One of the most common misconceptions about counseling or therapy (they are the same thing) is that there is something wrong with you if you seek it. If you are considering starting therapy with me, here’s what you need to know:
There is nothing wrong with you!
Your life may feel out of control.
You may be experiencing depression or anxiety.
Your relationships may be challenging.
You may be going through a great deal of stress.
You may be in the middle of a major life transition.
You may have a history of emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse.
You may have one or several incidents of trauma in your past.
You may be in a crisis.
You may want support and a safe place to voice whatever you want.
(And this is a critical “but”:) There is nothing wrong with who you are.
I think of my work as peeling back layers of an onion. There may be many layers of trauma, shame, pain and defenses that prevent you from living the life you really want. And in our work, we peel back the layers so that you can connect with your Authentic Self, the part of you that 1) knows the life you are meant to lead and 2) knows how to get you there.
How I Work
For those of you who are familiar with therapeutic approaches, my approach is eclectic in nature drawing from relational, psychodynamic, existential, cognitive behavioral, and internal family system models. All of these therapies are well established and respected within the counseling profession.
To better understand how I actually work, I use the metaphor of a three-legged stool. In my approach, each leg of the stool is critical to supporting the overall work, and the seat of the stool is what stabilizes the legs. The seat and the legs must work together to be supportive.
Leg #1: “Parts” Work – Most people think of themselves as one person. In reality, we all have many “Parts of Self” that help us survive and get through our life. We will work together to identify your specific Parts of Self and how each part both supports you and hinders you. In this process we will also identify and strengthen your Authentic Self, the “real” you who is your inner wisdom and leader of all of your Parts. (It’s not as weird as it may sound. Really. ♥)
Leg #2: Somatic-based focus – Our bodies hold a wealth of information about what is going on inside of us emotionally. We will work to befriend your body and learn to listen to its messages. If you have body-based trauma or discomfort with your body, rest assured, we will create safety structures to make listening to your body a safe experience that you are in control of. In addition, this leg of the stool includes exploring your relationship with stillness, mindfulness, presencing and meditation.
Leg #3: Your Story – Each of us has stories in our life, and these past stories hold clues to what is dissatisfying to our lives now. We will work with your story to the extent that it can provide you with insight and awareness in your life. We will not use your story to blame or berate your parents or other caretakers for where your life is now, keeping you stuck. We will work to understand how your story impacts you, express the real emotions you may have toward events and people of your past, and then move into the present.
The Seat: Most importantly, the seat of the stool is Self-Compassion. I am a firm believer that healing takes place when we are able to offer gentle, nurturing energy to the Parts of us that are the most vulnerable (afraid, sad or hurting.).
My work is not necessarily linear, but each of these elements is a part of the process with all clients. Which part of the stool needs the most focus will, of course, vary by each client and their needs, desires, goals and hopes.
I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions about anything you see here, counseling in general, or how I work specifically.
Insurance and Fees
My fee is $115 for a 50-minute in-person session. If you are interested in “Skype-like” video-based sessions (Skype is not HIPAA compliant, but I use a program that is), just shoot me an email. I am able to provide this service on a short-term basis for clients who, for whatever reason, cannot meet in person.
I am not a preferred provider on any insurance panel. However, most insurance policies allow for a portion of my fee to be covered as an out-of-network provider, after a deductible is met. If this is the case for you, it is up to you to confirm the coverage of your specific policy. I will provide you with the paperwork and codes that insurance companies require, and you can file with your company. Please note: I do not file insurance claims for my clients.
If you plan to file insurance on your own, please know that insurance companies require a diagnosis in order to pay a claim. Diagnoses become a part of your permanent medical record.