Why do people seek therapy?

 

People come into therapy for many different reasons; sometimes to address specific problems such as depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, personal loss or relationship issues. Others come to enhance their personal growth by being proactive as individuals, and to explore their emotional patterns and lives more closely as part of a growing, improving self-awareness and more genuine sense of themselves.  Whatever the case, there is no “right” or “wrong” reason to enter therapy. 

At times, people locate a therapist through a fog of emotional pain, where negative thinking patterns or very tangible, distressing crises prompt an inner voice to say: “This is enough. I’ve had enough.” It may be that within this type of crisis, there exists the best present opportunity to work towards real, positive and transformational growth and change. 


How quickly can I be seen once I make an appointment?

 

I am usually able to see my new clients within the same week of a telephone contact, or by the next week following an initial call. In some cases, I may be able to see new clients within 24-36 hours from an initial call.  


How long is a typical psychotherapy session?

A regular psychotherapy session is 50 minutes in duration. During a first visit, this time may be extended to 90 minutes for completion of a full assessment and for taking history information and reviewing client policies. 


Will my insurance pay for therapy sessions?

Ask me if I am a provider for your insurance plan. I am a provider for some plans. If I do not take your insurance, and if you accept me as an out-of-network provider, I will (in most cases) negotiate for your co-pay amount as the therapy fee. I request payment from you at the end of each session. I will be happy to provide you with an itemized monthly statement (superbill) to help you with filing claims (in which case, a statement for your provider will require me to provide a diagnosis code). I have an income-based fee schedule for those without insurance.  

I am also a provider for the Open Path Psychotherapy Collective, which enables a 50% discount for my services if clients become a member. The purpose of Open Path is to make psychotherapy affordable for all clients.


How do I pay?  What forms of payment do you accept?

You can pay by cash, personal check or credit card. There is a fee for returned checks.


Will you share my information with other people?

The information we discuss in sessions is confidential, except in very specific exceptions, as required by law. These exceptions include: If I believe that you are at serious risk of harming yourself or someone else, if I have a reasonable suspicion that child or elder abuse is occurring, or if I receive a legal subpoena from a court, signed by a judge, requesting records for a legal proceeding. In order to share or request information otherwise, I will need your written consent and signature on a release or request document. 


Can I be in couples therapy if I am not married?

Yes. Unmarried couples seek couples therapy to improve communication and/or to explore their relationship issues. This includes couples from all types of sexual and/or gender orientations; cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. I provide therapy for all couples, including cross-cultural couples entering new partnerships.


Is it true that you provide or facilitate experiential therapy for adolescents, pre-teens or families?

Yes.  I provide, or help to facilitate experiential outdoor therapy on a limited basis for adolescents and pre-teen clients and families. This therapy includes services such as wilderness solo experiences (with therapist), walking, hiking, mountain biking, “rights of passage” celebrations and/or equine-assisted psychotherapy (i.e., with horses). I refer clients to a network of therapists involved in a variety of these unique and experiential therapies. 


I have struggled with substance abuse or other addiction problems for a long time. Why should I see you?

I have thousands of hours of experience with planning treatment for clients with addiction problems. I have provided assessment, intervention and teaching about addiction and relapse prevention for hundreds of clients for over 14 years. I offer a wide variety of recovery approaches and philosophies tailored to my individual clients.  


Why should I choose a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) to be my therapist?

Licensed Clinical Social Workers provide more mental health services in the U.S. than all psychiatrists, psychologists and psychiatric nurses combined. In Georgia, clinical social workers are considered to be unique, highly qualified and competent providers of mental health, psychological and family therapy services. Social workers support values of client self-determination and are highly trained in family, culture and ethnicity and problem-solving methods. 


Will you fix me?

I sincerely believe that my clients can reach places of wisdom within themselves and can gain new knowledge and insights into the source of their own discomforts and difficulties. This is done by their making an effort in and outside of therapy sessions, and by becoming friends with parts of themselves that may have previously been distressing or frightening.  I am not a fixer, but instead join my clients in an alliance of goals that they choose for themselves, helping them to feel comfortable and safe making change.