1. What should I expect in the first session?
During the initial session, I spend time reviewing your history and assessing your mental health for any risk factors. If your status requires a higher level of care than I can provide in my office, I will provide you with referrals of other services in the areas that can better meet your needs.
In the first session, I will also work with you to create a treatment goal that guides our direction in therapy. In that way, I make sure that our time working together will focus on how to help you reach your desirable results. Setting tangible goals at the beginning of therapy will ensure the success of your treatment.
2. How long does a session last?
Sessions often run at a 50-minute increment. Longer sessions are available upon request. My current longer session runs in a 75-minute increment.Depending on your needs and financial flexibility, you may opt for a longer session. Clients who are in couple and/or family counseling tend to request for longer sessions. Please speak with your counselor for further assistance.
Please note that sessions start on time and end on time to respect the appointments of other clients.
3. How long should I be in therapy?
It depends. The length of treatment is widely variable depending on many factors specific to each individual client. The counseling process can take anywhere from 6-18 sessions. Most people will experience significant relief in symptoms after three to six months of therapy. Others may need more time to achieve their desirable results. However, to address the underlying emotional roots of most problems and addictions, long-term psychotherapy is a better option as it may offer more permanent change. Ultimately, the length of treatment is always under the control of you, the client. Your motivation and efforts over the course of treatment also play a large role in the success of therapy.
4. How often should I come for sessions?
It depends. Generally speaking, I would suggest once per week at the beginning of treatment in order for you to receive consistent care that focuses on your presenting issues. Weekly therapy also offer you an essential support that helps you gain momentum towards accomplishing your goals. As you progress in treatment, sessions can be arranged bi-weekly for check-in purposes. My experience is that sometimes clients decide to shift to bi-weekly sessions too quickly, or even stop coming to therapy, when they notice some positive change. This sudden switch can affect your ability to achieve more long-lasting results.
It is important that you discuss this matter with me in counseling so I can assist you in making the appropriate arrangement. I do not wish to keep clients in therapy longer than they need to be as it may result in counter-effective results. This is why I often spend time with my clients evaluating our work together every 3-6 sessions to ensure that you are making progress towards your goals.
5. Do you provide counseling services online or via phone?
Yes, I have the ability to provide select services electronically. While I have the mandatory certification to provide Technology Assisted Services, I do not encourage ongoing electronic counseling services unless, due to extenuating circumstances, E-Therapy is the best option. I am willing to work with you via phone or internet video conference, but it is to be understood that, if confidentiality is of high importance to you, these methods of communication are not the most secure. A face to face meeting would be recommended for those with concerns of maintaining confidentiality of their consulting or counseling services.
6. Do you take insurance?
No, I do not. Out of interest for my clients and practice, I’ve chosen not to participate on any insurance panels. In my view, utilizing insurance would require your information to be disclosed and a mental health “diagnosis” to be recorded on file. Because my clinical specialties lay in couples with high conflicts, family issues, and other trauma-related concerns, I refuse to let insurance providers dictate or limit the type of treatment intervention that is best suited for my clients. I do not believe that a client should be assigned a “diagnosis” for mental illness that is not correct or more serious than what is true just for the convenience of filing for an insurance reimbursement.
I take steps to protect your confidentiality. When your information is turned over to your provider, this confidentiality is compromised, as your information may be stored in ways that allow access by employees of your provider and those of its affiliates.
I understand that using insurance may be a factor that affects your ability to seek therapy. If this is the case, I am happy to refer you to counselors who may take insurance. Contacting your provider is another way to obtain a list of counselors in your network.
7. What is your cancellation policy?
When you make an appointment, I reserve that time slot for you. Therefore, if you cannot make a session, please provide at least 24 hours of notice so I can make that time available to another client. For cancellations less than 24 hours, you will be charged for the session at the regular rate.
I understand that emergencies, such as illness, do arise, so please discuss this with me. However, cancellation due to work or other reasons beside medical emergencies will result in a charge. It is a good practice that you make plans around your appointment for therapy as your mental wellness deserves to be treated as important as the other things in your life.
8. Still have more questions?
Email or fill out the contact form now to let Michelle know.