How is counselling different than talking to my friends or family members?

Reaching out to friends and family members is a great way to receive support and help, and counsellors encourage clients to use these social support networks. However, friends and family members can be biased and may not be able to provide objectivity from an outside perspective. Counsellors are professionals who have received extensive education and training in helping people who are in need. Sometimes, people worry about their sensitive information not being kept private with friends and famiy. Professionals at Fresh Air adhere to the strictest ethical codes of confidentiality and practice. Fresh Air also provides a nonjudgmental, safe space for clients to express themselves, which may sometimes be a concern while talking to friends and family members. 

What age group do Fresh Air professionals see?

Fresh Air sees clients ages 16 and up.


What can I expect in the first intake session?

In your first session, you will complete some documentation and the policies at Fresh Air will be explained to you, including confidentiality and its limits. You will then speak to your counsellor about relevant background information, and about what brought you to Fresh Air.


How many sessions will I need?

It is difficult to determine exactly how many sessions you will need. That being said, therapy does not have to last forever. Early on in therapy, you will decide goals with your counsellor and periodically check in on and assess progress on those goals collaboratively. Once you feel you have the tools to manage your concerns on your own, you and your counsellor can discuss whether it's a good time to conclude treatment.


What is the difference between a psychologist/counsellor and
a psychiatrist? Which one do I need to see?

A psychologist/counsellor is specifically trained to provide therapy by focusing on behaviours, thoughts, and emotions. While psychiatrists take those into account as well, they focus on neurochemistry and are able to prescribe medication, if required. 

At Fresh Air, you will first see the counsellor for an intake session, after which it will be determined whether you might benefit from a psychiatric evaluation with a psychiatrist. 


Will I need medication?

You will first complete the intake session with the counsellor, after which, if needed, you may be referred to the psychiatrist for a psychiatric evaluation. A psychiatric evaluation is recommended in cases where counselling sessions alone may be inadequate, such as in cases of a neurochemical imbalances. At Fresh Air, medication is only prescribed when necessary, and not as a “quick fix.” It is highly recommended that clients continue counselling sessions while on medication.


I don’t live in Mumbai. Can I still avail of Fresh Air’s services?

Absolutely! Fresh Air provides counselling sessions via video call. However, psychiatric sessions cannot occur over video call.


Will what I talk about remain confidential?

Counsellors and psychiatrists at Fresh Air follow professional, ethical, and legal guidelines of the American Counseling Association and General Medical Council (UK) respectively. Information exchanged at Fresh Air remains completely confidential, unless there is reason to believe that the client(s) may harm themselves or others, or in cases of abuse of children, elders, or people with disabilities.


Why do Fresh Air professionals have written records of my sessions?

According to the Mental Healthcare Act, proper documentation and its maintenance are mandatory. Each session is documented by your counsellor and psychiatrist in order to ascertain continuity of care, legitimize treatment strategies, and avoid negligence. However, all documentation is password-protected and/or stored in locked cabinets to which only Fresh Air professionals have access. Documentation will only be released with clients’ written consent or if disclosure is required by law.

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