I’m confused about what “associate” and “trainee” mean. What’s the difference between the two?2022-10-17T03:26:09+00:00

Associate and Trainee

This is a great question, and yes, they can get confusing! An “associate” is a provisionally licensed therapist who has completed a master’s level program and in the process of completing their remaining clinical hours that apply to full licensure. In the course of their graduate study, they successfully completed a full practicum and clinical internship. Associates work under clinical supervision until completing their remaining clinical hours.

Therapist trainees are professionals who are currently enrolled in a rigorous graduate-level counseling program and who have a background in human service. Therapist trainees are in a working agreement between their university and West Lake Houston Counseling. Their services are offered on a sliding scale in an effort to make quality therapy more accessible to the community.

At West Lake Houston Counseling, the Clinical Director, Devaney Knight, LMFT-S supervises all therapist trainees. This means you will have the benefit of two therapists helping with your case instead of one! Although this support happens in the background of your sessions, you can know that you are getting a high-quality level of care to achieve your therapy goals.

I feel very nervous about talking to a professional. I usually just deal with things on my own. Am I weak for seeking counseling?2022-10-11T17:24:44+00:00

No, seeking counseling does not make you weak. However, it is 100% normal to feel hesitant and nervous about making that initial call to start therapy. Many people feel nervous, self-conscious, or downright ashamed about what it means to “need” therapy. Many of us grew up hearing and believing that therapy was for ‘other’ people and that the need for therapy means that you are beyond help. This statement is one of the greatest myths of therapy. Simply put, therapy is a tool. It is one of many tools that can help a person navigate everyday life challenges. Although therapy is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’, we work hard to tailor our approach to fit your specific needs as they arise during our time together.

How will talking to a therapist be different from talking to someone I already know?2022-10-11T17:33:37+00:00

Talking to a therapist

Talking to a therapist has significant benefits. There can be great comfort found in talking to someone you already know, however, therapists have the professional training to work with various problems from an array of perspectives. Our training prepares us to offer a level of support that fosters and encourages the development of new skills and prompts insight and perspective on your part. We can also provide feedback to help you towards the changes you seek to make and will offer safety and non-judgment with each session you attend. You would not have to worry about someone else’s opinions being pushed on you, or being told what to do in a situation.

Furthermore, therapy is confidential (with few limits). Therapists are bound by laws in place to protect your privacy as a client. There are few relationships in life where strict confidentiality is guaranteed. When talking with friends or family members about personal problems, the risk of disclosure of your problems to outside people is present – even when loved ones mean no harm. This can have negative effects on those relationships.

What about medication? Can’t I just do that instead of therapy?2022-10-17T03:04:44+00:00

Medication or Therapy?

When considering medication instead of therapy, it is important to recognize that, while medication treats various mental health symptoms, it is not designed to explore and treat foundational issues; therapy is. Therapy helps a person adopt new strategies for managing life’s challenges and accomplishing personal goals. Medication can be useful but is frequently found more effective with the support of talk therapy.

How does therapy work? How long will I need to attend therapy?2022-10-17T03:11:32+00:00

How does therapy work?

This is how therapy will work. Sessions are timed at 50 minutes. In the first session, your therapist will conduct an intake to better understand your presenting problems in greater detail and to ask other health and background questions. From there, your therapist will work with you to establish the way toward your goals. Therapy is most effective when you attend it regularly (particularly in the beginning). We encourage you to approach therapy as an investment in yourself with the expectation of personal return. A large part of your successful outcomes will be related to how able you are to participate and remain committed to your goals.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?2022-10-17T03:17:28+00:00

We believe that the true work of therapy takes place from the time you leave our office to the time you return. This means that most of the work you will do will translate to various aspects of your personal life. Your discipline is crucial to meeting the goals you have. The time you spend on and with yourself between sessions is likely the greatest help towards therapy. This could include completing homework or other therapeutic activities (such as reading) outside of your therapy sessions. Your therapist can offer guidance based on your goals.

I am having relationship problems. Should I be in individual counseling, or should I and my partner come to couples counseling?2022-10-17T03:20:26+00:00

Relationship problems

If you are having relationship problems and your partner is agreeable to participating in sessions, couple therapy may be a suitable option. In the first session, your therapist will conduct an intake to gather relevant information that will help inform your goals. Sometimes, individual therapy is a more appropriate treatment for certain relationship problems. Your therapist will provide recommendations if couple therapy is determined to be an inappropriate fit to address those concerns.

When working with couples, we hold a strict “no secrets” policy. This means that your therapist will not hold secret information about one of you from the other within the context of couple therapy.

Some people decide that they would like to continue working with the therapist individually once they have finished couples therapy. Should you decide this is right for you, the therapist could only work with one of you. Due to potential trust issues, we generally do not begin couple therapy after individual therapy with the same therapist.


Therapy for Sustainable Change

West Lake Houston Counseling provides therapy for couples, individuals, LGBTQ, teens, and families.

Psychotherapy for Individuals Seeking to Make Positive Life Change

Services: Group image collage
Relationship Issues
Life Transitions
Anger Management
Coping Skills
Family Conflict
Issues (Continued)

LGBTQ+/Coming Out Issues
Marital and Premarital
Oppositional Defiance (ODD)
Peer Relationships
Racial Identity
Self Esteem
Trauma and PTSD
Weight Loss
Women’s Issues

Not sure about therapy?

“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.”

Do you ever wonder how much time, effort, and cost go into therapy? Is it keeping you from better mental health and seeing a therapist? Book a complimentary 20-minute consultation now and learn what you can expect from therapy.

black therapist


West Lake Houston Counseling can help

West Lake Houston Counseling can help

Are you looking for a POC mental health therapist in your area?

Finding a Black or Latinx therapist in your area can be challenging. After facing years of historical trauma, people of color are beginning to heal from the pain and trauma that they have faced.

West Lake Houston Counseling understands the importance for therapists to be culturally competent and to understand how to treat individuals who have faced this type of trauma.

Go to Top