I’m nervous about starting therapy. Is that normal?
Therapy can be vulnerable and new, so it’s natural to be nervous. It can feel intimidating to sit with someone and talk about how you feel. The fear around that can feel overwhelming. It takes courage to start going to therapy. The fact that you are on this website, looking for help, and reading this right now shows that you are being brave and seeking help. I’m committed to finding a way to ensure sessions are as comfortable as possible.
How do I know if you are the right therapist for me?
Take your time to read through my website. If you sense that I may be a good fit based on what you are reading, you can call me.
During a free phone consultation, you can ask me questions about my approach, what a typical session with me is like, or any other questions you may have that are specific-to-you. You’ll also be able to share what’s going on for you and we can see if you and I may be a good fit for a therapeutic relationship.
It may be helpful to think of the first few sessions as trying out the waters together and building a relationship. During these sessions, you’ll be able to see how you feel working with me. My approach is not going to work for everyone. What’s most important to me is that you find someone who you feel is the right fit for you. We can explore that together.
How long will therapy take?
You might be asking this question because you are currently struggling and want relief fast. If this is true for you, I want you to know that on average, my new clients start seeing improvements after the first 3-4 sessions. By that point, they they feel a little more confident in the therapeutic relationship. The total duration of therapy varies from client to client. There is no minimum or maximum limit to the amount of sessions you may find helpful. Counseling simply takes as long as it takes. We will work together to find the length of time that works for you.
What is therapy like?
Good question! Therapy with me is a gentle process of uncovering who you are, what you want, and how we can work together to get you there. The first few sessions are spent building our relationship so that we can establish a therapeutic alliance. With this alliance in place, we are ready to tackle your challenges from a place of safety, trust, and rapport. While I will always view you as the expert in your own life, I will also challenge you and provide an encouraging nudge to help you reach your goals. Each session lasts 50 minutes and the best outcomes come from weekly sessions.
Will you prescribe medication?
I cannot prescribe medication for you as my training and license as a counselor do not allow for that. Doctors of Psychiatry are trained and licensed to prescribe you medications and, if you are in need of referrals for these services, I can provide that.
I don’t feel like I have a major problem. Can I still benefit from therapy?
Absolutely! First of all, “major problems” are subjective in nature. Nobody can determine absolutely whether a problem is major, minor, or in between. If you feel there is room for improvement in your life, therapy provides a safe space to explore that. Benefits of therapy include a greater understanding of self, an increased awareness of personal narratives and their impact, improvement in family relationships and friendships, and an improved self-care practice to name just a few.
I am a plumber and want help managing anxiety. I’m not really in a life transition right now. I see that you work with adults in life transition and performing artists as a specialty. Would you work with me too? My name is Joe by the way.
I would be happy to work with you Joe! I am absolutely available for work with folks who hold a range of professions, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, and cultural identities. I specialize in work with adults in life transition and performing artists because these are challenges and identities I carry a wealth of life experience with. I am clinically experienced however in working with a wide spectrum of individuals and presenting concerns.
Will my insurance cover our sessions? How does that work?
I do not take insurance. I can however, provide you with a superbill that you can give to your insurance agency for potential partial or full reimbursement. I recommend calling your insurance agency to check what their reimbursement rate for out-of-network therapy providers will be so that you know what to expect.
Do you offer a sliding scale?
I do not offer a sliding scale at this time.
Why don’t you take insurance?
Great question. There are three main reasons I choose not to accept insurance.
First, insurance requires that you be given a mental health diagnosis. This along with other personal details about you stays on your medical record for life. Lots of life and relationship challenges are not mental health disorders.
Second, insurance can dictate the kind of therapy you get, number of sessions, and decides when you are done with therapy. These are things that should only be decided by you and your therapist.
And, third, because I do not take insurance, I can see fewer clients and provide more time and comprehensive, focused care to you.
I can provide you with a superbill containing all necessary information for you to apply for out-of-network benefits with your insurance company.
What if I cannot make it to a session? What is your cancellation policy?
I do not accept cancellations. If you need to cancel for any reason, you will be charged the full rate of your missed session. However, you will be given a free credit to make up your missed session. This credit can be used up to two weeks after the missed/cancelled session. This policy is in place to ensure commitment to therapy and to uphold a sense of mutual respect.
How often will I pay?
You will be invoiced after your session concludes. Payment is considered late five days after session. You will receive a late payment reminder on the fifth day. Your next session will not be upheld until the previous session has been paid in full. You will have an option to autopay through a secure online-platform. I accept cash, credit card, or check.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Yes! Anything we discuss in therapy remains entirely confidential. Confidentiality is paramount to maintaining a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship. Under certain circumstances, breaking confidentiality is necessary however. These are:
- If you indicate to me that you are a danger to yourself or others, I must share this information in order to keep you or others safe.
- As a counselor, I am a mandated reporter. If you indicate that a child or elder is victim of abuse of any kind, I am legally bound to report that to authorities.
- If you sign a release saying I may speak to a certain individual about content we’ve discussed, I can do so.
- If information from therapy is made an issue in a court action, I may be subpoenaed to testify about it in a court of law.
What if I don’t want to talk about something?
You are in the driver’s seat in this endeavor. If you don’t want to discuss a particular person, challenge, event, or feeling, I fully respect and honor that.
I see that you are provisionally licensed as a professional counselor. What does that mean?
Another great question! After receiving a masters degree and passing the national counselor examination, all counselors in the state of Missouri are required to do a certain amount of direct counseling hours under the supervision of a licensed professional counselor before receiving their unrestricted license. What this means for my clients is that I will be discussing their sessions every week with my supervisor, another mental health professional, with more years of experience. Counseling under supervision is one way that we maintain ethical practice in our field. My supervisor is Aaron Shore, LPC. He has over thirteen years experience in the field of counseling. If you have more questions about this, I am happy to answer in your free phone consultation.
What if therapy doesn’t work for me?
I will check in with you on a regular basis to see if you feel therapy is benefitting you. We will maintain an honest dialogue about your progress. I want therapy to work for you. If you feel that someone else may be a better fit for you, I can offer referrals. My aim is to create a safe space where you can share your honest feelings… including your feelings about therapy with me!
What’s the next step in getting started?
Give me a call or shoot me an email. I will respond to either one of those within 24 hours. I can be reached by phone at 816-336-9966 or by email at email@example.com.