​​Wellspring Counseling Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Wellspring Counseling Center223 S Batavia AveBataviaIllinois 60510, United States(630) 406-6174

I've had a bad experience with counseling in the past.  Why should I expect this time to be different?
Too many people have had negative experiences with counseling.  Oftentimes, this is due to a mismatch of personalities or outright incompetence on the part of the therapist.  Unfortunately, many therapists offer a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to problem-solving; they assume they know what you need before you even have a chance to fully explain your situation.  At Wellspring Counseling Center, you, your story, and your goals are of utmost importance.  Your counselor will get to know you and how you see the world, and you will be given effective solutions that get to the root of the issue.  Counseling is a relationship, which means that how you feel about your counseling and counselor is just as important as what you receive from it.  Your therapist will work hard to make sure that you feel safe, listened to, cared for, and appropriately challenged.  For more on Wellspring Counseling Center's approach, please click here.

Isn't counseling just for "crazy" people?
Unfortunately, there has often been a stigma attached to counseling.  Thankfully, this stigma has changed drastically in recent years.  While many used to think that counseling was only for people with severe mental illness, it is now generally accepted that counseling can be helpful for just about anyone.  The vast majority of people seeking counseling services at Wellspring are not mentally ill.  Instead, they may just be going through a life problem.  Perhaps they are struggling with a relationship, or maybe they feel stuck or in a "funk" that they can't get out of.  Whatever the issue, counseling can help.  Having an objective, outside party available to listen to you and help you sort through options is a healthy, wise decision.

How long will counseling take?
Depending on a client's circumstances and goals, counseling can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years.  Most clients come in with a particular problem or crisis that they want to work on, and the length of counseling varies depending on the severity of the problem.  However, this does not mean that it will take months or years before you start feeling better.  Clients often report feeling better after just one session.  As well, many clients find that they want to keep coming to counseling even after their initial problems have been resolved.  This is because counseling often uncovers other issues that were previously hidden.  Additionally, most people enjoy the weekly support they receive and do not wish for this to end, even after they have worked on whatever brought them into counseling in the first place.  Essentially, the length of therapy is up to you.  You will never be forced to stay against your wishes.

How often will I have to come to sessions?
Generally, once a week is the recommended frequency for counseling sessions.  However, some circumstances dictate that coming more or less often may be necessary.  If someone is in an acute crisis situation and is feeling emotionally unstable, coming twice a week or more is not uncommon.  Or, when someone has been coming for awhile and feels relatively stable, it is not unusual to reduce sessions to once every two weeks or even once a month.  The frequency of sessions is based on your progress and is a decision that should be made together with your therapist.

What is your approach to counseling?
For an in-depth look at your therapist's approach to the counseling process, please see the Counseling Philosophy page.

How much does counseling cost?
The cost of a counseling session depends on whether or not you will be using insurance.  When a therapist is contracted with an insurance company, he or she can only charge you the amount allowed by your insurance company.  Your plan may cover all of that amount or just a portion, and you are responsible for any uncovered portion.  You may not know exactly how much you owe until we receive an Explanation of Benefits.  (For more information on the billing process, see Fees and Insurance.)  Alternatively, if you choose not to use your insurance, you will be charged a competitive out-of-pocket rate of $95 per 50-minute session (with the exception of the initial visit, which is charged at $125).

Do you offer a sliding scale fee?
At this time, a sliding scale is not available.  However, if finances are a concern, it may be possible to adjust the frequency of sessions or set up a payment plan to make the payments more manageable.  We will work together to find an option that works for you.

Do you offer any phone sessions or online therapy?
Yes.  Although face-to-face counseling is the preferred method of treatment, occasional phone sessions can be provided in the event that an established client is unable to attend an appointment in person.  Additionally, for those who would like an alternative to traditional therapy, Pamela is available as an online therapist through the BetterHelp platform.  Click here to learn more.

What is your privacy policy?
Confidentiality is essential to good counseling, and Illinois law protects your right to privacy.  This means that everything discussed in session stays between you and your therapist unless you provide explicit written permission to disclose your information to someone else.  However, there are several exceptions to this privacy policy that you should be aware of:

  • Insurance Purposes: If you choose to use your insurance plan, therapists are required to provide a clinical diagnosis when billing for sessions.  Occasionally, insurance companies require authorization before allowing sessions to continue, and the therapist may be asked to give an update on treatment and progress.  If you do not want this information on record with your insurance company, you should consider paying out-of-pocket.
  • Harm to self or others: If a client makes a clear threat to harm someone else or himself/herself, a therapist may have to breach confidentiality in order to protect the safety of all involved.  Every effort will be made to address the issue directly with the client first, but others may need to be informed of the situation if harm is imminent. 
  • Child or elder abuse: If, during the course of therapy, the therapist suspects that there has been abuse of a child or elder, he or she must report the abuse immediately to the appropriate authorities.
  • Minors: If the client is a minor, his or her parent may request and be given access to counseling records depending on the age of the child and the therapist's discretion.  When working with adolescents, Wellspring Counseling Center makes every effort to protect the confidentiality of the sessions.  When requested, parents will be given basic information about treatment, diagnosis, and progress and will be immediately informed if any life-threatening situations arise, but specific information shared with the therapist will always be protected when possible. 

What happens in a counseling session?
Essentially, counseling is a conversation between you and your therapist.  You will share to the capacity that you feel comfortable.  You won't have to lie down on the couch (unless you really want to!), and there will be no hypnosis or any other controversial techniques used.  Initial counseling sessions will be spent getting to know you and understanding the nature of your issues.  As well, we will discuss relevant social history.  As sessions progress, we will discuss new issues that arise and address any barriers to progress.  Sometimes clients wonder what they will talk about if there has been a relatively uneventful week.  It is important to come to sessions even if you're not sure what to talk about that week.  Your therapist will help guide the session so that the flow is therapy is not interrupted.

Do you offer counseling for children?
Generally, the traditional method of "talk therapy" conducted at Wellspring Counseling Center is not appropriate for very young children.  If a child under the age of 10 requires counseling, your therapist will be happy to make a referral to a play therapist or someone who specializes in working with younger children.  However, older children (ages 10 and up) are encouraged to receive counseling services when necessary.  If your child is on the borderline of the suggested age range or you believe he or she has the ability to benefit from talk therapy, please discuss this option with your therapist.   

Do you offer Christian counseling?
Yes.  Those who hold a Christian worldview will find that their faith is supported and encouraged at Wellspring Counseling Center.  At the same time, Wellspring respects the desires of those who do not wish to incorporate their faith into their work or those to whom faith is not important.  While religious beliefs will never be "pushed" onto clients, it is often helpful to explore issues of faith at some point in the counseling process.  Our beliefs about God, religion, and humanity are often shaped by our life experiences, and it is usually useful to discuss these issues when clients feel ready to do so.