Frequently Asked Questions
What is counseling?
Counseling is a safe environment, where an individual will be accepted completely as they are. It is a collaborative process between a client and counselor, where a client identifies goals towards which they would like to work. My approach to counseling involves reflective listening, as I believe each person knows themselves best. Additionally, I will ask questions so that each client may arrive at their own answers/conclusions, or share strategies/techniques with a client, to help them reach their goals. For example, if a person wants to learn how to decrease anxiety, there are several different techniques I may share, which they may then utilize on their own, outside of counseling sessions.
The theoretical foundations from which I operate include Person Centered counseling and Feminist Theory. I integrate interventions from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and meditation, based on each client’s preferences and goals.
Is counseling right for me?
Counseling may serve many purposes. For some individuals, they prefer counseling just to have a space to think aloud, feel heard and validated in their experience. For others, they have specific goals towards which they wish to work. Some individuals wish to learn how to manage symptoms of a mental health diagnosis including Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and Bipolar Disorder.
What can I expect in my first session?
In the first session we will discuss the counseling process and what you can expect from me as your counselor, as well as review completed intake paperwork. Then, you will tell me more about your personal history (family life, education, career, etc.) and the goals you have for counseling.
Does my information remain confidential?
Yes, the information a client shares in counseling sessions remains confidential, with a few exceptions: (1) a client directs me to share information with someone else ( such as a parent, significant other, or physician) and signs a “Release of Information” form; (2) I determine that a client is a danger to him/herself or to others; (3) a client reports information about the abuse of a child, an elderly person, or a disabled individual who may require protection; or (4) I am ordered by a judge to disclose information.
Please note that in group counseling sessions, I cannot guarantee that members of a group will hold information shared in group confidential. I can guarantee that I will keep information shared by clients in a group setting confidential, with the above exceptions still being applicable.
How long should I expect to be in counseling?
This depends on each client’s goals for counseling. Some individuals may accomplish their goals within a few sessions; others may attend counseling for several months to accomplish their goals. However, it is always a client’s choice whether they want to continue counseling, regardless of whether they have obtained their goals.
Do you offer telephone or video counseling?
Presently, I do not offer counseling via phone or video platforms.
What is the difference between a counselor, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist?
A counselor is a clinician who holds at least a Master’s Degree (Master of Science or Master of Arts) in the counseling field. Counseling programs focus on teaching clinicians how to accurately listen to and reflect a person’s sentiments, as well as motivate individuals towards change. Additionally, counselors are trained in different treatment approaches for working with individuals. Counselors may be trained in administering some assessments, but may not engage in advanced testing, unless they have received specialized education and training.
A psychologist is a clinician who has completed a doctoral degree, either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D ( Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Psychology). This often involves an additional 5 years of education and training beyond a Master’s Degree. A psychologist receives training in providing assessments (such as intelligence assessments) that a counselor does not. A psychologist may engage in providing testing services or therapy services.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathy) who has completed medical school and residency in psychiatry, thus learning the most up to date medications used to treat mental health diagnoses. Psychiatrists may diagnose mental health conditions and prescribe medications to provide relief of symptoms of certain mental health conditions. Some psychiatrists may also practice psychotherapy, and some may only engage in diagnosis and medication management.