1. What is your fee? Do you take ______ insurance?
I'm currently an in network provider for many different insurance plans and EAPs. Even if I'm not an in network provider for your specific plan, you may be covered at your out of network rate. You are encouraged to contact your insurance company to see if I'm an in network provider for your specific plan. You may also call my office and speak with our knowledgeable staff who can help you determine your benefits for counseling. The number is 423.499.9335
I also accept out of pocket payments (private pay) and take cash, check and credit/debit cards. Again, you are encouraged to call the office for better details about insurances and fees. I have a great office staff and they will be glad to spend time talking with you about your needs and answering your questions.
2. What is your success rate?
Counselors don't typically speak of treatment success rates. We are discouraged from discussing success rates because of the ethical implications. The reality is that there are just too many variables to be able to measure statistics with any amount of accuracy. I can say, though, that the people who do the work and follow their treatment protocol typically experience a great deal of improvement in one or more areas depending on their goals.
3. What will your goals for me be?
It's hard for me to say what your goals will be because I don't yet know what your needs are. You should decide on what goals you want for counseling prior to our first meeting. You will actually be asked to write down your goals on our intake form so I would encourage you to be prepared to write them down. Then, during the first couple of sessions and as needed throughout the counseling process, I will help you refine and prioritize your goals based on your unique situation and needs. I don't have a standardized or cookie cutter approach to counseling. I get to know each individual or couple and tailor treatment to each unique situation.
4. What is your experience in working with couples?
During my master's degree program I studied two specialties, marriage/family therapy and sex therapy. The typical master's degree program for Tennessee licensure is 60 credit hours. I took 86 credit hours so that I could study relationships in more depth. The bulk of my work over the last 13 years (at the time of this update) has been treating relationship dysfunction and helping marriages heal and thrive. In addition I am certified by PREPARE/ENRICH to administer, interpret and treat relationships based in that particular relationship assessment. You can find out more about that by clicking here.
5. Is the counseling/therapy you provide confidential?
Mental health records are among the most protected in the health care industry. I take confidentiality very seriously and almost all information will remain confidential unless you give written consent otherwise. There are a few exceptions to this where I'm required by law to disclose information such as abuse or safety issues, but these are highly specific and typically rare. You will be provided more detailed information about HIPAA privacy, confidentiality and your patient rights when you arrive for your first session.
6. I've never been to counseling before. How does it work?
We will initially spend time discussing together what it is that brought you to counseling. Our first few sessions will consist mostly of information gathering where I get to know your unique situation and needs. I spend a great deal of time during the first few sessions listening to your story, asking questions, answering your questions, helping you refine and prioritize your goals, assessing your mental health and developing a treatment plan that's specific to your situation. Then, as the sessions progress, we will dig deeper into the problems and any emotional turmoil and work together at solutions using problem solving techniques. Occasionally you will be given assignments or things to do during the week to either practice what we discussed in a particular session or prepare for the next session. When you feel that you are at a place where I've pointed you in the right direction and you can continue on your own you will be discharged from my counseling services.
7. What if counseling ends, but problems come back or new problems arise?
With a few exceptions, I typically maintain an open door policy. You are welcome to come back to counseling for a "check up" to make sure you're still on the right path or to begin therapy again with a new problem should the need arise.
8. Can you provide phone counseling?
Yes. I'm a board certified telemental health provider and I can provide counseling online via phone, video and messaging (secure texting). I can currently provide online counseling to residents of Tennessee and Georgia.
9. Can you take insurance for phone counseling?
Insurance companies don't currently cover phone counseling, but many of them do cover video counseling. I'm happy to discuss the options with you. Please contact the office with questions about using your insurance for counseling.
10. What do you mean by "holistic"? Does that mean you're against medication?
By “holistic” I simply mean that I treat the whole person and consider all domains of life (emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, social/relational/familial) as interconnected and comprehensive. I believe that health is achieved when all parts are synchronized and working together in concert and I work towards that goal. It also means that I search for root causes rather than just focus on symptom management.
I’m perfectly fine with the use of medications and I try to coordinate care with prescribing physicians as much as possible. I don’t interfere with medication management. I leave that between you and your physician.