Frequently Asked Questions
What Really Happens In Therapy?

Therapy helps you discuss, explore, and examine questions, issues, fears, worries, and concerns in a safe, trusting, nurturing, and supportive environment. Sessions typically run about 55 minutes each week. Weekly sessions are ideal because they provide you with a steady stream of help, guidance, and support. Keep in mind, however, that people who are in crisis or experiencing extreme emotional distress may need more than one session, per week, to address it.

During therapy sessions, you are expected to talk about your life – the good, the bad, and the ugly. At times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy session, such as reading a relevant book, creating a form of art, practicing new skills, or journaling. Keep in mind, however, that for therapy to “work,” you must be an active participant, both inside and outside of the therapy sessions.

The time between sessions is especially beneficial and therapeutic because this is where the real work lies. During this time, you can practice your newfound skills or strengthen weaker skills. For instance, therapy can teach you how to communicate with your child, parent, friends, or partner more effectively. It can also teach you how to deal with adversity, trauma, anxiety, depression, and stress in a healthier way.

Life outside of therapy may involve trying to change your illogical thinking patterns and addressing challenging or upsetting behaviors, so you can become the person you are meant to be – at home, work, and socially. You can also use this time to think about and process what was discussed, explored, or examined during the previous session.

At the end of the day, therapy helps you use your “voice.” It empowers you to make positive changes in your life.

What Can I Gain From Therapy?

Honestly, there is so much to gain from therapy. But its benefits largely depend on your personal goals. What do you want from therapy? To process and learn ways to cope with a traumatic experience like child abuse? To learn how to cope with social anxiety? To lower your stress? To find healthy ways to communicate with someone you love? To learn how to make better decisions?

To grieve for a loved one, friend, or pet that you have recently lost? To boost your self-esteem and self-confidence? To have a better relationship with your partner, parents, or child? To adjust to a new reality that involves living with a chronic illness? To gain support while you combat substance abuse? Or, just to be a healthier version of yourself?

Some people want to improve their mood and feel less anxious or depressed. While others want to learn how to address current life events that are stressing them out. Still, some people just want to stop reliving the past and focus on the future, and all that it has to offer. Perhaps, a personal goal may be to repair a damaged friendship, improve the quality of your sleep (bye-bye sleepless nights or sleeping the day away), or learn ways you can ease your emotional or physical pain. Regardless of the goal, I am here to help!

What is the Difference Between In-Person Therapy and Teletherapy

Not sure how in-person therapy varies from teletherapy? Well, you are not alone.

Both in-person and teletherapy counseling sessions are effective treatment options for most mental health issues. Some people prefer in-person therapy because it provides them with an “escape” or a safe, independent place to share their fears, concerns, questions, and issues. This therapy format also allows the therapist to observe a person’s non-verbal communication patterns and gestures more closely than with an online format.

Conversely, other people prefer teletherapy because of its flexibility and accessibility. This therapy format is especially attractive to people who have jam-packed schedules, those who are ill, those who travel a lot, or those who are unable to leave their homes or attend in-person therapy sessions for some reason.

Understand, however, that I value your personal information, so I am committed to protecting your health data by keeping it confidential and being HIPAA compliant at all times. I understand that clients may sometimes have a hard time fully expressing themselves in their homes due to the presence of other family members, such as partners or spouses, children, or other relatives.

In these cases, keeping our discussions can be difficult if not impossible. It could also be dangerous in some cases. Your health and well-being are of my utmost importance and I would never ask you to put yourself in harm’s way. In situations like this, in-person therapy may be the better option. The good news is I can help you find the best therapy format for you.

Together we can and will find a way for you to receive the help you need to combat the issues you are experiencing. If you are trying to determine the best course of therapy for your lifestyle, fret not more, because I would love to help you figure out which form of therapy – in-person vs. teletherapy – will help you achieve the results you are seeking.

Why Do You Not Take Every Insurance?

I do not take every insurance primarily because I do not agree with the current changes in insurance coverage. It is not, however, because I do not care about people who need mental health treatment – because I do. Many insurance companies have become increasingly intrusive over the years. They have taken it upon themselves to dictate how, when, and who I can treat as a psychologist. I disagree with this rationale because I believe it restricts me from treating people to the best of my ability.

I feel like I cannot provide you with the best care if I am forced to stay within the confines of overreaching insurance guidelines that I feel do not always have the individual’s health and well-being in mind. Therefore, after much thought and consideration, I have decided to only accept a few insurance plans that allow me to provide much-needed therapy services to underserved populations, such as disabled and elderly people, and those who live in rural Oregon, Colorado, or Texas.

If you would like to know if I take your insurance or if you would like to discuss possible alternative options, please contact me. I will do my best to work with you so you can get the help you need and deserve!

How Long Will I Be In Therapy?

The length of time you spend in therapy largely depends on your wants and needs. More specifically, it is based on your personal goals, your willingness to work towards those goals outside of therapy, and the severity of your symptoms (i.e., the extent to which they are negatively affecting your life).

But because the length of therapy depends on the individual, it is hard to say before your first therapy session how long it will take. Remember, the goal is to help you find solutions to your issues, improve your coping skills, and empower you with the tools and resources you need to make better decisions, feel good about yourself, address traumatic events, etc., so you can finally be the person you want to be and have the life you want to have. I’m not going to lie to you, this may take time. I will tell you this – we will discuss the amount of progress you are making toward your goals and estimate the length of your individualized therapy journey during each session, so you will always know where you stand in the therapeutic process. We are in this together for as long as it takes!

Do I Have To Talk About My Traumatic Experiences?

First, and foremost, you do not have to talk about anything, you always have free- will during your therapy sessions. But I hope we will get to a place where you want to talk about them with me. Remember, I am here to help you – not judge you. I want to hear about your traumatic experiences because I care. I want you to feel like you can trust me and that my office or my presence provides you with peace.

My goal is to be your “safe place” so you can allow all of the emotions, thoughts, fears, worries, concerns, doubts, and so much more to flow freely from your heart and mind. I will never judge you – that is not my place. My place is to listen and try to provide you with support while you work through issues that have been plaguing you for weeks, months, or years. Trauma is hard and it can follow you throughout your life, placing roadblocks in front of your health and happiness. Trauma can make you feel like you cannot breathe.

My job is to help you breathe again. I can help you learn how to process what happened to you so it no longer has the power to control your life. If one of your goals is to address your trauma, the best thing you can do for yourself is to talk about it – in your own time and in your own way. Understand, however, that I will never force you to talk about what happened to you until you feel safe and ready to process with the conflicting or intense emotions, thoughts, and memories that may arise once we begin to address your trauma.

What Do I Need To Do To Get Started?

Currently, I am only providing teletherapy counseling sessions, however, this may change in the future. If you need help – CALL ME at 512-709-8311. When you call you will be greeted with a message indicating if I am accepting new clients. If not, the message will contain information on when I anticipate openings.

Note: My cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) online class and my chronic pain coping skills online class are both 5 weeks long. I offer these classes on a continual basis. If you are interested in attending one of these classes, please click the email link below.