Why We’re the Best Therapists in Austin
Incorporated in 2007, Just Mind is a boutique mental health clinic with a mission to remove the stigma sometimes associated with therapy, both through the environment we create and the unique attitudes of the associates who work with us. Our team receives regular clinical education from visiting guest experts and group supervision. Our therapists each have up to 30 years of experience and a wide array of specialties, and certifications.
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Common Counseling Questions
People come into therapy for many reasons. Some need to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives.
If you aren’t sure what your goals are for therapy, your first task is to figure that out. It may take several sessions before a direction is clarified. During the course of therapy your goals may change. However, establishing a direction for therapy will help you get the most out of the experience.
During sessions you are expected to talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session lasts 50 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. Usually weekly sessions are best. Some people who are in crisis or extreme distress need more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes. During the time between sessions it is beneficial to think about and process what was discussed. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records. For therapy to “work,” you must be an active participant, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Find new ways to cope with stress and anxiety that are based in evidence based practices.
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications skills – learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
- Getting “unstuck” from unhealthy patterns – breaking old behaviors and develop new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:
Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.
There is a confusing array of insurance arrangements. The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- Do I have mental health benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- How much do you pay for an out-of-net provider?
- Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
- Is primary care physician approval required?
Occupations & Qualifications
LPC’s go to school and their education focuses exclusively on how to be a therapist in private practice. Programs vary in terms of their focus but CACREP, a board overseeing a number of counseling programs certification programs, mandates a certain amount of hours, class focus, experience, and audits the programs for quality. Typically it takes counselors 2-3 years to get through their masters level classes and another 2-4 years to finish their clinical hours under strict supervision (can be as quick as 1.5 years in Texas) to get fully licensed. Counselors have a wide range of specializations, can become teachers with a PhD, and can also perform testing and research like psychologists. That said, most often they work in private practice and sometimes they are in hospitals, agencies, and schools.
Psychologists go to school for 5-6 years, graduate with a PhD, have one year of post doctoral work they must complete, and have clinical rotations while in their schooling. Regulation varies by state but typically after a year under a supervisor, they are fully licensed. Psychologists can work in roles similar to counselors in schools, doing testing, teaching, research, or doing therapy. In psychology programs, they require students to pick a track that is either clinical (client focused) or research focused. Many psychologists focus on research instead of having a clinical focus.
Social work programs tend to be 2 years in length and allow students to focus on agency work and case management, policy work, and clinical work. They spend several years underneath the supervision before they become fully licensed. Social workers are commonly found in agencies, schools, hospitals, and after they have some clinical experience they often migrate to private practice.
MFT’s have similar schooling to LPC’s but they focus on marriage and family therapy. Their programs are a similar length to LPC programs but they have a focus on their specialization. MFT’s tend to take 2-3 years after completing school to become fully licensed.
These are the people who provide medications and go to medical school. The overall time investment is easily 7+ years or more to be fully licensed. They may also do therapy in their practice. Psychiatrists tend to be in the most demand due to their ability to prescribe and the fact they are so few in number. In Austin, we have fewer than 200 for a population of almost 2 million.
No, we can not prescribe medication but our referral partners do. Some of our referral partners might require you to be seeing a therapist at or practice or to be seeing a therapist in general.
No, we do not. We offer counseling for anger but that’s it. You will have to go elsewhere for court mandated anger management classes.
This really varies by the individual and the issue. Some people have issues that are more tricky and developed over time and these issues might take more time to work on. That said, if you are motivated, work on coping skills outside of session, and are focused on your goals you may have a very short time in therapy. Normally the shortest time tends to be around 2-6 months of weekly therapy. It really depends on the issue and the individual. If cost, time commitment, or just being uncertain is an issue, you should try Single Session Therapy.
An LPC Intern is a therapist who has completed their masters degree (which includes clinical time) and they are now seeing clients and have a supervisor that guides their growth and experience. School for LPC Interns is normally a 3 year process. LMFT-A (licensed marriage and family therapists associates) are in a similar period of their professional growth. Research shows that a key to getting better is how much of a rapport you feel with your therapist.
Senior counselors have over 10 years of experience (some have 30+). Counselors have 6-10. Associates have 2-5 years of experience. Each level of therapist has different fee ranges associated with them. (We also suggest you take a look at their advanced trainings and backgrounds.)
This is a common question and we do not write emotional support animal letters at this time. The liability is just too great and we feel like the laws around them are going to change as TSA is already moving in this direction due to dog bites in airports. My suggestion to you would be as follows: 1) Go through training with your dog and get them their AKC Good Citizenship. This will help both of you to be comfortable in a variety of surroundings. 2) To prepare for this, I would suggest working with K9 Working Mind. Tara has been doing this for over 30 years and has an incredible team of trainers. Go through basic all the way to advanced (this helps you to pass the AKC test). It’s not very expensive and it’s an investment in you and your dog’s life together. After this is completed, you can find therapists that will be comfortable in writing ESA letters. If you do not wish to do this, you can look at online options but just be aware of the liability that you carry. Each city is different with dog bite rules and some have a one bite euthanasia rule with no regard for severity and you will also be held personally liable. We want to keep you and your pups happy and safe.
Therapists & Psychologists
There is very little difference between a psychologist and therapist in terms of how they perform clinical work. They both are mental health clinicians. Psychologists spend longer in school and often go on to do assessment, research, or teach. Therapists can also do this.
Yes, a therapist can diagnose you.
No, only a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse, or general medical doctor can prescribe.