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General Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What qualifies you to solve whatever problems I bring in?
A: If I am doing my job it will be you who is learning to better understand and work through the issues you bring into therapy. Not only is it the task of a therapist to empower clients to solve their own problems, it is also our ethical duty to avoid fostering dependence on either us or the therapeutic process by attempting to provide others with answers.

Therapy should never be a counselor doling out sound advice, though this can be surprising news to some. As the therapist, I work to help you develop the clarity, confidence, and skills to effectively become your own therapist as you live out your life well after our sessions together.

Q: Who seeks out therapy, and for what?
A: People enter into therapy for any number of reasons. It has been shown to be effective in treating mental disorders, yes, but it can also be extremely useful in dealing with a variety of life's challenges, spanning everything from relationship problems to sleep disturbance, chemical dependency to overall health, and just about anything else we all face on a daily basis.

Q: Therapy didn't work for me in the past. Why should I try it again?
A: There are a couple of common reasons why the process of therapy can be ineffective, or at a minimum disappointing. For some, they may not have been truly ready to perform the necessary work of facing up to, and working on, the real issues at play in their situation and this resistance stunted the process of creating lasting change. It is not uncommon for people, though well-intentioned, to seek therapy in hopes of changing those around them rather than working on themselves. Thankfully, it is usually the case that when we change ourselves, those around us change as well.

For others, the pairing of client and therapist may simply not have been the right match. Though many therapists differ in their specific therapeutic approach, most agree that the single best determinant of success in therapy is the quality of the working relationship between therapist and client. I have always encouraged people to hold out for a fit with a counselor that feels right.

Q: How can I get the most out of therapy?
A: It is important to be completely honest with your therapist, as he or she can't help you if you withhold important information. Take some time after each session to review what was said and to really think about how to act on it. The most important work of therapy takes place in between sessions when the therapeutic hour is utilized outside of the therapist's office, so be sure to follow up on any tasks that were established in session.

Q: Will my insurance pay for the sessions?
A: Usually your insurance will pay for a large portion of counseling, and I am a Preferred Provider with most major insurances. If you would like me to inquire about mental health benefits on your particular plan (all plans vary to some degree), feel free to fill out the form at the bottom of this page and I will get back to you with this information. I also offer the ability to pay for sessions by credit card by which many people find convenient.

Q: What about the use of medications, and do you prescribe them yourself?
A: Psychiatric medications are sometimes used along with talk therapy, usually when people are diagnosed with mental disorders, such as depression or anxiety. It is commonly recommended that talk therapy be incorporated into one's treatment whenever psychiatric medications are being used, as the "one-two-punch" of talk therapy combined with medications tends to work well together. An antidepressant may lift a person's mood, for example, allowing them to participate more fully in psychotherapy and therefore bring about more lasting change.

I have working relationships with trusted doctors, naturopaths, and nurse practitioners (ARNPs) in the area who can do medication management with clients if medication is appropriate.