage you both desire. We will discuss the ways that you can change and feel better about yourself which many times increases the chance that your spouse will want to join you in the future.
- 9. What are your fees and what kinds of payment do you accept?[+]We actually offer different fees depending on what your needs are and which one of our counselors is the best fit for your needs. If you are not sure how to pick the best counselor for you, please call and we would be more than happy to help with that.
To find each counselor's fees, go to our "Fees" page. (You will find it below the "Schedules" link in the navigation bar near the top of the screen.) Additionally, you can schedule a complimentary 20 minute phone consultation with one of our counselors to find out more about specific services. Finally, a phone consultation will give us the opportunity to find out more about you and your situation and to see if what we have to offer would be a good option for you.
You can pay for your counseling by cash, check, or credit card. As far as credit cards are concerned, we accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express cards. Also, if you prefer to use a credit card, you can enter your credit card information into your online appointment profile. That way your card can be quickly processed at the end of your appointment and you will receive maximum session time from your counselor.
- 10. What is your cancellation policy?[+]Here is our official policy on cancellations:
Please give a minimum of 48 hours notice if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, which you can do by logging into your online appointment account or by contacting your counselor. This allows us to work efficiently and keep our fees reasonable for you. If less than 24 notice is given for a cancellation, you can be charged for your appointment. Thank you in advance for your consideration and understanding.
This is the fairest way for us to respect each other's time.
- 11. Is counseling confidential?[+]In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and therapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are a few exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, the therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
- 12. Can you help me to understand what an intern is?[+]That is a great question and most people would have no idea how all of this works.
The process for becoming a state licensed counselor (Marriage and Family Therapist, or MFT) is a long and arduous one. A person must complete both an undergraduate degree and a graduate (masters) degree. Next, they must seek many hours of counseling themselves so that they can accurately understand what counseling is like from a client perspective. At this point, they can become a Trainee, working closely with a state-certified supervisor. Once this stage has been successfully completed, a trainee can become an intern. By this time, most people in this field are about 5 years into their formal education and are ready to begin their internships. From this point, it usually takes 3-4 years to acquire the 3000 hours needed to complete an internship.
So, when you see that some of our counselors are interns, that should mean several things to you:
- This person has been in this field for many years.
- This person has a fair amount of experience.
- This person works closely with a supervisor which gives you the benefit of two counselors working on your behalf.
- This person is usually able to offer a lower fee.
- This person is already a good counselor or they never would have made it this far!
If you ever have questions about our interns, please reach out to Tami Miller (our state-certified intern supervisor and director) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 13. How do I get started?[+]We prefer that you contact us by phone at (909) 255-1250. This way we can be sure that we have answered all of your questions and helped you find the counselor who is the best fit for you. Additionally, you can use the general "Contact Us" form here.
If you call, we will usually offer to set up a FREE 20 minute phone consultation with no obligation whatsoever. It really is the best way for us to break the ice with you and address some of your concerns.
You can schedule your first appointment using our convenient online scheduler by clicking here, but we do ask that you call us first so that we can help you find the right counselor for you. The schedules, specialties, and fees of our staff counselors varies greatly.
Be sure to visit the Helpful Forms page (if one is available for your counselor) to download your Intake Form, Limits of Confidentiality Form, and (if needed) the No Secrets Policy. If applicable, fill out each form and bring it with you to your first appointment. Your counselor will usually instruct you on which forms to bring with you to your first appointment.
- 14. What is Neurofeedback? What conditions can be treated?[+]Neurofeedback is systematically teaching the brain to forget bad habits and learn good habits instead. Neurofeedback is possible using a high-tech computer system that allows your brain activity to be monitored on a computer screen. After the areas where the brain is misbehaving are identified, it can be retrained.
Once you understand HOW it works, it makes perfect sense WHY it works. For Restoration Counseling Service it represents a new set of tools in our "Helping you to become all that you were intended to be" toolbox.
Correctable conditions include:
- diagnoses of ADHD/ADD
- Autism and developmental delays
- speech delay
- anger outbursts
- oppositional defiance
- night terrors
- teeth grinding
- TMJ or “Lock jaw”
- daytime sleepiness
- cerebral palsy
- restless leg syndrome (RLS)
- and more.
If you have questions that you would like answered before you get started with neurofeedback, please contact Alisa or Brad. You can learn more about neurofeedback at a special web page devoted to it here.
- 15. Does RCS offer low cost or no cost counseling options?[+]We cannot offer low cost or no cost options for our premium services.
We have chosen not to bill insurance companies which we believe allows us to offer better counseling and better service than anyone else around. See Do you accept insurance on this page for more information on how to use your existing insurance to pay for our services.
Nonetheless, we want to help those who need it even if Restoration Counseling Service is not the right fit for you. Below are four counseling options that offer no/low-cost counseling services. We do not have information about which insurance companies they bill, since this changes often.
1. County of San Bernardino Dept. of Behavioral Health - (909) 381- 2420
2. The Community Counseling Center - (909) 537- 5569
3. Catholic Charities - (909) 763- 4970
4. Loma Linda Social Action Community Health System - (909) 382- 7100