What style of therapy do you use?
I practice from a few different modalities. I primarily use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is the practice of learning how our thoughts affect our behavior. All of us have what is called ‘thinking errors’ that impact how we perceive and react to the word. If we can better identify our ‘thinking errors’ we will clear up our expectations and our communication.
I also use Narrative therapy for those that have issues in their past that may be impacting current action. Through Narrative therapy, we explore your story and how that story may be negatively impacting your choices or reactions. If the story is explored in a safe and comfortable setting, the messages you take from it are more likely to be positive, and therefore you will make better choices and react more positively.
Last, I use Psycho-education. This is educating you on topics that are negatively impacting. We will learn about the topics or skills together and then homework is given to think or choose a different way than previously chosen. Some examples of topics are; levels of communication, communication styles, thinking errors, love languages, strength building, boundaries and ways to be happy.
How long do I have to come to therapy?
This can vary greatly based on history and current support system. The average length of treatment is 3 months. I like to see you weekly for the first 6-8 sessions and then bi-monthly for the next 4-6. We will create a Treatment Plan on your second session that will be focused on your goals as well as treating your diagnosis. Most of my clients will feel significant improvement when they end therapy or have achieved all of their goals. Most of the work does happen outside of the therapy room. The hope would be that we are both working equally hard to achieve the goals you have set.
How come you don’t take my insurance?
I have contracts with insurance companies that share similar values with the work I do. Some companies only want to contract with therapist who work in large clinics. In those cases, I don’t have an option to contract with them. In other cases, an insurance company may not put as much value on mental health services so they set their rates very low, mostly attracting community mental health clinics or therapist who are new to the field. My hope is that someday, all insurance companies value mental health services equally and also are open to private practice setting. Until that time, the insurance companies I have listed on the ‘rates and insurance’ page are the companies I can bill. Please keep in mind, if you do not see your insurance company on the list, you can still use your HEALTH SAVING ACCOUNT. You will have to pay the fee for service (self-pay) rate but then can save using your HSA. Some of my clients also pay upfront and then send in the statement and charges to their insurance company to be applied to their in or out of network benefits.
Can you see me individually and then see my partner or family members?
Yes! If you are self-paying, we can arrange sessions for what works best for you. If you are using insurance, then I have to have one primary client identified that I will do an intake session with. After a treatment plan is established, we can then start adding more members to your sessions as long as it pertains to your diagnosis and your treatment goals. I spent my Doctorate program learning from a systems approach. Systems are any sort of group you live or interact in. Our 'systems' impact us and so it is very difficult to make individual progress without brining in the people who you love the most.
- 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.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
- 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?
Can I see you and then bring in my partner or family members?
Yes, my doctorate program specifically focused on systems. Systems are what we live in each day. It includes, your partner, family members, co-workers, community and also the culture you live within. It is very difficult to make progress if you are not considering how all of the systems in your life are impacting you. I encourage partners and family members to join when it feels fitting to the treatment plan. I typically build the treatment plan around one person and from there we can include others depending on what goals we are working on.
How do I know you will not be biased to my partner or to me in couples counseling?
Typically I see each partner once as an individual before you are seen together to create treatment goals. During this time I invest in learning what motivates you, how you communication, differences in background and family culture as well as the strengths you are bringing to the relationship. I do my best to stay focused on the goals you have created together. During the course of couples counseling, often times the relationship may become more unstable for a short period of time due to the new ability to communicate about sources of pain. I will typically start seeing improvement in communication and support after 4-6 sessions. Please know this is normal to have increased tension in the short term. Since I am human, I can not guarantee, one partner or the other will not feel bias from me. I ask that you are open to communicating this feeling if it does arise and we can explore the issue together. Since I am an intuitive person, I can often times feel or see that one or the other is feeling blame more than the other and then we simply have a conversation about it.
Are you one of those therapist that just listens and repeats back to me what I just said in a slightly different way?
No, I do not find that style of therapy effective. For some people, that style is exactly what they need, support and validation. I differ from this because not only do I offer support and validation, I also challenge you to think about your situation and relationships differently. I work to help you improve your own insights into your weaknesses so that you are doing most of the exploration through new found awareness. If I feel there are personalities traits or styles of communication that are causing a problem in your life consistently, then I will be sure to help you see this.
How do I know if it is time for my teenager to start therapy?
Teenagers are very complicated to read and understand due to how quickly they are developing emotionally and physically. When you add all of the pressures that are placed on teens, it is not surprising so many have troubles adjusting. Classic symptoms of depression do not typically fit for teens. Many people think of depression as an extended period of sadness. For teenagers this often looks different. Classic symptoms of a teenager struggling with depression maybe the following: reckless behavior such as experimenting with alcohol or drugs, reckless driving, school issues such as poor attendance, drop in grades or low concentration on homework. It could also be prolonged use of social media or screen time. Children who come home after school and appear withdrawn and then isolate, could be experiencing anxiety. If you have found that your child is not participating with activities that previously enjoyed or are not hanging out with friends the same as they used to, this could also indicate symptoms of depression or anxiety. Parents know their children better than anyone, if you have seen one or more of the previous mentioned symptoms for a period of more than a month, getting as assessment could be helpful.