Whether you've done therapy before or not, you might have some questions about how this will work. Here are my answers to some of the common ones:
Do you prescribe medication?
No, I am not that kind of doctor, but I am happy to refer you to some psychiatric clinicians who do. I am also happy to collaborate with your psychiatric support so we can make sure we are working together to help you. When you and I work together, we're going to talk through and process what's been going on for you so you can work toward what you want to do next.
Why should I tell a stranger about my problems?
If you would benefit from having someone to talk to whose only role in your life is to listen, support, and help you reach your own goals, someone who isn't involved with your life in other ways and can focus completely on you, therapy can be a great option. You don't have to listen about my life, worry about what I'll think, or worry if I'll tell anyone your secrets. I also bring years of education and experience in psychology to the support I can provide.
What if I don't want to spend time talking about awful things?
We absolutely don't have to. There are ways we can focus on what you DO want in life, not just what you don't. I've seen people do well because they had a chance to sit and talk about their goals and aspirations. I can also treat trauma flashbacks without us talking about what they are. We will go with whatever we agree will work best for you.
Is everything I say confidential?
Your sessions and everything you share with me is confidential. Except for the instances stated below, which are required by law, I will not share information or respond to inquiries of any kind from any source without your written consent:
- If in my clinical judgment you pose a threat to harm yourself, and you refuse appropriate treatment, I am ethically bound to notify the appropriate parties (those who can intervene to protect you).
- If you indicate a serious threat to harm another person, I am legally required to warn the intended victim(s) and the police and/or to obtain a civil commitment to the state mental health system.
- I am required to report any suspicion of child or elder abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities.
- In some instances the courts may subpoena my records or testimony. In most instances, I am forced to honor these subpoenas.
If one of these situations come up, we'll talk about it together so that you know what is going on and why. I'd like for us to be on the same page here.
Why should I let someone tell me how to live my life?
I don't think you should and that's absolutely not my job. My job is to help you figure out what works best for you and how you can do that.
Are you going to just stare at me and keep saying "how does that make you feel?"
That's not my style. We're going to have a real conversation between two real people focused on what you've been through, where you are now, and where you want to go next. If I ask about your feelings in a situation, it's going to make sense and it's going to be so I can understand what your world is like for you.
What if I've had a bad experience with therapy before?
This happens. I hate that it happens, but it happens: some clinicians mess it up. Or, their style was not a good match for what works for you. There could be a number of factors that give someone a bad taste for therapy. I want to hear your experience and will ask about this in our consultation. I want to know what has worked for you and what hasn't so I can know if we make a good therapy match, what your expectations are, and what your boundaries are so I can respect them.
How long do we do this for?
This differs on the person and the situation. Some single-issue focuses can be resolved fairly well in a couple sessions or even a longer single session. Other complicated issues and difficult patterns of behavior might take a number of months. And for those looking for general ongoing support, our time together can be as short or long as works for you.
My general goal is to work myself out of a job with you.
We're going to discuss your expectations at the beginning of our time together and also throughout. We're going to regularly assess your therapy goals and how you're progressing. I will check in with you often about how you're feeling about the process and whether you're ready to move on, either to a new goal or to being off-schedule. And if you've gone off-schedule before, you're still free to reach out and schedule again in the future if you think it's appropriate.
What will this cost, and how do I schedule with you?
You can call, email, or send a request through this form. My number and email information are on that page too.