Maui Counseling Group

Serving the people of Maui

Frequently Asked Questions


What happens when I call for an appointment?

When you call to set up an appointment, our office staff will help assign a counselor who is a good “match” for you. Your insurance and payment information will be taken over the phone, and an appointment time set up. Appointments are 45 minutes in length.

When you arrive for your appointment, your counselor will greet you and show you to a private office. Our offices are casual and comfortable. You and your counselor will meet together for the duration of your appointment to discuss the concerns you have, and what might be done to help you find solutions. Your counselor will focus on you and your concerns during your appointment time together, and can answer any questions you might have regarding how counseling works, including confidentiality and privacy. You may set up future appointments with your counselor, or with the office staff.


Does counseling really work?

Counseling DOES work. There is a body of scientific, evidence-based research over the past 25 years that shows that specific counseling approaches are safe and effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD, relationship troubles, and more.

Links on the treatment of anxiety, including posttraumatic stress:

http://www.apahelpcenter.org/articles/article.php?id=46

http://news.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news-3/Medication-or-psychotherapy-effective-in-treating-depressed-patients-when-the-other-is-not-10155-1/

Links on the treatment of depression with (or without) medication:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

http://news.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news-3/Medication-or-psychotherapy-effective-in-treating-depressed-patients-when-the-other-is-not-10155-1/


Which type of counselor do I need — a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker, or a marriage and family therapist?

Different clinical specialties have different education and licensing requirements:

  • Psychologists have a doctoral degree in psychology (Psy.D. or Ph.D.), plus a state license;
  • Psychiatrists are physicians (medical doctors; MD or DO) with at least a specialty residency in psychiatry, plus a state license;
  • Clinical Social Workers have at least a Master’s degree in Social Work, plus a state license;
  • Marriage and Family Therapists have at least a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy or Counseling, plus a state license;
  • APRN/Nurse Practitioners have at least a Master’s degree beyond their RN license, specialty training in mental health, plus a state license to practice mental health nursing independently.

Please ask our staff any questions you might have regarding the credentialing and qualifications of our counselors.


How many sessions does counseling usually take in order to have improvement?

Counseling is often very effective in just a few sessions. Although many clients choose to continue to work with their counselors over a longer period of time, 5-15 sessions is usually the average number of sessions that provides relief for most clients.


If I start counseling, do I have to dig into “deep childhood issues”, or can I just focus on my current problems?

There are many stereotypes in the media about the counseling process. Often, we think of  an older, bearded, “Dr. Freud”-type figure when we envision a psychotherapist. We imagine the counselor will focus on our childhood issues, and not on our current struggles.

Modern-day counseling is very different from these stereotypes. Our counselors are trained with contemporary techniques that are proven to be effective. You and your counselor, together, will decide what would be most helpful to discuss. Most clients attend counseling for 5-15 sessions, focusing on their current needs and issues, which results in improvement and relief. Of course, if issues in your past complicate your life in the present,  it may be helpful to explore these as well.


My child has behavior and attention problems at school. Can counseling help?

Yes! Children have behavior and attention problems for a variety of reasons. Stress at home, depression, anxiety, learning problems, or attention-deficit problems may be contributing factors. Child specialists on our staff have extensive experience working with children, along with the educational and school issues that need to be addressed.  The counselor can help determine the main struggles of the child, and help create a plan for the family, school and child.


What is counseling?

Sometimes counseling is called psychotherapy, therapy, psychological counseling, psychiatry, or clinical social work. The essential ingredients to a good counseling experience include having:

  • A licensed, trained, experienced counselor to work with, and
  • A trusting, comfortable relationship with your counselor.

We have many trained and qualified counselors on staff with a variety of successful approaches they can offer.  You also may feel more comfortable with a therapist of a particular gender, age, or cultural background. Please ask for what you prefer. There is “no shame” in asking for a particular type of counselor, or in asking for a transfer.

The counseling relationship provides you with the opportunity to gain insights into your life, improve your mood, and change behavior. Studies show that psychological symptoms, including depression, anxiety and stress can be significantly relieved through professional counseling. Your counselor is trained to provide a safe, private situation where new options and life directions can be discussed and explored. Trained counselors follow your lead and allow you to feel safe in discussing personal matters. Clients often feel great relief at being able to discuss troubling issues with their trusted counselors. It is through this guided and directed process that new directions in life can be pursued.

All counselors at Maui Counseling Group are trained in “evidence-based practices”, assuring that today’s best counseling approaches are followed. This ensures the best possible outcomes for our clients. Our therapists welcome a wide range of clients, supporting and helping those of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender, age, or abilities. We pride ourselves on our “warm and welcoming” approach to all who see our counselors, and assure the strictest of confidentiality in your personal therapy.

How do I know if I need counseling?

Do stress, depression, anxiety, or other troubling issues interfere with your ability to work, sleep, enjoy healthy relationships, or to pursue your life’s goals?  Counseling may help you. Some find counseling helpful for day-to-day stresses and difficulties; others do to counseling for help with more significant problems and symptoms. There is no “one-size-fits-all” reason for seeking counseling.

Many of our referrals come from primary care physicians. If you think you might benefit from counseling and are unsure as to whether you should pursue it, you may decide to discuss it with your doctor. Your doctor, or other trusted friend or family member, can help you decide if you should try counseling. You may also call Maui Counseling Group to discuss your situation; one of our staff can help you decide if a trial at counseling may be helpful to you.


What is Depression?

Depression is a very common condition that impacts people of all ages. If you feel sad, hopeless, irritable, tired, have difficulty concentrating, or have sleep or appetite problems, and these problems persist over time, you may be depressed. New mothers are also especially at risk for postpartum depression in the first year following the birth of a new baby. Our counselors can help determine if you are depressed and provide you with effective counseling. Please also see this link to the National Institute of Mental Health for a summary on depression:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-easy-to-read/index.shtml


What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is worry that goes beyond a normal reaction to stress. If your anxiety interferes with your life, or is excessive, you may benefit from counseling to alleviate your anxiety and help you to enjoy life more fully.

There are many types of anxiety disorders, including Generalized Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder (panic attacks), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and phobias.

Treatment has been proven to be very effective for anxiety disorders and can include relaxation and breathing techniques, and other cognitive-behavioral treatments. Please also see this link to the National Institute of Mental Health for a summary on anxiety:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml