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Common Questions
  •   How do I know if I need or would benefit from therapy?
    • Good question! Many people are under the impression that therapy is for the “crazy people,” or those with “really bad” situations. In reality, the vast majority of clients I see are not “crazy,” nor faced with immediate and overwhelming life trauma. They are “normal” people dealing with “normal” issues. These often include family or relationship conflicts, job stress, addiction, unhappiness, life change, anxiety, or a personal desire for change or improvement. Therapy is for anyone who wants a better quality of life and is ready to do more than simply wait patiently for it happen. If you cannot find something in yourself that could use improvement or growth then you are not right for therapy!


  •   This seems expensive, is it really necessary?
    • No. That’s right, I said no, it’s not necessary for the majority of individuals with whom I work. It is however favorable and beneficial, and allows them the opportunity to regain control of their feelings, experiences, choices, and direction. Draw the analogy to driving vs. walking to work everyday. A car isn't necessary, but it is sure to expedite your journey and provide comfort while reducing exposure to harsh elements. Therapy can be your vehicle to a new and better location.  It may be expensive for some, but contrast this with the cost of divorce ($10,000-20,000), the cost of 19 percent of absenteeism, 40 percent of job turnover, 10 percent of medical costs of prescription drug plans, and 60 percent of workers’ compensation awards that are due to stress *, decreased educational opportunities, and legal costs just to name a few. In the face of reality, therapy often becomes an investment rather than an expense. In an unstable economy, what better to invest in than yourself!


  •   I have never done this before, what can I expect from the first visit?
    • The first visit is a mixture of information exchange and getting to know one another. I will have you complete the personal information forms for review and will take a thorough history. We also will cover the federal guidelines for privacy and reporting known as HIPAA , as well as practice specific values and ethics related to privacy, conduct, expectations, and communication. Last, but not least, we will attempt to formulate a working definition (or diagnosis) of the “problem” and create some short term goals for our working together.

      For minors, parents need to read the materials and formulate any questions they have about privacy guidelines prior to the session as I usually start with the Adolescent FIRST, and then bring in the parent for the last 1/3 of the session. Why?  This is to align the adolescent from the beginning so that they understand that I am an ally rather than an extension of the parent, school, or government. For more information of privacy practice with minors refer to the Working with Minors section in the  fees and services page.


  •   How often should I come?
    • This is decided upon together during the first session and then reassessed frequently with progress. Usually I start with new clients on a weekly basis. This allows for us to build a relationship and gain a firm understanding of the intensity and breadth of the issues at hand.  Once the situation begins to stabilize or feel mostly manageable, we consider tapering to bi-weekly and then to monthly follow-ups as we taper to discharge. You are free to come as often as your desire and my schedule may allow barring any restrictions (often imposed by insurance companies). If you are considering using insurance, I strongly recommend reading the article "Cost Effective Treatment?"


  •   How do you know if you have the “right” therapist?
    • You just do. That is not to say that there are not several clinicians that might be “right” for you, but maybe only one “right one” at the moment. Choosing a provider is similar to buying a car in that it depends on your current needs, budget, style, and expectations. I encourage new clients to “test drive” me to see if I am a good fit. If not, I will do my best to help them find a better match.

  •   How long does this process take?
    • Good question!  I wished I could give a definitive answer without feeling like a fraud.  The reality is that problems are different, people are unique, and motivations vary. All of these are more are the factors that determine the pace and intensity of treatment. In short, the harder you work, the more likely you are to get the desired outcome.

  •   Aren’t I supposed to feel better after therapy?
    • That depends on “when” you want to feel better. Often times the short term pain associated with therapy is an investment in the repair of the “bigger picture.” It may be quite painful at times and many choose to flee prior to deeper change. It is the understanding that the pain is part of the process of change that allows us to push through.

  •   Is there any guarantee?
    • Sorry, no warranty or money back guarantee. People often approach therapy looking to be “fixed.” Even the best repaired system will break down in time under stress and wear. The hope is to gain the insight and skills necessary to “maintain” functional coping, relationships, and to create happiness. What I can guarantee is my energy, skills, and dedication to improving your quality of life.  Think of it as a money's worth guarantee.


  •   Is everything we talk about private?
    • I would love to say yes, but no. I encourage you to read, understand, and question your provider about confidentiality laws and rules in your area. The HIPAA(add link) laws are a good start.  Reality says that there are always limits and choices to be made to ensure the most privacy. As two aware parties, this can usually be managed effectively.

  •   Can I use my insurance?
    • Yes, I accept some policies, but you may want to consider the costs and benefits closely before deciding. If you are concerned about your privacy and ability to control your treatment, read this article:"Cost Effective Treatment?"

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