Fairhaven Counseling & Wellness Center

Aimee Innes, MA, LMHC


  Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Counseling?

A. Counseling, or psychotherapy, is a professional relationship with a therapist to help you with personal problems or becoming more acquainted with your most authentic self.  The counseling relationship differs from both social friendships and traditional patient-doctor relationships.  Rather than giving you specific advice, counselors serve as skilled listeners who help you clarify issues, discover wishes and explore feelings, which can help you deal more effectively with your problems.

Q. How do I know I need a counselor?

A.  Have you noticed a change in your appetite?  How about your sleep patterns?  Is it difficult to fall asleep? To stay asleep?  Are you experiencing difficulties in a relationship (with your partner, friend, spouse, or family member)?  Are you experiencing difficulties at work?  Do you simply not feel good?  There are countless reasons to come to counseling and remember: ANYONE CAN BENEFIT FROM COUNSELING.  Think of it as a place to come to get to know yourself better.

Q. How long does counseling take?

A. It varies from person to person, depending on goals, needs, and interests.  I recommend clients initially attend counseling sessions weekly to build momentum and start seeing results sooner.  Just like going to the gym consistently will help you achieve results faster than going to the gym once a month, it is recommended clients meet regularly with a counselor.  Because you are learning and practicing new skills, the more frequently you practice them, the easier it will be to master them.  Counseling ends when clients feel confident they can manage things on their own and can return any time as needed.

Q. How does counseling help?

A. It is therapeutic to talk about yourself and your concerns.  Most of us have probably had the experience of relief after talking with a friend or family member about something we had been holding in.  Usually our concerns seem more manageable when we talk about them with someone we trust.  As we talk, our perspective on the problem often begins to change.

Talking with a counselor will also help you:

  • Pinpoint problems – and understand aspects of the problems that may be improved.
  • Identify negative or problematic thinking patterns that contribute to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, and to develop a more positive outlook.
  • Explore learned thoughts and behaviors that create or maintain problems.
  • Regain a sense of control and pleasure in life.
  • Discover strengths you have and how to use them to grow stronger in other areas.

Counseling goes beyond the obvious, and helps get us unstuck.  It is often the case that we know what we should be doing to help us feel better, but can’t seem to be able to do what we know we should.  Counseling helps us work through the obstacles that keep us from doing what we know would be helpful.

Q. When are you available to see clients?

A. I am available Monday through Thursday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Other times are available by appointment (depending on availability).

Q. How much does therapy cost?

A. Your initial intake appointment costs $145.00. Each 45- to 60-minute session after that costs $100.00-$120.00.  I do accept insurance.  I am happy to check your heath insurance benefits and convey to you what services are covered.  I do have some sliding fee arrangements but they are limited.

Q. What can I expect during my first appointment?

A. The intake appointment consists of building a mutually supportive rapport and obtaining a detailed history of your presenting concerns.  The more information I have, the better I can help you.  Just as a doctor would do a thorough exam before diagnosing a medical condition, I will ask questions about how long you have been dealing with your presenting issue/s, their impact on your life, the intensity and duration of your challenges, how you have managed them so far, what has been effective and what hasn’t.  I will also find out what has helped you overcome challenges in the past and apply this knowledge to help you overcome your current concerns.

Q. How do I schedule an appointment?

A. I have day and limited evening office hours available. Please call or email to schedule an appointment.

Office: (360) 920-9229

Email: Aimee@BellinghamCounselingToday.com

Q Where is your office?

A. My office is located in South Bellingham (Fairhaven):

            1106 Harris Ave., Ste. 304

            Bellingham, WA 98225

Look for the building “Finnegan’s Alley,” sandwiched between 12th and 11th Streets on Harris Avenue.  Go in through the atrium, the elevator is on your right.

Contact Aimee:

Do you need more information or have more questions?  I always give a free, 30-minute consultation to anyone wishing to become a client.  Please use the form below, I will contact you via email (or phone, if requested).

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