Common Questions

How can therapy help me?
A therapist that is a good fit for you will be knowledgeable, supportive, and validating. Look for  a therapist who has experience in the areas that you want to explore. Many people find that their particular needs are not deeply understood by the people in their life, or even by some professionals. This is especially true if you experience stigma or misunderstanding because of an identity or a concern. I work with many people in the LGBTQ+ community, the neurodiverse community, and the disability community, including people who are careful about covid safety. People in these communities may experience the full range of issues that most people deal with, like depression and anxiety, with the added layer of often being made invisible by the larger world. Therapy is a place to feel visible, heard, and accompanied on your journey.

Why do people go to therapy?

People generally come to therapy when they have tried hard to untangle things by themselves, and have run into roadblocks in their path. That may be due to past events that have created coping strategies that no longer serve the person well. It may be due to current events that are particularly stressful and overwhelming. They may be dealing with complicated relationship issues that can benefit from a neutral facilitator who can help everyone involved feel heard. Therapy with a skilled counselor can help people move out of the stuck places in their lives, and into paths that lead to a greater sense of happiness and fulfillment.

What is therapy like?
Therapy is an experience of support from an experienced and validating counselor, who is also skilled in asking questions and providing guidance. I practice therapy as a collaborative conversation in which the needs of the client are in the foreground. It is similar when you come for help with a couples or family issue. In that case, you'll experience a conversation between all the members of the system, with the counselor as a facilitator who can guide the conversation in a productive direction. Everyone's needs are different, but the common denominator is that therapy takes place within the context of  a caring, empathic relationship in which all the parts of you are welcome. For a couple or a family, all voices and concerns are heard.  Depending on the issue, the therapist may suggest specific techniques or ways of working the can help the client make progress.

What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.  Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you. In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.

Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
Most insurance plans will reimburse some part of the cost of seeing an out of network provider. I ask that you pay my fee each session. I will give you a statement that has everything on it that you need to submit to your insurance company so you can get reimbursed directly. I prefer to remain out of network because in network providers are required to provide information about the client in order to get treatment approved. Many people prefer to maintain their complete confidentiality by paying out of pocket for sessions. Even an out of network provider is required to put a diagnostic code on statements, but at least no further personal information is required. I am happy to talk further about this important issue if you have concerns about insurance and confidentiality.

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. At times you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team, but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.

State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
If the therapist has reason to believe that there is ongoing harm to a child or an elder, the therapist must inform the authorities. 

If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming himself or herself, the therapist must take steps to protect the client, which may include calling an ambulance or otherwise breaking confidentiality.

If the client has threated to harm another person, the therapist must take steps to protect the person who is in danger, including warning a person who has been threatened.

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