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Calm Sea

Frequently Asked Questions

Does going to therapy mean something is wrong with me?

Absolutely not. Going to therapy means you're human. We all need some support and sometimes receiving that from an outside, non-affiliated person can be incredibly helpful. In fact, most therapists themselves have had or currently see their own therapist. Therapy or counseling is a place of self-growth and can be a powerful tool.

Are my sessions confidential?

Yes! I am fully committed to upholding your privacy at each step of the therapy journey. Please be aware that therapists are required by law to report any child or elder abuse or neglect as well as make alerts when someone is in imminent harm. We will discuss this further at our first session together and as needed during your treatment.

In the event that we may see one another in public, I do not approach or speak with clients unless you initiate communication first. This is part of my commitment to your complete privacy.

How does therapy work? How is it different than talking to a friend?

The process of therapy looks different for each individual. You'll start with completing paperwork, signing the consents for treatment, and scheduling a session time. When you arrive for your first session, we will discuss your needs for treatment and goals you'd like to meet. From here, the process differs based on your needs and what you and I both believe might be most productive for your sessions. For example: If the need arises, we may invite a family member or partner to a few sessions for added support. Many of my clients receive "homework" to complete between sessions. This might be a self-care activity, practicing skills from session, or tending to an emotion or reaction we're working on.

I view myself as a coach and will work to help you find practical and sometimes strategic ways of solving the problems you face. I work to make connections based on other experiences you've encountered, dynamics within other systems you are a part of, and help address negative or unhelpful thought processes. Unlike a friendship, 1) I am a neutral party, 2) our time together is solely around helping you reach your goals, 3) contrary to popular belief, a therapist doesn't "tell you what to do" or "give advice" but instead helps you find solutions that work best for you and your situation. Often, I hear that therapy is the only time clients feel completely comfortable sharing innermost thoughts due to the trusted confidentiality in the therapeutic relationship. I welcome you to give therapy a try and see for yourself what is possible!

What are the benefits of private pay over using insurance?

  • If you have a mental health diagnosis, it won't be added to your health record when using private pay

  • Less focus on diagnosis which some consider "labeling" and more focus on your individual situation and needs

  • Increased confidentiality as your chart will never be subject to audit by insurance companies

  • No limits on session length or frequency

  • You choose your therapist based on needs and fit

  • Less documentation for me which means more time spent with you to focus on your goals

  • You keep your therapist, even if your insurance changes.

How long does each therapy session take?

Session lengths vary but are typically 50 to 60 minutes. Please see the Fees page for additional information.

How do sessions with my child work?

I will need to first get information from you about your concerns with your child.  It is then helpful to receive correlating information from the child from their perspective. Once we've agreed on goals, we will likely have a mix of sessions with just your child, just you as the caregiver, and family sessions all together in order to effectively address needs and share treatment information. I find that the more involved parents are in their child's treatment, the more effective treatment will be. 

*Please be aware that I am currently only seeing clients ages 16 and up.*

What is your policy on court testimonies?

Please be aware that my licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist prevents me from being able to make recommendations for visitation or custody. If this is a need you have, I'm happy to refer you to a colleague that can better fit your needs.

Other court appearances are charged an upfront $300 fee in addition to $150 per hour while I'm required to be out of the office. This allows me to prepare for court testimony and reschedule client appointments scheduled during court. Often, a letter to the court is sufficient in lieu of an appearance and can be written for an upfront fee of $50. Please allow several business days for letter requests.

Do you prescribe medication?

I do not prescribe medication. If I believe you might benefit from medication in addition to therapy, I will first discuss this with you and will coordinate with your primary care doctor or a psychiatrist to ensure that your needs are met.

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