Therapists in Vernon County, WI

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Photo of Dean Saner, PsyD, Psychologist
Dean Saner
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
Viroqua, WI 54665
As a practicing clinical psychologist since 1998, I have developed expertise in several areas of therapy. In general practice, working with clientele ages 10 and up, I work with many individuals with depression, anxiety, and anger management issues. I also enjoy working with couples, utilizing the Gottman method frequently in improving relationships. Finally, working with parents on behavioral management of children rounds out my practice. I often consult with general practitioners to help with chronic pain and medical issues, along with local psychiatric professionals on clients requiring psychotropic medications.
As a practicing clinical psychologist since 1998, I have developed expertise in several areas of therapy. In general practice, working with clientele ages 10 and up, I work with many individuals with depression, anxiety, and anger management issues. I also enjoy working with couples, utilizing the Gottman method frequently in improving relationships. Finally, working with parents on behavioral management of children rounds out my practice. I often consult with general practitioners to help with chronic pain and medical issues, along with local psychiatric professionals on clients requiring psychotropic medications.
(608) 467-4531 View (608) 467-4531
Photo of Heather Behm, MSW, LCSW, CCATP, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Heather Behm
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW, CCATP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Hillsboro, WI 54634  (Online Only)
After working as a therapist for the past 15 years (Seven years in private practice while living in Colorado), I’ve learned that I do my best clinical work with clients who appreciate structure within the therapy session; prefer a direct approach; demonstrate a readiness and commitment to making their mental health a priority; attend sessions on a regular basis and take action to practice new tools outside of therapy sessions.
After working as a therapist for the past 15 years (Seven years in private practice while living in Colorado), I’ve learned that I do my best clinical work with clients who appreciate structure within the therapy session; prefer a direct approach; demonstrate a readiness and commitment to making their mental health a priority; attend sessions on a regular basis and take action to practice new tools outside of therapy sessions.
(608) 470-6473 View (608) 470-6473
Photo of Susan Kopp Townsley, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Susan Kopp Townsley
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Viroqua, WI 54665
Not accepting new clients
Susan is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and has been practicing since 1991. She has experience working with anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, reactive attachment disorder, couples, families, individuals and children. Susan has specialized training in EMDR, Theraplay, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Stress Management, and Guided Imagery. When you enter Susan's office you will find yourself in a peaceful place. Susan will be there to partner with you to help you find your own healing path.
Susan is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and has been practicing since 1991. She has experience working with anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, reactive attachment disorder, couples, families, individuals and children. Susan has specialized training in EMDR, Theraplay, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Stress Management, and Guided Imagery. When you enter Susan's office you will find yourself in a peaceful place. Susan will be there to partner with you to help you find your own healing path.
(608) 406-4901 View (608) 406-4901
Photo of Alyssa Zube, MSW, LCSW, PMH-C, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Alyssa Zube
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW, PMH-C
Verified Verified
Genoa, WI 54632  (Online Only)
Are you navigating life's intricate challenges, dealing with issues such as anxiety, depression, postpartum mood disorders, parenting stress, marital conflict, and the pursuit of balance amid life transitions? I understand that these issues are not just symptoms but reflections of a unique life story. My therapy is based in real talk, someone unafraid to delve into the heart of your concerns. You deserve a space where authenticity is not just encouraged but celebrated. My approach is about creating a genuine connection, understanding your needs, and offering direct feedback to guide your path to healing and lifelong solution.
Are you navigating life's intricate challenges, dealing with issues such as anxiety, depression, postpartum mood disorders, parenting stress, marital conflict, and the pursuit of balance amid life transitions? I understand that these issues are not just symptoms but reflections of a unique life story. My therapy is based in real talk, someone unafraid to delve into the heart of your concerns. You deserve a space where authenticity is not just encouraged but celebrated. My approach is about creating a genuine connection, understanding your needs, and offering direct feedback to guide your path to healing and lifelong solution.
(608) 585-8675 View (608) 585-8675
Photo of Melissa Fannin, MA, LPC, ATR, Counselor
Melissa Fannin
Counselor, MA, LPC, ATR
Verified Verified
Viroqua, WI 54665
If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, I can help you become a participant in your own change. If you've experienced grief or trauma, I offer a safe space in which to unpack it. I believe in letting you know exactly what is going on through the entire therapeutic process, so you will never be in the dark about my intentions or the direction you are going. I am especially effective at helping you deconstruct and examine your role in existing issues. We will develop practical, everyday skills to help make you a more mindful, self-aware person.
If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, I can help you become a participant in your own change. If you've experienced grief or trauma, I offer a safe space in which to unpack it. I believe in letting you know exactly what is going on through the entire therapeutic process, so you will never be in the dark about my intentions or the direction you are going. I am especially effective at helping you deconstruct and examine your role in existing issues. We will develop practical, everyday skills to help make you a more mindful, self-aware person.
(608) 480-1676 View (608) 480-1676
Photo of Angel Olson, APSW, SAC-IT, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Angel Olson
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, APSW, SAC-IT
Verified Verified
Viroqua, WI 54665  (Online Only)
As a mental health and substance use provider, I am dedicated to fostering positive change and growth in individuals through a holistic and person-centered approach. In our work together, I utilize techniques such as motivational interviewing, reframing thoughts, mindfulness, and Radical Compassion to help you explore your inner strengths and values, guiding you towards self-discovery and healing.
As a mental health and substance use provider, I am dedicated to fostering positive change and growth in individuals through a holistic and person-centered approach. In our work together, I utilize techniques such as motivational interviewing, reframing thoughts, mindfulness, and Radical Compassion to help you explore your inner strengths and values, guiding you towards self-discovery and healing.
(608) 440-2263 View (608) 440-2263
Photo of Emily Pfaff, LPC, LPCC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Emily Pfaff
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, LPCC
Verified Verified
Viroqua, WI 54665
Life can just really suck sometimes! Therapy can often be the jump start needed to help you move in the direction of healing. I work primarily with adolescents and young adults. Currently, I am the only certified FBT Therapist in the state of Wisconsin, which is the leading treatment approach for adolescents/young adults diagnosed with an eating disorder. In addition, I also treat anxiety, OCD, social anxiety, and mood related difficulties. I am also here if you are navigating a difficult life transition... those can be brutal! I have been a therapist for just over 10 years and would love to hear more about your goals!
Life can just really suck sometimes! Therapy can often be the jump start needed to help you move in the direction of healing. I work primarily with adolescents and young adults. Currently, I am the only certified FBT Therapist in the state of Wisconsin, which is the leading treatment approach for adolescents/young adults diagnosed with an eating disorder. In addition, I also treat anxiety, OCD, social anxiety, and mood related difficulties. I am also here if you are navigating a difficult life transition... those can be brutal! I have been a therapist for just over 10 years and would love to hear more about your goals!
(608) 600-0851 View (608) 600-0851
Photo of Janet M Nachowicz, PsyD, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Janet M Nachowicz
Licensed Professional Counselor, PsyD, LPC
Verified Verified
Viroqua, WI 54665
(608) 637-2511 View (608) 637-2511

Online Therapists

Photo of undefined - KC Counseling LLC, MA, LPC, NCC, Licensed Professional Counselor
KC Counseling LLC
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, NCC
Verified Verified
Stevens Point, WI 54481
Kiersten's approach to counseling is compassionate, strength-based, and includes a diverse set of treatment methods with regards to the whole person. While combining person-centered and directive methods, development of natural strengths leads to self-discovery, life-balance, and positive change.
Kiersten's approach to counseling is compassionate, strength-based, and includes a diverse set of treatment methods with regards to the whole person. While combining person-centered and directive methods, development of natural strengths leads to self-discovery, life-balance, and positive change.
(715) 500-4228 View (715) 500-4228
Photo of undefined - Open Space LLC, PhD, LPC, ATR-BC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Open Space LLC
Licensed Professional Counselor, PhD, LPC, ATR-BC
Verified Verified
Madison, WI 53711
My best fit client is an individual or couple or family that is ready for change. I work best with clients who are ready to embrace themselves or relationships in a nonjudgemental and accountable way. I will at times provide therapeutic homework and I can extend sessions to longer than hour because people need to express themselves in more than 55 minutes sometimes. If you are someone who likes to think outside of the box, you will enjoy my expressive arts background that supports inner wisdom and treats you, the client, as the other expert in the room. I am also a Certified Mental Health & Nutrition Clinical Specialist.
My best fit client is an individual or couple or family that is ready for change. I work best with clients who are ready to embrace themselves or relationships in a nonjudgemental and accountable way. I will at times provide therapeutic homework and I can extend sessions to longer than hour because people need to express themselves in more than 55 minutes sometimes. If you are someone who likes to think outside of the box, you will enjoy my expressive arts background that supports inner wisdom and treats you, the client, as the other expert in the room. I am also a Certified Mental Health & Nutrition Clinical Specialist.
(608) 496-9614 View (608) 496-9614
Photo of Jack Gieche, Licensed Professional Counselor
Jack Gieche
Licensed Professional Counselor
Verified Verified
Madison, WI 53718
When you first meet Jack, he might have little Roo tucked up under his arm. This communicates his gentle kindness better than any words could. The son of a veterinarian, Jack clearly has learned to interact with vulnerability with calm tender care. He approaches his work with attentive caution, carefully guiding clients toward healthier adaptations, and kinder inner narratives. Offering Animal Assisted Therapy, Jack sees clients of all ages 4-65+ "” he specializes in working with kids, animal assisted therapy, trauma, AODA, adoption/foster care related issues, communication, couples, and family work.
When you first meet Jack, he might have little Roo tucked up under his arm. This communicates his gentle kindness better than any words could. The son of a veterinarian, Jack clearly has learned to interact with vulnerability with calm tender care. He approaches his work with attentive caution, carefully guiding clients toward healthier adaptations, and kinder inner narratives. Offering Animal Assisted Therapy, Jack sees clients of all ages 4-65+ "” he specializes in working with kids, animal assisted therapy, trauma, AODA, adoption/foster care related issues, communication, couples, and family work.
(608) 384-0945 View (608) 384-0945
Photo of Alexandra Jean Schrank, MS, LMFT, Marriage & Family Therapist
Alexandra Jean Schrank
Marriage & Family Therapist, MS, LMFT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Madison, WI 53715  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
Often times throughout life we find ourselves feeling disconnected. This can leave us feeling anxious, depressed, untethered and lost without any sense of direction. My goal as a therapist is to support my clients as they navigate and discover the path to their most authentic self. I strive to provide a safe space where clients feel comfortable in exploring their past, rewriting personal narratives, and forging an understanding of self that enables living presently. Together we'll discover your strengths, while exploring areas that crave nurturing and healing.
Often times throughout life we find ourselves feeling disconnected. This can leave us feeling anxious, depressed, untethered and lost without any sense of direction. My goal as a therapist is to support my clients as they navigate and discover the path to their most authentic self. I strive to provide a safe space where clients feel comfortable in exploring their past, rewriting personal narratives, and forging an understanding of self that enables living presently. Together we'll discover your strengths, while exploring areas that crave nurturing and healing.
(608) 493-1119 x120 View (608) 493-1119 x120
Photo of Emily Cannon, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Emily Cannon
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Madison, WI 53719
I'm Emily Cannon, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) dedicated to providing compassionate and effective therapy to support you on your journey towards emotional well-being. Navigating life's challenges can be overwhelming, and it takes courage to seek support. Whether you're facing transitions, managing stress, or working through deeper emotional concerns, by being here you've taken the first step towards positive change.
I'm Emily Cannon, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) dedicated to providing compassionate and effective therapy to support you on your journey towards emotional well-being. Navigating life's challenges can be overwhelming, and it takes courage to seek support. Whether you're facing transitions, managing stress, or working through deeper emotional concerns, by being here you've taken the first step towards positive change.
(608) 557-3412 View (608) 557-3412
Photo of undefined - 3XC Consulting , LPC , CAATP, Licensed Professional Counselor
3XC Consulting
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC , CAATP
Verified Verified
Grand Marsh, WI 53936
Kayla began her career by working for over ten years in veterinary medicine. Kayla decided to merge her two passions of helping people and interest in animals by obtaining a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling, with a specialty in animal assisted therapy. Along with Animal assisted therapy, Kayla has experience working with patients with behavioral needs, through integration in the school setting as well as outpatient Kayla has experience working in group home settings, the alternative schools in the area, and traditional schools previously.
Kayla began her career by working for over ten years in veterinary medicine. Kayla decided to merge her two passions of helping people and interest in animals by obtaining a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling, with a specialty in animal assisted therapy. Along with Animal assisted therapy, Kayla has experience working with patients with behavioral needs, through integration in the school setting as well as outpatient Kayla has experience working in group home settings, the alternative schools in the area, and traditional schools previously.
(608) 420-2081 View (608) 420-2081
Photo of Marcy` Leaser, MA, LPC, CSAC, ICS, Licensed Professional Counselor
Marcy` Leaser
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, CSAC, ICS
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
I am a dually licensed clinician and able to treat both substance use disorders and mental health issues. I worked as a counselor/Clinical Supervisor of a Methadone Clinic for 10 years, inpatient care for 3 years, and outpatient services for 11 years. I have a variety of experience working with addiction, depression, anxiety/panic, grief, loss, ADHD, LGBTQ community, couples, women’s issues, and life transitions. My style of counseling is an integrated approach as I believe that every person has the ability to heal and make a positive change. Therapy can be scary, but it’s been my experience that all clients can improve their lives
I am a dually licensed clinician and able to treat both substance use disorders and mental health issues. I worked as a counselor/Clinical Supervisor of a Methadone Clinic for 10 years, inpatient care for 3 years, and outpatient services for 11 years. I have a variety of experience working with addiction, depression, anxiety/panic, grief, loss, ADHD, LGBTQ community, couples, women’s issues, and life transitions. My style of counseling is an integrated approach as I believe that every person has the ability to heal and make a positive change. Therapy can be scary, but it’s been my experience that all clients can improve their lives
(608) 879-6279 View (608) 879-6279
Photo of Jennifer Reckner, MA, NCC, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Jennifer Reckner
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, NCC, LPC
Verified Verified
Madison, WI 53719  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
As someone who used to be a nurse, I have a special interest in other healthcare professionals and burnout/moral injury, vicarious trauma, and COVID-19 related stressors. I also work with clients who have experienced any kind of trauma in their lives, anxiety, depression, substance use, or disordered eating. I believe in a collaborative, integrative, and holistic approach to support and encourage recovery goals. I strive to help others overcome obstacles through mental health education, psychotherapy, community advocacy, and self-empowerment.
As someone who used to be a nurse, I have a special interest in other healthcare professionals and burnout/moral injury, vicarious trauma, and COVID-19 related stressors. I also work with clients who have experienced any kind of trauma in their lives, anxiety, depression, substance use, or disordered eating. I believe in a collaborative, integrative, and holistic approach to support and encourage recovery goals. I strive to help others overcome obstacles through mental health education, psychotherapy, community advocacy, and self-empowerment.
(608) 315-4060 View (608) 315-4060
Photo of undefined - Integrated Counseling, LPC, NCC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Integrated Counseling
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, NCC
Verified Verified
Madison, WI 53719
We enjoy working with individuals who are interested in experiencing a change in their life. Perhaps you want to have greater insight and understanding or perhaps you want to make some really focused changes in your life; We would love to join you in that process and offer support in the journey. We also recognize that pretty much everyone right now is working hard to stay afloat so we are eager to offer a wide array of hours including evenings and weekends as well as telehealth services.
We enjoy working with individuals who are interested in experiencing a change in their life. Perhaps you want to have greater insight and understanding or perhaps you want to make some really focused changes in your life; We would love to join you in that process and offer support in the journey. We also recognize that pretty much everyone right now is working hard to stay afloat so we are eager to offer a wide array of hours including evenings and weekends as well as telehealth services.
(608) 546-9323 View (608) 546-9323
Photo of Tom McBride, Marriage & Family Therapist
Tom McBride
Marriage & Family Therapist
Verified Verified
Madison, WI 53711
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, Tom focuses on how family systems function and shape us. This allows clients to explore concerns on an individual level as well as discover how interactions with others may be affecting them. With a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Bachelor's in Art Therapy from Edgewood College in Madison, WI, he is able to provide clients with a wide range of therapeutic tools from the traditional to the creative. He is dedicated to client care and has experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Tom has spent several years working with individuals on the autism spectrum.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, Tom focuses on how family systems function and shape us. This allows clients to explore concerns on an individual level as well as discover how interactions with others may be affecting them. With a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Bachelor's in Art Therapy from Edgewood College in Madison, WI, he is able to provide clients with a wide range of therapeutic tools from the traditional to the creative. He is dedicated to client care and has experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Tom has spent several years working with individuals on the autism spectrum.
(608) 909-6584 View (608) 909-6584
Photo of Lori Marhefke, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Lori Marhefke
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC
Verified Verified
La Crosse, WI 54601
Welcome! My name is Lori Marhefke. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Wisconsin. My approach to therapy is holistic and person-centered. I typically focus on anxiety, panic, grief, trauma, and shame. I work with a variety of clients. Most of my clients are facing very stressful life transitions related to work, school, or family. I am comfortable treating anxiety, panic, grief, trauma and shame.
Welcome! My name is Lori Marhefke. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Wisconsin. My approach to therapy is holistic and person-centered. I typically focus on anxiety, panic, grief, trauma, and shame. I work with a variety of clients. Most of my clients are facing very stressful life transitions related to work, school, or family. I am comfortable treating anxiety, panic, grief, trauma and shame.
(414) 246-4121 View (414) 246-4121
Photo of Kristina Anne Fowler, MS, LPC-IT, Counselor
Kristina Anne Fowler
Counselor, MS, LPC-IT
Verified Verified
Stoughton, WI 53589
Together, we will navigate from where you are now to where you want to be. I'm here to help you achieve your dreams for yourself, or your child, teen, or family. As someone who has engaged in my own healing journey, I understand that the first step takes courage. Do you want a fuller, more vibrant life? Need help adjusting to change? Feel overwhelmed with trauma or grief? Know what you need to do and can't seem to do it? Struggle with depression or anxiety or both? Parents, do you need help for a child with issues related to learning, high-sensitivity, development, behavior, or health? Ask me about my caring, holistic approach.
Together, we will navigate from where you are now to where you want to be. I'm here to help you achieve your dreams for yourself, or your child, teen, or family. As someone who has engaged in my own healing journey, I understand that the first step takes courage. Do you want a fuller, more vibrant life? Need help adjusting to change? Feel overwhelmed with trauma or grief? Know what you need to do and can't seem to do it? Struggle with depression or anxiety or both? Parents, do you need help for a child with issues related to learning, high-sensitivity, development, behavior, or health? Ask me about my caring, holistic approach.
(920) 409-4712 View (920) 409-4712

See more therapy options for Vernon County

How does your Therapist compare?

Number of Therapists in Vernon County, WI

< 10

Therapists in Vernon County, WI who prioritize treating:

88% Depression
88% Anxiety
75% Coping Skills
63% Relationship Issues
50% Parenting
50% Self Esteem
50% Stress

Average years in practice

12 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

83% Medicaid
50% Medicare
50% TRICARE

How Therapists in Vernon County, WI see their clients

63% In Person and Online
37% Online Only

Gender breakdown

100% Female
FAQs - About Therapy and Counseling

How can I find a therapist in Vernon County?

Search for nearby therapists or counselors by inputting your city, town, or suburb; or zip code; or a provider’s name into the search bar. From there, you can filter providers by the issues they treat, cost, insurance, gender, and other factors to find providers who are well-suited to your needs. To navigate between locations within the same country, enter a new city or zip code into the search bar.

Learn more about how to find a therapist

Is everyone in the Psychology Today Therapy Directory a licensed therapist?

The Psychology Today directory lists providers who offer legitimate mental health services to the public, including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors.

Many have been licensed by the country or state where they practice; providers whose license or primary credential has been verified by Psychology Today are signified by a “Verified” symbol. Some clinicians or organizations provide services for which their state or country does not offer licenses, such as pastoral counseling. They may be selectively included without the “Verified” seal.

What’s the difference between a psychologist, a therapist, and a counselor?

Therapists, psychologists, and counselors are all licensed mental health professionals. In the US, psychologists have earned a doctoral degree. The terms “therapist” and “counselor” are used somewhat interchangeably, but generally therapists offer longer-term, mental health care, while counselors offer shorter-term care that may focus on one domain, such as marriage, career, or academic challenges.

Clients should consider factors such as insurance coverage and their primary reason(s) for seeking therapy to determine the type of professional best suited to their needs. Someone struggling with mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety, for example, may wish to seek out a clinical psychologist or therapist, while someone navigating career obstacles or marital upheaval may benefit from seeing a counselor who can offer short-term, targeted support.

What type of therapy is right for me?

The type of therapy best suited to a particular individual depends on several factors, including their primary reason for seeking therapy, their preferred timeline (some therapy types last for a set number of sessions, while others are open-ended), and their personality and preferences—some may prefer a more structured approach. For many individuals, multiple types of therapy could provide a good fit.

How much does therapy cost?

The cost of therapy depends on a number of variables, including location and the therapist’s experience and training. On average, a therapy session in the United States could cost between $100 and $200 or more. If you have insurance, the expense of mental health care is typically lower, but it varies based on your insurance plan details and whether you choose an in-network or out-of-network mental healthcare provider.

What are more affordable or low cost therapy solutions?

Many therapists offer sliding scale payments, usually on a limited number of slots, which consists in an agreement between the therapist and a client to pay a reduced rate. Therapists who provide such arrangements often consider the client's income or ability to pay, but the extent of the discount is ultimately at the therapist's discretion. Furthermore, while group therapy may have different goals and benefits compared to individual therapy, it can be a more affordable solution to address certain types of issues.

Is online therapy cheaper than in-person therapy?

Many therapists charge the same amount for online therapy as they do for in-person therapy—though clients may still find this cost-effective if it cuts down on their transportation costs. Health insurance plans often offer equivalent coverage for online and in-person therapy; indeed, in many places, they are legally required to do so. Text-based or on-demand therapy apps may be cheaper than traditional one-on-one psychotherapy; however, the practice may be less effective and is not likely to be covered by insurance.

Is online therapy a good option?

Therapy conducted online can be just as effective as in-person therapy, as long as there is a strong alliance between the client and the therapist. To find a therapist who provides telehealth services to clients in your area, click “Online Therapy” on the directory homepage and search by your city or town or your zip code.

Are therapy sessions confidential?

Confidentiality is a crucial part of the therapeutic relationship. Therapists in the United States are bound by the regulations set out by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which aims to protect sensitive health information. With very few exceptions, a therapist will only discuss their client with others when the client has given their written permission. The instances in which a therapist would be required to disclose personal information are: if a client poses a danger to themselves or others, if the therapist suspects the abuse of a child or an elderly or otherwise dependent adult, or if they are legally forced to by court order. These exceptions to the confidentiality agreement are usually discussed with a client before their first session.