Frequently Asked Questions
What kinds of things do people seek help for?
People seek counseling for a variety of reasons including feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, worried, sad, or angry. People also seek out counseling to help change behaviors that are troubling them including addictive or disordered behaviors or behaviors that affect their relationships at home or at work. Some people seek counseling because they have a life goal that has been eluding them and they are ready to explore their barriers. Other people seek out counseling because they know they are going through a difficult time or facing a difficult decision and they desire a place to sort through their feelings and move forward in their life with intention and clear thinking.
How does counseling help?
When a counseling relationship is working well, clients experience new insights into their situations, clearer thinking, increased energy, better understanding of their feelings and needs, release of troubling emotions that have held them back or been confusing, and a greater sense of wholeness and peace within themselves. Therapy is a process, and a working partnership develops between client and therapist. Therapy is not always comfortable or straightforward as difficult emotions and ways of being often have to be sorted through in order for new energy and change to appear. Clients should feel comfortable with their therapist and be able to ask about whatever is on their mind regarding the process. In spite of the uncomfortable emotions experienced, clients I have worked with feel that the temporary pain of the working through process is well worth leaving behind the continual pain of living the way they had previously.
Do you work with couples and families?
Yes, my practice includes work with individuals, couples, and families.
Is what I say confidential? Yes. All client-therapist conversations are private and confidential. It is also confidential information that a person is meeting with a counselor. As a licensed social worker, I follow the professional ethical standards of the National Association of Social Workers. Only in rare exceptions when the safety of a client or other is at risk can disclosure of confidential client-therapist information take place.
What can I expect at the first session?
You can expect to talk about the concern(s) that brought you into counseling and also about your background and personal history. You can share on a level that feels comfortable for you. You can also expect to have some brief paperwork to fill out.
How long does a counseling session take?
Sessions are typically scheduled for 50 minutes and most people see their counselor once a week for consistent progress to be made.
How much does counseling cost?
A typical counseling session with a licensed, Master's level social worker costs from $100-120. Most insurances will cover some of this cost. If you have concerns regarding affording psychotherapy, we can discuss these and whether or not you may meet my guidelines for a sliding fee scale. I work out mutually agreeable payment options with all of my clients so that cost does not hinder them in pursuing counseling. While many clients are initially very concerned about whether or not they can afford counseling, most find that as their life and priorities change new ways of funding therapy appear--whether through less need to consume to distract from pain or through new means of income due to increased energy and investment in life.
Are you a Christian counselor?
I am a Christian and I am a psychotherapist. What this means for me is that I practice from a framework that acknowledges the presence of God within each person I work with and seeks to promote justice, healing, and grace as ways of being in the world. Spirituality is deeply important to us as human beings and is the source of meaning, purpose, and healing in our lives. Human beings are so much more than simply their behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. As I therapist, I also recognize that many people have been deeply hurt through the practices of organized religion and the experiences of their life. Struggling with one's spiritual beliefs is often a normal part of being human. Often important healing needs to take place in this realm as well, as clients come to understand how they have been shaped, hurt, and/or blessed by their spiritual practice. Although I am a Christian and this spiritual practice is meaningful for me, all spiritual practices are welcome in my clinical practice.
What does LMSW, ACSW stand for?
LMSW are the initials to indicate a Licensed Master's Social Worker. This means that I have a Master's Degree in Social Work and have completed the necessary requirements to be fully licensed in the state of Michigan. Licensing requirements include completing 4,000 post-Master's level work hours under the supervision of an LMSW and passing the licensing exam in social work. The focus of my work is clinical, so I completed the licensing requirements in the area of clinical social work. Clinical social work indicates that my expertise is in the area of counseling and psychotherapy.
ACSW are the initials which indicate membership in the Academy of Certified Social Workers. This means that I have also completed the requirements for ACSW certification. The National Association of Social Workers regulates this certification and this is a national certification. It indicates that an individual is a member in good standing of the NASW, has completed two years of post-Master's degree employment in social work under the supervision of a licensed, Master's level social worker, has successful completed the licensing exam, and has recieved positive peer reviews.
"We either make ourselves happy or miserable; the amount of work is the same." --Carlos Castenada
"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places." --Ernest Hemingway