Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Dealing with addiction can be very confusing. People generally have a lot of questions prior to seeking treatment. Here are the answers to some common questions that we have heard from clients. If you have questions not listed below, please contact us and we will be happy to answer them!


How do I know if I have a problem?

Ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Is my use of a substance causing me problems?
  2. Do I continue to use despite the problems?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, it would probably be helpful for you to talk with someone about your substance use. It can be difficult to determine on your own whether your substance use has become problematic. Having an outside perspective helps. You can also explore these questions from NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse). If you want to talk with someone about your substance use, contact us to schedule an appointment.


I’ve decided I might need treatment. Where do I begin?

Congratulations on taking the first step towards recovery! Seeking treatment can be overwhelming. We’re here to help simplify the process.

There are a number of different treatment options for addiction. They vary in length, intensity, cost, and modality based on an individual’s needs. The easiest way to determine what type of treatment might best suit your needs is to be assessed by a professional. Treatment begins with a phone call. You can call us or any local treatment provider to request an assessment. You will be asked several questions over the phone, and be scheduled for an in-person assessment or referred to a more appropriate provider.


What types of treatment are available for people dealing with substance use?

A variety of treatment are available. These include: individual counseling sessions, group counseling, medication-assisted treatment, intensive outpatient programs, inpatient/residential treatment, long-term or extended care programs, halfway houses, detoxification and/or medical hospitalization. For more information, please read about the types of treatment for substance use disorders written by SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).


What is counseling like? What should I expect?

We think of counseling as a collaborative process between two people. We provide a safe space for you to come and talk about what’s going on with you and how it relates to your substance use issues. Collaborative Counseling is a judgment-free zone. Lots of people feel guilt or shame about using substances. Stigma and lack of understanding often add to those feelings. We are here to help you understand your use of substances and to help you explore new ways of coping.

The first counseling session is typically 90 minutes in length. In this session, we will focus on getting to know you and what your expectations and goals are for therapy. This is also a chance for you to see if we are a good fit for you and your needs. After the first session, appointments are 50-55 minutes in length.


How can counseling help me?

We all face problems in our lives. Some of those may be hard to overcome on our own. We can start to feel stuck or overwhelmed. Counseling offers you a safe space to explore challenges in a non-judgmental setting. Many people seek counseling when they realize their drinking or other drug use has become problematic. Together, we can explore what might be driving your substance use. Counseling can help you determine how your use of substances is related to your decisions, your feelings, your thinking, and the situations that are happening in your life. It can help you figure out ways to manage these stressful times without having to lean on alcohol or other drugs as a solution.

For those who are in recovery, life can still be challenging. Even after early recovery, we can struggle with managing our emotions, thoughts, and the responsibilities of day-to-day life. Counseling can help you stay grounded during stressful times. It can help you re-examine your goals and continue to use the tools and coping skills you’ve learned in recovery.


How long will I be in counseling?

The length of your counseling experience will be determined by you and your goals. The frequency of counseling sessions can also play a part in how long you receive services at Collaborative Counseling, Together, we will work as efficiently as possible to help you achieve your counseling goals in a timely manner.


How do I know that my privacy will be protected?

Your privacy and confidentiality are important to us. In substance abuse counseling, we are not only bound by HIPAA laws, but also by federal laws that protect your privacy. Unless you sign a release of information, we cannot say anything to anyone about you receiving services. There are very few exceptions, and they pertain to life-threatening situations. During your first appointment, we will review confidentiality and answer any questions that you have.


What if I have issues other than just substance use?

We are aware that most people have more than one issue going on in their lives. At Collaborative Counseling our focus is substance abuse counseling. Part of effective counseling, and one of the twelve core functions of substance abuse counseling is the referral process. If you have issues other than substance abuse we will provide an appropriate referral for your other needs. Our goal is to help you get the help you need, wherever that may be.


Is counseling covered by my insurance?

Oftentimes counseling and other types of treatment are covered by insurance, depending on the treatment provider. Some insurance companies cover in-network providers only, while others will partially reimburse you for out-of-network providers. Currently, Collaborative Counseling is not on any insurance networks. If you have questions about the cost of therapy at Collaborative Counseling, please contact us.


Can I invite family members to attend my counseling appointments?

Yes, you are welcome to invite family members or significant others with you to your appointments. While we do not provide couples’ or family counseling as a primary service, addiction is a disease that affects all of our close relationships. Sometimes it is helpful to process substance use related issues with family and to plan together with your family for your recovery.