I realize many people have questions on what counseling is all about and how it can help them. Sometimes not knowing what to anticipate or ask can make the first call hard. I’ve addressed a few common questions here to help.
What kind of people do you work with?
I work with children primarily ages 5-12, teens, adults and families who are struggling in an area of their life such as anxiety, depression or traumatic experiences and want to find lasting changes. I believe initially having weekly therapy to build a relationship and consistency facilitates changes, sooner rather than later. Especially when working with a child, maintaining this momentum is critical. This is re-evaluated as you or your child experience relief from symptoms and, goals or milestones are reached.
What to expect?
If this is your first time to counseling it can seem scary and you may feel nervous. You might be wondering what you may want to share with me at our first meeting. Starting off I will want to get to know about you and often that means some questions that allow us to have a good, illuminating conversation. I will do my best to respect what you choose to share and build a trusting relationship. I view counseling as a service to you and this gives you the opportunity to ask questions, and set goals suitable for yourself or your child.
As therapy continues; we build a stronger relationship where it is safe to work the tough stuff like how past experiences influence current thoughts, feelings and actions. Creating an open, honest and safe place can allow for facing challenges while exploring opportunities to have support, learn new concrete tools, and make a difference in your or your child’s life.
When do you see clients?
I want to schedule a new client as soon as possible and will attempt to coordinate with my availability. I hold day and evening appointments during weekdays. My goal is to attempt to find a time that is a good fit for regularity. Evening appointments tend to go quickly, so call to see if I can accommodate your preferred time—I will do my best. If initially I am not able to get you into your preferred time, I will make every effort to move you into a slot that is a better fit as soon as one opens up.
How long does therapy last?
Everyone’s treatment is different in length. If you have specific, more time-limited problems we could work together ranging from 8 to 20 sessions. Therapy is a process and the duration could be longer. Specific time frames differ depending on how much of a change you are looking for, how deep the hurt goes, your commitment to change, and the complexity of the issues. Therapy appointments typically last 50 minutes depending on what type of counseling is scheduled. Occasionally, I schedule extended 80 minute sessions for special client needs.
What methods of payment do you accept?
I accept, cash, check, or credit card. I accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover. Payment is accepted at the start of each session. Missed appointments without 24 hours prior notice will be charged at full rate.
What insurance do you take?
If you have insurance you may be eligible for out of network providers. I work with certain insurance companies. Although I do not process insurance claims myself as I found that it takes away from valuable client time, I will provide you with a detailed bill that you can turn into your insurance company for reimbursement. I find that when working through insurance companies it can lead to a third party influencing the duration of treatment and how we work together. Often insurance companies require a mental disorder diagnosis, which at times may not be appropriate or may have implications as it becomes a part of your medical record. These are factors to consider when involving insurance in your therapy. For those experiencing exceptional hardships I have a limited number of sliding fee slots available.
What is expected of me?
I find when someone is motivated and committed to therapy there is greater likelihood of achieving your treatment goals. Being able to be speak openly and honestly sets the stage for change. Working with children and families, parent participation to assist with goals is strongly desired and will be discussed. Sometimes with children or adults there is occasional homework such as keeping a journal or a log to monitor progress, which I may recommend. Being yourself and patient with yourself are parts of the process.