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Counseling and Psychological Services
In the early 1920′s the Lighthouse included within its mission statement a commitment to providing counseling on emotional and practical problems, and assistance with adjustment. Our counseling and psychological services program brings this earlier foundational commitment forward into the present day to offer more comprehensive services to our blind and visually impaired clients, their families and significant others.
Current Service Offerings: The Lighthouse provides counseling, psychotherapy, evaluation and consultation for people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired, and/or for those who are family members or partners of someone with visual impairment or blindness. Such services help to promote healthier emotional development, social participation, and the ability to talk about and understand feelings in a safe, confidential setting. Individual, couple and group sessions are available, and our qualified staff can assist you in determining which of these is best suited to clients’ needs and/or preferences.
At the Lighthouse clients seek therapy for a variety of reasons, including difficulty managing anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, impulsive or acting-out behavior, ADHD, eating and sleep disorders, traumatic experiences, stress due to divorce, illness, and grief/loss issues. A person’s vision-related changes or challenges may add a unique set of realistic and practical aspects to his or her life experiences, yet this may not be the only or even the primary reason for seeking services. On the other hand, if adjusting to change associated with blindness or visual impairment is of primary concern, the Lighthouse is uniquely positioned to respond with particular expertise and sensitivity.
The Counseling and Psychological Services program at the Lighthouse can help to:
- Support healthy adjustment to blindness and visual impairment across the lifespan
- Encourage greater social participation within and outside the blindness/visually impaired community
- Remove potential barriers to academic success, gainful employment and job retention
- Promote healthier, more active lifestyles
- Expand and strengthen social, professional and familial support systems
- Improve self-esteem and confidence.
Counseling vs. Psychotherapy:
Although the terms counseling and psychotherapy are often regarded as synonyms, there are some important differences between them to keep in mind. Counseling is usually designed to address specific concerns or skill sets using a solution-focused approach. Counseling is also typically more short term than psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is usually more long term than counseling, and focuses on a broader range of issues. The underlying principle is that a person’s pattern of thinking and perceptions affect the way that he or she interacts with the world. The goal in psychotherapy is to uncover those patterns and become aware of their effect, and then to learn new, healthier ways to think and interact.
Both counseling and psychotherapy may be used in combination with other approaches (medication, referrals to additional Lighthouse and other community resources, behavior management, or work with school personnel or employers).
About Connie Conley-Jung:
Dr. Connie Conley-Jung is a licensed clinical psychologist and former special education teacher who has over 20 years of experience serving children, adolescents and adults seeking support and assistance with a wide range of psychological, relationship, school, or employment-related issues. Her lifelong experience as a visually impaired person, in addition to her professional experiences in educational and community nonprofit settings, enable Dr. Conley-Jung to share her extensive knowledge base of resources and clinical expertise with clients and colleagues alike. Dr. Conley-Jung is committed to helping Lighthouse clients of all ages achieve their goals and sustain an improved quality of life and overall well-being. For more information about counseling and psychological services at the Lighthouse, or to set up an appointment, contact Dr. Connie Conley-Jung via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (415) 694-7307.
Fees vary by service. Certain insurance plans are accepted. Please contact Dr. Conley-Jung to discuss the current fees. Payment arrangements and fee adjustments may be available for those who demonstrate a financial need.
A limited number of health insurance plans are accepted. Please check with Dr. Conley-Jung to inquire as to which plans are currently being accepted. If your particular insurance company is not currently being accepted, you may also apply for reimbursement from your insurance company (if available, depending upon your benefit plan) and Connie will help you by preparing a monthly statement of your services. If you elect to use your insurance company for behavioral or psychological services, be sure to contact your insurance carrier for specific benefit eligibility and instructions for seeking reimbursement.
Do you have to be blind or visually impaired to be eligible for counseling services at the Lighthouse?
Anyone who is blind or visually impaired, or who has a family member who is blind or visually impaired, can receive counseling and psychological services at the Lighthouse.
Can I get help with non-blindness related issues?
A person’s vision-related changes or challenges may add a unique set of realistic and practical aspects to his or her life experiences, yet this may not be the only or even the primary reason for seeking therapy. On the other hand, if adjusting to blindness or visual impairment is of primary concern, the Lighthouse is uniquely positioned to respond with particular expertise and sensitivity.
Is therapy only for people with really serious problems that keep them from functioning?
No. Many people use therapy to understand their feelings about their relationships, careers, or fear of success, and may look to the world like happy successful people, but underneath they may feel confused and anxious about the next step to take. Therapy can provide a safe place to explore your concerns and find the answers that may be inside you, waiting to be discovered.
Is therapy private?
Yes, confidentiality is an important part of the therapy process and it means that everything talked about is between you and the therapist. Insurance companies require minimal information in order to process claims and for this reason, those who are able may prefer to pay for their own therapy.
How do I know if I need more than a friend to talk to?
It can be great to talk to a friend who understands you, but talking with a therapist can help you go deeper into your feelings. If you notice that you keep talking to your friends about the same problems and don’t try new ways or get new insights, you may want to try therapy. In therapy the focus is on you, and there’s no need to take care of the therapist or share the time as you might do with a friend.
What kinds of problems can I take to therapy?
Almost any problem that you feel the need to talk over with someone else can be brought to therapy. This can include sadness, isolation, dating and relationship concerns, school and work issues.
How long does therapy last?
Therapy can last as long as it is needed, sometimes a few months and sometimes years. You and your therapist can talk about what you need.
How do I know if I am depressed?
Some signs of depression are isolation, tearfulness (or withdrawal); sleep disturbance, appetite changes, and feelings of hopelessness. Meeting with a therapist can help you determine if you are depressed.
My doctor asked me if I wanted to take anti-depressants. Should I consider seeing a therapist also?
Depression is caused by many factors and talking with a therapist can help you along with certain medications prescribed and monitored by a psychiatrist or other qualified provider. When appropriate, Dr. Conley-Jung collaborates with other providers on behalf of the clients she serves
How much does therapy cost? Do you take insurance?
Fees vary by service. Certain insurance plans are accepted. Please contact Dr. Conley-Jung to discuss the current fees. Specific payment arrangements may be available for those who are using their insurance to help pay for services, or for those who otherwise demonstrate a financial need. It is recommended that you check with your insurance company to find out if they would cover your work with a psychologist like Dr. Conley-Jung.