What You Can Expect During Counseling Sessions at Jones Regional:
Estelle Schmaltz, MA, tLMFT, is a temporary licensed marriage and family therapist at Jones Regional Medical Center. Estelle has 13 years experience working with adults in residential settings as well as children and families in an outpatient mental health setting. She can provide confidential intake, assessment and counseling to children, adults, couples and families. When working with people she takes a strength based and collaborative approach to help them reach their goals. She can be reached at (319) 481-6386 or Estelle.Schmaltz@unitypoint.org.
Stages of the Counseling Process
The assessment part can take up to three sessions. In the first session you can expect to be asked questions about relationship status: single, married, cohabiting, divorced, widowed, etc.
You will be asked questions about past counseling, your strengths and abilities, medical treatment, medications, chronic complaints, any past abuse, and if there is a history of domestic violence.
You will be asked questions to assess for depression and any suicidal thoughts.
There are also questions about drug and alcohol use and/or treatment, as well as questions about family use of drugs or alcohol.
You will be asked about your immediate family and how you currently relate to them and if there is a history of treatment for depression or anxiety.
There will be questions about how your experience may impact school or your job.
During the second session, a more in-depth family history is usually completed. The reason for this is not to assess blame, but to understand what one learned from the family dynamics and how that learning may be helpful or not helpful given the current issue.
The third session is often used to process the information from the first and second session. It is ALWAYS up to the patient to decide if that information makes sense to them and fits for them. The goal in doing this is to open options through expanded awareness. (An in-depth history like this is not done in all cases; it depends upon the case.)
Also in the first session we will talk about what brings you to counseling. You will have an opportunity to share the pressing issues at that time. You can expect to feel heard and understood in a caring and compassionate manner. You can expect to not be judged and feel unconditionally accepted. You are always encouraged to ask questions.
Together, we will work on what you would like to see change in your life.
We will work together and you will have the opportunity to learn how to resolve your problems on three levels: emotional, how to work with your feelings in a positive way; cognitive, how your thinking affects how you feel; and behavioral, how your behavior affects how you feel. You will have the opportunity to heal old emotional wounds and create helpful coping skills. You are always in charge of the process and never have to do what you do not wish to do.
Our work together stops when you believe you are ready to do that. The usual number of sessions is four to ten. Though in some cases it may be longer.