What is therapy?

Therapy is a process which is available to Individuals, Couples or Families, children and youth, designed to explore both personal and relational difficulties. Therapy or counseling is a commitment between a therapist and a client, who meet together for the purpose of resolving the distress in the client’s life. Primarily, the quality of the relationship between the therapist and client cannot be emphasized enough. Effective therapy requires a strong connection of faith and trust. The emphasis in these sessions is on empowering the client to pursue personal self-discovery and mastery of their own life challenges, be these challenges external or internalized.

Therapy also includes a great deal of re-education, which can run the gamut from communication and social skills to conflict resolution, from parenting education to addiction and/or obsession recovery, or any other number of topics. Therapy usually takes place through once or twice weekly personal, couple, or family sessions, which can occur at your home, a facility where you work or live, or in my office. Sessions may involve in home family consultation or intervention, group meetings, weekend retreats, crisis resolution or “emergency sessions”, or an occasional phone consultation. In summary, therapy is a high level means to developing high functioning skill sets; skills that can enable you to create wanted interpersonal and internal changes that will restore strength, resilience, hope and healthy functioning to your life and relationships.

What are your areas of experience?

Personally speaking, I am aligned with several various models of counseling, foremost of these being Family Systems work, Experiential/Behavioral Focused Therapy, Transpersonal Counseling and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  I treat most issues, including high conflict couples, addiction and codependency, anxiety, depression, sleep disorder, self-harm syndrome, Bipolar disorder, adults abuse as children, adolescent psychology and sleep disorder. In the years I have been licensed, I have collected many thousands of hours as a therapist in general, and also in these particular areas: blended families, single parents, all areas related to sexual trauma, abuse, and severe family dysfunction; marital and relationship discord; alcohol/drug/relationship/sexual addictions; behavioral addictions and compulsions; long-term recovery/life skills; sexual orientation and coming out; adolescent crisis; economic and business crisis or prolonged stress. I am confident working with all types of family structures and sexual orientations..

Most of my clients work with me from three to six months, and a few up to two years or longer.  Mostly, what I do is considered “Brief” counseling, with our work focused on specific, identifiable areas for personal growth and problem solving–I am solutions-driven. My job is to help you and/or your “family” relationships become highly satisfying and well-functioning. I see myself as a coach and teacher, and am not particularly known for “coddling” my clients, and as such, will actively work with you to make real changes quickly.

Are all of our conversations confidential?

Yes, absolutely all the information shared in a counseling session is held in the highest confidence, if you are of the required age to represent yourself and make the decision to seek treatment. Therapists are legally and ethically bound to maintain confidentiality unless the client states they have a specific plan to harm themselves or others. If you use insurance to pay for your sessions then several details of your case will be released to them—and they are obligated to also hold this information as confidential. (BE SURE TO GET THE HIPPA FORM IF YOU ARE USING INSURANCE.) Clients may have some concerns about confidentiality when assessing insurance funds for therapy, especially if the counseling is work related. However, you do pay a premium for these benefits and the insurance companies are ethically and legally bound to keep information confidential; you have the right to use these benefits should you decide.

What are your fees and cancelation policy?

I require a full 48 hour notice to cancel. That means you will be expected, and you have agreed to pay for a session that is cancelled with less than 48 hours notice. The cancellation fee is full cost for the time that has been booked.  Please review my Fees section of this website thoroughly.

Payment is expected at the time services are rendered. All sessions are fifty minutes long, unless circumstances or crisis warrant more time. My standard fee is $165.00 per hour and I recommend an 80 minute  session for the first visit with all new clients, but this is your prerogative. When more than two people are in a session, we should book an appointment for 80 minutes all sessions, if this is within economic reach. 80 minute sessions cost $245.  Crisis situations are sometimes best addressed over 2 hours.  110 minute sessions cost $330. I do not offer a sliding scale.

During our initial session we will strive to assess the immediate concerns you are facing and the goals you have as the outcome of our therapy together. I will also try to capture a detailed understanding of the participants in your life and how they shape or affect your current circumstances.

If you have medical insurance that is reimbursable upon receipt of services, such as Blue Shield or Blue Cross, then I will try to help you to understand how to have the reimbursement check mailed directly to your home. We will provide you with an invoice from our office with all of the information your insurance company will need to process your claim. I do not process any form of insurance claim or accept any insurance which requires me to do so.

Do you make home visits, or do sessions by Skype or phone?

Home visits are available upon request, when clients are not able to travel to the office, or when home observation is helpful to the circumstances. A travel fee will be charged at $10 per ten minutes drive time, rounding up in increments of 10 minutes. In other words, 15 minutes is charged at 20 minutes.

In many cases a phone session is a valuable alternative to cancelling when the weather turns bad, the baby sitter cancels, or scheduling becomes difficult. I am also available in the case of an emergency or family crisis, or during the transition of moving to a new location until a new therapist can be secured. Session time and fees remain the same.

What is marriage counseling?

Couples know when their relationship is in trouble. They report poor communication, a decrease in sexual intimacy, and a growing emotional distance. Often, couples experience an increase in tension, defensiveness, criticism and/or feelings of disappointment with or anger at their partner. An increase in fighting between the couple or one or both shutting down is commen, intensifting the distress cycle.  In addition, there may be complicating factors of infidelity, domestic violence, financial crisis, health concerns, trauma, addictions, in-law interference, parenting disagreements, conflict of gender differences and marital roles, or other problems.

Marriage Counseling is a commitment to work with a professional marriage therapist for a minimum period of time, commonly three months or longer. First and foremost, we’ll determine how the children in your household are coping with the marital conflict and what their immediate needs are. Children can often develop stress from living with couples in conflict. It is vital to help the children as well as the couple. Each couple is evaluated to determine the exact nature of their conflict. During our sessions together, you will be given the opportunity to design new ways to restore security, support and encouragement in a nurturing relationship, and to improve the lives and mental health of your children by doin so, when applicable.

What is premarital counseling?

One question being asked now is “If I get married, how can I predict that it will last?” Clinicians are studying the factors that point towards predicting future marital satisfaction. These may include:

  1. Individual traits: an individual’s personality traits and emotional health, as well as values, attitudes, and beliefs. We’ll also look for personal resolution regarding prior circumstances, such as addiction or childhood abuse or neglect.
  2. Couple traits: include couple communication and conflict resolution skills, degree of acquaintance (how long and how well the couple has known each other, similarity of values and goals, and lifestyle match.
  3. Personal and relationship contexts: include family background characteristics such as previous marriages, existing children, the quality of an individual’s parents’ marriage, family relationship quality, age at marriage, and parents’ and friends’ approval of the relationship.

Premarital counseling usually involves spending 3-7 sessions, clarifying the issues, setting goals for improvement of the foundations of your relationship, and discussing other important topics related to marriage such as finances, roles in marriage, parenting styles, religion, spirituality and personal philosophy, having children, and relationships to others. Premarital counseling will help the couple improve their communication skills and it also establishes in their relationship a positive attitude about seeking help if marriage problems arise in the future.