Choosing to begin therapy can be a difficult decision. When considering something new, you may have a lot of questions:  “What will therapy be like? What will the therapist be like? What will they expect of me?” I strive to create a safe place where any client can feel comfortable sharing and being vulnerable while working through the problems and issues that they find important. Here are answers to some questions you might have that I hope can reduce some of your anxiety:

How long will therapy take?

The short answer is that it depends. Some things that clients want to work on could take as few as a few sessions or could be as long as a year or more. You get to choose how often we meet and what we talk about. If length of therapy is important to you, when we initially meet, we’ll discuss your goals in therapy, and I can give an estimate of how long it may take to work through them.

What are your hours?

While my hours do flex some from week to week, here’s my typical schedule:
Monday  – 11am – 7pm
Tuesday – 1pm – 7pm
Wednesday – 11am – 7pm

What do those letters after your name mean?

MA – This is for my Master of Arts in Counseling from MidAmerica Nazarene University
LPC – This is my Missouri state license title: Licensed Professional Counselor
CRAADC – Certified Reciprocal Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor which is issued by the Missouri Credentialing Board

Will you try to change me?

In our sessions we will work on the things that you want to work on. Because every client is different and has different needs and wants, I don’t have a rigid formula that I apply to everyone. So, we’ll only work to change what you want to change. On occasion, I may notice something about a client that they haven’t noticed about themselves before. If this is a new direction for therapy, we only proceed down that path if it’s something that the client chooses for us to work on.

Will you try to get me on medication?

No. I can’t prescribe medication. I’m practical when it comes to discussing medication for mental health issues. Medication can definitely be helpful for some people, while other clients are adamantly opposed to using medication. Some of my clients have worked with their doctors to use medication to get stable and then weaned down or off as they worked through therapy. Some clients have decided to try therapy first and then later found they also wanted medication. And other clients have required on-going medication along with regular (and sometimes infrequent) therapy to feel comfortable and stable. It just depends on the client as to what will work best for them. I’m happy to discuss your options with you and refer you to a doctor if you decide you’d like to try medication.

How often are sessions?

We can meet as frequently or infrequently as you’d like. I prefer to meet weekly because I feel that momentum and motivation stays higher for clients when we meet weekly. I have noticed that clients tend to incorporate and stick with the changes they make when attending weekly. Many clients choose to meet every other week or monthly based on what they need from therapy and what they can afford on their budgets. How frequently we meet is always up to you.

What if I want to stop therapy or find a different therapist?

You absolutely can. Your direction in therapy is always up to you. If you decide that you think a different therapist will work better for you, you don’t have to keep coming. My hope is that you’ll let me know if you decide to stop or find another therapist, but it is your choice as to how you will end therapy with me.

What is a session with you like?

In the first session, we will discuss goals of what you hope to accomplish in therapy, and we’ll talk about some of your life history and current issues that are either supportive or stressful for you. In sessions after that, most clients have things that come up between sessions that they want to process with me. Usually these things that come up relate to goals that clients have expressed in the first session, and so while we talk, I’m mindful to keep us working toward the goals that you set. I work from a cognitive model of therapy, so the discussion is frequently focused around thoughts, beliefs that inform thoughts, and emotions or actions that are the result of thoughts.

Do you bill insurance?

I don’t bill to any insurance companies. I can create a receipt that you can submit to your insurance company to be reimbursed. If you want to go this route, you should call your insurance company to ask them about out-of-network mental health benefits. You should also ask if you would be reimbursed for sessions with a Missouri LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor). I do accept HSA cards.