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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Bring on the Questions

 

When contacted by prospective clients about psychotherapeutic services, I find that people often have a number of standard questions to which they want answers. I appreciate that individuals care enough about their mental, emotional, and behavioral help to inquire about my practice.

 

Regarding preliminary questions one may ask of a prospective therapist, one source recommends the following, as I’ll provide corresponding answers to the same:

 

·  What are the credentials and experience of the therapist? Do they have a specialty?

 

I began life coaching in the ‘90s. As there was no required educational or credentialing process for coaching at the time, I started helping people alter the outcomes of their lives when I was a teenager.

 

As an adult, I received a Master of Arts in Counseling degree in 2011, focusing on Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) as my main approach to mental, emotional, and behavioral health care. It was at that time I began working with clients in an official capacity.

 

I later went on to receive a Master of Science in Social Work degree in 2014, broadening my theoretical knowledge and skills base. Since then, I’ve attained licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) practicing in Texas.

 

Although I don’t consider myself an “expert” or claim to maintain “specialty” in any particular area, I work with adults through individual sessions and using teletherapy as my sole method of delivery. As well, each client with whom I work uses a self-pay option, because I don’t accept insurance reimbursement.

 

·  What approach will the therapist take to help you? Do they practice a particular type of therapy?

 

I’ve received training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), REBT, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), as well as maintaining certification as a Certified Personality Disorder Treatment Provider.

 

While I no longer practice EMDR or DBT, my main approach to client care is REBT which addresses mental illness and personality disorders. As well, I use existentialist principles within my practice.

 

·  What is the rationale for the therapy and its evidence base?

 

My rationale for use of REBT is twofold, the first of which involves this psychotherapeutic modality’s evidence base. Research has demonstrated that REBT can be an effective approach to addressing clients’ interests and goals.

 

My second reason for practicing REBT involves a personal anecdote. Comparing my mind to a car in disrepair, I stated in a blogpost entitled I’m My Own Mechanic:

 

I wanted to learn how to work on my own vehicle so that I could not only repair it when things went awry, I could also use preventative maintenance to keep my car functioning in an optimal manner. Therefore, I learned of and have since practiced REBT.

 

I use REBT in my personal and professional life, and I’ve observed lasting and effective change for those who understand, believe in, and practice this modality. Although REBT isn’t a be-all, end-all for every person or to all problems experienced in life, I’ve witnessed people get better through dedicated practice.

 

·  Does the therapist have experience in diagnosing and treating the age group (for example, a child) and the specific condition for which treatment is being sought? If the patient is a child, how will parents or caregivers be involved in treatment?

 

I retain education, training, experience, and licensure for diagnosing, treating, and managing the client population with which I work. Although I’m able to treat and manage symptoms with which minors present, I work solely with adults.

 

·  What are the goals of therapy? Does the therapist recommend a specific time frame or number of sessions? How will progress be assessed, and what happens if you (or the therapist) feel you aren’t starting to improve?

 

Generally speaking, I invite clients to express their own interests and goals for therapy. As far as my objective for treatment and management of symptoms is concerned, I aim to help people improve their level of functioning and overall quality of life.

 

Regarding a prescribed number of sessions, it all depends on a client’s presenting problem. As an example, if client X desires to address childhood trauma it may take more sessions to resolve than client Y’s issue relating to use of assertiveness in the workplace.

 

Collaboratively, client progress is addressed through use of expressed goals and reflection upon improvement. As well, clients are invited to use open, honest, and vulnerable communication with me about their perspective concerning my approach to client care.

 

If desired growth isn’t achieved, we explore other options. Ultimately, my clients’ treatment or management of symptoms takes priority over whether or not I’m the practitioner appropriate for addressing their needs.

 

·  Are medications an option? Is this therapist able to prescribe medications?

 

In Texas, LPCs and LCSWs aren’t able to prescribe medication unless they have other education, training, licensure, or certification to do so (e.g., physician who also maintains LPC or LCSW licensure). As such, I’m not a medication provider.

 

·  Are meetings confidential? How is confidentiality assured? Are there limits to confidentiality?

 

There is no guarantee for privacy, whether a client attends in-person or teletherapy appointments. Nevertheless, I take active measures to maintain confidentiality.

 

This includes the implementation of privacy software which claims to not only maintain strict Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance, though is also Health Information Trust Alliance certified, which is thought of as the gold standard in the healthcare industry.

 

Nevertheless, there are limits to confidentiality. According to one source; and with slight modification):

 

The only exceptions to confidentiality are in cases mandated by Texas law. These exceptions include:

 

·  Imminent danger to self or others, in which case staff contact medical and/or police personnel

 

·  Suspicion of abuse of children, the elderly, or persons with a disability, in which case staff contact the Texas Department of Family Services and/or other state authorities

 

·  Sexual exploitation of therapy clients by therapists, in which case staff contact the District Attorney in the Texas county where the exploitation took place

 

·  Court subpoena (i.e., issues by a judge and not merely an attorney)

 

There are a number of questions one may ask of a prospective psychotherapist, as I’ve addressed some of the more common queries herein. If you’re seeking therapy services with me and have further inquiry, I’m here to help. Bring on the questions.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

 

References:

 

David, D., Cotet, C., Matu, S., Mogoase, C., and Stefan, S. (2017, September 12). 50 years of rational‐emotive and cognitive‐behavioral therapy: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5836900/

Hollings, D. (2022, November 18). Big T, little t. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/big-t-little-t

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2024, January 3). Expertise. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/expertise

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, October 15). I’m my own mechanic. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/i-m-my-own-mechanic

Hollings, D. (2024, January 13). In terms of REBT. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/in-terms-of-REBT

Hollings, D. (2024, January 2). Interests and goals. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/interests-and-goals

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2023, September 15). Psychotherapeutic modalities. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/psychotherapeutic-modalities

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, May 28). Stoically existential. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/stoically-existential

Hollings, D. (2022, June 20). Teletherapy. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/teletherapy

Hollings, D. 2024, January 16). Understanding, belief, and practice. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/understanding-belief-and-practice

National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Psychotherapies. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies

Texas Woman’s University. (n.d.). Confidentiality. Retrieved from https://twu.edu/counseling/confidentiality/

Turner, M. J. (2016, September 20). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), irrational and rational beliefs, and the mental health of athletes. Frontiers in Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5028385/

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