Frequently Asked Questions

What types of concerns do you help address? 
Our intensive sessions can help alleviate anxiety, anger, depression, trauma, grief, loss, intrusive thoughts, painful memories, numbing out, guilt, low self-worth, family problems, and relationship concerns. Once strong emotional reactions have been reduced, skills enhanced or developed, and any relational bonds restored, I’ll support you in developing any new skills needed for your unique situation. 

Who do you see?
I have good outcomes and enjoy working with:
-individual clients who are teenage years or older
-couples at any stage of relationship (dating, married, divorced, separated, reconciling)
-clients of all cultural, ethnic, sexual, and spiritual backgrounds and orientations

What makes your therapy intensive? 
The amount of time, the degree of focus, and the blend of modalities that include thinking, feeling, and sensations (i.e. the felt sense in the body). I was delighted to see the definition of the word intensive contains the word vigorous, the definition of which is:  strong, healthy, and full of energy. Yes, this is what we’re going for!

I have angry outbursts I can’t control.  Can you help me? 
I have good outcomes and enjoy helping clients with “anger issues”. Anger as an emotion (whether expressed aggressively, assertively, or passive-aggressively) is often vilified, when in fact it is an emotion pointing to something that’s important and in need of attention. Let’s find out what that is.

Can I create a shift in my marriage or family if I come to therapy on my own? 
Yes. If any part of a system changes then by definition the system overall must change. Any movement toward health moves the system (i.e. couple, family, friendship) toward health. We also can’t know when, how, or how much your partner or family members will respond. Both relationships and change are dynamic processes. Each step reveals the next on the path.

Do you offer pre-marital counseling? 
Yes.  Foundations are so important. We become conditioned to particular ideas and assumptions about relationships, based on our culture, our families of origin, and our past experiences, etc. 

Identifying and transforming any negative cycles; creating secure connection where you respond to each other in ways that are soothing and bonding; learning how to fully repair the inevitable hurts that arise; and becoming clear and intentional about the life you are creating together – these become building blocks for your future.

Why do you only offer longer sessions, and how long does therapy last? 
Longer sessions offer many benefits… more deep listening, more focused guidance. Time to get through the rough stuff and experience the clearing that awaits on the other side. Most sessions are 1.5, 2, or 2.5 hours in length. The frequency of sessions varies (usually meeting every 1-4 weeks), and we schedule according to your needs. Occasionally, a client will request multiple sessions in a day or week, which can be very effective as well. I can usually schedule those within 3-4 weeks from the time you call.

When I first started working in longer sessions, I tried to make predictions about how long therapy might take. That was a humbling experience! There are so many factors in this dynamic process. A few thoughts… with the exception of grieving a loved one, if you’ve experienced a single-event trauma, and your life is otherwise very secure and connected, therapy will likely go very quickly (i.e. 1-2 sessions). If you have a very specific goal that we stay focused on – even if it’s a set-the-bar-high or miracle kind of goal – if it’s what you want most, then 8-10 intensive sessions (at the most) is likely to be enough. If you’re just not feeling well, and you’re not sure what would help; if you’re in a terrible situation with difficult and painful choices; or if you’re in an expansive time in your life and pursuing each next thing to see what’s possible… then we begin, and the path will reveal itself.

How do I know if this therapy is right for me?
There are so many ways to learn, heal, and grow… as individuals, couples, families, and in all the communities and environments to which we belong. So this is a really good question to ask. Often, there is simply a “sense of fit”. More specifically, I could be a good fit if you have very strong reactions (over-, under- or misplaced reactions) that are confusing to you, or that you’d rather not have; if you know you have some stressful events or traumas you would like to work through; if the same kinds of difficult patterns repeat and you want to transform them; if you like the blend of focus on identifying and healing individual root causes and negative relationship cycles, while enhancing and building skills; or if you have a sense that there is just something more to your life and/or relationship(s) that you want to explore.

Counseling forTrauma”.  Is that as heavy as it sounds? 
Yes, it’s very difficult emotional work, AND we’ll be using your innate gifts and the feelings from the best moments in your life as “medicine” to help you through. Humor and joy are present in our sessions, often unexpectedly (or at unexpected moments) and this just naturally brings a lightness that seems to balance the painful moments.

Please see my About Therapy page for more information on trauma and stressful events. Many people only consider harrowing events like war or natural disasters as “traumatic”, when in fact, any stressful event that overwhelms the system at the time registers in the brain as trauma by creating the same inner cascade of physiological events that the thinking part of the brain then tries to make sense of. The thinking then creates additional feelings that impact physiology, we become habituated to that new physiology (the particular chemical responses in the brain and body), and loops begin to form between thinking, feeling, and the body. Additionally, there are factors that increase the stress response in the moment of the event and those that decrease it.

I have no expectation that any particular event is or is not still impacting you. There are exercises we will do to find out. Many clients who have done a lot of talk therapy have great understanding and insight around their problems, yet when we find there is still some “charge” (either emotionally or somatically) that remains and explains the lingering pain or difficulties.

Do you take insurance, and what forms of payment do you accept? 
Since I work in longer sessions, and insurance coverage is based on the traditional therapy “hour”, which is typically 45 minutes of direct contact with the client (unless the clinician extends his/her time), I am an out-of-network provider for all plans. 

If you have an out-of-network plan, many insurance companies will reimburse you for part of the session fee. Please call your insurance company to find out whether your individual or couples/family session is eligible for reimbursement. If you have an out-of-network plan and you would like to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement, I will provide you with the paperwork you’ll need to submit, and they will reimburse you directly.  For payment, I accept cash, check and almost any form of credit, debit, or health savings account card.

Are you seeing clients online or in-person?
I am currently holding all sessions online to reduce the spread of Covid-19. All sessions are conducted through a secure HIPAA-compliant client portal. Please feel free to ask any questions or share any concerns you have about telehealth.

 How do family sessions work? 
I begin by meeting with the parent or parents, to get an understanding of the dynamics and make sure we are all pulling in the same direction. Sometimes during this session a particular sensitivity regarding the child will surface. For instance, a sense of guilt or regret; or a strong fear, expectation, or frustration. If this is the case, there is an exercise I can lead you through to help identify then work through the root causes of those strong feelings and reactions, such that those buttons can’t be pushed so easily the next time. I will then turn my attention to the child(ren) to work through any underlying root causes. You will all then return to session as a family. In these family sessions old hurts and vulnerabilities are free to surface and be responded to in new ways that provide healing and a stronger foundation for the future. 

The above holds true for families with children of all ages. I see many parents of adult children, who initially despair that their son or daughter is becoming estranged and won’t agree to counseling; yet down the road, when the adult child senses the shift in the parent, very often either a healing and reconnection naturally occurs, or the adult child then agrees to counseling sessions where the relationship can be repaired.  

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