So what exactly is counseling?
Counseling is a process where both the counselor and the client work together to problem solve and achieve a goal. Unfortunately, most people envision this process as the classic picture of Sigmund Freud questioning the client's deepest unconscious thoughts, as he/she lies on the couch. Luckily, counseling has come a long way since then. My process involves assessing your needs, understanding your barriers and goals, and then just having a conversation about those issues which bring you here. I'll provide a non-judgmental approach to helping you break through and overcome the hurdles which have appeared in your life.
People come to counseling for different reasons. Often times, individuals think that counseling is only for those who have had a severe psychological break. Not true. Most are dealing with stress in their lives, feel stuck, have relationship issues, or just want to move forward and be the best that they can be. Counseling is often the avenue that allows people to take charge of their lives versus being passive about life. We'll work together, at your comfort level, to move through the process and begin to resolve issues which have provided stumbling blocks. You'll find that I keep the process comfortable and informal. Many of my client's say that I'm easy to talk to and they look forward to their sessions. YOU are in the driver's seat, and this process involves helping YOU. I'll help you, get to know YOU. This can often give you the insight needed in order to put your life back on track.
Why do I feel so resistant to engage in counseling?
Some individuals have a perception that going to counseling is a sign of weakness. Not true. I see it as the exact opposite. Having the willingness to take charge of your life and seek help, beyond yourself, is a sign of personal strength. It shows that you are willing to push through the fear of the unknown, and take charge of your life. We cannot expect to have learned every skill that we need in order to manage our own lives. We can't do better, until we know better. Our lives don't run by themselves. Life rewards making purposeful decisions and taking action.
Many people often feel the "push and pull" of engaging in change. We all want to move forward, yet we love staying in our comfort zone. Our brains have become conditioned to avoiding the unknown and assuming that it will be negative. The resistance that you feel often involves the clash between that avoidance, and an opposing force, which is an inner yearning, seeking peace, and wanting life to be bigger and better than it is today.
How long does each therapy session take?
Your first session will be the longest. It may take about 90 min. This session will be filled with a lot of questions so that I can get to know you, and your background. We'll discuss such things as: what brings you to my center, your social and family background, medical history, and the goals that you'd like to achieve. Subsequent sessions will be 50-60 min.
What type of counseling techniques are used?
Techniques used will most often be "evidence based". This refers to techniques which have been proven through research to be effective when both the counselor and client are moving forward to affect change. Techniques may include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Family Systems, Interpersonal, Motivational Interviewing, Positive Psychology or a combination of any of the above. I am trained in the Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy for working with couples. These are the gold standards for working with marital counseling. Together we will explore thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns that are creating barriers to reaching your goals.
For those of you who are interested in alternative therapies, I now have an addition to my practice. I've recently created The Sound Room at Polaris which is located in the same building. This room uses vibrational sound to impact the body and brain and engages our parasympathetic nervous system. By combining powerful instruments from various cultures and different elements of sound, individuals get “bathed” in sound waves. These sounds create powerful vibrations at different frequencies and tones. The frequencies and vibrations of the instruments impact the body's energy systems and brain waves to help address imbalances within the individual's body. Imbalances in the body can affect physiological functioning and play a role in creating illness and disease. Sound therapy can assist in restoring the normal vibratory frequencies of the cells. It has also been shown to help reduce stress, and improve various negative emotional states such as depression and anxiety. You can learn more about this room and sound therapy by clicking here.
Is my information confidential?
My office provides a private and discrete location for you to come and engage in the process. Everything that you say and do in the counseling office is considered confidential, and protected by HIPAA rules. State laws, licensing, and ethics rules also govern the rules of confidentiality. Exceptions to these rules include a threat to harm yourself or others, or communication with a supervisor about your case. Also, if I suspect abuse or neglect of a child, elderly adult, or dependent adult, these rules no longer apply. Per state law, I am a mandated reporter. You can get specific details about privacy rules by clicking on the following link, and downloading the privacy practices
What are your rates? Do you offer a sliding fee?
My rates are $100/hr for individuals, and $200/hr for couples/families. The first session is 60-90 minutes, and rates are $175 for individuals, and $250 for couples/families. Sliding fees are offered on a very limited basis. Clients are required to have a credit card on file with the office.
Is insurance accepted?
The decision to use your insurance for counseling can be impacted by many factors. If you have not met your deductible, you will most likely be paying out of pocket for services. Other factors to consider may be revealing to your insurance provider that you have a diagnosis of substance abuse, or possibly a personality disorder. My practice is considered an "out of network" provider. Based on the type of plan that you have, it may be advantageous for you to use your out of network benefits. I accept cash, check, credit card, FSA, HSA, or HRA card at the time of service and do not interact with your insurance provider. You may request a Super Bill detailing your payments, so that they can be submitted to your insurance, towards your deductible. For various reasons, I have decided to run my business primarily as a "fee for service" practice, and currently do not accept insurance plans. I do not want your goals or my professional ethics to be influenced or compromised by the limitations of private insurance.
What should I expect on my first visit?
Expect lots of questions and a 90 minute session. You'll be asked to fill out an information form prior to your first session. It's important that I get to know you, and your background. We'll work together to formulate a plan for helping you reach your goals. No need to be nervous.....I'm a pretty laid back and casual counselor. We'll just sit and talk.
Do you prescribe medication?
No, I do not. Medications may be prescribed by your primary care physician, or a psychiatrist. Many research studies have shown that medication along with traditional therapy, is the most effective means in treating emotional disorders. Your use of medication is a personal decision, and I fully respect that. It is important that I approach your treatment from a biological, psychological, and social perspective.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
Yes, I do. If it becomes necessary for you to cancel an ongoing appointment, please give me a 24-hour notice. It is important to cancel early in order for others to be able to schedule open appointment slots. In the event that you are unable to give this notice, a $75 fee will be charged for individual appts. and $125 for couples/family appts.
Where is your office and what are the hours?
My office is located at Polaris, directly in front of IKEA. I am just 10 minutes away from several suburbs in Central Ohio.
Office hours are:
Wednesday - Closed