1. Do I really need to see a therapist? I can talk to my family/friends/clergy about my problems.
Your loved ones may have your best interests in mind, yet they may not always know how to help you. While it's useful to get their input and feedback for your life, it can be challenging to sort through all the opinions and make a decision that's in line with your personal goals. There are times when the perspective of an objective professional is needed to help you move forward and see change. Engaging in therapy shows a self-awareness to recognize that you can benefit from additional support, take responsibility for your life, and take steps toward a commitment to change.
Counseling provides a supportive and confidential place to work through your concerns and challenges. I will help you identify problem areas, set realistic goals, and implement a plan toward positive change. I will also help you learn practical skills and valuable insight related to your personal growth.
2. What type of clients do you work with and when do you schedule appointments?
I work with adults (age 18+) who are feeling frustrated with their life and are ready to make a positive change. This frustration can be in your relationships (or lack thereof), balancing different areas of your life (work, personal, social), your mood (anxiety, depression), or coping with a loss. Most of my clients have tried other ways of managing their concerns, but still find themselves struggling to reach their goals or get back on track after a setback.
Currently, I am available to meet evenings (5-8pm) Monday-Friday. I try to meet with clients at a time that is convenient for them. Ideally, we can set up a regular time to meet every week or every other week, initially. As you start to make progress, we can meet less frequently (1-2x month) or as needed.
You can schedule appointments online through the Client Portal. If you are a new client, you can schedule your 15 minute-phone consultation online. Choose an available time that works best for you and provide your contact information. You will receive an email confirmation when the appointment is set and I will call you at the day and time you selected. If you are an existing client, you can also schedule online. Choose an available time that works best for you and you will receive an email confirmation when the appointment is set. You can log into the Client Portal at anytime if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment.
3. Are sessions really private and confidential?
Yes! What we discuss in sessions are completely confidential. I can not reveal to anyone that we are working together without your written consent. This means that if I see you in public, I will not initiate contact with you in order to maintain your privacy. I will follow your lead in public space, so if you decide to say hello or introduce me to anyone that works for me as well.
If there is a situation in which you would like me to speak with another person regarding your care, you will need to sign a Release of Information form (that I will provide) indicating to whom and what specific information you would like me to share.
However there are specific circumstances in which I am legally bound to make a report to the proper authorities without your consent. These include:
If you threaten or attempt to commit suicide.
If you threaten grave bodily harm or death to another person.
If there is reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect of a child (under age 18), dependent adult, or elderly person.
If a court of law issues a legitimate subpoena.
4. What happens during sessions?
Therapy focuses on developing your personal and relational growth. During sessions we will focus on identifying what changes you want to make in your life or areas you want to better understand, which we will develop into goals for therapy.
We will use the time discussing the areas of your life that are most relevant to your goals and implement strategies to improve your overall functioning, experience, and understanding. It is not always necessary to talk extensively about your past (unless it's your preference or part of your goal), but I will ask relevant questions about your childhood, family, etc. as needed to assist with developing appropriate and useful ways to help you grow.
5. What if I'm unsure or get started and decide I don't want to continue?
Counseling is a personal choice for your benefit. During our initial phone consultation, please feel free to ask any questions you may have. The first session is also an evaluation process to gather more information about your situation and how we can work together.
Connecting with your therapist and feeling comfortable effects your progress in therapy. If at any point (during initial or later sessions) you decide that this is not a good fit, you can discontinue therapy or choose to work another therapist. Counseling is a personal journey and I want you to have the best experience possible to assist in your personal growth. Please feel free to let me know if you feel this is not a good fit at any time. I am happy to assist you with referrals, if needed.
6. How long are sessions and how long will I have to be in therapy?
Sessions lasts 45-50 minutes.
Time spent in counseling (number of sessions) varies by individual, but is completely your choice. Amount of time needed in therapy usually depends on your commitment to change, the amount of change you want to see, and the complexity of your issues. I like to start therapy with the end in mind. We'll keep focused on your goals to make sure we're working toward them as well as reassessing them when needed.
As we work together, we will check in on your progress toward goals and discuss whether you would like to continue sessions, end therapy, or take a break. As you start to make positive change, we can meet less frequently until you are ready to end therapy. After counseling ends, you are always welcome to return for refresher sessions, as needed, or to address new issues as they arise.
7. What if I need to cancel or reschedule a session?
If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please call at least 24 hours in advance of your appointment to let me know. If you do not provide at least 24 hours notice in advance, you will be charged for the full cost of the missed session. This is necessary since a time commitment is made and held exclusively for you at your appointment time. If you are running late for a session, we can meet for the remainder of the session time and you will be charged for the full cost of the session.