Frequently Asked Questions
What is Therapy / Psychotherapy / Counseling?
Therapy, psychotherapy, and counseling are closely related and usually interchangeable terms for what can be described as ‘talk therapy’. Therapy is the process of treating mental health issues, wellness issues, or psychological disorders of clinical significance. Therapy is carried out by trained mental health professionals such as the counseling psychologists of Better Steps Psychology.
How does therapy help?
Therapy involves the use of communicating, imagery, introspection, reflection, and taking action to alleviate mental health issues, wellness issues, or psychological issues that our patients have. Therapy can help people in many different ways but most commonly, we have noted that our patients were able to have a better understanding of their situation and an awareness of their personal strengths and limitations. This knowledge and awareness and understanding of these information at a personal level allows our patients to see new possibilities that leads them to mental health and wellness.
What is your approach to therapy?
At Better Steps Psychology, we believe in a collaborative approach where your Better Steps counselor will integrate your own treatment goals with those that we recommend so that there is greater personal ownership and motivation for our patients to work towards wellness. Moreover, each member of the Better Steps team has his/her own area of specialization so that we can assign a counselor that is most suited to your needs. Most of our counselors begin with a client-centered and eclectic approach that they can modify to suit their patient’s needs. The Better Steps team is also unique in that each client’s case is regularly monitored by our Clinic Interventions Director for progress. Our counselors collaborate and consult with each other to gather different perspectives on how to address our patients’ situation. At Better Steps Psychology, our patient’s welfare is always our first priority.
How long does psychotherapy last? / How many sessions do I need?
The therapeutic process is complex and dependent on many factors. The length of therapy depends on the complexity of the psychological situation and the challenges that you may be experiencing. It also depends on the modality used to address your issue. While all Better Steps clinicians aim to make therapy as efficient as possible, we would like to emphasize that at Better Steps Psychology, the goal is to keep you in therapy only as indicated by your situation.
We do however acknowledge and encourage long term, low frequency therapy to maintain psychological wellbeing in all people regardless of their state of mental wellness.
Do you prescribe medication at Better Steps Psychology?
Yes, psychiatric medications are prescribed by our in-house psychiatrists.
How do I set an appointment?
Appointments may be set by calling our offices at (02) 216 1586 or (0917) 894 3988 during office hours (M-Sat 10am – 5pm). You can also set appointments by sending us an email through wellness@localhost. Please make sure to set appointments at least 3 days (excluding sundays) before your desired schedule so that we can find a time slot for you.
Do you accept walk-ins?
At Better Steps Psychology, we put a premium on the time we spend with our patients and clients. As such, we highly recommend that you set an appointment with us so that we can allot and reserve a specific time for you.
What is a licensed psychologist?
In the Philippines, a licensed psychologist is a mental health professional duly licensed by the Professional Regulatory Board. A Licensed Psychologist bears the suffix RPsy. A Licensed Psychologist must have completed at least a Master’s degree in psychology from a reputable university and has completed sufficient supervised practice. Psychologists have advanced knowledge in the use and interpretation of psychological tests and has extensive training and practice in the use of counseling and psychotherapy techniques. Licensed psychologists apply psychological principles about human behavior to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals who encounter problems in their daily lives.
What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
Both psychologists and psychiatrists are mental health professionals who receive specialized education and training to help people address psychological problems. Psychologists will have advanced training in psychology and will make use of psychotherapy and counseling while psychiatrists are medical doctors who have specialized training and will primarily make use of medication management and some psychotherapy. Psychologists and psychiatrists usually work together in order to help people become the best versions of themselves. At Better Steps Psychology, we provide both psychology and psychiatry services to better serve our clients.
What are the benefits of talking with a psychologist over just sharing with my friends?
A psychologist is a trained professional who can be objective about your current situation and challenges. While your friends may know you best and perhaps shares your current situation, your friends cannot be objective about your problems nor are they trained professionals. While we do encourage that you seek support from your friends while going through therapy, it is still best to consult a professional with sufficient credentials and training to help you figure things out.
How long does therapy last?
This varies from person to person. While there are therapies that specify a number of sessions, these may be limited in scope. Many factors influence a person’s progress in therapy but our experience is that people usually see some small changes after five sessions.
What should I expect from my first session?
When you set an appointment, an email with all the forms and instructions for bank payment will be sent to you. Please print out and fill up the forms prior to the intake so that the time can be used solely for the intake interview. If you don’t fill out your forms, you will be eating into the time allotted for your intake interview.
If you are being referred by an outside professional or your school, kindly request them for a referral note that explains to us the reason you were referred for therapy.
What can I expect from going through psychotherapy?
If you are consistent and have a good relationship with your therapist, you should naturally expect a reduction in either the frequency or severity of the symptoms you initially reported. However, therapy is not a passive exercise. Therapy requires commitment and action for it to work properly. While we understand that some things may not be easy to do, you and your therapist can work out how to accomplish your goals in small, measurable steps.
Do I need to set an appointment?
How do I set an appointment?
To set an appointment, please contact our scheduler at 0917 894 3988 or 02 7216 1586.
How soon can I see a clinician?
Your time is important to us and so we ensure that your reserved appointment is solely for you. It might be difficult to book on certain days so we encourage potential clients to book their appointments at least a week in advance or for Saturday appointments, to book these at least three weeks before your preferred date and time.
Where are you located?
Better Steps Psychology is located at Unit 301 Fortune Building, 144 Pasig Boulevard, Pasig City.
Do you have parking?
The building has very limited parking slots. We encourage our clients to take public transportation or to book a ride-hailing service to avoid the inconvenience of looking for parking.
Do you accept credit cards?
At the moment, we can only accept credit cards through PayPal. Payments through the PayPal portal will be subject to extra fees from PayPal.
Do you accept HMOs / Health Insurance / PhilHealth?
Most local HMO providers do not cover mental health consultations. PhilHealth covers only in-patient mental health services. If your company has an HMO provider from overseas, they might cover mental health services. As a general rule, it is best to ask your company’s compensations and benefits officer if your company’s coverage includes psychologist consultations.
Will you tell anybody else about me?
No. Your intake therapist will discuss with you the confidentiality policy of the clinic. For the most part, whatever you say in session, remains confidential. However, there are specific instances where we are ethically and legally bound to break confidentiality. The first is if we feel that you might seriously harm yourself. The second is if we feel that you might seriously harm another person. The third is if we find out about the occurrence of abuse (physical, sexual) to a child or elderly adult. The fourth is if we are ordered by a court of law to break confidentiality. In all these cases where we are required to break confidentiality, we will discuss with you the course of action that we are taking before we actually do so.
I feel like I might hurt myself or others, can I just walk in?
Better Steps Psychology is an out-patient facility. We do not have the necessary facilities and resources to address emergencies. If you or someone you know might hurt themselves or are in imminent danger, bring them directly to the emergency services department of any hospital. We can worry about setting appointments after this visit.
Do you conduct psychological assessments?
Yes, our clinic conducts different types of psychological assessments that involve a battery of tests. Learn more.
How long before we can get an assessment done?
We understand that it is quite difficult to get an appointment for a psychological evaluation. There are select instances that clients need to be put on our waitlist for an appointment, but we strive to give each client the soonest possible schedule. Typically, we are able to schedule testing within a month of a referral.
How long until we get the results?
A psychological report is typically released after 4 weeks. A feedback session is scheduled when the report is ready. During this session, the results are discussed, and any questions or concerns about the report may be addressed.
Do you conduct assessments for legal cases?
Assessments for legal cases are not conducted by our clinic, as our expertise is in the clinical area.