What exactly is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is about becoming the best you can be. It is learning how you got where you are and where you want to go. It is learning how to let the past go, focus on today with an eye for a brighter future. It is developing skills to successfully deal with all the mess that life throws at you. It can help eliminate or control troubling symptoms so you can function better and can increase your well-being. It is becoming joyful and content within yourself.

What can I expect at my first visit?

Your first visit can seem intimidating, telling your most vulnerable thoughts to someone else. However, you will find me to be a warm, caring, non-judgmental person who sees you as a fellow traveler through life. I will ask you for some information to learn about you and your perspective on what the problem is, what you’ve tried to do, and what you’d like to change about yourself.  We’ll set up a time to meet (usually weekly) to start sorting through your thoughts and feelings, learn skills to manage your anxiety, depression, and other painful emotions, process trauma, and plan a future that looks more hopeful and bright for you. 

Subsequent visits will focus on your goals, processing any trauma/negative thoughts or feelings and learning new skills, new ways to manage your stressors, anxiety, or depression effectively, and how to live a brain-healthy lifestyle.

How long do I need to come?

Therapy can be just a few sessions, focusing on a specific issue or it can be longer-term, addressing more complex things.  It all depends on your needs and desires.

Do you tell anyone what we talk about?

Absolutely not, with just a few exceptions.  This is the law.  The goal is to keep you and everyone else safe. If you express a desire to hurt yourself or someone else, I have to report it. If you let me know about the abuse of a minor child, elderly person, or incapacitated adult, I have to report it. If you plan on destructive behaviors against others . . . get the picture? We want everyone to be SAFE. Additionally, if you give me written permission (sometimes verbal permission), I can break your confidence. For example, we may decide that we want your doctor's input into your treatment. So you sign a Release of Information, and I will tell him only the bare minimum of what s/he needs to get the picture. If you are using your insurance, you need to know that your insurance company has the right to your chart. This is why many people decide to self-pay their sessions. Then insurance is out of the picture.

Do you prescribe medication?

No, I am not a physician. Many people do not want to take medication for various reasons—costs, side effects, fear of being addicted or dependent on it. Therapy can be an excellent way to work through problems without medication (Note: medication is necessary sometimes, and I will work with your doctor. But I do not prescribe).

I see you are a Christian counselor. What does that mean?

It means that if you want, therapy will be geared towards a Biblical basis. If you want me to pray with you or look at a scripture that might be helpful or comforting, we will do that. Only a Bible will be utilized. It does not mean I will try to convert you to a particular thought or idea.

What is EMDR or Brain Spotting?

EMDR and Brain Spotting are ways to help the brain “heal” from trauma.  Trauma can be "big" (any abuse, car wreck, physical injury, emotional abuse) or “small” (poor self-esteem, negative self-talk).  EMDR and Brain Spotting allow you to very quickly in most cases to process and move through the trauma and feel relief from the emotional pain.  People who have a lot of shame, guilt, hurt, rage, or fear find this therapy to be especially beneficial. It is also helpful in decreasing anxiety and depression.  Many people report immediate relief.