What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You can expect what’s shared in the context of therapy to remain private.
Are there exceptions to confidentiality in therapy?
Yes, there are a number of important exceptions. While the bulk of what’s shared in the therapeutic space remains confidential, there are several scenarios in which I am legally and ethically mandated to break confidentiality. These exceptions will be explained thoroughly at the start of therapy, but a brief overview includes: Abuse or neglect of a minor, dependent adult, or older adult, being acutely suicidal, or acutely homicidal.
How does therapy work?
Each person has different goals for therapy, and thus the process will look different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs, and collaboratively we decide on goals for our work together. In general, you can expect to meet with me for weekly sessions that last 50 minutes.
How long does therapy take?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is unique to the client and cannot be sufficiently answered in an FAQ format. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of therapy depends on your goals for personal development, and level of commitment.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation both in and out of session is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other once a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will truly support your growth. While I do not generally assign “homework,” I am happy to recommend reading and other activities that can help you in your journey.
My partner and I are struggling. Should we be in individual therapy or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After couples therapy, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, this is a possibility. However, it is not helpful to move from individual therapy into couple’s work with the same therapist due to the natural bias that comes along with having formed a relationship and alliance with one member of the partnership. Couples deserve an unbiased and objective therapist. Many times, a couples therapist will make referrals for individual therapy with a separate therapist, and the individual therapy will run concurrent with the couples therapy. I am happy to make such referrals.
Can I text or email you?
I can accept and reply to general inquiries via email or text, but all personal details must be discussed in person or over the phone. The confidentiality of your personal health information is of upmost importance to me, and unfortunately text and email are not guaranteed to be secure forms of communication. For your protection, I limit electronic messaging to general inquiries.
Can we connect on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/LinkedIn?
This is a great question, and I wish the answer was yes. It is important for confidentiality to be prioritized so that you know the nature of our relationship is never going to be known without your consent. Connecting on social media sites is a compromise to the confidentiality which supports the efficacy of the therapeutic relationship, because of this it would be unethical of me to use social media as a way to connect with clients outside of therapy.
Do you prescribe medication?
I am trained in counseling psychology, and as such my clinical practice is in psychotherapy. Medication can only be prescribed by clinicians that have specialized doctoral training in psychopharmacology. While I can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, I cannot prescribe medication. If in the course of our work we decide that you’d like to explore medication as an adjunct to therapy, I am happy to provide referrals.
I’d like you to speak with my psychiatrist/former therapist/physician, can this be arranged?
I support the practice of collaborative care, which often involves communication between various health professionals. If you’re interested in this, and we agree it is appropriate, we can file a release of information form that is signed by you and allows such collaboration on a time limited basis.
Can I contact you if I am in crisis?
I can generally support clients through a host of crises; however, if you’re having a true psychiatric or medical emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room for immediate care and attention.