Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do You Offer a Free Consultation?

Yes, I offer a free 20 minute conversation, either on the phone or in person, for us to determine if we make a good fit for your counseling goals.

You have a chance to ask me whatever you’d like that will help you know if I’m the right counselor for you, and I have a chance to make sure I believe I can help you.

(Just as one example, I am not a counselor who specializes in the treatment of acute eating disorders, and in the case that I am not able to help with your needs, I will happily do my best to refer you to other resources.)

How Should I Choose a Professional Counselor?

First and foremost, pick someone you like and feel that you could trust.

Choosing a counselor is a little different than, say, hiring a plumber or a painter. In those cases, while it helps if you like them, they might be the most skilled painter around, and they’ll get the best job done, even if you don’t exactly click with them.

However, the trust and rapport you feel with your counselor has a huge impact on how well the process helps you meet your goals for therapy. This is common sense, but it’s also what a large body of research shows.

That said, knowing that your counselor has excellent training and deep experience in a variety of research-based, respected approaches to therapy can and should increase your confidence in the process.

A few questions to ask a prospective counselor:

  • What led you into your specialties, and what training and experience do you have?
  • What does it look like to build a counseling relationship? What’s your style?
  • Will you listen to me and change gears, or offer varied methods, to make sure the approach suits me?
  • What makes you confident you can help me with my problems?

In short, choose a counselor who:

  • Is easy to talk to and treats you like a VIP—not just a phone call or a generic customer,
  • Has training and experience in the areas you’re concerned with,
  • Takes the time to talk on the phone or meet you in person to answer your questions.

Counseling is an investment of your time, resources, emotional energy, and even your courage. Make sure you choose someone with expertise who feels like a great personality fit for you.

How Long Will Counseling Take?

Every person, marriage, and situation is unique, and your counseling process will be unique to you. The time invested will vary from person to person, and from couple to couple, depending on several factors, including:

  • The scope of your goals,
  • The depth and origin of your struggles,
  • The focus you apply to your process when you’re not in the counseling office.

Some people may already have worked through some things with counseling in the past, and now they want a faster, solution-focused approach to get a few quick tools, like a tune-up, for a couple of months.

But often, the pain that brings a person or couple to counseling has been brewing for a long time, or is the result of a very serious event. Therefore, some will come to counseling with longer term patterns and wounds that need and deserve a gentle, consistent process for several months or more.

Do I/We Have to Come Every Week?

This is an understandable question given the busy lives we lead and the competing demands on our resources.

Consistency and reinforcement improve results.

Like most pursuits in life, frequent practice and reinforcement supports you and keeps you on track with developing changes to meet your goals. For this reason, in almost all circumstances, I ask that you begin your process with weekly counseling. Later, a transition to every-other-week or another tapering or follow-up schedule will make sense.

In some special cases related to career travel or other demands, periodic intensives and special schedules may be arranged within the context of a comprehensive plan tailored for your situation.

I look forward to discussing your unique needs.

What Methods of Payment Do You Accept?

I accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards. Health savings accounts and cards can be used, and often have tax benefits. Please let me know in advance if you’ll be using a HSA. Fees are due at the beginning of each appointment. (This prevents feeling rushed as we complete your session.)

Do You Take Insurance?

I offer specialized, premium private practice counseling services and do not operate as a mental health agency dependent on managed care. Therapists who contract with insurance companies are bound by those contracts in ways that can impact care and privacy. I prefer the freedom to collaborate with you rather than with an insurance company on decisions related to your counseling process.

Clients who wish to utilize insurance may be able to obtain reimbursement through their policy’s out of network (OON) benefits. It is important that you check with your company to see: if your plan has OON benefits for Licensed Professional Counselors as providers; if you have a deductible to meet; and what percentage is covered for individual, family, or marriage counseling (and how or whether your plan differentiates family and marriage counseling).

If you choose to seek reimbursement, I can provide you with a monthly statement called a superbill with the information needed to submit for reimbursement through your plan.

I am happy to discuss this when we talk on the phone or meet for your free consultation.

How Much Will Individual Counseling Cost?

Considering Your Investment

When you’re considering an important investment of time, energy, and resources, it’s smart to do a little cost/benefit analysis.  Below, you’ll get the information on fees. That’s a straightforward cost. I assume you’ll also look at the time you’ll spend, and you might compare that to other ways you’d fill up that time during your week.

A long time ago, someone told me that when I was considering an opportunity, I shouldn’t look at what it would cost without looking at what it was worth. As you make your decision, take into account the long-term health, happiness, and financial benefits of meeting your objectives for counseling, and the costs of not making the changes you’re considering. 

Individual Fees:

$150 per 90 minute initial session (includes new client intake/set-up process)

$115 per 55 minute session

$135 per 1 hour and 15 minute session

How Much Will Marriage Counseling Cost?

Considering Your Investment

When you’re considering an important investment of time, energy, and resources, it’s smart to do a little cost/benefit analysis.  Below, you’ll get the information on fees. That’s a straightforward cost. I assume you’ll also look at the time you’ll spend, and you might compare that to other ways you’d fill up that time during your week.

A long time ago, someone told me that when I was considering an opportunity, I shouldn’t look at what it would cost without looking at what it was worth. As you make your decision, take into account the long-term health, happiness, and financial benefits of meeting your objectives for counseling, and the costs of not making the changes you’re considering. 

Marriage Counseling Fees:

Marriage Counseling Assessment and Start-Up Process:  Weeks 1 through 3

It makes sense for me to get to know you as a couple, to learn what you each bring to the marriage as individuals, and to collaborate with you on a tailored plan for your needs and goals before we dive right in.  I find this to be more effective than a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach.

Therefore, we get off to an intensive start in the first three weeks to help you gain traction quickly.

The fees for this start-up strategy are $560 and include:

Week 1: One 90 minute session:  couples assessment session, plus new client intake/set-up. ($150)

Online, research-based Gottman Institute Relationship Check-Up.  This in-depth assessment usually takes each of you 1-2 hours to complete (you can save your work for multiple sessions), and requires 30-60 minutes for me to review. The online fee is included. ($85)

Week 2: Two 55 minute individual sessions–one each. ($95 each)

Week 3: 75 minute feedback and therapy session, including new tools and materials to take home for your relationship library. ($135)

Week 4 and beyond:

$135 per 1 hour and 15 minute session

$115 per 55 minute session

How Much Will Premarital Counseling Cost?

Considering Your Investment

As you’re planning your wedding, it probably seems like money is flying out the door, and you can wonder whether it will be worth it to invest in professional premarital counseling.

Please keep this in mind.  Your wedding will last for one day (or two or three if you’re planning a destination wedding). Your marriage will last a lifetime, or at least you want it to. The information you’ll gain and the process you’ll go through in premarital counseling can lay a foundation for effective communication, deep friendship, and satisfying intimacy and set you up for the marriage you want. 

As you decide, think about what you are willing to spend for your wedding and honeymoon, and consider investing in your long term happiness and success as a married couple.

Engaged Couple Fees

Marriage preparation counseling will begin with you each completing a thorough, research-based, online assessment prior to your first appointment.  The Prepare/Enrich assessment is the #1 assessment for premarital couples. The cost of the assessment is included in your first appointment.

Week 1: One 90 minute engaged couples assessment session, Prepare/Enrich, plus new client intake/set-up process. ($185)

Week 2: Two 55 minute individual sessions–one each. ($95 each)

Week 3 and beyond:

75 minute sessions, including new tools and materials related to both Prepare/Enrich and the Gottman Institute to take home for your relationship library. The number of sessions will depend on your needs and wishes for exploring twelve relationship satisfaction and growth areas.  After weeks one and two, engaged couples typically utilize four to six more sessions. ($135/session)

Engaged couples may choose to create a custom schedule of several 75 minute weekly sessions, weekly two hour blocks for a shorter overall length of counseling, or an intensive four hour session after weeks one and two are complete.  Intensive blocks are priced based on $115/hour.

Are There Options for Reduced Fees?

I have several reduced-fee slots for clients in need. Feel free to ask about availability. If I have no current reduced fee availability, I will happily refer you to other counselors who might.

What is the First Session Like?

I suggest that for your first session, you give yourself a little extra time to check out the parking situation and feel unhurried. The first day meeting with a new counselor can give anyone a few nerves, even if you’re relieved to be starting the process.

In our first session, you’ll bring a small paperwork packet that I will have emailed you, and you will have completed at home. We’ll go over that, including a few policies. It’s a great way to ease into your first session and help you know what to expect. We’ll set you up for payment, including your credit card if that’s how you’d like to pay.

Then, we’ll go over the intake questionnaire which is a good way to begin gently, reviewing what you’ve decided to share. From there, it is a process of us getting to know each other and collaborating on moving forward. This will look a little different for each person, depending on your needs, goals, and wishes.

What's the Vibe in Your Office?

I try to make the office easy to relax in. I hope you’ll experience it as unpretentious, eclectic, and interesting. I always have bottled water, as well as a selection of teas and instant latte beverages and a few granola bars in case you’ve been on the run.

What Are Your Hours?

I see clients Tuesday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, and other times occasionally by special arrangement. I do return calls on Mondays or weekdays a little later than 5pm (if I’m not travelling or out of cell phone range next to a river).

Where Can I Park?

You can park in the free parking lot right next to our building, on the north side. There is additional free on street parking, on 1st Street and on Main Street.

Are There Restrooms?

There are restrooms just down the hall.

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