Dr. Karen McCleskey, Licensed Counselor

            Phone/Text: 404-7544-2677          E-mail: karen@drkarenmccleskey.com

Frequently Asked Questions

I will address the most FAQ's in 2 sections: one for people with questions related to counseling issues and one for therapists interested in the continuing education workshops. If you have a question I don't address, please text me or call me at 404-754-2677 or email me at karen@drkarenmccleskey.com  


FAQ's about Counseling:


Q: How do I know if I need to see a counselor?

A: There are so many good reasons to see a counselor! If you're experiencing any feelings or behaviors that are causing you to function in ways that are counterproductive, then talking with a licensed counselor may be helpful. Some, but not all, things that would indicate that you might benefit from seeing a counselor include feelings of anxiety, depression, trouble in your relationships with others, dealing with major life decisions and changes, handling stress, and issues of grief and/or loss. This is not a complete list by any means, but rather some general issues that usually tend to bring people in for counseling.

Q: What's the difference between counseling and psychotherapy?

A: Generally, most textbooks state the difference to be related to length, intensity, and depth of sessions between the client and the counselor, with counseling being of shorter duration, less intense, and not going quite as deep as psychotherapy would be. For most purposes, though, the terms are used interchangeably, even though they do differ. You may have noticed your friends calling the mental health professional they see their "counselor" or their "therapist". The word "therapist" is usually used to refer to a mental health professional who might have any one of several possible licenses. 


Q: Who can do counseling?

A: You must be licensed to provide counseling. There are different licenses people may hold, though. Let me explain some terms: a psychiatrist is actually a medical doctor who specialized in treating people with emotional issues. She or he can prescribe medication. A psychologist is (depending on the state) a person with a doctoral degree in psychology. There are many different kinds of psychologists (clinical, counseling, developmental, and so on). A psychologist is usually able to provide specialized testing that some other mental health professionals aren't allowed to, again, depending on the state laws. An LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker, and holds at least a Master's degree in Social Work. An LPC is a licensed professional counselor, and holds at least a Master's degree in Counseling. An LMFT is a licensed couples and family therapist and holds at least a Master's degree in a helping field and has met special requirements to work with couples and families. However, licensed counselors and licensed social workers also may work with couples and with families, too. All these people can provide "counseling", but I'm sure you can see now why it can be a little confusing for the general public about who is able to do what regarding the mental health profession!


Q: If there are so many different types of people who counsel, how do I know who to choose?

A: It really depends on what your needs are. If you need medication, a psychiatrist or another kind of medical doctor must prescribe. Most psychiatrists today don't see clients (they call them patients) to actually talk with them. They just prescribe and monitor the medication. Usually when medication is involved, the psychiatrist may be working with another mental health professional to help the client. Psychologists see clients, as do licensed social workers, licensed counselors, and marriage and family therapists. I think one of the most important things when looking for someone to talk with about  your personal issues is how comfortable you feel with your counselor. I strongly suggest you "interview" any one you're considering seeing. Questions such as "What is your view of counseling?" or "How do you do counseling?" (sometimes called their theoretical orientation) are very appropriate. Are there special areas you want to know if the counselor has experience with? What are the fees? Do you need evening or Saturday appointments and if so, does she or he provide these? You may also want to know what license the person holds (LPC, LCSW, LMFT, psychologist), what kind experience she or he has, and how long she or he has been practicing. It is a state law that to do this work, you must be licensed. This is to insure that only properly trained people are providing these services. Be sure that the person you select is a licensed  professional. Also, ask around. More people that you might guess have talked with a counselor. Get their recommendations and opinions about professionals they've seen. 


Q: What do counselors charge?

A: Fees vary from therapist to therapist, depending on a lot of things. Your best bet is to call around and ask what the therapist charges. If you plan to use your insurance, you might want to find out if the therapist you want to see will be approved or if she/he is already approved by your insurance company.



FAQ's about Continuing Ed. Workshops:

This information pertains to Georgia licensees only. Arizona licensees: information specific to you is coming soon.


Q: Can I register for your workshops on-line?

A: Yes, absolutely.

Q: In Georgia, can I take ethics on-line?

A:  According to the Georgia board, you cannot take ethics on-line nor can you take it as an independent study,  to meet the required 5 hrs.  In order to satisfy the board Ethics requirement, you must take your Ethics course 'live'. You can, however, take as many Ethics courses as you want on-line and/or by independent study and count them, depending on what approval they have, count them as core hrs. or related hours. 

Q: Can I pay for your workshops with a credit card?

A: Yes! You can pay for McCleskey Workshops with your VISA or Mastercard or a check, a money order or cash.

Q: Will all your workshops count for core hours?

A: If you're an LPC, all workshops are core for you. If you are a SW or LMFT, some workshops are core for you and some workshops are related hours.

Q: I noticed that your Ethics workshop is available for NBCC credit.  I'm a social worker (or marriage and family therapist). Will your Ethics workshop meet the ethics hours I need?

A: Yes, absolutely. According to our composite board, ethics is ethics.  This is because LPC's, SW's, and LMFT's are together in one board and adhere to the same code of ethics per licensure in Georgia. The only difference is that LPC's may elect to count the ethics workshop hours as ethics hours or core hours. SW's and LMFT's may count the workshop hours as ethics hours or as related hours.

Q: How many workshops of yours can I take to satisfy the 35 hours I need for license renewal?

A: According to the rules of the composite board, you may take as many of my workshops as you want to. The rules state that no one may count more than 20 hours from a single workshop toward licensure renewal. This means that if I offered a single workshop that was 25 hrs. you would only be able to count 20 of the hrs. toward renewing your license. But you can take as many different workshops by the same provider as you want, just as long as no single workshop is counted for more than 20 hours. So, you can take as many hours with me as you want, as no one workshop I provide is more than 20 hours. 

Q: I heard the board changed the number of hours we need for renewal. Is this true?

A: We still need 35 hours to renew our licenses. The change is that now, instead of getting a minimum of 20 core hours, we need a minimum of 15 core hours, and instead of getting a maximum of 10 related hours, we need a maximum of 15 related hours. The number of hours required for Ethics didn't change: it's still 5 hours. Many people had difficulty getting core hours, so this should make it easier to meet the requirements.

Thanks for checking this out! I hope the FAQ's section has been helpful to you. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions that haven't been covered here.

Text me or call me at 404-754-2677 or email me at karen@drkarenmccleskey.com.

I look forward to hearing from you!


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