What are your usual fees?
$120 for a 50-minute session; $180 for 80-minute session
Groups, workshops, or special counseling packages are individually priced
There are several sliding-fee-scale slots for people in the creative arts (film, studio arts, writing, dance, music, etc.)
Do you take insurance?
If you have insurance, I provide a statement of service, which is a receipt that includes all the information necessary for a client to submit to the insurance company for reimbursement at out-of-network rates. Not all policies include out-of-network benefits, so be sure to contact your insurance company before we meet for the first session. Be aware that all policies do not cover relational counseling (even in-network), so you will want to know about this, too, before we meet.
Some people choose to pay out of pocket even if they have insurance benefits. Perhaps they don’t believe in a therapeutic approach that depends on labeling people with a diagnosis. Sometimes they have privacy concerns.
Do you do a free consult session?
Because it is so important that the “match” be right between client and therapist, I offer and recommend a 30-minute free consultation before we begin working together. That way we can get a sense of whether your needs and my approaches have good potential for working together. If we decide during our “meet and greet” that the match is not there, I will be happy to provide referrals to others who might be a better fit.
How do I pay? Credit cards or an HSA, for instance.
I take Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. I also take cash or a personal check. If you have a medical account such as an FSA or HSA, please check with the administrator in advance for applicability; most often there is not a problem with use for mental health services.
What is it like to have counseling or be in therapy?
It can be exhilarating as well as very hard emotional work. The result—better understanding of who you are and why—often leads to positive outcomes, as you solve long-term problems, meet specific challenges, and develop your way to forge ahead into the next season of your life or relationship.
Change is a process of layers. Counseling and therapy are about having a champion on the change journey, someone to point out connections or insights you might miss or directions you might choose to take. A therapist can be a witness as you tell your story of childhood neglect or abuse, of trauma, of disappointments and hurts. A counselor can be a guide, walking your trail with you and helping you find the blaze marks on trees that tell you that you’re on the right path. A counselor can be the holder of your relationship while you work out together what is troubling you.
The most successful course of counseling includes the clients’ work to institute change outside the therapy session, with results sorted through, back in the counseling room.
“Going into therapy” sounds unsettling. What attitude should I bring?”
Often people are successful when they come with an attitude that combines openness, curiosity, and self-compassion.
You can learn to hear in no uncertain terms what it is you are telling yourself that affects your happiness and what the mistaken beliefs are that get in your way. These messages are often about how we don’t measure up in some way or another. Or how we’ve done it wrong—again!
Individual: How do I know I need counseling?
If your attitudes toward others, toward life, toward yourself are discouraged, doubting, or angry enough to interfere with your daily functioning or how your relationships work, counseling might be a good idea. The goal is to have a satisfying life despite what difficulties surround you.
Couples: How do we know we need counseling?
Are you both satisfied with how you talk and how well you are heard by the other one? Has trust decreased? Does one of you have a crisis and the other doesn’t know how to deal with it? Are you well-balanced sexually? Do your disagreements escalate into anger and saying hateful things? Are you thinking about an affair? When there are problems, do you reach out toward each other—or turn away instead? Do you feel hurt and misunderstood much of the time? Do you have the same fight over and over again? These are all indicators of the need for help from someone who understands relationships and can help you find the patterns that keep you in the same rut.
At the same time, counseling can help you build a good relationship to its next level. Sometimes start-up couples or even long-term married couples are looking for the ability to move an already good relationship into a new season that is increasingly nurturing of both partners.
How long will it take?
A perfect opportunity for an “it-all-depends” answer, and of course, it does depend on you, the intractability of your symptoms, and how much courage we can build in you or in your relationship. However, you should have either some level of improvement or some better understanding of how much work faces you within three to four months. Sometimes counseling is shorter and veers toward problem-solving; just getting a better view of who you are can happen on a shorter term. Sometimes therapy works on very deeply-seated issues and takes longer, occasionally more than a year.
LifeSeasons’ approach includes setting goals and measures for how we will know if you are doing better, in order to have an ongoing way to track your progress. In addition, session-by-session measurement of your change and of the therapist’s work give us the ability to see where you currently stand within an overall picture of your status over time.
What does “LifeSeasons” refer to?
Our premise is that people and relationships go through many changes in their lifetimes—so we go through seasons in our lives, connections, and attachments. Sometimes change of season comes on us way too soon (think about recurring October snow-dumps). Or we long for a change like longing for the next season (autumn after a hot, humid summer, anyone?).
By looking at our lives and relationships as seasons, we more often can accommodate the idea of change—the positives that in themselves can be hard to get used to, the negatives that frustrate and anger and sadden us, and the legacies we can take from one season to the next.