Commonly Asked Questions
I have good friends that I can talk to if I need to. Why do I need a therapist?
Friends are great, and they are often an integral part of our support system. Friends are often biased, though, as they have a vested personal interest in our life because they are our friends. A therapist is a neutral, trained and licensed professional. You don't have to worry about "burdening" me with telling me scary, big emotions that you might not want to unload on your friend. You don't have to worry about judgement from me. You can tell me anything.
So I can tell you anything and you can't tell anyone else?
Correct. The only limitation to confidentiality is safety. If I am concerned about your safety or the safety of someone else, I am required by law to take appropriate action.
Why should I see a therapist? Why can't I just move on with my life?
Life is hard at times. Emotions and past traumas have a way of creeping up to the surface, often in ways we don't expect or anticipate. Working with me will provide you the safe space to process things so that they do not stay bottled up and then come out in inopportune times or inappropriate ways.
Why would I want to rehash things from my past with a stranger?
It can be awkward starting work with a therapist, but I promise you that once you get past the first session with me your comfort level will continue to increase. It is strange to tell a "stranger" intimate things, and that's why it takes time to develop the trusting relationship that an effective therapist will foster. You don't have to go deep into issues right away, and we can go at your pace. My goal is to help you along your path, and the best way I can do that is to meet you where you are and do just enough to challenge you without overwhelming you.
What if we have a session and I don't like you, or I don't think it's a good fit?
Don't worry, you aren't "locked" into future sessions with me. My main priority is to help you reach your goals, and I know that I am not going to be a good match for every person that needs assistance. The therapeutic relationship is incredibly important and dictates the success of your therapy, so I want and need you to be honest with your feedback. If you have a few sessions with me and it turns out that we aren't a good fit for whatever reason, I can help you find someone who is. The most important thing to me is that you are getting the help you need.
I need help making a decision! Will you tell me what I should do?
Sometimes clients are frustrated with the answer I give to this question. Most people, understandably, want an answer that will help fix their problem. My job, however, is to walk alongside you in your journey to help you figure out what is the best thing for you. You are the one person who has to live with the future results of whatever decision you make, and I want you to make the decision that is best for YOU. That being said, my approach is very warm, empathetic, and caring. I see my job as helping you get to where you want to be.
How will you help me?
I use a two-prong approach that consists of teaching skills and digging down to the "why." I will provide you with coping tools and skills to help you with the pressing issues in your life, and we will also dig down and discover the "why" behind certain behaviors or issues in your life. Our feelings and behaviors are trying to tell us something, and they can be an excellent way to explore the root cause.
What is your approach? Will we talk about stuff from my past, or what's going on in my life now?
Often I find the best approach is to use current life events to inform the work we do with your stuff from the past. In other words, during a session we will often start with something that happened to you over the course of the last week since I saw you, and that discussion will often lead us down the route of exploring how what's going on now connects to experiences in your past. It's a natural flow and it feels comfortable. It helps us tackle "big" things from your past that may otherwise seem overwhelming.
My problems are too big and overwhelming for therapy....
My problems are small and seem so silly....
The good news is that we can go at a pace that is comfortable for you, and no problem is "small" if it's creating problems in your life. I have many clients that think these things initially, and then they are glad they pursued therapy after all.
I have Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance. Do you accept it, and how does it work?
Yes. I am paneled with BCBS. Please call BCBS to ensure that I am considered in-network with your plan. Once we have a session I will submit your claim to BCBS. Once I receive notice that they have paid your claim, I will let you know if you have a copay, and I will charge that to the credit card you have on file.
I see you offer Telehealth sessions, in-person sessions, and Walk and Talk sessions on the greenway. Do I have to commit to one or the other?
No, you don't have to commit to only Telehealth, in-person, or Walk and Talk sessions. You can try all three with me and see which you prefer. A lot of my clients choose to have a mixture of all three because they like the variety.
Is your telehealth secure? I want my sessions to be confidential.
Yes. I use a HIPAA compliant service for my video sessions. You will get an email appointment reminder that will contain a link to your telehealth appointment.
My schedule varies from week to week. Do I have to have a set day and time for my appointments?
No, you don't have to have a set day and time for your appointments, but many of my clients prefer to do so because it ensures they will get on my calendar.
What is the process of becoming a client?
Once you decide you'd like to schedule an appointment with me, I will enter your information into my online, secure portal. You will receive an email that will contain a link to the portal so that you can fill out your intake paperwork. Please fill out your paperwork prior to your appointment. You will get an email and/or text reminder for your appointment, depending on the preferences you choose in the portal.
How often will I meet with you?
Obviously each situation is different, but most of my clients start with weekly sessions. Once you feel confident that you are meeting your treatment goals and making progress, we can change the appointment frequency to twice a month or monthly.
What can I expect at my first appointment?
At our first appointment, I will begin by asking you any questions I have about the intake paperwork you filled out. Then I will review some of the necessary paperwork items from my end that I need to emphasize. Then I will work with you to create a list of the goals you would like to reach during your work with me. If we have any time left, we can begin to dive into some of the issues.
Do I need to have something specific prepared to talk about at every session?
Nope! In fact, a lot of sessions in which clients report they have "nothing to talk about this week" turns out to be a very meaningful session.
What is the difference between a therapist, a psychiatrist, and a psychologist?
From your perspective as a consumer of mental health services, it can be important to note that a psychiatrist can prescribe medication, but a therapist and a most psychologists cannot. If you would like to work with a therapist and have medication prescribed, see next question.
What is your professional stance on taking medication?
I believe that medication for mental health problems can go a long way in assisting the work we do in therapy. While I am not able to prescribe medication, I can work in conjunction with your prescribing provider to create a team effort in your treatment. My view is that medication is another tool you can use in your journey to mental health wellness.
I had a therapist once give me homework to do outside of our sessions. Do you give clients homework?
Only if you want it. I know it can be challenging enough to carve out the time and money for weekly sessions, and some of my clients do not want homework. Some of my clients do want it, because they find they benefit from working on things outside of their sessions with me.