Some of my problems are from a long time ago and run pretty deep. Can you really help me?
This is probably one of the primary concerns that keep people from coming to counseling. It really is never too late in life to heal old wounds so you can move forward. Most people start to feel better after only a handful of sessions. Although a handful won’t be enough to time to dedicate to creating your new life, it is a start that will provide momentum and hope to continue your work.
Will I have to dig up painful memories to feel better?
It is not necessary to dig up the past to move forward. Many people do find it helpful however to have insight into how their past may be effecting their present. Unlike other therapists I have optional tools that you can use in session that can help explore issues when words are too tough to use. Whether you talk through these feelings or use creative methods, exploring how you are feeling and how you think about things can help provide insight. This insight can help you understand why you might react as you do, avoid situations, and have gut feelings that undermine your ability to move forward. This insight can lead help you recognize when this happens in the present and then make different choices so you can break patterns that keep you where you presently are. If you are not so happy with life right now, this can be a great skill to acquire so you can change that.
I have been through some pretty messed up stuff, how am I supposed to just get over it?
Your not! Life happened, it is what it is and nobody can change what you have experienced. The only thing you can change is how you react to those realities and people who might be difficult for you to deal with. I can help you find strength in yourself to see things differently and let go of some of the pain, shame, guilt, and anger associated with events or people that might be making life difficult for you.
How long will therapy take?
This varies for everyone. What I usually tell people is in 1-3 sessions you should start to feel more hopeful, in 4-8 session you should have more insight into why things are as they are and gain momentum towards redesigning your life, and by 8 sessions you should already be identifying and trying some new skills to help yourself move forward. Creating a new life takes work and if you find our relationship to be supportive toward your growth, continue coming!
Will you be able to tell me what to do so I can feel better?
I would call this advice giving and that is something I am going to assume you get from your mother, sister, friends or co-workers. You know why their advice hasn’t worked for you? It is because people give advice on what they would do, not what is right for you based on your value system, life experience, history, and life situation. As a counselor I am trained to really hear you and help you hear yourself. I will help you identify what is important to you, what has stood in your way of success, identifying patterns that have kept you where you are right now. Based on all of that information we will come up with options together that you might want to try to start making different choices. The great news is although you might not know it yet, you know best not those advice givers! Looking at what hasn’t worked for you is just as valuable as what has worked for you. That’s where I come in, helping you hash all that out so you can become more confident in finding your own solutions so you don’t have to rely on anyone else’s bad advice!
Can I afford this?
I accept insurance payment as well as cash and credit. You must decide if working on yourself is worth it. What is the cost to your emotional, mental, and physical well-being to stay in your current situation? Counseling is a small investment when it can give you the rest of your life to be the real you, the person you were meant to be. If you are not sure if you can budget in counseling consider how much do you spend on coffees, the gym, going out to eat, movies, perfume, nice clothes, diets, self-help books, data plans and television packages? This stuff might make you look good or feel good temporarily but do they help you on the inside? Consider investing in your inside self.
Will my insurance cover counseling?
All insurances are different. I urge you to contact me with your insurance information handy. I will have my experienced medical biller find out for you what is covered, how much you can expect to pay, and how many sessions you can get. Even if I am not considered an “in-network” provider with your insurance, they might cover some or all of your sessions as an “out-of-network” benefit. You may also use your Health Spending Account card to pay for services.
If your insurance doesn’t cover counseling with me I accept cash, check, and credit cards. Some people even are able to submit a bill to their insurance company to get reimbursed although they would not cover the cost directly. Also consider what your out of pocket expense might be even using your insurance.
Are our sessions confidential?
Counseling is confidential with a few exceptions. What we talk about is between you and I however in a few instances I am obligated to break confidentiality including if you are a serious threat to yourself or others or if I suspect child or elder abuse. Additionally, if you decide to use insurance, I have to release some identifying information and diagnosis to the medical biller and insurance company in order to be reimbursed.