How do I know if I need counseling to help with my problems?

Unfortunately, there is a stigma surrounding the mental health field and those whom seek help for their problems. There is this idea that only those with “severe mental problems” or people who “can’t manage their own problems” should consider seeing a therapist.  This idea is isolating, misleading, and just plain false.  Because of this belief, many individuals, couples, and families wait until their problems are unmanageable before seeking help. Don’t wait! Therapy is beneficial for a wide variety of issues, ranging from serious, chronic mental and emotional issues to increasing one’s self-awareness or developing coping skills.  Your time in therapy may be extensive or quite brief, depending on your needs at the time.  And, you always have the right to stop at any time.  Here is a true statement: Those who seek help are hopeful for change, courageous, and willing to be vulnerable.  Asking for help is NOT a weakness.


How can Therapy help me?

I always praise my clients simply for showing up, because facing our lives and dealing with our problems is no easy feat.  I am passionate about the safety of a therapeutic relationship.  When we find ourselves in a safe setting, things happen.  As we work together, as a team, you will find yourself growing in self-awareness, developing coping skills, feeling supported and validated, being challenged, learning to problem-solve and make better choices, breaking unhealthy patterns of behavior, etc.  Additionally, if you are engaged in treatment, you will experience an enhanced sense of empowerment, seeing for yourself that you really can change.  Furthermore, you may learn skills for improving your relationships, increase communication skills, and find a healthier balance for your emotions.

Although you’ve heard it before, it is true: What you get out of therapy depends on what you put into it. If you are invested in therapy and are willing to do the work inside and outside of session, at the least, you will gain a fresh perspective.


Do you take Insurance and how does that work?

I am an Out of Network Provider, which means that I am not on any specific Insurance panels.  You will want to have a conversation with your Insurance provider about any benefits you receive for “Out of Network” services.  Payment for my services is due at the time of your session in the form of cash or check, and I will be happy to provide a receipt for your records.  Because most Insurance plans require a Mental Health Diagnosis before they will provide payment, many individuals choose not to bill their insurance at all.  If you do wish to involve your Insurance Provider in treatment, I will provide you with a claim form every 3-6 sessions, complete with your Diagnostic and billing information, which you will then submit to your Insurance Company for reimbursement.


Below, are some questions you should ask your Insurance provider before scheduling your first appointment:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician? 

What if I don’t want to come back after my first session?

Therapy is your choice and no one will try to force you to continue with treatment.  If your reason for not wanting to return is because you do not like your therapist, please talk to me and I will refer you to someone who may be a better fit for your personality and needs.  Please keep in mind that it takes at least 3 or 4 sessions to start building a positive relationship with your therapist.  If you simply believe this is not the right time for you to engage in therapy, simply tell me during your Intake, or call me later and let me know what you have decided.  If you are not comfortable sharing your reasons for not wanting to return, I will respect that.


Can I bring someone with me to my counseling sessions?

Of course! Your time in therapy belongs to you and how we spend our time is your decision.  Remember, I cannot guarantee that the individual(s) you bring into your session will respect your confidentiality.  If you choose to bring someone with you, please give me a quick heads-up, and consider how you would like to include this person in your session.  Some reasons it might be helpful to bring someone with you to one or more of your counseling sessions: for support, for honest feedback, for help recognizing unhealthy patterns of behavior, to improve communication, to practice listening skills, to resolve issues, for accountability, etc.


What is Therapy like?

Therapy is suited to the individual, which means it can be however you would like it to be.  You are the boss. Because individuals are unique, treatment is unique to the individual.  Now, keep in mind that your initial Intake session is not the same experience as a typical counseling session.  Your Intake will be more formal and focused, as I will complete a Diagnostic Assessment to best understand where you are coming from and what your present needs are.  Following counseling sessions are much more relaxed and relational.  Together, we will determine your goals for therapy and I will ask questions such as: “How would you like to spend our time together?” and “What would you like to work on today?”  In general, you can expect to discuss current events happening in your life, past experiences that affect you today, homework from your last session, and progress toward your goals.  Therapy may be short-term or long-term, depending on your needs and progress.


Will I need to take medication?

You should know that I cannot prescribe medication as a Mental Health Counselor.  The use of prescribed medication can be extremely beneficial to the counseling process, and we will discuss your options together, depending on the severity of your current symptoms.  The use of medication alone is not a long-term solution to mental and emotional problems, but it can be a helpful tool in the therapeutic process.  Medication targets the symptom, while Therapy can help you achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well—being.  If medication appears to be a viable tool in treatment, I will make a referral to a local Psychiatrist or will ask that you speak to your family doctor to discuss your options.


Is what I share in Therapy kept private?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components of a therapeutic relationship.  In order to move forward in therapy, it is vital that an individual trust his or her therapist.  I understand that your treatment information is personal and I am committed to protecting it.  All of our communication is documented in your clinical record, which is kept in a locked filing cabinet in my office.  It is important for you to know that in general, our discussions are private and protected by law.  I do not tell anyone what we discuss unless you request, in writing, that I do so with a specific person or specific purpose; however, professional ethics and state law require that I break confidentiality when:

  • I am concerned that you are in serious danger of harming yourself and/or someone else, or if you have threatened to harm another person
  • I suspect past or present abuse/neglect of children, adults, elders, and those whom are disabled

If you are a minor, trust within the therapeutic relationship is equally as important.  Legally, your guardian(s) have the right to know what is going on in treatment; however, I do ask parents to respect their child’s privacy.  When necessary, I may encourage you to share something with your guardian(s) during or following a session.  If I am ever concerned for your safety, I will notify your guardian(s) right away.



Additional limits to confidentiality can be found in my Professional Disclosure Statement, which I will provide for you at your first session.