Purpose of Counseling

Advanced Counseling and Research Services provides a comprehensive array of professional counseling services to the greater Lancaster community. In general terms, these clinical services help clients address problematic issues in their lives that are impacting their daily lives.

 

Throughout the counseling experience, the counselor and client work collaboratively to address problems presented by the client. The overall purpose of counseling can be summarized in the following objectives:

  1. To identify the problematic issues facing each individual client seeking counseling.

  2. To identify secondary issues contributing to problem situations facing clients.

  3. To develop a systematic intervention approach to address these problem situations based on the unique characteristics and capabilities of each client.

  4. To implement a comprehensive intervention plan to reduce or eliminate the impact the problematic situation is having on the client.

  5. To introduce problem-solving and decision-making strategies as preventive tools for future problems.

CLIENT ORIENTATION

This document provides general information regarding the counseling services you are about to receive. Please read this document carefully and ask your therapist any questions you might have.

Goals of Counseling

  1. To promote the establishment and maintenance of a mentally healthy community.

  2. To provide professional counseling services based on the unique characteristics and capacities of each individual client.

  3. To implement systematic intervention strategies that promote mentally healthy functioning.

  4. To provide clinical services that enhance the decision-making and problem-solving skills of each client.

Clinical Services​

Our counseling services are intended for individuals who voluntarily seek therapy. This private counseling practice serves the adult population and selected adolescents. The services provided include individual and small group therapy. This is a general counseling practice for individuals experiencing problems related to relationships, substance abuse, and non-medical mental health and who are willing to actively participate in therapy. During the first few sessions, a comprehensive assessment will be conducted. Information will be collected using tests, surveys, and interviews. Information regarding other treatment experiences will be requested. For individuals with concurrent medical conditions, information from a physician may also be requested.

 

Throughout the counseling experience, individuals will be asked to complete tests and surveys as part of their therapy. Data collected at various intervals during the treatment experience provide insight into problem areas and help to ensure the effectiveness of the therapy. Some of this data will also be included in ongoing outcomes research activities. For this purpose, recording of sessions via video or audio may be used throughout treatment.


The frequency of counseling sessions will vary based on individual client needs. Initially, weekly sessions will be scheduled. Gradually, the time between sessions will lengthen as clients approach discharge. Formal discharge occurs when sufficient evidence exists to suggest that the client’s life situation has been changed to the extent that counseling is no longer necessary or that the client has progressed to a point where additional services, although warranted, may not be effective. All client-counselor interactions are confidential. This confidentiality can only be breeched in cases where the client indicates intent to do harm to themselves or others; in situations involving the abuse of children, the elderly, or the disabled; and in situations that include a properly executed court order. Information may also be released to a client’s insurance company to secure benefits. Communication remains the privilege of the client in counseling situations involving a counselor and a client. Privilege does not extend to situations when others are present. Efforts to maintain confidentiality extend to modes of communication, including telephone, mail, texting, recording, and email. The acronym “ACRS” will be used for any communications by telephone or mail. Clients are cautioned about the use of email and texting since these can be forms of insecure communications. Staff limits electronic communications with clients to appointment date/time confirmations except in cases of online video counseling. To schedule an appointment, clients are to contact by phone. Clients may email or text requesting phone communication by their clinician. Additional fees apply.

ONLINE VIDEO COUNSELING

(Telehealth and Telemedicine)

Individuals seeking to take advantage of online video counseling are required to attend some in-office sessions. Such a schedule contributes to efforts to maintain quality services and determine whether other services are necessary. Since online services represent a unique approach to the delivery of therapy, some insurance companies might not reimburse these services. In addition to acceptable clinical indicators, clients interested in video counseling must have sufficient computer/video resources and high-speed internet access. Video counseling is provided by qualified professionals. Video counseling through Advanced Counseling and Research Services is only available to Pennsylvania residents who are legally permitted to enter into a counseling relationship without the authorization or approval of others. Transition to video counseling will only occur after individuals have completed the in-office client intake process and are deemed to be suitable for this service delivery system. Occasional office visits will be required over the duration of the counseling experience. Individuals approved for video counseling will be given adequate instructions to guide them to the secure server site and to log onto the system. The counseling sessions will be conducted in the same format as a typical office visit.

 

(ACRS IS PARTICIPATING IN TELEHEALTH DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. PLEASE SEEK FURTHER INSTRUCTION FROM STAFF)

COUNSELING APPROACH

This counseling service is centered on the application of the thinking-feeling-acting (TFA) model, a counseling strategy that stresses the development of interventions based on the integration of the cognitive, affective, and behavioral domains relative to a specific problematic situation. Such an approach to therapy provides wide latitude in the application of counseling theories based on client dynamics presented during and between counseling sessions. Tied to this constructivist approach is an ongoing assessment component that continually measures key psychological variables that influence the change process.

RESEARCH COMPONENT

Selected psychological assessment instruments are introduced at various times during the counseling experience. These instruments have been carefully selected to reflect traits and characteristics that contribute to client problems. The multiple uses of these instruments provide a quantitative foundation on which to base therapy and measure treatment effectiveness. Any published research studies include grouped data that is sufficiently sanitized to protect the identification of individual clients.

Research and Publication
This counseling service maintains an active research and publication agenda. The nature of the research is generally focused on the application of site-based research efforts on the delivery of behavioral healthcare services. All clients are invited to voluntarily participate as research subjects in this research.


Counseling Modality and Testing
This counseling service is research-based and involves the administration of various assessment instruments throughout the course of therapy. The purpose for testing is to monitor progress and adapt services to meet the changing needs of clients as they continue through therapy. All results from all tests from all clients are systematically analyzed annually to evaluate counseling effectiveness.
 Various counseling approaches may be employed throughout the therapy in an attempt to maximize the treatment experience. The predominant theoretical approaches include:


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Play Therapy
TFA (Thinking, Feeling, Acting)

Psychoanalytic Intergenerational Theory (Bowen)

Psychodynamic Person-Centered Therapy

Solution Focused Therapy
Gestalt Therapy

Rational Emotive Behavioral Transactional Analysis

Reality Therapy
Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Guided Imagery/Light Induction Hypnosis
Bilateral Stimulation

Emotional Freedom Techniques

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