Frequently Asked Questions
The benefits of counseling have been supported my thousands of research studies. Counseling has been shown to manage or reduce symptoms of mental health conditions, improve self-esteem, learn new coping skills, understanding and changing behavior patterns, and more! The key to effective counseling is having a good therapeutic relationship with your counselor, and being an active participant in the counseling process.
What is a counseling session like?
If you are a little nervous about starting counseling, you are not alone! Many people experience some level of anxiety prior to their first session, and that is very normal! When you arrive in my office, you will find a comfortable living room-like setting. You will find that I have a very warm, down-to-earth personality, and our sessions sometimes have a "sitting and talking over coffee" kind of feel. Many people think that counselors are perfect people with all the answers. I can assure you, this is not true! I’m just a normal person who happens to have extensive training in helping people work through their problems.
During your first session, we will get to know each other by reviewing your intake paperwork. You will have already filling out your intake paperwork in my online client portal prior to our first appointment. By the time we meet, I will have already reviewed this information, so we will just need to go over any questions I may have. You are welcome to ask me questions too! We will spend most of the session identifying what issues you want to work on and how they are affecting your life. We will then set some goals and discuss how we want to get there.
Some problems might be a little embarrassing to talk about at first, and that's okay. After all, we just met! While the more information I have helps me support you, there is no pressure or obligation to talk about any topic you are uncomfortable discussing. Ever. What we talk about and the issues we work on will always be on your own terms, whenever you are ready. Sometimes that means "testing out the waters" with some smaller issues until you feel safe talking about the bigger issues.
Who will know what we talk about?
All of our sessions will be confidential, just between you and me. This means that I will not share the content of our conversations with anyone else, including a parent, spouse, family member, friend, school staff, etc. There are only a few very specific reasons why anything we talk about would be revealed to someone else. If you are an immediate threat of harm to yourself or others; if a child, elderly person, or otherwise dependent person is being abused or neglected; by court order; or if you sign a waiver for me to release information to a third party. If you have any concerns about privacy, please let me know so I can answer your questions.
How many sessions will I need?
The answer to this varies widely! It really depends on the specific issues we are working on and how actively engaged you are with the counseling process. Some people who are working on a simple, straight-forward concern many only need a handful of sessions. Others, who have experienced many years of complex mental health disorders will likely need significantly more time. While I cannot tell you exactly how long we will work together, I may be able to give you a general idea after a few sessions, when I’ve had a chance to get to know you a little more and have a good assessment on the complexity of your specific situation.
How long is a session? How often will we meet?
Most people typically come in once per week for 60 minutes. There are reasons this may vary though. Certain types of therapy are structured to be 90 minutes. We will talk about this if we begin to consider a type of therapy that would need longer sessions. Often, when we are reaching the end of treatment, we may taper off to every other week, or maybe even once per month. For some people, time availability or financial constraints may also dictate that we meet at a different frequency. We will talk about the length and frequency of our appointments at our first session, and it will be an ongoing conversation as needed throughout treatment.
What are your fees?
You can find my fee schedule here.
Do you take insurance?
No, I do not. There are many reasons I have chosen not to file with insurance companies. I am, however, happy to provide you with an invoice so you can file for reimbursement from your insurance company.
Do you offer a sliding scale?
Yes! I realize that counseling can be expensive. One of the reasons I do not take insurance (as stated above) is so that I can provide access to mental health care to those who do not have insurance and cannot afford to pay out of pocket. For this reason, I maintain a certain number of spots for clients who need to be seen on sliding scale. Please call me for more information on my sliding scale policies and availability.
Where are you located?
My office is in the Ayrsley Towne Center in the Steele Creek area of Charlotte. You can find my address and directions here.
That's too far from me! Do you offer virtual counseling?
Yes! While it’s generally best to meet in person, I do realize that not everyone lives nearby or has the time to travel to my office once a week. For these clients, I am happy to provide virtual counseling to anyone residing in North Carolina or South Carolina (I am licensed in both states).
What are your hours?
You can find my current office hours here.
Do you see children?
No, I do not. I only see adults and adolescents age 15+.
Have more questions?
Feel free to call or email me if you have any other questions!