What’s It Like in a Counseling Session?
I see therapy as a collaborative process with both of us trying to gain a better understanding of what is happening. I tend to be an active therapist who is curious about her clients and wants to get at the root of the issue. I am open with what I see and put my observations out there for consideration. I’m very comfortable talking about a wide variety of issues, from what feels shameful to what feels joyful.
Sessions focus on what you want to talk about, on what is on your mind. In the beginning, I tend to do more listening and asking for clarification. As I get to know you and your concerns, the sessions become more dynamic and conversational. I am very curious about my clients and want to learn what makes them tick so we can get a better understanding of what bothers them and why. Once we know why these things bother us, we are much better able to control their influence on us.
My approach to therapy focuses on a client’s strengths and competencies in order to encourage the desired change in his or her life. I use a friendly, caring, nonjudgmental listening style with a touch of humor to further the work and take off the edge.
How Long Will It Take?
Each person’s situation is different and therefore the length of time the therapy will take varies from client to client. I provide a variety of therapy modalities ranging from brief consultation to long-term psychotherapy. Meeting weekly is often better because it facilitates more active progress towards goals and helps build the necessary comfort and trust in the therapy relationship. We will see what is right for you as we go along.
Finding the Right Therapist for You
Finding the right therapist for you is the most important first step in getting into therapy. This is not an exact science. First, it is important that you find someone who is qualified to practice psychotherapy. Generally, they have received a graduate degree in psychology, social work, counseling, marriage and family therapy, or some other psychotherapy related degree. Then, it is a matter of style and personal taste. Do you like the way s/he listens to you? Do you feel comfortable with him/her? Do you feel like s/he gets what you are talking about? Are they curious about you and your personal experience? Generally, you are looking to see if it feels like a good match for you. It is best to meet with a therapist at least once before you make a decision. Some people choose to meet with a couple of therapists one time each before they decide to go with one of them.
With adolescents I recommend to parents that they include their teenager in the process of picking their therapist. If they don’t like the therapist they are seeing, they are not going to get much out of it. Some teenagers like to talk with the therapist on the phone before they meet him or her. The more control they have over who they see, the more they will get out of it.
Fees and Insurance
I am licensed in the state of Oregon and am able to take a variety of insurances. At times, I am able to work out a non-billing discount to meet the financial challenges of some of my clients.
In the event of an emergency please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room. You may also try one of the following solutions: In Portland, contact Multnomah Mental Health Crisis at 503-988-4888 or 800-716-9769; In Vancouver, contact the Crisis Line at 1-800-626-8137. If you are a client of mine, please also call me and let me know what is going on. My number is (503) 939-7966.
Having a safe and private place to talk is of utmost importance to successful therapy. I take this very seriously. It is especially important that teens have a sense of confidentiality, even from their parents. As a parent I understand the concern and desire that leads us to want to know what is happening in therapy with our children. However, therapy is most effective if there is trust between client and therapist, so I ask that parents respect their teenager’s space when it comes to therapy. I am happy to address any concerns in regards to this.
All information disclosed in session is considered confidential and may not be revealed to anyone without your written permission except where disclosure is required by law. The exceptions are as follows:
· When there is reason to suspect child or elder abuse or neglect;
· When the client presents a clear threat to do serious bodily harm to self or others;
· When there is a court order;
· When a non-custodial parent requests to review his/her child’s treatment with me, or requests written records of treatment.
· When disclosure is necessary to obtain further professional assistance for the client.