Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is our first session going to be like?
I will meet with you (or with you and your child if you are seeking services for a minor) to gather information about any current concerns, obtain background information and family history, discuss goals for therapy and provide you an opportunity to ask me questions. The initial assessment session lasts about 50-60 minutes and is an opportunity for us to get to know one another.
2. How long are sessions?
An initial therapy intake session is 60 minutes, and beyond that initial meeting, the standard therapy session is 45 minutes. Some individuals/ couples feel they need extra time, and we can negotiate this during scheduling. I also offer 60 and 75 minute session options.
3. How often will we meet?
Generally, I recommend meeting 1x week at first if time and finances permit. Most of my clients move to biweekly appointments after the first 4-6 sessions.
4. How long will I be in therapy?
Every person’s process is different, and you and I will re-evaluate our goals as we move along in this process. I see some individuals for months and some for years; our goals will change, and, as you continue with the therapy process, you may find it life-enhancing and decide to continue weekly, 2x a month, or monthly.
5. I’m trying to figure out when I can fit therapy into my busy schedule. When do you schedule sessions? Do you offer online sessions?
I currently see clients on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Yes, I offer teletherapy via Zoom and am slowly integrating some in person availability when needed and recommended.
6. What is your cancellation policy?
If you do not show up for your scheduled therapy appointment and have not given 24-hour (1 business day) notice, you will be expected to pay the full cost of the session. Notifications are happily accepted via email and phone. I totally get it - life happens. Just try to let me know ahead of time if possible!
7. What is your policy on confidentiality?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and a therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. You will receive a written copy of the confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”.
I am a member of the American Counseling Association and subscribe to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, which require counselors to protect the confidentiality of their communications with clients. Georgia state licensure laws also protect client confidentiality. As a client, you are guaranteed the protection of confidentiality within the boundaries of the client/counselor relationship. Any disclosure will be made with your full written, informed consent and will be limited to a specific period of time. The only limitations to confidentiality occur . Whenever possible, you will be informed before confidential information is revealed.
8. How do I know if we’re a good fit to work with one another?
After our initial phone conversation or our first session, consider how comfortable you felt when talking with me. It is sometimes difficult to open up and share your problems, and you may feel awkward or anxious during your initial sessions; this is very normal. At the same time, it is important that you have a "chemistry" or rapport with the counselor. Counselors have different styles, personalities, and approaches, so take time to evaluate how you feel interacting with me and whether you believe we can work effectively together. It’s always my goal to be of the most help and support to you; though rare, sometimes this means referring you to another therapist.
9. What is your opinion about the use of medication?
What's YOUR opinion of it? :)
Research shows that long-term solutions to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of solely treating just the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress.
I believe that you can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you; in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
I have many friendships with wellness practitioners here in Atlanta. Many of my clients enjoy acupuncture, integrative medicine, reiki, breath work, massage. Sometimes these offerings in combination with regular therapy is enough to experience real improvements. Other times, it's extremely helpful to go the conventional medicine route and pursue medication therapy. Whatever route you take, I'll help you work through the decision.
10. What is a Masters of Divinity? How does it inform your work?
The Master of Divinity (M.Div) is the most common academic degree in the study of theology in seminaries and divinity schools. In many religions, the degree is the standard prerequisite for ordination to the priesthood or pastorship or other appointment, ordination or licensing to professional ministry.
At McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, I earned my M.Div – a degree requiring 90 credit hours of study and multiple pastoral counseling internship placements. While this degree certainly played a large part in my development as a human and more specifically, a counselor, it does not imply that I am solely a “faith-based counselor”. If you are interested in drawing upon your spirituality in therapy, I can certainly facilitate this process. In the same way, I do not impose religion on anybody and trust your ability to your desire to integrate faith and spirituality.
For more information on my work with spiritual exploration, please click here.
11. I’m aware that even though as a society we’ve evolved a bit, there is still a stigma related to counseling. What’s your perspective on this?
I’m a proponent of growth, awareness, and overall betterment of the self; therefore, I’m an advocate for counseling.
As a counselor, I hope to normalize the therapy process. Though certain issues may initially bring individuals to counseling (anxiety, depression, emotional problems, family & relationship issues, abuse, addiction, eating disorders, general life stressors, transitions, loss, etc.), the work of therapy changes as you change.
It is my personal opinion that seeking counseling is reflective of strength, wisdom, and general care for one’s self.
12. Where can I find the initial client forms? Can I schedule online?
If you are a new client and you haven't been setup on our system yet, you may create an account for the online portal (takes about a minute) and I'll send you the forms that way! If you already have scheduled an appointment, check your email to see if you received a link to create your account. The email comes from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you're set up on the portal, you will be able to access my schedule, pay invoices, fill out forms, and schedule and reschedule appointments easily.