FAQs

FAQs

If you feel you are in crisis, I encourage you to reach out for immediate support. You may try national, state, or county crisis lines (listed below). You may choose to reach out to clergy if you belong to a faith community. If necessary, please call 911 for immediate support. Please don’t hesitate to call 911, first responders want to help and are well trained to support an immediate crisis. 

 

I do not provide crisis support. I am a sole practitioner and I am not available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. When contacted outside of scheduled sessions, I do my best to respond within two business days. 

 

Crisis Support Numbers

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org)

1-800-273-8255

 

Veterans Crisis Line

1-800-273-8255

Text 838255

 

Crisis Text Line in Oregon

Text OREGON to 741741

 

Oregon county crisis lines:

 

Clackamas County: 503-655-8585

Multnomah County: 503-988-4888

Washington County: 503-291-9111

 

Please reach out for the support you need. There are people who want to help and the world is a better place with you in it. The pain will subside. Sending well wishes.

Currently I am working almost exclusively virtually. Individual sessions of regular and extended length, as well as three hour EMDR intensives, are all held through the telehealth platform SimplePractice. Full day retreats are held in person with the appropriate Covid protocols in place. 

Clearly, one of the major advantages of telehealth, virtual sessions, is that we can do it at all in the age of Covid. As you may have experienced in your life, telehealth appointments generally allow for much greater flexibility with scheduling and less time dedicated to the appointment logistics since there is no commute. Many of my clients appreciate being at home for sessions and celebrate the ability for additional downtime or private time after the session to journal, sip a cup of tea, or take a nap. 

 

With telehealth, it can feel like it might take longer to establish rapport and a feeling of trust in the session. Folks might worry that the lack of physical presence precludes a deep connection. I have not found either of these concerns to actually be the case. I have worked with many clients whom I have never seen in person and they have all told me they felt deep connection, positive communication, trust, and safety in our sessions together. 

 

The occasional tech glitch can be a real challenge, and we will have back up plans in place if there are issues. Some people have some difficulty in feeling they truly have a private space for their session with other folks present in their homes. These clients have found a comfortable way to meet while parked in their car, or by scheduling appointments when family members are gone or otherwise occupied.

I work with individuals, couples, and families. My license is LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist. My licensure tells you that I have had additional extensive training looking at individuals in the context of the relationships in their lives: family of origin, romantic partnerships, children, etc., and including their relationship with their self. After all, no person is an island and it is through our interactions with others on this planet that we know who we are – that we fully experience ourselves and our lives. Our relationships give our lives meaning and purpose. I believe it is an illusion to think that we can understand ourselves and change our experiences and behaviors without reflecting upon our relationships, past and present. 

 

As with all therapists, I have been well trained in working with individual clients, children through adult. Additionally, my graduate and post graduate training has included extensive attention to working with couples and families. I have a lot of experience working with various combinations of people and the important others in their lives in sessions together. At the same time, I have mostly worked with individual clients. You might understand my license as providing me the basic lens through which I  understand my clients. 

 

The other three licenses you might see in a therapist are: LPC: licensed professional counselor, LCSW: licensed clinical social worker, and Ph.D/Psy.D: psychologist. Each of us has had a different focus in our studies and clinical training. LMFTs, LPCs, and LCSWs all have Masters level post graduate degrees. Psychologists hold Doctorate degrees in the field.

The consultation provides us the opportunity to briefly connect live so that we can each get an initial sense of what it could be like working together. I will answer questions you might have about policies and procedures. I will ask you to very briefly describe your goals – the things you wish to cultivate more of in your life. For instance, you might say “I’d like to experience greater ease and improved self esteem.” The consultation is not for talking about any of the challenges you might be facing in your life. It is not a clinical session; it is a brief time to answer logistical questions and to review fees.  

In the first session, or maybe two, our primary goal is to confirm that it makes sense to work together. There is such a thing as “a fit” when it comes to working with a therapist. Of course, I cannot guarantee that we will be a great fit, though I will do my best to support you and your goals. In the first session we’ll briefly review important policies and procedures. You will have completed paperwork ahead of time that will hopefully answer most of your logistical questions, however, I will address any remaining questions or concerns in that first appointment. Your paperwork will provide me with an initial understanding of the context of your life and of your goals for therapy. In the first session I will begin to get to know you more fully. After all, no matter the paperwork, we are all so much more than we can write down on a form! We’ll identify your goals for therapy and agree to a beginning plan on working toward meeting those goals.

For each ongoing session we’ll briefly check in on any noteworthy/significant experiences during the week. And then we will remind ourselves of what you took from the last session and reflect on any shifts you may have experienced during the week… unless you bring a particular topic/question/concern that you really want to address in that session. We will always save the last 5-7 minutes for summarizing and for a grounding practice. I will want to know whatever you may choose to share with me. At the same time, I may interrupt you and ask you for the condensed version of that story in the interest of staying in alignment with progress on your goals. As you know, therapy is not a social conversation. There can be more interrupting and redirecting, and also a different sort of targeted, deep questions than you would likely experience when talking with a friend.

 

If we are working with EMDR, our time together will have a more structured feel – both individually and as a whole arc of sessions. I invite you to look at the info on EMDR on this website for more details about this powerful technique.

I generally do not work with insurance companies. Please see the payment section of this website for details about why I don’t partner with insurance companies and how you might get substantial reimbursement through accessing out-of-network benefits.

For therapy to be most effective it is important to attend all regularly scheduled appointments. I maintain a 24-hour cancelation policy.  If you are unable to attend a scheduled appointment, please notify me at least 24 hours in advance. Failure to do so will result in a $50 fee being charged to the credit card on file. Two occasions of fewer than 24 hours of notice for cancellation will result in loss of any reservation of a specific time and day for scheduling.

Scheduling is handled through the patient portal, which is maintained by the platform SimplePractice. A consistent ongoing appointment day and time cannot be guaranteed. However, if that is your preference I will attempt to make that happen as long as you regularly attend sessions.

Well, it depends. There really isn’t a way to predict how long, or how short, therapy will be. Some of my clients have benefited tremendously from just one session. I have worked with some people for over two years. Having clear goals and doing some work between sessions are some of the important factors impacting length of therapy. That being said, at the start of our work together, we will collaborate on creating a “treatment plan” which is a description of your goals for yourself, the roadmap for how to achieve them, and how you will measure progress. This treatment plan can include a specific time frame for the length of therapy. 

A life coach will largely focus on what you want to do and push you along to do that thing. That can be a useful pursuit and a life coach has its value. However, as a therapist, I can help you (re)discover who you want to be. It’s about you as a person, not the thing you do. We can build an understanding of where you’ve come from, the experiences that have shaped you, and illuminate the many facets of who you are so that you can fully step into the person you were meant to be with courage and delight.

 

It’s also important to know that the life coaching business is still unregulated. Anyone can claim they are a life coach and take your money. There are structured training programs for coaches and those programs provide adequate training. If you decide to go with a life coach, I implore you to only work with someone whose training is certified by the International Coaching Federation. 

 

My training includes undergraduate studies, a two year graduate program with two different supervised internships, extensive post graduate studies, and 2400 hours of supervised work before licensing. 2400 hours! That’s over four years of an experienced professional checking on my capabilities and mentoring me to improve in how I serve my clients. After all of that, I obtained my independent license. To maintain my license I am required to participate in substantial continuing education courses on a regular basis. I am always accountable to a licensing board and follow the ethics dictated by my field.