Answers to Some Commonly Asked Questions

Who should seek counseling here?

  • Are you having difficulty adjusting to a new medical diagnosis? Diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart disease and osteoporosis can knock you for a loop physically and mentally as well. Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and Lyme disease mean major life style adjustments. As part of a team approach to these diagnoses, mental health counseling can be a helpful addition to your medical team as you deal with the adjustments to these and many other health related diagnoses.
  • Have you experienced trauma? Both recent traumatic experiences and old traumas may be affecting relationships, sleep, mood, career, pain and other aspects of your life.
  • Is anxiety holding you back? Is anxiety causing you to feel isolated? If you limit where you go and who you go with because of underlying anxiety, you may be able to benefit from CBT counseling.
  • Relationship difficulties? Communication skills, and perspective taking are a good start to help you manage your interpersonal difficulties at home and at work.

What happens in counseling?

  • A typical visit is 50 minutes long.
  • The first visit is about assessment. In that visit the counselor may let you talk at your own pace and about the subject matter that you choose or may direct you with specific questions. This is because there are specific areas of interest that are important to find out about in order to fully assess what is going on. Are you safe; are your basic needs met; who is in your support system; what are your sleeping and eating habits; do you have specific spiritual beliefs; what are your drug and alcohol related habits? These are as important as how you feel.
  • Assessment helps in the decisions related to goals and treatment plans.
  • Therapy is a collaborative process. Goals and plans are developed with therapist and client together.
  • Therapy lasts as long as you choose but may also be limited by your insurance coverage. But how do you know if you’re ready to complete your therapy experience? Measuring your progress can be helpful. Setting goals and benchmarks are also helpful. In research, 12 to 16 sessions are often used. Frequent check-ins between therapist and client are important in staying on track.
  • How do you end therapy? Sometimes it feels hard or scary to stop therapy and go on by yourself. It is helpful to prepare for ending therapy and a number of sessions should be used to address the ending of the process (ominously called termination.)

How do you know what will work?

  • My approach to therapy is based in research and Evidence Based Practice (EBP). Each treatment plan is based on the specific needs of the individual but they are also based on what has been shown in controlled research trials to work for individuals under similar circumstances.