Frequently Asked Questions

When should I see a counselor?
This is a question that I am often asked as people begin to examine the struggles and challenges of their life. Working with a trained Marriage and Family Therapist can create clarity for the problem, healing for emotional wounds and support during difficult life situations. Counseling is an effective way to understand yourself and others better so that you have an improved quality of life. I am here to help you figure out what is working, what is not working and how we can make things better for you and your family.

Why should I see a Marriage and Family Therapist instead of someone else?
The field of marriage and family therapy (MFT) is designed to help people with relationship issues. The relationship can be to another person, a substance (i.e. alcohol or drugs), one’s self, one’s children or the world at large. MFT’s have specialized training to address these issues. A licensed clinical social worker has similar training but has an extra emphasis on getting help for the patient by means of a hospital or count social services, to name just a few. A psychologist has a doctorate in psychology and is often trained in psychological testing as well as counseling. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that often focuses on using a medical model to address serious mental health issues and is legally able to prescribe medication when necessary. An MFT is often the best choice to get an assessment and then to work with other resources and the patient for the most effective therapy possible.

What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy includes activities like; drawing, puppet play, role play, Sandtray, playing with toys and creating artwork. Play is an important part of human happiness. It is fun and enjoyable and it elevates our spirits and brightens our outlook on life. Play Therapy is the modality most often used with children however it has been effectively used with teens and families as well. The language of childhood is play; whereas it would be wonderful if children could simply tell us in a direct fashion what is bothering them it is more common for them to work out their issues through play. A leading authority of play therapy, Garry Landreth said (Landreth 2002) “Toys work like the child’s words and play is the child’s language” A child’s behavior is the first thing that adults notice and when that behavior is “bothersome” to the adults a Play Therapist is called in to help. I have over 20 years experience working with children and families.

Does counseling really work?
Yes it absolutely does; however there is no guarantee that counseling will work with just anyone. The therapeutic relationship is built on trust. Without trust and a commitment to change the therapeutic process cannot work effectively. Having the right therapist is another important aspect of successful therapy. Sometimes the therapist doesn’t have sufficient training or education in the issue that is bothering you so she would need to refer you to a new therapist who did have the training. Sometimes the personal style of the therapist is incompatible with the needs of the individual client. It is okay to stop treatment because it doesn’t feel right. Feeling safe and comfortable enough to do your work is a priority for me.

How long does counseling last?
The length of treatment is determined by the needs of the client as assessed by the therapist. Depending on the assessed problem or issues there are brief therapy interventions that can be used to effect change in the short term. There are also problems that require longer to work through the issue and so more long term interventions are utilized. After the assessment you will know what to expect regarding length of time for treatment

Is therapy confidential?
Your privacy and the confidential nature of our relationship is important to me.  If I am working with your child, I will ask you to sign a consent form and we will discuss how information will be shared with you as the parent or legal guardian.

The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information will not be disclosed without written permission. There are three exceptions to this:

  • Suspected child abuse, dependent adult or elder abuse. I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to work with them to ensure their safety. If this is unsuccessful, I will take further steps, without their permission, as provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety

What payment options do you offer?
Cash, checks, HSA cards and credit cards are accepted for payment.
Payment must be made at time of service provided.

Do you accept Insurance?
I do not accept any insurance plans, however services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. Payment is expected in full at time of service, and I am happy to provide a comprehensive receipt for you to submit for reimbursement.
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Do you offer low fee counseling services?
All fees are set and agreed upon at the time treatment begins. I am able to offer the option of working with my highly trained intern for clients or families that need a reduced fee for services.