Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect from counseling? / What is play therapy? / How long is a session and how often are sessions? / What about couples counseling? / Where is your office located? / What should I do in an emergency?
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM COUNSELING?
My belief is that therapy is a process where I collaborate with each client to create goals, develop self-awareness, insight into thoughts, feelings and choices, and try new behaviors. I work with clients to develop hope, awareness of personal strengths and explore new ways of viewing yourself, your relationships and your personal history. There are no guarantees in counseling, and a person's desire for change and effort in and outside of counseling sessions play a large role in therapy being successful. I strive to create a strong, collaborative relationship with each client, and along with a client's commitment to the process, our work together can ultimately lead to greater feelings of joy and confidence as well as positive life changes.
In therapy you can expect to be treated with respect, compassion, empathy and validation for your experiences, thoughts and feelings. Before you or your child begins counseling, it is important to think about what kind of support you want (or want for your child) and what kind of changes you are looking for. Some therapists listen, reflect and don't offer much feedback (called "non-directive counseling"), and some offer suggestions, feedback and may tell you what to do (called "directive counseling"). Additionally, some will listen to your story and offer options and new behaviors to try. Therapy can be a life-changing journey, and it's important to identify how directive you want your therapist to be with you.
In my work with clients of any age, my goal is to listen, reflect, and also to offer practical suggestions, including trying new behaviors, new ways of viewing situations or relationships, and trying different "tools" to cope with anxiety, stress and change. I also focus on healing unresolved losses in families, sometimes going back one or more generations. I strive to get to know each client well, and meet each client where they "are" emotionally, physically and mentally.
WHAT IS PLAY THERAPY?
Play Therapy takes takes place in our office's playroom, where there are carefully selected toys, art materials, games and activities. Play is the natural language of children. In the playroom, children ages 2-12 years old have the opportunity to explore their world, process feelings and experiences and learn and discover new ways to handle stressors and relationships. Research has also shown that play therapy can help children learn to regulate their feelings, integrate learning and bridge the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
HOW LONG AND HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK IS A TYPICAL SESSION?
Sessions are 55 minutes. 90 minute sessions are also an option, and can be particularly beneficial for couples or families. Most clients are seen once a week in the beginning, then, as time goes on, less frequently. The number of sessions depends on what your current needs are.
HOW LONG WILL I BE IN COUNSELING?
The length of time a client is in counseling depends the nature of the problem and the goals of the counseling. Some clients have a very specific problem that can be worked through in a set course of counseling. For others, counseling is an on-going learning process and they choose to receive counseling for a longer period.
WHAT IF I WANT COUPLES COUNSELING, BUT MY PARTNER WON'T COME?
Unfortunately, sometimes one partner is not as willing as the other to come in for counseling. However, I often find that it is possible to improve the relationship with just one person involved in counseling.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH EMERGENCIES THAT OCCUR OUTSIDE OF SESSION?
For severe or life-threatening psychiatric situations, immediately call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room. For non-life-threatening issues, you are welcome to phone me and leave a message. Calls are generally returned within 24 hours during the work week. And therapeutic care/consultation telephone calls beyond five (5) minutes are charged at the session rate on a pro-rated basis. Some clients prefer to communicate via email, but due to electronic privacy issues I do not discuss clinical information via e-mail or text message.