Seeking help is a big and courageous step! It is not easy to put yourself out there, especially with someone you don’t really know. It is also not unusual to feel nervous and unsure about what to expect. I hope this page helps answer some of the questions you may have about the process of starting to work with me.
How does the process start?
Once you make the decision to come see me, I will send you electronic paperwork where I will ask you to share some information on your background and reasons for seeking services. At our initial session I will go over the paperwork with you and ask questions about your history, goals and strengths and give you time to ask any questions you may have about the process.
Sessions last 55 minutes and the first 3 to 4 sessions are used to get to know each other and come up with a plan for how you’d like to work on your goals. We will revisit your goals approximately every three months to see where you are, what improvements you have made, and how to proceed.
How can you help me?
By using active listening, asking open ended questions and providing strategic feedback I can help you reframe your thinking, learn new coping skills and discover strengths and ideas you didn’t know you had.
I am especially skilled in the use of Motivational Interviewing, a flexible and evidence- based counseling style that is helpful for working with behavioral changes. I also employ other evidence-based practices and approaches, however the most predictive factor that leads to successful outcomes in counseling is the therapeutic relationship.
I am a compassionate straight shooter who is skilled at helping you reach your own conclusions and identify the values you want to drive your life. I am also able to sit in the space of being stuck - whether that's struggling with grief or being not quite ready to change - a trait that can be challenging to find in today’s "fix it" and “be positive” society.
Additionally, I understand that we are affected by so many factors outside of our personal control. Understanding the interplay of power and privilege can be an important arena for healing, and my training as a social worker acknowledges intersectionality and difference.
What is the time COMMITMENT?
Many people come weekly, at least to start. Sessions last 55 minutes. It’s best to schedule a set time, though if your work schedule makes this difficult flexible scheduling is available. Biweekly sessions are also possible with the understanding that it may take more time to experience gains.
Occasionally, people attend therapy more often and may come twice a week for a period of time. Many reduce counseling frequency once things improve and attend every other week and then monthly in order to maintain gains.
When will I know Therapy is done?
Everyone is different. Some people may come for a few months, others might come for several, depending on the support they need.
Shorter term therapy or counseling may also be appropriate for some issues, and depending on the case I may utilize a somewhat more directive and solution focused approach.
Longer term work may be more appropriate for trauma, major transitions, long term communication difficulties, on going stressors, poor coping skills, mood disorders, or substance abuse. These issues often require a longer period of support, and depending on the situation, usually for about a year though sometimes longer. Some people may even attend for a few years, finding that they continue to benefit from ongoing support and exploration.
Others use therapy for a period of time, take a break, and then return when they are ready, something comes up, or they need a few booster or “tune up” sessions.
Of course, you are always in charge, and while I may make recommendations, the choice to end therapy or take a break is entirely up to you. You are the author of your own story.
How Does Payment Work?
Making a decision to see a therapist is a big investment in yourself. I currently accept BCBS PPO insurance, any other insurance would need to be submitted out of network which I can assist with. Acceptable payment methods include cash, check and credit cards. I request you let me know at least 24 hours prior to any scheduled appointment that you will not be coming or you will be charged the session fee. I also know that life sometimes happens and I always provide one “free pass” before charging a cancellation fee. My standard rate is $150 per 55 minute session.
I do have a modified sliding scale, based on need, upon request. Individuals who are able to pay the standard rate make it possible for me to offer lower rates to individuals who may not be able to access therapy services without insurance or due to finances.
If you have Out of Network insurance benefits I am able to help you claim a reimbursement (which, depending on your benefits, can be up to 60% of the rate your insurance allows). This would mean paying the session fee and then after submission of the bill to your insurance company it will be either applied to your deductible or, if you’ve reached your deductible they will reimburse you a portion of what you paid for the visit. It is important to call and verify any use of out of network benefits for therapy directly with your insurance company.
Where are you located?
My office is located in the center of the Montrose neighborhood in Houston, TX. There is plenty of off street parking and you will receive a unique, time sensitive, entry code for the time of your appointment. I am located inside of Kindred Church, and while I am not affiliated with the church I do support community efforts that take place there including Central City Food Co-op which takes place every Wednesday and Montrose Grace Place. This is an older building and I am on the second floor, unfortunately there is no elevator access.
I am happy to set up a time for a free consultation by phone so you can ask more questions and see if we might be a match. I am also always happy to offer referrals to community resources and other counselors in the community if, after talking, that seems like it might be a better fit. You can reach me by email or call me at 713-706-8308