Answers

We’re happy to help answer any questions you may have about our counseling services. Have a question that’s not listed? Please contact us or request an appointment.

About Therapy

About Mental Health

About Logistics

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About Therapy


How do I know if my therapist is a good fit?
This is tough to answer because each person is different, but here are some general guides: look for good eye contact. Notice if they leave room for your story, instead of jumping to conclusions. See if they make you feel heard by responding with summaries, empathy, or kindness instead of judgment. Note if you feel pressured in any way or feel they are pushing their values onto you. Check into their specialties and make sure it matches your needs as best possible. Above all, a therapist needs to earn your trust. Since trust takes time, ask yourself if this is a person you could grow to trust completely.


How long is a normal therapy session?
A standard therapy session is 45-55 minutes long.


Why doesn’t my therapist do full 60 min sessions?
Your therapist needs time to write session notes to stay in compliance with the state standards and to have time to use the bathroom eat their meal and rest their brain with the least inconvenience for you.  This helps them to stay present in order to help you, instead of still thinking about the previous client.


Why is my therapist always late?
Although this shouldn’t be the norm, therapists by nature are very compassionate people, and do not want to cut you off in the middle of a conversation.  If a client is in the middle of grieving (for example), and the 50 minutes is up, a good therapist will not stop them to say their time us up.  A therapist will allow extra time, and do their best to help the client finish.   It is very much appreciated that all subsequent clients are compassionate and understanding to this very difficult process.


How do I know if I need counseling?
If you have a person in your life who you don’t know how to deal with, if you are going through a situation you find difficult, or have feelings or behaviors you don’t know how to control, then counseling can be a good answer for you.  If you have friends who are encouraging you to go, then it is likely a good idea to at least go for an initial consultation to see what a professional thinks.


How do I know if therapy is worth the money?
According to Forbes, and a number of other research articles, Mental Health issues such as stress, depression and burnout are the number 1 reason people miss work and have health issues.  Missing work is a costly thing, and so is missing out on your own life.  Counseling is very inexpensive when compared to divorce, losing a job, and not being emotionally available for your kids.  If you invest in you, every other area of your life will be better.  You can become happier so your family will feel happier, your stress levels are low so your work becomes much more effective, and you know how to deal with difficult situations so you become a stable force.


What makes counseling worth it?
When you come to counseling, we work to help you become the best you that you can be.  We help you with your issue, but we also go deep down to the root of the issue so that the whole problem is worked through.  We help you find the best in you in order to deal with all life situations.  We help you become content in any situation.


What can I expect in counseling?
You can expect to speak openly about your issues, but only to the extent you are willing.  Expect to be honest with your therapist, if you are not you are only wasting your own time.  Expect your therapist to be compassionate but honest with you.  Expect the first 3-6 sessions to be talking about the issue you came to counseling for and background (childhood, what your family was like, any abuse you may have endured, etc.).  You can expect the following appointments to be about working through the deeper issues of the issue you came for.  You can expect to feel like some of the things talked about in therapy to feel like a waste of time, but are vitally important to the process of helping you.  You can expect to want to quit therapy, because it is very difficult.  You can expect results if you work hard at home.  The therapist can give you tools, but you have to go home and use them.


What outcomes can I expect from counseling?
Therapy is a process in which a therapist will help you understand the issue on a level you may not have realized existed.  When this happens, you are expected to utilize the tools your therapist gives you at home.  Using new tools are difficult (habit takes over when under pressure), and we know that.  Change is a long process, but when you use the tools more at home, they become easier, and your life slowly begins to change.  We recently had a client state, “The things you’re telling me to do is so counterintuitive to me and how I’ve done things in the past, but my life is so radically different because I’m using them.  Its insane how they work, but they do!”


How do I know if therapy is working?
When you start changing, the world around you can change as well.  It can change for the better, and for the worse.  Sometimes people don’t like it when you change, so they start becoming resentful against you.  Sometimes you start freeing yourself from the pain you are encountering and therefore have more peace in your life.  Sometimes you don’t know how to why, but you feel more content and at peace with how you are living your life.  That’s when you know its working.


What kinds of people do therapy?
Every person from all walks of life does therapy.  We have had gang members, refugees from other countries, CEOs of major businesses, people with mental health diagnosis, and everywhere in between.  Many college aged people who are having a hard time coping with their school work, wives who struggle with their husbands porn use, and a person who just wants some advise about their kids.  Anybody can use counseling for any issue they may be struggling with.


What is counseling like?
Counseling can be very calming and relaxing.  It is a safe place where you can tell a person who has no prior knowledge of you, unbiased opinion of you, everything.  Someone who will be on your side and tell you the truth, even if it is hard to hear.  Counseling can be frustrating because it is a lot of work.  It is not a place where you go and talk for an hour then go home and be “cured.”  You need to implement the changes at home.


Who is therapy for?
Anybody can use counseling for any issue they may be struggling with. Many college aged people who are having a hard time coping with their school work, wives who struggle with their husbands porn use, and a person who just wants some advise about their kids. Therapy is for gang members, refugees from other countries, CEOs of major businesses, people with mental health diagnosis, and everywhere in between.


Can I start counseling if I don’t know what my problem is?
Tons of people start counseling not knowing exactly what the issue really is. You are absolutely welcome to begin therapy without a clear understanding of your problem. That said, you will want some idea of what your discomfort is. For example: “I’m depressed but I have no idea why” is a perfect place to start. Good therapists will help you dig deeper than you thought possible and find the root problem, so it may even be to your advantage to be unsure of the real problem.


What do the letters behind my therapists’ name mean?
Here are what the letters mean behind the name of your Hope Heals counselor:

  • Scott Nuismer
    • LPC: Licensed Professional Counselor
    • CAADC: Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor
  • Betsy Nuismer
    • LLPC: Limited Licensed Professional Counselor
    • CHAIS: Certified Human Animal Intervention Specialist

What training is required to become a counselor?
Counselors are first required to get a Bachelors degree in the behavioral health field (psychology, social work, etc.). After that, they must obtain a Masters degree, also in the behavioral health field. If your therapist holds additional specialty certifications, that means they completed another educational track in addition to the previously mentioned degrees. In total, this means your therapist has completed hundreds of hours of targeted academic training, studying, reading, writing, and the like, just to complete the educational requirement for counseling.

The next requirement is supervised clinical training: actually doing therapy with real people while a supervisor teaches your therapist to be more efficient and effective. For an LPC (see the above question for definition), this entails hundreds of clinical hours during the Masters program and a minimum of 2,000 clinical hours post graduation to take place in no less than two years. Additional certifications require more clinical hours still. Together, your Hope Heals Counseling staff have completed over 9,000 hours of clinical training.

Counselors with an LPC or LLPC are required to take and pass the National Counselor Exam, a “200-item, multiple-choice exam designed to assess knowledge, skills, and abilities determined to be important for providing effective counseling service” (from the National Board for Certified Counselors).

Finally, counselors with an LPC or LLPC are required to register with, and be monitored by, the state of Michigan, which includes paying fees for our licensure and completing “continuing education” credits to stay up-to-date on new information in our field.


How do I know if I am ready to quit therapy?
Your therapist should be able to help you through this question. Generally speaking, if you feel like you are stuck, with no progress happening, talk to your therapist about what can be done. If you still feel stuck, it might be time to switch therapists. If your initial goal is completed, and no other goals came up in the process, you may be finished with therapy, but remember – always talk to your therapist first before quitting.


How long will I be in therapy?
The length of counseling is different for everyone and varies greatly, but there are some “typical” timeframes we can share with you:

  • For traditional counseling (one-on-one therapy), the first 2-4 sessions are mostly spent gathering information – getting the most accurate picture of the problem as possible. Next, you and your therapist transition into phase two: the healing process. Time spent in this phase varies depending on the number of issues addressed, complexity of the problems, and how directly the client is able to work on these issues. It can take anywhere between three months to one year, or possibly longer.
  • For experiential intensives, you can schedule them for anywhere between 3-6 days long. From there you have two options: first, you can use the two complimentary follow up sessions and be finished at that point or, second, you can begin on going traditional therapy. Many people choose this option because it helps capitalize on the positive momentum the intensive has provided.

About Mental Health


What is mental illness?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, “Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in thinking, emotion or behavior (or a combination of these)…Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a medical problem, just like heart disease or diabetes.”


Is getting a mental health diagnosis a bad thing?
A diagnosis isn’t who you are, it is “this is how we can help you.”  Getting a diagnosis from a qualified clinician is not a bad thing.  This means all of the issues you have been dealing with are now classified and can be helped!  All a diagnosis means is that the behaviors you have been displaying are clustered into a classification which has a set number of rules on how to treat.  A diagnosis is good for clinicians in order to help you, it is nothing more than that.  Nobody else has to know if you don’t want them to.


What is depression?
There are many specific kinds or “flavors” of depression. It can come in short and intense bursts or be dull, yet drawn out. Most, but not all, depression diagnoses involve the following: feeling down the majority of the time, loss of interest in things you normally like to do, and feeling unable to control the negative emotions or “turn it around”.


Do I have depression?
Answer the following questions honestly:

  • Have I wanted to hurt myself or not wake up recently?
  • Do I feel down most of the time?
  • Have I stopped or lost interest in stuff I like?
  • Do I feel worthless nearly every day?

If you answered “yes” to any of the following, it could mean that depression is a part of your life right now. The questions above are NOT designed to give a diagnosis, so, contact us for a free diagnostic consultation. We can begin to explore your story and find out if depression is a part of your life.


How do I get help for depression?
Contact us for a free consultation. Depression is a tough one to fight on your own. Connect with a trained professional to start pinpointing the problem and building targeted solutions.


What is anxiety?
There are three trademarks connected with almost every type of anxiety: fear, worry, and when either of those gets triggered, you can’t seem to stop it. When this fear and worry is triggered by anything from small spaces, to being left alone, or anything in between, we generally call that anxiety.


Do I have anxiety?
Answer the following questions honestly:

  • Am I worried or afraid more often than most people I know?
  • Do I avoid things just to not feel afraid or worried?
  • Is it almost impossible to concentrate when I feel afraid or worried?
  • Has my fear or worry been a problem for a while now?

If you answered “yes” to any of the following, it could mean that anxiety is a part of your life right now. The questions above are NOT designed to give a diagnosis, so, contact us for a free diagnostic consultation. We can begin to explore your story and find out if anxiety is a part of your life.


How do I get help for anxiety?
Contact us for a free consultation. Anxiety is a tough one to fight on your own. Connect with a trained professional to start pinpointing the problem and building targeted solutions.


About Logistics


I want help, where do I start?
You may go to our Make an Appointment page and follow the instructions, or give us a call!


I am ready to start counseling, how do I prepare?
After you have set up your first appointment, you can follow the instructions your therapist gave you.  Make sure to fill out the intake form, disclosure form and payment forms.  You may also want to think about what questions you have for your counselor.  You may want to think about why you are going, that is typically one of the first questions you will be asked.  Stay calm.  Therapy is a very difficult thing to start, and you made the call, that is a huge accomplishment.  We know that you are very strong for simply starting the process, and we are honored you asked us to help you.


Where are you located?
Our address is 44 E. 8th St. – Suite #230 – Holland, Michigan – 49423. We are in the heart of downtown Holland, right above Butch’s Drydock. See Directions to your office for more detail and parking information.


How do I reschedule a counseling session?
If it is before 48 hours prior to your scheduled session, you may call or e-mail your therapist to request rescheduling.  If it is after the 48 hour deadline, you are encouraged to call or email your therapist to reschedule for a $25 fee if you are able to reschedule within the same week.  We do ask that no matter when you know you will not be able to attend, let us know as soon as you are able.


Will I get charged if I call my counselor?
If you call your counselor at Hope Heals Counseling about scheduling or have a quick logistics question, you will not get charged.  If you are calling about anything of a therapeutic nature, we charge on a 15 min. or 30 min. increment scale, anything more and we will charge you for a clinical hour.

  • For 1-15 minuets we charge $20
  • For 16-30 minuets we charge $40
  • For 31-55 minutes we charge $80.

How much should I pay for Counseling?
Ethically, counselors are not allowed to charge an exorbitant amount for their service, but prices do vary based on experience and expertise, so, to answer this question, try out the following mental test: Imagine a crisp $100 bill. Is $100 a lot when compared to the price of a gallon of milk? How about the price of your home or apartment? How about investing $100 towards a peaceful future? In short, perspective matters a lot here. Counseling can help you find greater peace and joy: what is that worth to you? Typically, the more you invest, the better the results. With that said, it’s very important to get a therapist that’s a good fit for you. See How do I know if my therapist is a good fit? for more. When you combine a good therapeutic fit and a willingness to invest, the actual cost should be perfect.


What should I do if I see my counselor out in public?
In short, you may do whatever is most comfortable for you. Our Policy at HHC is to protect your confidentiality, meaning we start with not do anything to suggest we have seen you before. From there, you have the freedom to ignore us, say “hello”, or tell anyone about our therapeutic relationship, and we will respond accordingly.


How do I report my counselor?
Please contact the following, they will guide you on what to do:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs – Enforcement Division – Allegations Section
P.O. Box 30670
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-9196


How much does counseling cost?
Hope Heals Counseling offers several services at the following prices:

  • Individual session – $80
  • Couples session – $115
  • Couples Co-therapy – $140
  • Family session (3-4 people) – $175
    • $25 extra for every person past four
  • Family Co-therapy – $210
    • $25 extra for every person past four
  • Experiential Intensives: (does not include cost of lodging)
    • 3 day – $1,850
    • 5 day – $3,050
    • 6 day – $3,600

What are the different services you offer?

Experiential Intensives

  • Experiential therapy is a fast and effective way to bring the issues you want resolved to the light, allowing you and your therapist to start working on targeted solutions quickly. This isn’t your grandfather’s therapy. Experiential therapy is different from traditional counseling because it uses strategic games and activities, often held on beautiful Michigan beaches, specifically designed to help you and your therapist find the root of most problems quickly. Whether you are looking for counseling on a budget or you just don’t want the “same old, same old”, experiential therapy could be the perfect option for you.

Individual sessions

  • These sessions are designed for just you and your therapist to work on any issues you choose. Sessions are typically 45-50 minutes and usually held once per week. Session length and frequency is allowed to increase or decrease depending on need and availability.

Couples sessions

  • Designed for a man and woman who are dating, engaged, or married, these sessions allow for two people to work with their therapist on what ever issues they choose. This format helps ensure couples grow in the same direction and have the same set of tool.
  • This format can also be used for other relationships such as parent/child or adult siblings.

Pre-Marital

  • Hope Heals Counseling therapists are Prepare and Enrich (P&E) certified and have access to the P&E curriculum. This curriculum, when coupled with other proven techniques, is a wonderful way to set your marriage up for success. *Please be aware that the P&E assessment test will be an additional $30 charge.

Family sessions

  • Best used when 3 or more people need counseling together, family sessions allow for several family members to work with one therapist. This format is very effective at improving accuracy of communication, consistency, and honest sharing.

Co-therapy

  • Used with either couples or family sessions, Co-therapy means you have two therapists in the room working for you. This format means that you get double the effort, double the expertise, and double the strategy for finding solutions.

Do you take insurance?
We sure do! We currently accept Cegna and are continually working to get paneled with more insurance companies.


Directions to your office?
Our office address is 44 E. 8th St. – Suite #230 – Holland, Michigan – 49423. If you are coming from highway US-31 (north or south): turn west on 8th St. and follow it for about 1.2 miles. This will land you in beautiful downtown Holland. Once you pass College Ave., begin looking to your left and you will see Butch’s Drydock a few business down. We are on the second floor, above this restaurant. If you are facing the front of the restaurant, you will find an indoor walkway just to the left. This is where the elevator is located. Parking can be found either on 8th St., or you can swing south to 9th St. and find more parking in the back.


More


What do I do if someone threatens someone else?
If you overhear someone threatening someone else, ask yourself this: were they joking? If you think there is even a slight possibility that the threat was real, call the police. The other person might come up with a thousand excuses of why you should let it go, but threats are dangerous, and usually the person threatened needs help. Even if you think its overkill to call the police, call them anyways. Let trained professionals make the choice about if intervention is needed or not.


How long have you been counseling?
Both Betsy and Scott graduated with their Masters in Counseling from Colorado Christian University in 2014. Before they even graduated, the two of them had already accumulated 1,400 hours of professional experience. Since then, they have logged well over 9,000 hours of assisting everyone from heroin addicts to couples in broken marriages, helping them find their path to healing.


Why work with Hope Heals Counseling?
Hope Heals Counseling believes strongly in giving quality and trustworthy care to everyone we work with. It is a great honor when someone trusts us with his or her story, so we treat it with great respect. In addition to the hundreds of hours of skill training and thousands of hours of professional experience, Hope Heals Counseling also brings several important specialties to the table. See What are your specialties? for more. Hope Heals Counseling is a place where you can find solutions and get stuff done. If you are ready to work on your life and your needs match what services we offer, then Hope Heals Counseling could be a great fit for you.


What are your specialties?
Betsy Nuismer’s specialties:

  • Certified Human Animal Intervention Specialist (CHAIS): In addition to the standard educational demands to become a counselor, Betsy completed 10 courses specifically designed to ensure the safe and effective use of dogs, cats, horses, goats, and the like during the course of therapy.
  • Prepare and Enrich Certified: Betsy completed a 2 day seminar reserved for professionals, teaching empirically supported techniques to help couples prepare for a healthy marriage.

Scott Nuismer’s specialties:

  • Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC): In addition to the standard educational demands to become a counselor, Scott completed 294 educational hours about the neural chemistry and treatment techniques for addiction. Additionally, Scott completed well over 5,000 hours of supervised clinical experience specific to addictions treatment. Scott also passed both the MAC and IC&RC national exams in order to hold this certification.
  • Prepare and Enrich Certified: Scott completed a 2 day seminar reserved for professionals, teaching empirically supported techniques to help couples prepare for a healthy marriage.

Have additional questions?
Please contact us or request an appointment.