Frequently Asked Questions
What is therapy like and how does it work?
Therapy, counseling, and coaching of any kind cannot be easily described or defined. It varies depending on the personalities of the therapist, the clients, and the issues and challenges being discussed. Because I take an integrated and multi-systemic view of human challenges, there are a variety of methods and techniques I may use to assist you. Psychotherapy is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be most successful, you will have to work on things we talk about both during our sessions and at home. Sometimes therapy works by helping you to accept yourself and your situation better. Sometimes therapy works by helping you feel a little uncomfortable with the status quo and provides you with the support and challenge to make a shift. Often it’s a little bit of both.
What if my partner isn’t into therapy or I’m single but find myself wanting to work on my relationship issues. Can I still come to therapy?
I tell couples that they are 100% responsible for their 50% of the street. With that in mind, you may absolutely enter and benefit from therapy that focuses on who you are in relationships and the relational dynamics and patterns that you engage. Individual therapy with a focus on relationships allows you to consider what happens between you and others as well as what happens within you. The work is not focused on fixing or changing the other but in helping you clarify your self and make choices that align with your values.
Why don’t you accept insurance?
There are several reasons that I do not currently accept insurance. First, many plans require that you pay out-of-pocket in order to hit a deductible. In some cases, you would not each a deductible for six to nine months. Second, often insurance requires an individual diagnosis. For couples, this means that one in the couple is identified with the problem. Because I take a relational and systemic perspective, I see the relationship dynamics as part of the problem, which both people are accountable to and for. In addition, my systemic lens means that I desire to empower clients to explore the context and externalize problems. Clinical diagnosis and referral for evaluation and possible medication may be part of the treatment process, but this process evolves from the work in therapy rather than being dictated by an insurance company. Finally, because I do not bill insurance companies, the person that I am accountable to for your treatment is you. This means your information is confidential.
Since you don’t accept insurance, how can I pay for therapy?
I do provide all clients with a superbill. This is a receipt or invoice that lists information like my provider number and procedure codes. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA), you may use the superbill to be reimbursed by the insurance company.
What does it mean that you integrate psychological and spiritual principles, and why does that matter to me?
To be human means to negotiate the push and pull of body, mind, emotion, and spirit. Psychological principles help us to understand our thought patterns and how they connect to our emotions and our behaviors. Spiritual principles help us to embody this awareness with our five senses and to be open to a life force or energy that is bigger and beyond us. Some people refer to this as the Universe, Higher Power, or God. In addition, spiritual principles invite us to wrestle with life’s biggest questions like why am I here or why do bad things happen to me when I work so hard to be good? In terms of a session, this integration means that I seek to incorporate meditation, prayer practice, deep breathing, and other contemplative practices if you like. If you find them beneficial, I encourage you to explore and engage contemplative practice between sessions, which can be come a part of your self-care. It also means that I may encourage you to consider creating a ritual to honor significant life changes.
What kinds of rituals might I include?
The wedding ceremony is the most common ritual incorporated in the therapy process. However, vow renewal ceremonies after a recommitment and renewal of the relationship in couples therapy, a house blessing upon moving, a baby blessing or baptism as part of welcoming new life into your family, a coming out/naming ritual, vow releasing ceremony for couples divorcing, or a memorial service are all examples of rituals that can be included as part of your counseling.
How long with therapy take?
A tongue-and-cheek answer to this question is “as long as it needs to take.” In all seriousness, the length of therapy really depends on many variables including what you seek, how long you’ve struggled before reaching out for help, and how much time and energy you choose to commit to the process between sessions. Certainly, my goal for you is that you NOT be in therapy for ever…but that through our work together, you develop the tools and support network to navigate life without counseling or with monthly or quarterly check-ins or tune-ups.
Are you really a Reverend, and why is that important?
Yes. I am ordained and have my authorization through the United Church of Christ. I attended Lancaster Theological Seminary for three years and earned a Master of Divinity. In addition to theological education, I have completed internships with local non-profits and churches as well as earning one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. In addition to be accountable to ethics of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), I also am accountable to the United Church of Christ. I believe these authorizations help me to be my best self in serving you. In addition, my pastoral training and experience have provided me with expertise in co-creating rituals to honor your transitions.