Do I need to see a counselor?
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeing a counselor.
It's important to note that counseling is not just reserved for problem situations. Counseling can provide relationship enrichment, career guidance and overall enhancement to your quality of life. Unpacking the events of your life allows for greater perspective and insight, thus improving the probability of achieving joy and success.
Counseling can provide long-lasting benefits, giving you the tools you need to improve communication skills, avoid triggers and appropriately address whatever challenges you face.
How can counseling help me?
Counselors can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhance coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, grief and addiction. By providing a fresh perspective on a difficult problem, a counselor can point you in the direction of a solution to issue you are facing. Some of the benefits of counseling include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and your values
- Learning new ways to cope with emotional pain without the use of alcohol or drugs
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communication and listening skills that can be utilized in personal relationships
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What can I expect from a counseling session?
Every counseling session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts approximately 60 minutes. The length of any counseling relationship depends on how deep the roots of emotional pain have grown.
There may be times when you are asked to complete assignments outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. For counseling to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. Here are some things you can expect out of counseling:
- A non-judgmental, confidential and safe environment
- Compassion and unconditional respect
- A fresh perspective provided through honest feedback
- A new set of problem-solving skills that can be used for conflict management
Identification of "blind spots" that often limit our personal growth and happiness
Is medication a substitute for counseling?
While it is out of my scope of practice to specifically discuss medications, we can discuss the possibility of using medications as a complementary tool in our therapy process. There are some amazing psychiatrists in Chattanooga and I will gladly make a referral if needed.
However, it is my belief that the only long-term solution to resolve emotional pain is through the process of self-reflective and honest therapy. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
Do you accept insurance?
Please note that at this time, I have chosen not to accept any insurance plans. Cash, check & all major credit cards accepted for payment.
One of the main reasons why I have chosen not to take insurance is to eliminate the need to talk to anyone outside of my office regarding your personal information (unless, of course, you have requested me to do so).
Are you affiliated with a larger practice? Does anyone else work in your office?
No & no! I recognize the sensitivity of the information that is discussed in my office & a main goal I had when establishing my practice was to create an environment that was both private and confidential. Since I am the person who handles both scheduling & billing, no one else will ever have access to your personal information. I make every effort to return all phone calls & e-mails within 24 hours. If you ever have a question or concern, I will be the person who handles your request.
Are you a faith-based counselor?
Short answer: No.
Long answer: The older I get, the more involved I have become in my own faith (I am Catholic). It would be my pleasure to incorporate faith and religion into our conversations but I will let you take the lead on this one. I recognize that this topic is very personal. At no point will I cross the aisle and impose my beliefs on you nor will I force you to discuss this issue if you do not wish to do so.
Is counseling confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and counselor. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions that counselors are required by law to report. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the counseling process; without it, a therapeutic level of honesty cannot be achieved. However, please note that the only thing more important to me than confidentiality is your personal safety and the safety of those around you. We will discuss the limits of confidentiality in our first session and I will gladly answer any questions you may have on this subject.