Frequently Asked Questions About Counseling

Contact me if you don't see the answer here

Is counseling right for me?

It can be difficult to ask for help. It might seem weak or like you have failed. But, think about it, how often do you ask your mechanic to help with your car? Or, a friend’s opinion about a big decision you need to make? Or, your local tech whiz about something on your computer? Asking for help is simply admitting that you are not an expert at everything; or maybe that you value another perspective. Just because counseling involves emotional or relationship problems doesn’t mean that it is weak to talk through things with a neutral person who has experience with the topic. Emotional and relational challenges are very personal and getting help from a competent counselor can be key to moving forward.

Is counseling confidential?

YES! Not only is confidentiality one of my deepest personal convictions, it is foundational to the field of counseling – enforced through both professional ethics and state law. However there are a few limits to professional confidentiality, including the following situations:

• Suspicion that a child, dependent adult or elder is being neglected or abused.

• Threatening yourself or others with serious bodily harm.

• Specific court orders to testify.

In the event that I must break confidentiality; I will discuss it with you in a timely manner, preferably, but not necessarily, prior to breaking confidence.

Are there risks involved in counseling?

Yes, counseling can be a painful process. It can be difficult to discuss past relationships and events. It can lead to disruptions in current relationships. It can lead to the need to make difficult decisions. It can lead to uncomfortable new beliefs that challenge old ways of thinking. It can lead to the understanding that some situations cannot be resolved, but only managed. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that counseling will lead to the specific outcomes you are hoping for. It is important that you consider carefully whether these risks are worth the possible benefits.

Sold yet? There is no question that counseling can be difficult. All change is hard. Here is what I can guarantee; I will not force any decision on you. You are in charge of the process. We can talk through the difficult feelings and concerns. I will tell you the truth.

How long will therapy last?

In the beginning, therapy typically occurs on a weekly basis to gain momentum on fixing the problem. Once the initial symptoms have subsided, sessions can begin to taper off. The duration of therapy is determined by a variety of factors, including the type and severity of the presenting problem and response to treatment.  Therapy can last as long as needed to reduce or eliminate the problem, which can range from a few sessions to years.

I didn't find previous counseling to be very helpful. How will this be any different?

Research shows that one of the most important factors affecting a client’s response to counseling is the relationship between the therapist and the client. If you don’t feel safe or understood then you probably won't benefit as greatly from counseling.

In addition, prior counseling may not have been helpful if you felt your expectations were not met. It is important that we discuss your expectations for counseling so that we both have a clear understanding of you want to accomplish.

Will my health insurance cover the cost of therapy?

Frequently insurance will cover a significant portion of the cost of therapy. However, every insurance plan is different and trying to determine exactly what your plan will cover can be complicated. We will be happy to help you determine your insurance benefits.  At this time, I am in-network with various insurance companies and bill out-of-network. I am also happy to discuss fee reductions when appropriate.

Do you prescribe medication?

Medication can be a useful intervention for psychological distress. However, medication must be prescribed by a medical doctor. Any discussion about medication should begin with your primary care physician. Research has shown that the most effective treatment for depression and anxiety are a combination of medication and talk therapy. I will collaborate with your physician or psychiatrist to provide well-rounded care.

Do you counsel teenagers?

Yes, I have extensive experience working with teens. In addition, my experience teaching at Ohio State keeps me up-to-date on the pressures facing college students. While I do not generally counsel with young women, I do have numerous excellent referral sources for women under the age of 25 years.

Why aren't there any cute photos on your website?

First of all, thanks for reading this far. I hope you have found it helpful.

Now, to answer your question. I have looked at lots of counseling websites and I have noticed that most have photos of cute couples holding hands, lighthouses, and starfish laying on sandy beaches. Honestly, who doesn't like cute couples, lighthouses, and starfish? But, I wanted a website that helped you get to know me a little better. (Remember, it is important to have a good "fit" with your therapist.) I chose the photos for my website from places I've visited. I enjoy being outdoors, I enjoy tranquil places, and I enjoy challenging myself. Hopefully my website helps you understand who I am.