FAQ

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED THERAPY?

Anybody could benefit from a little therapy! But you might be more ready or more in need than some. If friends or family have told you they’re worried about you, or that you don’t seem like yourself, or if you’re ready to try living life a little differently, do some deeper work, and live your truth courageously, or just need some help with problem solving…let’s talk about how we might be able to work together.

 

HOW DOES THERAPY WORK?

It’s more than listening, but everyone’s experience is different. I am there to listen, yes,

but also to provide feedback, and a perspective you might or might not have considered. Therapy involves two-way communication. I can help you examine your options, consider new strategies for how you approach life, figure out why you have been making certain choices, find the best in yourself, understand how your past is affecting your present, learn to think differently, and tune in to what’s going on in your body (learning to hear what it’s trying to tell you). “Beginning therapy can be a big step toward being the healthiest version of yourself and living the best life possible—no matter what challenges you may be facing. Through therapy, you can change self-destructive behaviors and habits, resolve painful feelings, improve your relationships, and more” (goodtherapy.org).

 

HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE?

Bachelor of Science, Dual Focus Human Development and Family Studies,
Minor Social Work (2002)

 

Masters of Science in Social Work, Community and Administrative Practice Specialty (2006)

            3,000 hours supervised work in non-clinical Social Work, followed by exam

            3,000 hours supervised work in clinical Social Work, followed by exam

Additional Training: EMDR, Last Steps Facilitator (advance planning), mediation

30 hours of continuing education every two years as required by the state board of Social Work

You are welcome to ask me questions about my experience at any time!

 

WHO DO YOU SEE? ARE YOU TAKING COUPLES AND YOUTH?

Regardless of family structure, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, race, or other minority status, you are welcome. Most of my clients are people who have experienced sexual violence, domestic violence, childhood trauma, oppression or discrimination of some kind, or have been affected by adoption or DNA discoveries.

 

Couples are seen on a case by case basis, for consults (private pay) only. Consults are usually 1-3 sessions for problem solving or making a game plan for your next steps. Youth are seen on a case by case basis, and I occasionally accept new youth clients a few times each year.

 

HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST, AND DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?

My full session rate is $120 (50 minutes). I accept Cigna and Aetna insurance plans. You are not required to use your insurance.

A limited number of people are seen on a sliding scale basis. Consult appointments are also available at the rate of $200 (90 min) or $75 (30 min). Consults are usually 1-3 sessions for problem solving, making a game plan for next steps, or seeing if I'm a good fit. Consults are not billable to insurance. Please discuss any financial concerns with me so that I might determine if other options are available to you.

If you want to have more control over your therapy and are seeking the highest level of care, privacy, and confidentiality, private pay has advantages over alternative methods of paying for therapy. To have therapy services covered under insurance, a mental health diagnosis must be made. Many clients choose not to involve insurance companies in their mental health care, as counseling is not limited by the diagnosis, treatment plan or session limits that health insurance companies dictate. By paying privately or out of pocket, I can assure private pay clients the highest degree of privacy, flexibility, and control of their mental health record allowed by

state law.

 

I CAN'T AFFORD PRIVATE PAY, BUT I'M NOT GOING TO MEET MY DEDUCTIBLE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Please speak up if this is the case. I will be glad to discuss whether there might be another option available for you. A limited number of people are seen on a sliding scale basis. Also, if someone else would like to cover the cost of your sessions (your family, friends, or someone else) they are welcome to do so. You might also consider seeing the Clinical Intern, for a reduced rate.

 

HOW LONG AND HOW FREQUENTLY WILL I NEED THERAPY?

This varies from person to person. We will work together to determine how often your appointments should be. It’s fairly common to meet more frequently in the beginning and then decrease how often we meet.

Some people need therapy for a long time, and other just a short amount of time. We will discuss regularly if therapy is still needed or necessary. You might even decide you want to take a break, and come back when something comes up again in the future. Every person is different.

 

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT MY FIRST SESSION?

In your first session we will talk about the limitations of confidentiality and also my office and financial policies. You will have a chance to ask questions (if you have them) about my experience, my work history, and my philosophies.

 

PLENTY OF THERAPISTS SAY THEY OFFER A 'SAFE SPACE'. WHAT MAKES YOUR SPACE 'SAFE'? 

It is true that it will take time to build trust in a therapeutic relationship. I will do everything I can

to be worthy of your trust and create a safe setting where you can feel comfortable being open.

It will ultimately be up to you to determine whether you believe me to be worthy of the descriptor

“Ally”, but I commit to doing my best to be an ally to folks from many kinds of marginalized groups,

including but not limited to:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer

Transgender, intersex, and non-binary

Bodies of all shapes and sizes

Non-monogamous and open relationships

Biracial, Indigenous, and People of Color

Sex-positive, kink allied

Differently abled

Humanist, atheists, and nature-based faith philosophies

All religions (my practice is secular)

And others

I am aware that it is not your responsibility to educate me about certain life experiences and/or identities,

and I am committed to actively doing my part to address how power and differences in identities in the

therapy room can affect our relationship. Shared lived experience isn’t always required for us to

‘connect’ and work together, but some people find it to be more helpful for them. If I feel that it

would be better for you clinically to work with someone with a shared lived experience, I will do

my best to help you find referrals.

 

WHAT THE HECK IS EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. It is a visualization exercise using bilateral stimulation (moving your eyes back and forth, using both sides of your brain) that helps to reduce how strongly you react to traumatic memories. It sounds a bit like hypnosis, but it’s not hypnosis. One of the best places to learn about EMDR is to look at www.emdria.org. Let’s talk more about this in person.

 

DO YOU PROVIDE LETTERS FOR EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS?

Due to liability and ethical concerns, I do not provide these letters. However, if you are interested in obtaining an ESA letter, you might consider this resource: https://www.esadoggy.com/?fbclid=IwAR0HiUOrsLo6JcaPNrJAwwsbedgMIsLvWyY7B5Mtq-_yUZGWEwegZBNPJhs

 

DO YOU ALLOW EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS IN YOUR OFFICE?

I wish I could! Believe me - I love animals and would gladly invite all your animals to session if I could. Unfortunately, my office is currently in a building that only allows legally recognized service animals in accordance with ADA regulations. I hope that someday I can offer this option for people.

 

WHERE DO SESSIONS TAKE PLACE?

I offer "hybrid" services, which means some sessions take place in my office in Garland, Texas, and sometimes they take place online using a platform called SimplePractice; it’s a video session that is HIPAA compliant. I do not generally do sessions over the phone, although from time to time I might offer an emergency check in by phone. Currently, in-person sessions are only being offered to clients who have been vaccinated for COVID-19. My family and myself are all in high-risk groups, and we appreciate your  understanding.

 

IS WHAT WE TALK ABOUT CONFIDENTIAL?

Everything we talk about is completely confidential, with several potential exceptions:
 

  1. I believe you are a true and realistic threat to yourself or someone else. I say ‘true and realistic’ because many people have thoughts of self harm occasionally, but have no plans to follow through on these thoughts. It’s ok to think and talk about it, but if I feel like you have a lethal plan that you are most likely to complete then I will need to take steps to keep you safe.

  2. I have a reasonable suspicion that a child, elderly person, or disabled person is being abused or neglected.

  3. I receive a court order (such as in a criminal case, or a contested child custody case) requesting client records.

  4. Your insurance company requests records in the case of an audit. Though my policy is not to disclose records, I do provide a general summary of your progress (no quotations included). If your insurance company refused to accept the summary, they could insist I provide case notes, in which case I would have to do so.


My response to the examples above is dictated by my professional Code of Ethics and also the law in Texas as codified in the Administrative Code.