How can therapy help me?
Several benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there is nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts, and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much-needed encouragement and help with skills to get through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make the necessary changes.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, tracking specific behaviors or acting on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what is best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- 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?
Do our conversations in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent.” Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without first obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
- Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
- If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
Do you provide Telehealth/online Services?
Yes, I offer telehealth sessions for those residing in North Carolina and Indiana. I use Zoom, a HIPPA compliant format and follow the ethical guidelines found in the AAMFT Code of Ethics on the use of technology.
What is your method of counseling?
After 26 years of training and experience, I am eclectic in my methods though I am grounded in General and Family Systems Therapy. I tailor treatment so clients have the tools to get the desired results they seek. Clients would say I am collaborative and like to go deep. I integrate Internal Family Systems Therapy with other experiential therapies such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Somatic Experiencing and Emotionally Focused Therapy for Individuals and Couples.
What problems do you treat?
I provide treatment for many concerns including:
- Alanon, Naranon, ACOA
- mood disorders (anxiety, depression, bipolar)
- divorce recovery
- grief and loss
- major life transitions
- relationship/marital stress
- mindfulness stress reduction
- trauma recovery of all kinds
- spiritual abuse
What ages do you treat?
Adults & Young Adults 18 years through retirement.
May I/we meet you before committing to treatment?
Yes. I offer a 20-minute phone consultation for potential clients who would like to meet me before scheduling the initial session.
What forms of insurance do you accept?
I accept all insurance plans as an out-of-network provider.
What if you are out-of-network for my insurance plan?
Many plans offer an Out-of-Network benefit where they reimburse anywhere from 40-60% of “allowable” fees. In this case, you would pay upfront for your sessions and then get reimbursed by your insurance company. I will do the filing for you and your insurance company must process the claim within 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks) of receiving it. To get the specifics, call the customer service number on the back your insurance card.
What are your fees?
For the initial session, my fee is $145 and is 60 minutes. Regular individual sessions are 55-60 minutes and are $145. 75 minutes sessions are $180. 90-minute (about 1 and a half hours) sessions are $215.
To make my services more affordable, I provide a reduced fee to 25% of my clients. I prioritize those seeking therapy who are from minoritized communities and could not otherwise afford my services. Please inquire if there is a reduced fee slot available.
What forms of payment do you accept?
I accept cash, checks, Visa, and MasterCard and use the Ivy Labs App for credit card processing.
What is your cancellation policy?
I charge the full session fee for missed sessions or cancellations made with less than 24 hours’ notice. Insurance plans will not reimburse for missed sessions. This fee may be waived for emergencies.
What can I expect from the first few sessions?
I consider the first two or three sessions to be part of the assessment process. After reviewing my practice policies, I ask clients to talk about what brings them in, then we begin to talk about potential goals and what I propose for treatment. The assessment also includes assessing mental health, strengths, resources, and any previous treatment. This time is where we begin to build a working relationship and decide whether I am the best fit for the treatment needs you have and the goals you wish to attain.
How should I prepare for my first session?
I will confirm our first appointment over email. I will then send you a link and login information to my client portal through Care Paths. Once logged in, under Clinical Documents you will find several forms including my Client-Therapist Agreement, Telehealth Agreement, Client Information Form and Adult Questionnaire. You will have a password to use as your signature.