“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers.
It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.”
― Shannon L. Alder
Why Enter Therapy?
Sometimes life and its circumstances can become overwhelming and we need more than a best friend to turn to for assistance. Some things people come to therapy for include:
- Difficulty in relationships
- Cancer diagnosis
Does Therapy Work?
Therapy works for many people but there is no guarantee. It will be as important for you to be an active participant as it will be for me, or any therapist, to connect and work with you. There is research that indicates that medication alone is less helpful than therapy in conjunction with medication (when medication is needed). This doesn’t mean everyone needs medication, but when it is needed the best success is a combined approach.
How long does therapy take?
This is a difficult question to answer as it is different for every person. In the first or second session you and I will set some goals to help you individually. Then the therapy is tailored to further meet those goals. If your goals are more about changing a behavior, then short-term therapy of 4-6 sessions can be enough. If you have a significant depression or a history of abuse then the therapy can take longer, even months or years. But you are always in charge, and we will evaluate the progress you’ve made and set new goals regularly.
What is important to success in therapy?
The most important factor, according repeated research results is a good relationship with your therapist. If you and I don’t develop rapport then it will be very difficult for any progress to be made. Second, I bring ideas and tools and techniques, but these are only helpful when you use the tools outside of sessions as well. After all, the therapy won’t go on for the rest of your life, but your life and satisfaction with it, are the goal we’re trying to reach together. Third, if you are open and let me know both what you want to try and what you would rather not then we’ll make an even better team. Finally, the honesty and respect we have for each other. It can be very difficult to share things, but generally what I've heard from people when they are able to be forthright is how much better they feel. And, our progress speeds up.
How do I choose a therapist?
The most important piece is choosing a therapist with whom you relate and whom you trust. Start by asking the therapist if they have training and/or experience in working with the issue you are bringing to her/him. And, where possible, ask others who live around you, close friends, doctors, clergy, or others for referrals. It's also important to realize it can take 2-3 sessions to affirm your sense of comfort with the therapist; but if after that amount of time you feel uncomfortable with the therapist, you might want to try a different person. Not every therapeutic relationship clicks, just like not every friendship clicks.
Should I use my insurance to get therapy or is there a difference in treatment if I don't?
Treatment that is provided in this office is the same, regardless of insurance. There can be a limited number of sessions, however, if you have an insurance company that limits this and/or manages the use of your therapy. In addition, insurance generally pays only for short-term therapy and thus your goals may be different than someone who is choosing or must pay for therapy himself or herself and wants to work on longer-term issues. Also, when you use your insurance, confidentiality is limited, as you will be required to sign a waiver providing access of your records to your insurance carrier. Please ask any questions you have about this, and know I'll keep you aware if the insurance carrier asks for any detailed information.
What should I expect in the first appointment?
During the first appointment the goal is to discuss what you would like to work on, ways in which I feel I can or cannot help you, and to make sure that working together seems to be a good fit for each of us. I’ll ask you to bring in some completed forms, and I'll briefly review your responses with you. Before the second session I will go over them in more detail thus allowing you more time to talk about what is concerning you in the first appointment. Sometimes people find it helpful to write down questions they may have relative to their treatment but also about my training, experience, or credentials—I’m happy to share this with you! You will likely be nervous or anxious, but you are not alone in this! Taking a new step, meeting a new person, and committing to therapy is intimidating to most people but you should feel more relaxed and reassured by the end of this session.
Are sessions confidential?
Except in special circumstances what you share with me will be kept confidential. I do not share information about my clients in any way with any outside person or organization, other than as you ask me to or I am required to do by law. There are statutes meant to protect you and/or others from suicide, homicide, and child or elder abuse that require that I release information to the police, CPS, or APS; but this will be discussed during our first session and (in the event the need arises later) before I contact anyone. In addition, if a judge subpoenas my records then I must release them to the judge. (See the Limits of Confidentiality form on the Forms tab).
At times I'm also asked to speak with someone's physician, psychiatrist, case manager, or another person to coordinate care. And some insurance companies now require that I speak with your primary care physician to coordinate care (i.e.: Tricare and United Healthcare) but any discussion with others must be with your permission and only after you sign a release for this before I contact anyone else.
I also work to keep your records very safe with an alarm, locked cabinets, and password protected computer. These are all requirements of the HIPAA statutes.
Are there things other than therapy I can do to help my situation?
There are often many things you can do outside of therapy such as:
- Reading a specific book,
- Talking with supportive friends or attending a support group,
- And/or completing other homework assignments.
Do you see children, adolescents, adults or couples? What populations do you serve?
At this time I am seeing adults over the age of 19 only. I provide individual, family, and group therapy. I do not limit my population and am experienced in dealing with GLBT, high impact professionals, and first responders.
Do you provide therapy on-line, through email, or on the phone?
My practice is an office-based practice for the most part; meaning that I treat individuals through office visits. I will provide sessions via the confidentiality of V-See, which is encrypted at the level HIPAA requires, for individuals once we have an established relationship. This is limited to established clients only, and who need to do distance counseling for a myriad of reasons, including those who may travel and need to schedule a session with me while away, have moved elsewhere within the State of Arizona and may want to continue counseling, are ill. Once established, if online or phone sessions are something that are of interest to you please let me know. I also provide some coaching on the phone or via distance via V-See strictly business or professional coaching purposes.
Are you the right therapist for me? What do you specialize in?
I would invite you to call and discuss this with me in regard to your special circumstances. In general, I specialize in cancer recovery, depression, bipolar, mild traumatic brain injury recovery, chronic health issues, spiritual development, adult attachment, and trauma and abuse.
What is the cost and do you take insurance?
My standard fees are as follows-- for individuals: 45 minutes--$150, 50-60 minutes--$185. For families: 45 minutes--$185, 50-60 minutes--$200. Our office is primarily a cash-pay practice, meaning that we are on very few insurance panels (at present, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tri-Care, and some Multi-Health plans). Please note that fees can vary based on insurance contract for the carriers I am contracted with and payment is due when services are rendered. We gladly accept multiple forms of payment such as credit card or health spending debit accounts. We will also bill for out-of-network services for those for whom we are not on their insurance panel. For many, they find that they feel they have more ownership of their information and release less when they either do not submit their bills to insurance and/or submit the bills themselves. We are easily able to accommodate that and encourage you to actively control your health information and when and how that information is released. I am also a provider for Give an Hour, and through this organization veterans and their families can access services when they choose not to go through their insurance. I only accept one client for services under this plan at a time. Thus if I already have someone for whom I am providing services we will be unable to accept another client.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a licensed professional counselor, and a coach?
I am both credentialed with a doctorate in clinical psychology (Ph.D.) and licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Arizona. This means I have an educational credential (Ph.D.) as well as a license to practice in Arizona. In Arizona a LPC primarily offers counseling. We often also work in conjunction with your physician, psychiatrist, case manager, and other providers to coordinate your care. A psychiatrist (M.D. or D.O.) primarily works with medications to bring a balance back in terms of brain chemistry. A psychologist holds an educational credential usually of Ph.D. or Psy.D. and is licensed through the Board of Psychologists in Arizona. They also provide counseling. A coach is an individual who is not required to have any specialized training in counseling or psychology and who is not licensed. They generally work with short-term life goal setting and attainment. Many of these individuals also hold a certification in coaching but are not required to do so.