Frequently Asked Questions from Hinkle Counseling
in Bridgeport, WV

Do I need therapy?

People come to therapy for a wide range of reasons ultimately with the hope they will be able to feel and function better in the near future. You may be considering counseling because you want to work toward developing a better self-image, to achieve personal growth, or to alleviate depression or anxiety. We hope to enable the patient to work toward their unique goals and explore ways to resolve problematic behaviors, beliefs, and feelings.

Therapy allows one to:

  • Have time set aside to talk about just you
  • Create a safe haven where you can be completely honest
  • Learn new things about yourself
  • Learn better ways to relate to other people around you and in your life
  • Find out why you do some of the things that you do
  • Deal with the hard stuff that you normally avoid
  • Explore the past that leads to a better present
  • Open your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking
  • Accept and love yourself for who you are, flaws included

What’s it like to see a counselor for the first time?

Starting the process of therapy can be a scary thing for some individuals. Here at Hinkle Counseling & Psychological Center, PLLC, we make it our goal to help you feel as comfortable as we can while empowering you. We strive to provide a safe, supportive and confidential environment in order to help resolve any issues you may have that will guide you to a more enjoyable life.

A lot of people think they have to be either “crazy”’ or “damaged” to be in therapy. This is not true at all. The most common person in therapy is just the every day, ordinary person struggling with daily human problems, such as depression, anxiety, relationship issues or various life stressors.

People experience different emotions and reactions to therapy. More than likely you are going to feel nervous and anxious. That is a very normal and expected reaction. Other people view therapy as a natural process that will help enhance their life and will be beneficial. Some may become extremely emotional and welcome the release while others will “hold back.” Both are okay. We don’t want to push someone if they feel hesitant to talk or open up. There is no right or wrong way to “be” in therapy. We really just want to get to know you better.

Our job is to make you feel comfortable regardless of how you react. We really want feedback from people. I want to know if you think our therapy will meet your expectations, and if not, what can be done to meet them.

What is the difference between a counselor and a psychologist?

A mental health counselor is qualified to evaluate and treat mental problems by providing counseling or psychotherapy. Psychologists are also qualified to complete this role. However, in addition to providing counseling, a psychologist is qualified to complete testing and evaluations. Psychologists can complete mental health assessments that may include personality and I.Q. tests, which are administered and interpreted by the psychologist. A psychologist is not qualified to prescribe medication.

What are the different types of therapy?

There are two different types of therapy; we’ll focus on two—Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioral therapy. Psychodynamic therapy is a compassionate and deep exploration of problems and issues affecting your life. Focus is on understanding patterns and history of behavior in your family and present relationships, developing insights into dynamics of your personality and gaining more awareness in your present life. Awareness is the first step to change. In order to make change in behaviors, we need to learn how they manifest in your life and where they were learned.

Cognitive Behavioral therapy is more concrete. Specific plans of actions are explored and methods to change behavior are learned. Some techniques include relaxation exercises, positive thinking practices, journaling and assertiveness training. These techniques help to bring out your automatic reactions and thoughts that occur on a daily basis. By gaining awareness into your automatic thoughts, feelings and behaviors, we can create appropriate interventions to make positive change.