Counseling Edge

Create a Better Life

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Office Hours

          Mondays                        9:00 am - 5:00 pm

         Tuesdays                        9:00 am - 5:00 pm

         Wednesdays                  9:00 am - 5:00 pm

         Thursdays                      9:00 am - 5:00 pm 

          Fridays                           Closed 

          *Sessions are by appointment only. 



Feel free to give us a call during office hours.  If we are with a client, leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.   

OFFICE:  828.324.1400  


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I know who will be a good counselor for me?

Choosing a good counselor is a matter of doing your homework and then trusting yourself as to which counselor stands out in someway as right for you. You will most likely know after your first session if you have connected with your counselor. If you have not, you should continue on your search until you find an individual you trust and feel comfortable with.   Counseling is about establishing a safe relationship with a professional you feel good about.

How long does counseling take?  

The length of counseling is dependent on the severity of the problem. An individual seeking better communication skills will need far fewer sessions that someone suffering post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is helpful to be fair to yourself and the counseling process by committing to 7+ sessions for basic problems and 12+ sessions for multiple problems or past trauma.

What is a counseling intensive or coaching retreat?  

A counseling intensive or coaching retreat provides professional services in a condensed amount of time. Instead of having one session a week for twelve weeks to focus on a concern, the client decides to invest in spending multiple hours with a professional over the course of a few days. At this time, Michelle Ellwanger is the only clinician at our practice providing intensive services.  Please call our office for pricing and details about counseling intensives and coaching retreats.

What does counseling typically cost? 

Counseling costs vary but since you are paying for a licensed professional with over six years of college education , you should expect costs to range from $75-$200 per session. Lower costs may be found at agencies who accept sliding scale payments or receive grants to offset costs. Higher costs may be found at agencies with specialized services or with clinicians in high demand. Click here to view RATES for services provided at our office located in Hickory, North Carolina .  

How do I help someone who needs counseling?

While you can be supportive and find resources to make the decision easier for that individual, ultimately, the individual will need to have some ownership in the process. Talk to the person to determine what fears or barriers they have that are preventing them from seeking professional services and then help them overcome these factors.

I tried counseling in the past and it didn't work, now what?

Every counseling situation is different. It is important to find a counselor that you like who is experienced in the area you are seeking assistance. Equally important, you should have treatment goals and assignments between sessions. The results and the progress you make will be proportionate to the effort you put into the process. By all means, go at your own pace but also set personal expectations and discuss these with your counselor.

Do I have to be diagnosed if I do counseling?

A diagnosis is required when filing with insurance companies. When paying out of pocket, no diagnosis is required. If you have concerns about a diagnosis, have a discussion with your counselor at your first session to look at an option that works for you. 

What counseling credentials or licensing requirements should I look for?

To be legally practicing, your counselor or therapist will have a minimum of six years of college. Master's level and doctorate level clinicians can be recognized by the following credentials after their name: MA, MS, PhD and PsyD.  In addition to these academic credentials, notice the licensing credentials after their name. Common examples and what they stand for are listed below:

NCC = National Certified Counselor (initial step which requires passing a national exam)

LPCA = Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (designation for new counselor being supervised) 

LPC = Licensed Professional Counselor (counselor no longer required to have supervision)

LMFTA = Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (designation for new therapist being supervised) 

LMFT = Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (therapist no longer required to have supervision)

LCSWA= Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate (designation for new social worker being supervised)

LCSW = Licensed Clinical Social Worker (social worker no longer required to have supervision)

There are amazing seasoned clinicians who are highly competent with dealing with specific mental health concerns who you may find best meet your personal needs. But there are also many new clinicians with an associate designation who are wonderfully qualified professionals often offering services often at a lower price. At Counseling EDGE, we give clients both options. Do your homework and then pick someone that you connect with and trust for a successful counseling experience.

What exactly is coaching? 

Think of coaching as an activity that provides personal and professional growth.  It increases your awareness and accountability so that you can become your personal best. Coaching is an innovative and growing industry utilized by corporations and individuals looking for increased performance.

How is coaching different than counseling?

Coaching has nothing to do with mental health.  Unlike counseling where clients are assessed and given a diagnosis, coaching is about goal setting and self exploration.  To see how coaching areas of focus differ from counseling areas of focus, visit our SERVICES page. 

What makes EDGE Coaching unique?

At EDGE Coaching, we focus on making sure our coaches have the education, training and experience to work with clients. This is why we require all EDGE coaches to be masters level or higher with additional verified coaching certification. We take competency seriously and know how important this is for helping clients achieve their goals.

How long does the coaching process take? 

Many clients report new focus and motivation after their initial session. Clients are encouraged but not required to commit to 6 months of services for noticeable results.  Many of our clients invest in six months of initial services to build momentum and then check in on a monthly basis to maintain their performance. Ultimately, how fast you go is up to you.

What do phone sessions cost? 

Our phone sessions start at $120.  Packages are available for additional savings and can easily be purchased on our website.  Executive coaching is an option for clients wanting to work directly with Michelle Ellwanger. Please call our office for pricing and details about requesting professional services with Michelle Ellwanger.