My Approach to Helping
Receive the personalized and quality care you deserve. I offer options and practical solutions. I am a counselor and an advocate for you. Everyone experiences stressors at some point in their life. Do not let these stressors ruin your life, destroy relationships with loved ones, or interfere with dreams and goals. YOU and only you have the power to impact your future. It starts with the here and now. You have taken the first step in that journey. Now, take the next one to cement your future. Feel free to give me a call or send an email.
My Role as a Therapist
I am your counselor and advocate. I am a good listener, supportive, and understanding. Also, I challenge, push, and drive you. I help clients to become increasingly self and socially aware, to take responsibility for their life choices and decisions made, to understand there are options in all situations, and to acknowledge the societal factors to impact their lives (e.g., systems of power, privilege, and oppression).
What I Usually Need to Know to Help
What to expect with the counseling process,
There are some questions that I will ask to better help me to assist you. Please expect to discuss other areas of your life besides the presenting problem in the first 1-3 sessions. I complete a thorough assessment at the beginning of the experience to see if other areas of your life may need help or be contributing to the current problem. For example: If you're coming in due to a recent breakup, don't be surprised if I ask about your relationships with your friends, family, coworkers, and exes in more detail.
If specific topics are off-limits, I will prefer to know this during the consult call. Again, as a clinician, information is one of the tools needed to assist you. It's helpful to know if topics are not up for discussion. During the consult call, if disclosed, I can inform you if I will be able to assist you.
If using insurance or employee assistance programs (EAP), expect to be diagnosed with a disorder from the DSM-V. All insurances or EAP ask for a diagnosis for the counselor to receive payment for the session. I don't mind telling you what I submit as the diagnosis. Feel free to ask.
There is paperwork, consents, and releases for completion to start the process. I typically email the paperwork 2-3 days prior to the session. The paperwork is not optional. There is information I must have on file to be in compliance with standards for record-keeping. Again, the information is needed.
I hope this helps.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
1) Consider your goals for attending therapy (Remember, I focus on the here and now unless something from the past is impacting the present. If your current areas of concern are exploring past problems and the root cause, I will not be the best fit for you.)
2) Type of therapist - age range, qualities or characteristics (e.g. good listener, culturally competent, not uncomfortable with confrontation or challenge, transparency, nurturer, direct, straight-forward, someone who uses mindfulness techniques, etc.)
3) The type of provider (LCSW, psychologist, psychiatrist, LPC, LMFT) All of these credentials have very different training and schooling
4) Are there any specific areas of expertise that you require assistance with (ask the provider about their comfort and experience in that area)
5) Theoretical approaches - Lookup approaches prior to shopping around
6) Ask questions about office procedures. Cancellation and crisis management policies are important. Also, the use of technology in their practice.
These are just a few things to consider.
My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'
Disorders or diagnoses help me as a practitioner to better help you. However, they are subjective and not the end all be all. All of my clients are human beings that I treat with dignity and respect. One of my main goals is getting to know you. You are not your disorder or diagnosis.