FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Life is hard. People deal with a lot of internal pain. If you are a person who has been carrying some pain and it feels like no matter what you do, the pain will not change, then maybe it is time to talk to a professional. An inner challenge is a part of life. Feelings like anxiety, shame, guilt, sadness, and rage are all a part of the human experience. If there are certain feelings, behaviors, or thoughts that are way out of balance, then talking to a professional who is dedicated to exploring and helping people in your situation may help.
The frequency of counseling visits is an important question and should be discussed at the onset of beginning therapy. During our introductory call, I will talk about my philosophy and boundaries about weekly therapy sessions and what is usually most helpful for clients.
Yes. Before I meet every client we connect on a 15-20 minute phone call. This phone call is important so I can hear what is going on for the client, and also so potential clients can ask me questions about how I do things as a counselor. It is imperative for me to have clients be comfortable and understand what they are choosing if they want to move forward with me as a therapist.
When a person enters into a relationship with a mental health professional, they should expect to be connected to a person who is clear, honest, caring, and supportive. Clients should expect they are working with a professional therapist who will continue to create a safe space for their thoughts, feelings, and sensations NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE. My clients have the green light to share with me anything they desire and I strive to create a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves with me. So much of healing or internal change takes place when people feel safe enough to go to certain places inside themselves.
Absolutely not! All are welcome in my practice. Athletes do share many commonalities across sports, but you need not have ever played a sport to be welcomed as a beautiful person in my office!
I worked with sports psychologists for two different teams while I was in the NFL. Based on my experience, sports psychologists work on specific outcomes athletes have or desire in their sport. Most work with some form of performance anxiety and competitive challenges associated with athletic achievement. Where sports psychologists work on the outcomes, or leaves of the trees, I would work more with the roots or inner workings of the trees(clients internal world). Based on my experience as an athlete if you can deal with the challenges or intensities deep under the surfaces of yourself, performance usually increases as a byproduct.
I do not take insurance. For clients who inquire, I will provide a "superbill". A superbill is an itemized receipt of services provided, costs incurred, diagnosis, and procedure codes from a mental health service provider to a client. Some insurance companies will partially reimburse clients for "out of network" costs for mental health services. Clients who are interested should call their insurance companies and ask if their plan will reimburse for out of network mental health providers and what is required for submission.
Yes. Therapy can come in many forms and if you are an athlete who wants to overcome a specific challenge, or grow in certain other areas of your sport we can create a roadmap and a plan of attack for you.
Therapy is confidential up to a certain extent. Adolescents in therapy who are 16 and older in the state of Tennessee have the same rights to confidentiality as adults. If a client has a definitive plan to end their lives or someone else's, knows of ongoing abuse of a child 18 years or younger, knows of a disabled person or elderly person who is being abused, I may have to break confidentiality and share this knowledge with others. Working with adolescents, I tell both parents and kids upfront that IF there is something intense going on it would be healthy to talk about it as a family if the family structure is safe enough. I work with many adolescents on communication skills with parents about challenging issues so they feel more able to express inner intensities with those who care for them.
Therapy duration is different for every client. So much of a person's ability to heal inside depends on their internal challenges coupled with how much connection their internal and external world has to offer. Some people need a lot more support and this could equate to a longer duration in therapy. Therapy is not a quick fix but is a dedication to change, where people can invest in themselves and their inner challenges on a weekly basis. Therapy is also not a permanent thing that lasts years, but a seasonal commitment.
Standard counseling sessions last 50 minutes. Sometimes people will want more time and 90-minute sessions are available.
If your child has been going through challenges and it seems as if nothing is helping, then it may be time to seek outside help. This is a challenging question for parents because kids go through so many changes. Sometimes I see kids who have acted out and their parents were caught off guard, other times there have been persistent issues faced for longer periods of time with no change. If you do have a question of whether or not your son needs therapy, the first step would be talking honestly to him about your concerns. I am happy to answer questions for parents and am available via email for these types of questions.
I believe that weekly therapy will get those in need help much faster than sporadic, biweekly, or monthly therapy. The weekly routine of therapy in the first few months creates a structure that is optimal for those dealing with internal hardships.
No. After we connect via email then we set up a 20-minute call. This call is important for me to hear about what is going on with you, and also for you to find out about me and how I work as a therapist. There is no charge for the call and no problem at all if you do not decide to move forward in therapy.
Speaking with a psychotherapist is the best way to understand how anxiety impacts you. The professional will help you understand your symptoms or reactions to stressful situations, then determine a helpful plan of treatment – as well as a healthy course of action to take
Common factors that contribute to anxiety include family history, past childhood experiences or traumatic events, intense life situations, life changes, life disruption, current events, stressful global situations, and more.
Symptoms of anxiety can range from physical and behavioral symptoms to cognitive and psychosocial. Physical symptoms include shortness of breath, sweaty palms, dry mouth, and more. Behavioral symptoms include restlessness, excessive startle reflex, social isolation, etc. Cognitive symptoms include struggles to stay focused, irrational fears, excessive worrying, and so on. Psychosocial symptoms include panic attacks, depression, dissociation, etc.
There are many treatment options available for anxiety – including (but not limited to), psychotherapy, family therapy, group therapy, meditation, yoga, support groups, and medication.
Depending on your situation, coupled with intentional efforts, feelings of anxiety can begin to lessen in weeks or months. Each client is different. Some, who have been living with anxiety for many years, can take more time to readjust their internal patterns and alleviate intense feelings.
Getting in touch with a professional psychotherapist is a helpful and effective way to understand how depression influences you personally. They will help you understand your depression's underlying causes of your depression, how you react to triggers, and then develop a treatment plan to take back control of your life.
Many, many factors can contribute to depression. The most common include life events, personal struggles with mental health, family history, drug & alcohol use, and brain chemistry changes, among others.
Symptoms of depression can range significantly. Common symptoms include extreme anxiety, social isolation, feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, irritability, restlessness, low self-esteem, and more.
People challenged by depression have many treatment options, including (but not limited to), psychotherapy, group therapy, family therapy, meditation, support groups, yoga, and medication.
Every client is different in their battle with depression. Based on the circumstances, feelings of depression can be lessened in a few weeks to a few months – with professional help. Some clients living with extreme depression cases can expect a longer timeline to re-adapt emotional or behavioral patterns to ease their symptoms.
Grief is characterized by the feelings we experience after a loss. It is a natural response that all humans experience at some point in their lives. It may be brought on by the death of a loved one, pet, loss of a job, life changes, and so on.
Grief is a journey that is unique to everyone experiencing it. Many people challenged by grief claim they experience symptoms unpredictably – as a sight, smell, or feeling may trigger certain emotions. Some people experience symptoms early on after their loss, while others may find the most difficult times in the following weeks, months, or years. There is no single way to cope with grief – and everyone experiences symptoms and treatment differently.
Symptoms of grief can vary - and are unique to everyone. The common symptoms of grief include (but are not limited to) sadness, agitation, shame, anxiety, restlessness, changes in appetite, changes in sleep patterns, struggles concentrating, and so on.
The process of alleviating feelings of grief is different for everyone. However, there are several ways to get the grieving process moving in the right direction. These include (but are not limited to) psychotherapy, group therapy, family therapy, meditation, support groups, yoga, and medication.
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this. There are so many factors and variables involved to accurately predict how long someone will grieve. Seeking out grief counseling is an effective way to efficiently develop strategies for coping with symptoms and living a happy, healthy life in wake of a loss.
Group counseling can vary quite a bit. Clients in my group therapy sessions are dealing with relational issues stemming from forms of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, trauma, relational challenges or any other struggle in their lives. Group sessions are about coming together, finding new ways to connect with others, and expressing themselves in relationships. Strengthening these skills in group therapy helps people connect with others in their everyday lives.
Group therapy and individual therapy serve different functions – and one is not necessarily more or less effective than the other. Group counseling techniques are beneficial in creating confidence in healthy relational coping strategies that create social connectedness with others. These sessions are intended for people to critically listen to others, gain multiple perspectives, share feedback, and strengthen their ability to interact and connect with others.
Being open about your emotions is a crucial aspect of group therapy. However, this doesn’t mean you need to share your deepest, darkest secrets. Group members don’t have to share anything about themselves they don’t feel comfortable with. The goal in these sessions is to create a welcoming environment where people can feel confident in opening up about their struggles. I encourage clients to pace themselves with group involvement until they feel completely safe in speaking up.
The role of a group counselor is to create a healthy atmosphere for individual growth in a group context. My job in these sessions is to guide internal self-exploration, provide support, and give constructive feedback – while encouraging group cohesion.
Group therapy can last anywhere from 15 weeks to ongoing groups that can last for years. I believe that to get the benefits of group therapy, one should commit to at least three months of participation in weekly therapy, assuming clients feel comfortable enough in the first one or two sessions.
Group settings are scary for most people and feeling unsure or nervous about what to express is normal and healthy. Most members in group counseling sessions are hesitant to share at the beginning of group therapy. This is very normal, and trained facilitators know how to help get the ball rolling. As sessions evolve, people build confidence in their ability to express themselves. These sessions are designed to help initiate conversations and openly discuss struggles and mental challenges.