What is Counseling?
Many of us believe our moms, dads, friends and even dogs are our therapists. As much as I wish this could be true, it would simply do you no justice to talk about your deepest thoughts and reveal all your secrets to someone who would be biased and possibly have an ulterior motive.
Counseling is coming into a safe space, talking to someone who is trained and non biased. As therapists we are trained to remove our personal views, values and beliefs from your session.
In counseling you have a fresh start to move and mold your thoughts towards any direction. We believe you are the expert in our sessions and that you already are coming to therapy with all the answers.
Our job is simply to guide you, show you a new perspective and hold you accountable. The goals you set and the success you accomplish is completely up to you!
How do I know it is time to come to therapy?
Therapy can be beneficial if you are feeling down, sad, angry, worried and things are not getting better for a period of TWO weeks or longer. After a couple of weeks with depression, symptoms can become more difficult to treat.
Anxiety is diagnosed after about 6 months and again can become difficult to treat if prolonged. Depression and anxiety also can happen together, the best time to come to therapy is before all this develops.
Therapy can be for everyone. Counseling helps many people of all walks of life (most people you know have a therapist), the truth is most of us live with depression or anxiety without doing anything about it.
If you are making decisions that have not resulted in solutions and life is not getting any easier, therapy can be for you.
You may feel as if you are making problems bigger or prolonging the inevitable. You may notice you are making decisions that have not resulted in solving any problems. You may actually be making them bigger.
Therapy is also for everyday stress.
It can help reduce pressure and help you or a family member who is experiencing a life transition. Therapy can help if you are simply overwhelmed or are not at your optimal level of happiness or confidence.
Just because you meet with a therapist does not mean you are losing your sanity. This is FALSE and actually stereotypical, something we do not promote.
The reality is everyone can use some extra understanding and empathy. Asking for understanding and empathy just means, I am ready to try a different route and get to my end goal. Everyone can benefit from living a more fulfilling life.
During our sessions, we will work to accomplish your goals. These goals may range from: loving or accepting myself, being more confident, learning patience, establishing healthy boundaries, practicing self care, feeling happier, learning how to talk to new people, staying calm, making friends, think before I act, making better grades, improving my relationships, controlling my thoughts or feeling like myself at work.
By coming to therapy you will gain insight into your decisions. You will be empowered to take control of your life and the choices that you make.
What if I come in for one session and do not want to come back to counseling or therapy?
That is completely up to you, not every therapist is a fit for everyone. Our sessions are all about hard work, dedication and accountability. This is not for just anyone.
We specialize in treating depression and anxiety related symptoms in children (5+), teens (13 to 17) and young adults (18 to 40).
You can expect to meet with your therapist every week for about the first two months, based on availability. If this presents a problem, we might not be the best fit for you.
After you start to make improvements and feel you are meeting your goals, you will transition to meeting with your therapist every two weeks and so forth. You both will agree on what works for you, until you accomplish all your therapy goals.
On average, you can expect to be in therapy for about three to six months or about 14 to 26 sessions with us. This does vary depending on your presenting symptoms, availability, goals, progress and life events.
How do I know I have found the right counselor or therapist?
Read their blog, website and social media. Find reviews and recommendations, call the practice and meet your therapist in person.
Make sure they treat and SPECALIZE in the symptoms and signs you are experiencing.
Many therapists, treat hundreds of things but not all of us have the same education, training or background. You want to find someone who has helped clients accomplish results and focuses on depression or anxiety. Usually a Cognitive Behavioral therapist (like us) would be an excellent match.
The most important thing about finding a therapist is your connection and vibe. If you can speak to them without much hesitation, this is the right therapist for you!
How many sessions can I expect to attend before I reach success and can graduate from therapy?
On average, it is estimated trust and rapport is established within 3 to 4 sessions between you and our therapist (that is why you can expect to meet with us on a weekly basis at first). Please remember this number may not be exactly the same for everyone.
After trust is built, we will work alongside with you, to meet your therapy goals. On average this may take about 3 to 6 months or 14 to 26 sessions (this number varies depending on the individual and presenting goals).
This is why we request your commitment and dedication to therapy before you make an appointment. This includes keeping and maintaining your appointments without last minute cancelations.
Is Serene Mind a mental health counseling agency a clinic, and what makes you different?
Serene Mind is not an agency, it is a boutique counseling private practice. Our service is geared toward each unique individual and we specialize in treating clients with depression and anxiety.
For this reason, we can only accept a certain amount of new individuals each month. The therapist you meet with, will be your permanent therapist until you are ready to graduate or complete therapy.
In an agency you will meet with many clinicians who will ask you the same routine questions and you will not receive individual care or attention. You may also have had negative experiences from prior therapy, many clients complain of being judged, not feeling safe or heard, not having any goals or seeing improvements in previous forms of therapy.
Unfortunately, agencies base their services on profits vs. actual results and client satisfaction. Agencies are overwhelmed with clients and many of them have a high therapist turn around. That means you may start therapy with one therapist and end with another. Does that sound comforting?
Many times agencies have a poor success rate due to this factor. In the long run this does not save you time or money.
At Serene Mind, what mental health symptoms do you specialize?
We specialize in counseling children (5 and up), teens and young adults experiencing the following mental health symptoms: depression, anxiety, poor communication, low self esteem, sadness or depression, excessive worry, anger outbursts, poor grades, poor work satisfaction, life transitions, transitioning to or out of college, fertility, postpartum and over all well being.
We apologize but we do not currently offer mediation services, custody battle therapy services, divorce counseling, family therapy, substance abuse counseling or couples therapy. If you are looking for the above please see Psychology Today for a list of providers or call your insurance provider.
Can therapy be fun, creative and rewarding?
Yes, yes, yes! Therapy is supposed to be a fun, creative and rewarding experience.
It is a journey and the more you want out of it, the more you will gain.
What is online therapy or an e-session?
Also known as teletherapy, which is provided to you or a loved one from the comfort of your own home. This makes it easy to connect with clients anywhere in Florida.
We offer this via our HIPAA compliant e-session technology. Our rates remain the same for our online sessions.
What is the secret to a client's success in therapy?
The secret in therapy is the client-therapist relationship and how easily trust is established. You can expect trust to be established quickly with us.
We offer a safe, non-judgmental, cozy, calm and modern environment for you to process how you feel, think and what you are doing.
This contributes to our high success rates and clients reaching their goals. If trust is established easily during therapy, you can expect to complete therapy at a faster rate as well.
This can save you time and money.
How are your services different from other Tampa therapists?
We have a great success rate and are passionate about our therapy work and we have a way of expressing this during therapy sessions. We have a strong love and commitment for the mental health field in the Tampa Bay area. We are known for treating everyone as if they are family (with attentiveness, kindness, respect and empathy) and this is why they return and ultimately graduate.
The comments and feedback we receive the most are that we are unlike many other therapists, we are modern, we actually care and that with hard work clients actually do accomplish their goals.
The reason we are unique is that we like to resolve problems, work on goals and hold our clients accountable for their success.
Remember not every therapist does this and many counselors will skip over important topics, such as underlying thoughts. If you do not explore underlying thoughts in therapy, thoughts can easily resurface. This is also why it is important to commit to therapy before you begin.
Our therapy sessions are comfortable, flexible, unique and creative. You can expect to always feel welcomed by us.
How does therapy confidentiality work with my child, teen or young adult?
Confidentiality and privacy is something that is highly valued in therapy. Without trust therapy simply does not work.
Thus your child, teen or young adult can choose to share things with you in session or not. We do not provide family therapy, if you are seeking family therapy please visit Psychology Today to find a list of family therapy providers.
If you have a young adult, who is 18 or older you must have a signed waiver from them to attend sessions and have them disclose information to you.
In addition, we please request that if you are the parent of a young adult, you have them schedule their appointments and contact us. This is done on purpose (to show motivation, independence and responsibility for their actions). Thus if you call or email to schedule for your young adult, we will ask that they call or email us.
What separates Serene Mind from other counseling providers in Tampa?
We are a boutique (personal and small) and specialty provider. We only provide counseling therapy services for children, teens, young adults, and millennials. The areas of treatment we only focus on are depression and anxiety (or related topics). We provides a unique array of therapy services including but not limited to: pet therapy, play therapy, art therapy and talk therapy.
The comments and feedback we receive the most are that we are unlike many other therapists and we are happy to hear this.
We are not cookie cutter or ordinary, we want to help you reach your goals but we do require you are an active participant in this as well.
We are experienced in building rapport and establishing trust with the young adolescent and young adult population due to her ability to relate to the modern culture.
We are also bilingual and this helps her establish a a connection with individuals of diverse backgrounds.
Our therapy sessions are relaxed, unique and individualized. You can expect to leave your sessions feeling as if you are accomplishing your goals and reducing any negative symptoms.
What age group do you specialize in counseling?
Primarily children ages 5 to 12, teens or adolescents 13 to 17, young adults 18 to 40.
What insurances do you accept?
Staywell Medicaid and self pay clients.
We happily accept HSA cards and Flex Spending credit cards with sufficient funds. Our private pay or out-of-network pricing begins at $90 for a 60 minute session.
If you have a PPO insurance plan, you can choose any therapist you would like to see. We can provide you with a billing form (CMS 1500) to submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement. Your insurance company will then send you a check, reimbursing you for a portion of your session fee. On average, clients with PPOs are reimbursed for 60-75% of their sessions (after your deductible is met)
We apologize, but we NO longer accept Cigna, TriCare, Aetna, BayCare Cigna or any EAPs.