Frequently asked questions about my practice, or about therapy in general
1. I have good insurance. Why should I pay for your services?
Maybe you shouldn’t. But consider:
If I claim to specialize in 40 different things, well, I’m not specializing. I specialize in trauma/PTSD and the painful things it causes, like anxiety and addiction. The books I read, the courses I take, and most of the clients I see involve my work in this area. I have a lot of tools for working with PTSD that I regularly apply. If you’re having trouble getting good PTSD treatment, then you might want to see me.
I schedule flexibly
I am in Colorado Springs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and I can usually make appointments from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Also, clients sometimes want (or need) a shorter or longer session, and we can do that, if you like. We all have lives, and I do my best to make sure that there is a way for you to get in to see me.
Are you taking new clients?
Hard to say. I’m in demand, so I’m often close to being full up, but try me. There are always things that are changing, so it’s worth a call. Sometimes I’ll be able to put you on a waiting list–and often can get to you within a few weeks. We just have to see.
Unlike with insurance, I don’t send your records anywhere. Period.
I don’t answer to anyone but you regarding your treatment
Insurance companies or other 3rd-party payers often require a diagnosis and then tell the therapist how long treatment should last. Sometimes they even tell them what methods they can and can’t use! When you pay, you’re the boss. Your well-being is the only thing I have to think about, and that’s a relief for both of us.
It may be better for you to have the specific therapist you want, one you connect with or who has a specialty in working with your issue, or for other reasons. For example, I specialize in trauma and PTSD therapy (which means that I don’t specialize in lots of other things). Having a therapist you don’t connect with or who doesn’t focus on your main issues can be very unproductive, and might lengthen the time you need to spend in therapy, or not achieve the results that might be available. Having the therapist who is right for you, even if you have to pay a bit more for each session, may even be more cost-effective in the long run.
If you already have a co-pay of $40 or more to see a specialist, it might be worth paying some extra to get what you want.
2. What do you provide that some other therapists might not?
Specializing to me means that I pay attention to your case outside of the counseling session. I read books and take courses to upgrade my skills, and I consult on my cases with other mental health professionals. I also engage in deliberate practice, which means I reflect on my work and always try to improve it. Being good doesn’t mean being perfect, it means being committed to always striving to be better. So when you see me for an hour, you’re getting more than an hour of my time and effort.
3. Other people have told me I need therapy, but I’m not sure it will really help. How can just talking to someone fix my problems?
First, 40 years of research shows that, overall, the vast majority of people who go are significantly helped by therapy. Second, therapy doesn’t fix problems–it helps you fix your own problems. There’s a big difference between just having a “paid friend” to talk to (although that does help sometimes) and actually developing the knowledge, capacities and tools that you need to move forward. I work with you to help you develop tools that work for you. Lastly, therapy with me is much more than just talk. It’s work. Of course, it’s work that’s done partly through talking. But I also teach you how to pay attention to your own bodily responses, support you in managing challenges in your life, and help yourself heal from past distress.
4. Do you have the qualifications and experience to help me?
Only you can decide that, by coming to see me and judging for yourself. I have an MA in Counseling, experience addressing a wide variety of issues with clients, advanced training in EMDR, Trauma Dynamics and clinical hypnosis, many hours of supervised practice, and I am constantly upgrading my knowledge and skills. Research has shown that being good at medical and mental health care is largely about the commitment to constantly get better. Come to a few sessions and see if we connect and if it’s helpful. If it isn’t, I’m happy to help you find someone who might be a better fit. Having the therapist who is right for you is very important.
Have a question you want to see on the “frequently asked questions” page? Leave a comment, or, if you live in Colorado Springs, call me at 719-377-4577.