Frequently Asked Questions

About how long will counseling take?

The length of the counseling process depends on the clients and the issues that need to be addressed. If families are committed to coming, they are usually with their counselor for 8-12 sessions. Each session is 50 minutes long and takes place once a week.

What can I expect out of our time together?

Families and their counselor meet here at the New Horizons clinic on the campus of William & Mary or at one of our off-site locations. Sessions are focused on the issue(s) presented by the family or their referral source; overall goals for counseling are set by the family. In session everyone talks, participates in activities, and does homework to reach the set goals.

Who comes to the counseling session?

We are a family counseling agency, so the whole family comes to counseling – anyone living in the home or related to you who you consider important in the family concerns or supporting your family in this process. This is a general guideline that we follow; please speak with your counselor to make decisions about who will come. Sometimes different family members are needed at different sessions. These are joint decisions made with you and your counselor over the course of counseling.

What will be our cost for family counseling?

Services are offered free of charge. New Horizons Family Counseling Center is a training institution. Your counselor will be graduate-level student counselor who has completed at least one year of his or her Master’s or Doctoral counseling program and who is closely supervised by faculty, clinic directors, and colleagues. Counseling sessions are also videotaped, with your consent. In exchange, our services are provided to you at no cost. Tapes are deleted after the counselor has met with their supervisor.

If I can’t come to Williamsburg, are there other options available?

Counseling sessions are conducted at various locations in the Hampton Roads area, making travel to sessions as convenient as possible for clients.

Is the information I share in session kept private?

The information you share in session is confidential. Some limits to this confidentiality include the fact that sessions are video taped. New Horizons Family Counseling Center is staffed by counselors who are receiving training in family counseling from faculty and advanced graduate students. For training and research purposes and to ensure that you receive the best services possible, we request your permission to videotape counselor sessions or to engage in live observation. Tapes are deleted after the counselor has met with their supervisor. In addition to taping and/or live supervision we are mandated by state law to break confidentiality if we have any suspicion of child abuse, or any indications that you or a family member are a danger to yourself or to someone else.

If my child is the problem, why does the whole family have to come to counseling?

See #3, above.

How long should I expect to have to wait for an appointment after my child is referred to New Horizons?

The length of our Wait List depends on the time of year. Clients who are referred between May and November have a shorter wait (or no wait) than those who are referred between December and May. All referrals are contacted by telephone within one week of the referral, and at that time, the counselor who does the “intake interview,” may be able to provide information on how long it will be before the first appointment will be made.