HOW WILL THIS BE DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I'VE TRIED BEFORE?
You may be coming off a disappointing experience trying to get help or just be suspicious in general. I'm honored that you have made it this far into my website. I will also say that many people like you who feel burned by a past experience might well be cautious. But, I will counter with this logic. If you walked into a store, would you buy the first sweater you saw without trying it on? And if you did buy that sweater, and found out at home that it didn't fit, would you NEVER buy a sweater again? Therapy and coaching are similar in that you have to "try on" the provider to see if they fit your personality and what you need. Each provider has different strengths and preferred approaches to working with clients. My FREE consultations help you and I determine goodness of fit. Read more about how to choose the right therapist for you.
Because each person has different issues and goals, sessions will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous session. Depending on your specific needs, our work together can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. It is most common to schedule regular weekly sessions in the beginning and many clients choose to move into a bi-weekly or monthly schedule as they progress. It is important to understand that you will get the best results from our work together if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy/coaching is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in sessions, I may suggest some things you can do outside of sessions to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.
HOW LONG UNTIL I NOTICE RESULTS?
The number of sessions varies by presenting concern, goal and method, however, the studies have shown that the majority of psychotherapy clients report feeling better after 3 months. Issues such as post-traumatic stress, major depression, eating disorders, substance abuse and childhood trauma may involve longer commitments to therapy and/or multiple modalities of treatment for a client to experience a noticeable and sustainable reduction in symptoms.
For many, therapy becomes a way of prioritizing mental health. After making headway on their initial goal, clients will come and go over time for support as new concerns present themselves.
How many sessions of couples counseling will we need? I get this question from almost all of the couples with whom I work. The short answer is: it depends. So lets talk about the things it depends on. Research tells us that 12-20 sessions is the average length of treatment for couples receiving therapy. However, this can vary widely. Some of the factors that can contribute to a longer length of treatment include:
When one or both partners have experienced significant trauma it can have lasting impacts on the way a person relates to the world and shows up in their relationships. Even when we recognize a pattern of behavior, it isn’t easy to change. Relationships are the very best place to heal this kind of trauma and to change patterns that aren’t serving you anymore, but we have to be patient in changing patterns that were ingrained at a young age. It is not a hard and fast rule that just because you or your partner have experienced trauma that therapy will take longer, but you may want to prepare for that possibility.
Amount of time spent in a negative interactional pattern will determine the length of therapy. If you have been in the same rut for years, it may take some time for you and your partner to learn a positive and sustainable way forward.
Complicating factors such as affairs, substance use / addiction, violence, etc., can fundamentally change the way we view the security of a relationship. Couples who have been through such an experience often need more time to rebuild trust and safety. Some examples of experiences / events that may fall in this category include infidelity, deception related to addiction, or abusive behavior.
Frequency of treatment also impacts length of therapy. Couples therapy is a big commitment of time and money. I encourage couples, when possible, to front-load their treatment. The point of couples therapy is not to have a mediator at spaced intervals, to help put out fires, but to help you build confidence in your own ability to come back into connection when you hit a bump in the road. As such, I encourage couples to come to couples therapy weekly if they are able, especially in the beginning of treatment. You will get more bang for your buck spacing 10 sessions over 10 weeks than 10 sessions over 10 months.
Engagement with treatment, i.e. showing up fully present to sessions, and continuing to bring effort and attention to your relationship outside the therapy room makes a difference. The more you are willing to explore and own your part of the negative dance between you and your partner, the more quickly you are likely to see results.
For some people it can be helpful to supplement couples therapy with individual therapy. I often see clients make significant progress in couples therapy when they also seek individual therapy.
Relief from conflict vs. lasting change. Therapy has two distinct phases. The first phase is all about de-escalating the negative cycle between you and your partner. Couples often consider stopping therapy at this point, because they came to stop fighting, and they aren’t fighting nearly as much. However, research shows that couples who complete the second phase, in which they have deeper conversations about their fears, longings, and relationship needs, experience longer-lasting benefits from therapy.
The commitment of time, money, and emotional energy required to engage in therapy is significant. However, there is little that impacts our quality of life more than feeling like we have a safe, loving, and supportive relationship with ourselves and our loved ones. It is incredible what we are able to do from that secure base - ask for a raise at work, be a more confident and attuned parent, tap into our creative energy… the list goes on!
CAN'T I JUST READ A BOOK?
Sure you can! However, if you are like me, that shelf of self-help books is collecting dust under the stack of parenting books, investment guides and workout DVDs. Real accountability and encouragement require people, not books. "When people are accountable, they stop watching the clock; they seek ways to make improvements and take initiative to change what doesn’t work. " (Entreprenuer, October 2013). It helps if the people in your corner have an understanding of human behavior and what will effectively motivate you in the direction you want to go. If you are still convinced you can read your way to change, click below to get some great tips on moving forward.
WHY DON'T YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?
"Deciding to start therapy is a huge milestone in life. I’d even say it’s as big as getting married or starting a new job. I mean, think about it. What could be more important than committing to work on yourself and become the best version of you? Who you are and who you become influences every part of your life.
That’s why choosing the right therapist is SO important. It’s essential you and your therapist are a good fit and that the person you choose has the experience and expertise to get you to the next level in life, whether you’re working on career goals, relationships, self-exploration or all of the above.
One of the considerations you might take into account when looking for a therapist is whether that therapist accepts your insurance. For many people, this is a deciding factor when choosing someone..." Read more
Unless you are enrolled in auto-pay, you must pay in full online at the time of meeting/session or registering for a workshop. Why? Think of the last big purchase you made. If you spent a significant amount of money on something nonrefundable, what did your mind do afterward? You may have second-guessed the purchase, but you felt compelled to follow through with the action. The fact is, when you invest your money, you invest yourself, a first step in being accountable to the changes you want. If extenuating circumstances arise after booking a service, contact me, but please be advised that I generally keep to a 72 hour cancellation policy for refund, and I consider clients arrive more than 15 minutes late for an appointment, a "no show", resulting in full charge for session.
HOW IS COACH DIFFERENT FROM COUNSELOR?
There is a debate on this. Psychotherapists are bound by rules of state licensing boards, which require certain levels of education, experience, supervision and continuing education, as well as certain ethical and professional standards. For example, I had to complete six years of college/graduate school, more than 3000 hours of supervised clinical practice and pass two exams just to get started. Coaching is still in its infancy and unregulated, so "anyone can do it". A therapist can provide coaching, but a coach cannot and should not provide therapy. That doesn't mean that coaching is not valuable. It means a client has to know what they need, their expectations of a helper and whom to engage in the helping process.
I have heard it said that therapy is about uncovering and recovering, while coaching is about discovering. Ultimately, your experience will guide you to the answer.
WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO ADDRESS INEQUITY?
Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, wrote that for health equity to be even remotely possible, we “must listen more to the people we serve, have uncomfortable conversations, and increase our push for social justice.” I will strive to do better, to engage in the lifelong practice of cultural humility. Read more.
You might wonder, "Does therapy have to be weekly?" The answer is nuanced and depends on various factors, but here's why it’s recommended you see a therapist at least weekly when you begin treatment. Therapy is a collaborative journey, and the therapeutic relationship forms the foundation of this alliance. It's during these regular sessions that you and your therapist get to know each other better, build trust, and establish rapport. In the early stages of treatment, it's generally recommended to see me more frequently, often on a weekly basis at least for the first eight sessions. This frequent schedule serves a specific purpose: to foster a robust therapeutic relationship.
This in-depth connection allows me to gain a deeper understanding of your unique experiences, challenges, and goals. It also provides an opportunity for you to become more comfortable with the therapeutic process and the strategies employed in your treatment. As a result, weekly sessions can help create a safe and supportive space for you to explore your thoughts, emotions, and concerns.
In cases where individuals attend therapy less frequently from the outset, it can be challenging to establish this strong therapeutic rapport. Without this foundation, making substantial progress toward your treatment goals may become more difficult. Clients who adhere to weekly sessions early on often experience more positive outcomes and a more effective therapeutic journey. Think about how much progress you would make at the gym if you spaced your sessions out.
The therapeutic relationship isn't just about regular attendance; it's also about mutual trust, understanding, and collaboration. Over time, as the connection between you and your therapist solidifies, you may find that the need for weekly sessions diminishes. This transition typically occurs when you and your therapist agree that you've made significant progress and are ready for a less frequent schedule.
My approach is centered on providing you with the support and guidance you need to achieve your therapeutic goals. Whether you continue with weekly sessions or adjust the frequency as you progress, my commitment to building a strong therapeutic relationship remains unwavering. I'm here to support you on your counseling journey, tailoring my approach to your specific needs and preferences.
The frequency of therapy sessions can vary significantly depending on individual needs and the nature of the treatment. Traditionally, many people attend therapy once a week, which has become the standard schedule for counseling. However, it's essential to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the number of therapy sessions per week.
Ultimately, therapy should be tailored to each client's unique circumstances and requirements. While weekly sessions remain the conventional approach, some types of treatment now recommend more frequent sessions. for example, many evidence-based PTSD treatments recommend at least twice per week sessions. Ultimately, the choice of frequency depends on several factors, including a client's condition, the treatment modality, and their specific needs.
A concentrated effort can jump-start the therapeutic process and provide individuals with the support they need during a challenging time.
Another example of more frequent counseling sessions may be in cases involving someone recently discharged from a psychiatric or substance abuse inpatient treatment, where I may recommend a higher frequency of sessions, particularly if family members are involved. This comprehensive approach typically involves three sessions per week: one for individual psychotherapy, one for family therapy, and one for skills training. This intensive support helps ensure a smooth transition from the hospital to home life and reduces the risk of relapse. It may not last for very long but can be important for helping a client be successful in continuing to feel hopeful and build a meaningful sober life with better mental health.
Conversely, there are times when clients may choose to attend therapy less frequently. Many clients who have achieved stability opt for sessions every other week. Sometimes, I’ve had clients who choose to meet less often (every 2-4 weeks) but have longer sessions. These extended sessions, lasting 120 minutes, allow for a more in-depth exploration of their concerns and a deeper focus on personal growth and long-term mental wellness.
Ultimately, the number of therapy sessions per week is a decision made collaboratively, guided by the client's unique needs and the specific treatment methods employed. I prioritize individualized care and support, ensuring that clients receive the level of treatment that best serves their well-being and therapeutic goals.
Therapy frequency is a crucial aspect of mental health treatment, and it's essential to find the right balance that suits your unique needs. While therapy every two weeks can be suitable for some individuals, it may not provide the necessary support and progress for others.
HOW DO I CHOOSE SERVICES?
Issues holding you back from the life you want to lead? Do you prefer working individually or with the people closest to you? In psychotherapy, an assessment helps define the problem and goals are set specifically related to an issue that has been identified. Unique treatment methods are used to address mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Psychotherapy can take place in an individual, couple, family or group format. The therapist works with you to find solutions to problems as well as coping strategies.
Are you coasting along, but wanting customized help to get to where you want to be? In coaching, I help motivate you by setting goals and a map to follow to achieve the life you want. Most clients are successful people who might be stuck or want to make changes in their lives with the support of their own personal coach to do so. Note, coaching is not a substitute for treatment of mental health issues, like depression.
Do you prefer to sit back and soak it all in? Classes provide you tools that help you deal with an issue causing you stress. Sessions focus on topics that can be helpful to many people. Classes are not a substitute for treatment for a mental health issue. Instead, I guide you through a formal program that may include homework to reinforce topics addressed in class.
COMMITMENT TO NONDISCRIMINATION
Social work's core values include service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. These principles set forth ideals to which all social workers should aspire.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW’s) official policy position is that discrimination and prejudice directed against any individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, whether actual or perceived, are damaging to the social, emotional, psychological, physical, and economic well- being of the affected individuals, as well as society as a whole.
In the United States, LGBTQAI+, including transgender and gender nonconforming people, already carry a higher burden of exposure to discrimination when accessing healthcare, housing, employment, and education. For transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, this continuous exposure to discrimination in daily living increases risk for suicidality and negatively impacts both mental health and physical health among individuals who are already disproportionately at risk of homelessness and poverty. Fear of discrimination already causes LGBTQAI+ identified individuals to avoid seeking healthcare and studies show that LGBTQAI+ people are not consistently treated with the respect that all clients deserve.
Social Workers adhere to a commitment of being anti-racist. Anti-racism is defined as uplifting the innate humanity and individuality of Black, Latin A/O/X, Indigenous, Asian and Pacific Islander, and other People of Color; demonstrating best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion; and taking conscious and deliberate actions to ensure equal opportunities for all people and communities. Anti-racism requires active resistance to and dismantling of the system of racism to obtain racial equity.
Anti-racism involves a commitment to personal and professional action. It requires that the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), which includes all related entities, in accordance with our Code of Ethics, take a stance against racial hatred, bias, systemic racism, and the oppression of specific groups on an individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural level. It also requires that NASW analyze the role of institutions and systems in racial inequities and work within our organization, our networks, and our institutions to challenge them consciously and consistently, personally and professionally.
Language and cultural diversity are recognized as issues that are intrinsic to the mission of NASW and commitment to advocacy of access to services, to quality of care and outcomes are fundamental. Language barriers play a significant role in how health and mental health services are delivered, received and understood.