Frequently Asked Questions

Who is ABT Counseling — Associates in Brief Therapy?

We are a private outpatient mental health practice dedicated to helping clients overcome emotional problems using counseling techniques that promote more rapid recovery than traditional psychodynamic or non-directive therapy.


What is Brief Therapy?

Brief or solution-focused therapy is a practical, action-oriented approach to solving emotional and behavioral problems. Solution-oriented counseling emphasizes the present: on changing currently held beliefs or attitudes and maladaptive behaviors that cause emotional pain.

Solution-focused therapy emphasizes people’s strengths and inner resources, bypasses a lot of analysis, and gives people concrete ways of changing their actions and their points of view. Solution-oriented counseling can be applied to many life situations and the results can be rapid, effective, and life-enhancing.


Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired.

You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.


Don’t you need to have severe problems to need counseling?

No. All of us experience difficult situations in our lives for which we could use help or “wise counsel,” such as marital difficulties, parenting problems, grief, stress, etc. Professional counselors are experienced in, and committed to, helping people become stronger and better equipped to solve their own problems.


What is therapy like?

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth.

There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective, you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change, and create greater awareness in their lives.

Is everything we talk about kept confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and a psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in your session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent.” Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law, your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.


Here are some things you can expect out of therapy

  • Compassion, respect, and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance.