Matters of the Heart Counseling Services, LLC    

We use Psychological Principles and
Biblical Truths
to transform lives

Counseling Services

What To Expect During
Your First Counseling Appointment

The primary goal of the initial assessment is to conduct a comprehensive bio-psychosocial evaluation.  You will discuss with the Therapist the concerns for which you are seeking counseling. The Therapist will use the information to make a diagnostic determination of your symptoms, and to collaboratively develop your individualized Life Improvement Plan (Treatment Plan).  

First Appointment Anxiety

It is common for individuals to experience some anxiety around attending their first therapy appointment.  However, knowing what to expect can help ease some of that anxiety and help you better prepare for your first session.  Our therapists and office staff are trained to help you feel as comfortable as possible, and will encourage you to move at your own pace.

Be sure to go into your first appointment with realistic expectations.

Counseling is not a quick fix to your problems, but a process.  While some individuals report feeling better after one session, others may find that it takes some time before they experience the kind of changes they would like.  It is also important to understand that when you get to the deeper issues or pain that needs to be healed, it is at that time where you may feel like withdrawing from the process.  The truth of your feelings may overwhelm you, which is why most individuals repress them.  We always stress the importance of you staying with your sessions because that pain needs to come up, in order for it to come out.

Please arrive on time.

For your first appointment, please arrive 15 to 20 minutes prior to your appointment time to complete the necessary paperwork.  Please contact us to let us know that you expect to arrive late, and we will make efforts to accommodate you.  Should you arrive to your session more than 15 minutes late, you mayneed to reschedule.

Initial Assessment

Schedule Your First Counseling Appointment
Don't suffer in silence.  We are here to support you.

We strive to make scheduling appointments easy!

We have day and evening appointment times available
Monday through Saturday.

Please contact Psychotherapist Charlene Flagg, LCSW, MA at
(470) 488-2690

What Your Counselor Needs To Know About You


It is likely that you are seeking counseling at this time to deal with a specific issue or issues that are impacting your life negatively.  Some individuals have a clear idea of what is going on in their life.  However, others have only a vague sense that “something doesn’t fell right”, and they know that they are not as happy or fulfilled as they would like to be.

Your personal history and symptoms are relevant. 

We are all unique.  And, our symptoms affect us in different ways.  The therapist will ask you several questions about your history and current life.  This helps the therapist understand how long you have struggled with your concerns and what factors might have influenced its development.  Your therapist will also want to know specifically what you are experiencing, and how long you have been experiencing it, so that they can best tailor an approach to fit your needs.

It is important that you are open with your thoughts and feelings.

Our therapists are trained to help make you feel comfortable to share aspects of your life and history, but they are not mind readers.  You will get the most our of your therapy experience if you are willing to be open and honest about your past and current challenges.

Therapy is a partnership

In the same way that problems don't arise over night, a solution in therapy does not occur overnight.  It is a process that is referred to as the "Recovery Journey."  Our commitment to you is to partner with you along the way.  We utilize our skills and expertise to equip you with technique and strategies to effectively manage your symptoms.  In this regard, we are not problem solvers.  Rather, we empower you to transform your life. 

Why are you seeking therapy at this time?

What You Need To Know About Your Counselor

You might want to know more about the therapist’s experience in working with your particular issue.  You might also want to know more about how your therapist approaches therapy, and what you can expect from your time together.  Each therapist has their own style and approach to therapy and will be able to tell you how their approach may be helpful for you.

The most important aspect of starting therapy is that you feel that
your counselor understands you, and that
you feel comfortable with them. 

Therapy is a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding.  As a result, your therapist will spend time building a therapeutic alliance or bond with you.  You will get the most out of therapy if you trust your therapist, and are engaged and involved in the process.

Confidentialy is extremely important, and Counselors must protect the confidential information of prospective and current clients. Confidential information includes your identity, your diagnosis, your insurance information.  Confidentialilty also prohibits disclosing whether you receive services. 

Counselors are bound by law, the code of ethics of their profession, and the policy of their agency to provide information only with appropriate consent or with sound legal or ethical justification.

Our philosophy is that having a psychological diagnosis is not something about which you should be ashamed.  But, our obligation is to ensure that you decide if, when, and to whom you will share the informtion.

It is okay to ask questions. 


Preparing Your Child
For The First Appointment

At Matters of the Heart Counseling Services, it is our desire that the counseling experience is beneficial for you and your child.  We also desire for the experience to be safe and comfortable.  With that in mind, there are some things you can do as a parent/caregiver before the first appointment, and future appointments, to make counseling a positive experience.

  • Offer your child a snack/meal before the session.  Hungry children do not focus well on concepts presented in counseling and bringing food into the counseling center is not allowed.

  • Ensure that your child has received adequate rest prior to attending their counseling session.  Children that are tired and or exhausted are less likely to actively participate in the therapy process.

  • Allow your child to use the restroom before the session.  It is a distraction for the child and the therapist to leave and then return to a session.

  • Illness is an acceptable reason for late cancellation, with no late cancellation fee charged.  Please do not bring/send children to therapy sessions when they are nauseated, sneezing, coughing, and or have an elevated temperature.  Children who do not feel well are not able to focus in a therapy session.

  • Please do not use therapy as a punishment or a threat.  Please do not tell young children they are going to see a doctor (they envision injections, etc., and feel frightened/resistant).

  • Therapists do require parents of children 10 and younger to remain present in the waiting room during sessions.

  • Thank you for observing these recommendations.  If we can do anything to enhance your child’s experience in therapy, please do not hesitate to let us know!

Recommendations for Your Children