I have never talked to anyone. I am used to managing things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and can reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you have used before, that for whatever reason is not working right now. This problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to assess your past strengths. In our work together, I will help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
What is 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 will not have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you have been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person, so you are not reminded of this challenging time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior, and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them, and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
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 and dedication are crucial to your success. We only see each other for a session a week. It is the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to collaborate with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues
How do I find a good Christian counselor? How do I choose the correct one?
You may read my profile and reviews on my website. This includes academic, professional, and personal information about me. You can then decide if you believe I am a good fit for you. You may also call or email me to discuss this further. If we meet and it is decided that we are not the best fit for each other, I can give you some referrals.
How much does Christian counseling cost?
See the website page regarding fees.
What can I expect at my initial session?
You should have already provided me the completed paperwork via my secure HIPAA compliant platform before the meeting. We go over your paperwork so I can get to know you better and discuss more of your goals for counseling. If you are new to counseling, the counselor’s primary goal is to create a safe, comfortable space for you. You will not be asked to share beyond your level of comfort.
How many sessions does counseling take?
This is contingent on the complexity of the issues presented. Increased difficulties will take longer to address. Usually, the average amount of sessions is 10-12 sessions. You may decide when you are ready to suspend or reduce the frequency of sessions. Some clients return every few months to maintain consistency and accountability. Once you leave, you may return at any time if you choose.
Is Christian counseling Biblical?
1 Thessalonians 5:14 encourages us to, “Admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient with everyone.” Professional Christian counselors are trained to employ clinical skills as they use their God-given talents and gifts for empathy, discernment, and wisdom. Some people just need some support. Others need direction and accountability.
Is the counselor going to judge me?
My stance is not to judge the person but to help them to the best of my ability, training, experience, and gifting. The wisdom of God is to align on the path of the client and discern what the client needs most. This is usually support and compassion and not judgment.
What if my spouse is reluctant to come with me to counseling?
If your partner will not come with you, you may still benefit from counseling by discussing your concerns, evaluating a course of action, and taking steps to carry out the plan. Laying out some of your struggles may help you clarify a better path to take and the plan for moving forward. It may also help you develop skills that may help you navigate and improve your relationships.
My spouse is not a believer. Would they be accepted?
Yes! We are here to offer support in whatever way our clients need. We are trained and experienced clinicians as well as Christians. Many of our clients choose to come to us because we are Christians, but certainly not all of them. I have worked with atheists, agnostics, and others who do not espouse Christianity.
Is counseling confidential?
Counseling is confidential with very few exceptions. The main exceptions are: 1) the client is a clear danger to themselves or others; 2) instances when the client is a minor and reports they have been a victim of neglect, physical or sexual abuse; 3) a child’s disclosure of childhood sexual abuse; 4) elder abuse; 5) if compelled by a court.
Will this affect my security clearance?
Not likely, unless confidentiality must be broken for the reasons cited in the previous question. The initial security clearance application may not require reporting of counseling unless it is related to violence. I have worked with military, police, federal employees, government contractors, pilots, and others that require confidential services.
How is Christian counseling different from non-Christian counseling?
Christian counseling combines clinical counseling with biblical and spiritual truths. We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, the omnipotence of God the Father, and the saving grace of Jesus. We rely on God to guide us with our clients so that they may know the abundant life He planned for each of them.
What do the letters behind clinician’s names mean?
These designations reflect the various levels of education, licensure, and specialization for our counselors. PhD is Doctor of Philosophy in some specialty like psychology. M. S. is a Master or Science in a specialty like counseling. LPC indicates Licensed Professional Counselor. There are many others.
How can I encourage someone else to seek counseling?
There are at least three ways to encourage others to attend counseling. One is to share your own personal counseling experience, especially if it was beneficial to you. Another is to share someone else’s beneficial counseling experience and ways it may have assisted them. Third, have them call our office to answer any questions they may have. Counseling works for many but not all people. There must be a voluntary effort on the client’s part to want help and employ some possible strategies to help them.
Can I pay for someone else’s counseling sessions?
Yes, sometimes churches, friends, or family members will partially or fully cover the cost of a session, but a counselee may need to have them sign an authorization to release information that indicates we can talk to you about the financial piece since this too is a matter of confidentiality.