Is what I say confidential?
Yes. All client-therapist conversations are private and confidential. It is also confidential information that a person is meeting with a counselor. As a licensed professional counselor, I follow the professional ethical standards of the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists, the American Counseling Association and the National Board of Certified Counselors. Only in rare exceptions when the safety of a client or other is at risk can disclosure of confidential client-therapist information take place. This includes any type of suspected child abuse.
What can I expect at the first session?
Prior to the first session you will complete intake information on-line in a secure, confidential, HIPAA compliant portal. We will talk about the concern(s) that brought you into counseling and also about your background and personal history. You can share on a level that feels comfortable for you. We will talk about goals and treatment.
How long does a counseling session take?
Intake appoints are one hour and follow up sessions are typically scheduled for 45 minutes although longer sessions are available at your request. Initially we will meet weekly for consistent progress to be made.
How much does counseling cost?
You can review fees on the Rates and Insurance page
Are you a Christian counselor?
I am a Christian and I am a psychotherapist. What this means for me is that I practice from a framework that acknowledges the presence of God within each person I work with and seeks to promote justice, healing, and grace as ways of being in the world. Spirituality is deeply important to us as human beings and is the source of meaning, purpose, and healing in our lives. Human beings are so much more than simply their behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. As a therapist, I also recognize that many people have been deeply hurt through the practices of organized religion and the experiences of their life. Struggling with one’s spiritual beliefs is often a normal part of being human. Often important healing needs to take place in this realm as well, as clients come to understand how they have been shaped, hurt, and/or blessed by their spiritual practice. Although I am a Christian and this spiritual practice is meaningful for me, all spiritual practices are welcome in my clinical practice.
What does MA, LPC and NCC stand for?
MA are the initials to indicate a Master’s of Arts. This means that I have a Master’s Degree in Counseling and have completed the necessary coursework required by the state to be licensed.
LPC indicates that I have taken exams and met the requirements to be fully licensed in the state of Oregon. Licensing requirements include completing 400 pre-Master’s and 2,000 post-Master’s level clinical counseling hours under the supervision of a licensed therapist, passing the licensing exam in counseling and attending annual continuing education. LPC’s are specifically trained to assess, diagnosis and treat mental health issues.
NCC indicates I am a National Certified Counselor. This means that I have also completed the requirements for NCC certification. The National Board of Certified Counselors regulates this certification and this is a national certification. It indicates that an individual is a member in good standing of the NBCC, has completed post-Master’s degree face-to-face clinical counseling experience under the supervision of a licensed, Master’s level therapist, has successful completed the National Counseling Exam, and attends annual continuing education.
What does successful counseling look and feel like?
Successful counseling feels like something has changed, something is different. You feel more hope and self-confidence. You are trying out new behaviors and they are working. You will also notice that you are having different results from actions that in the past would not have gone so well. In the end, you will always be the one to make the decision about whether therapy has been successful or not.
What do I do if it’s not helping?
The first thing you do is tell your counselor. Explain what is not working and why. Discuss things that have worked in the past. If the counselor gets defensive it may be time to look for someone else. But it is important to reflect on what your therapist says. The reason we need counseling from time to time is that we can’t see our self defeating thoughts or behaviors and it sometimes takes an impartial observer to point out to us what is obvious to others.
How do I know when I am done?
You will feel done. Most of the concerns and anxiety that brought you into therapy will have dissipated. You will have learned coping skills and new behaviors to deal with any issues that may persist. Your therapist should be able to give you feedback about your decision and discuss whether or not they feel you are ready to terminate. Ultimately the decision is in yours.