Recovery Services questions


What is mental health?

A person who is mentally healthy can generally manage stress, respond appropriately to problems in life, and express emotions in a healthy, productive way. If a person runs into trouble with these sorts of tasks, or has a problem that just can’t be solved, therapy may be a good option to improve mental health.


What kinds of mental health treatment are available?

Southwest Counseling Service offers individual therapy, family therapy, couples counseling, and group therapy. We also offer psychiatric medication services. Your mental health clinician will help you determine what form of therapy is going to be the most beneficial.


What can I expect at my first appointment?

Plan on spending about two hours at your first appointment. You will be asked to fill out some forms for our agency, including your consent to have treatment at Southwest Counseling Service.

You will meet with a mental health clinician who will complete an assessment with you on the computer. This person will ask you questions about your history and your reasons for coming in for counseling. At the end of the session, you and your clinician will talk about options for treatment and your treatment plan.


What if I have a therapist preference?

Talk to your assessment clinician about what you would like to get out of therapy, including the type of person you would like to work with. Many people have therapist preferences, such as preferring to work with a man or a woman or to participate in a particular type of therapy.

Southwest Counseling Service clinicians also have areas of expertise, so you may be referred to a specific person. If you like the person you meet with for your assessment, you can ask to keep working with that person.


How long does mental health treatment last?

Mental health treatment is as brief as possible, and your treatment plan is tailored to your needs. Most people do not stay in therapy long-term. For some types of mental health concerns, medication management may be required long-term.

Individual therapy sessions last 50-60 minutes, unless you and your clinician make other arrangements.


Does therapy make a difference?

Most people find that therapy makes a difference to them. If you are ready to make changes in your life and willing to work on your treatment plan, you will begin to see positive results.


I would like to bring my child in for therapy. What do I do?

Therapy is different for children than it is for adults. It is critical that the parents / caregiver be involved and participate in the child’s treatment. Therapy for children often involves some sort of play.

When talk therapy is used, it will be used at a level that your child can understand. You will be asked to be involved in your child’s therapy, but you may not need to attend every session. Your child’s clinician can talk with you more about the treatment plan.



I've seen group therapy on television and that’s not for me. Why is group therapy recommended?

Group therapy doesn't usually look like it does on television. Southwest Counseling Service mental health groups strive to be supportive and help people make progress in improving their mental health. Sometimes it can be very useful to learn from your peers, be supportive and to help them learn from you.

Group therapy is also a great option for meeting with a clinician every week. We offer a variety of mental health groups. Talk with your clinician about which group is right for you and about why group therapy was recommended.


How much does therapy cost?

Southwest Counseling Service bills insurance companies, Medicaid, and Medicare. Some companies offer employee assistance programs that provide several free sessions of counseling.

Southwest Counseling Service also operates on a sliding fee scale. The amount you pay for a session will depend on your household income. That is why you will be asked to provide proof of income at your first session. Even if you are covered by insurance, it is important to set up your sliding fees in case you want to participate in therapy that is not covered by your insurance company.


What about confidentiality?

Southwest Counseling Service takes your privacy very seriously, and we work hard to protect your confidentiality. Your information is kept in secure files, and is not shared with anyone without your consent.

There are some exceptions to that, which are legal reasons that your clinician would have to share information about you without your consent. Those include, but are not limited to, a serious medical emergency or threat to life, legally reportable information about child or adult neglect, or if there is a valid court order requiring information.

Sometimes people come to Southwest Counseling Service as a result of a court order or because of legal problems. If that is the case, we will usually have you sign a release of information form allowing us to contact your referral source about your therapy. This is often necessary to let the referral source know that you are attending therapy and how you are progressing.

For more information about all of the limits to confidentiality, as well as information about the employee code of ethics, please view the client information guide.

What is a sliding fee scale?

This is a subsidized fee scale based on gross household income and the number of people in the household. This is offered because we are partially funded by the state.

Phone: (307) 352-6677

Southwest Counseling Service | Enriching lives through wellness, recovery, and hope