Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Thank you for your interest in my counseling services. If you're seeing this message, please note that my website site is still under construction. There may be links that do not yet work and pages that are incomplete. If you'd like to be notified when the site fully up and running, feel free to let me know using this form. I will start taking appointments in January of 2023.

Do you offer weekend or evening appointments?

Yes to both. I schedule video therapy sessions seven days a week from 12pm-10pm ET, pending availability, with the last video session starting no later than 9pm ET. My schedule does book up a week in advance, so please keep that in mind if you've got a time preference. Based on the service package you select, I also offer HIPAA-compliant phone therapy sessions and a HIPAA-compliant texting option. I schedule phone therapy sessions seven days a week from 12pm-10pm ET, pending availability, with the last phone session starting no later than 9pm ET. For Tier 1 clients, text messaging is limited to appointment-related communications. For Tier 2 and Tier 3 clients, I offer text messaging totaling up to one hour throughout the week from 10am-10pm seven days/week. Text time includes messaging in both directions, and additional time options are available. Please see here for details about response times and pricing, and see here for a description of the technology used to keep these communications secure.

What do you charge?

Please see my therapy service packages for pricing and plan information.

Do you have a sliding fee scale?

Not at this time.

Do you take insurance?

No. This is a self-pay practice, otherwise known as private pay. I do not take insurance, file insurance, or communicate with your insurance company. I can provide a superbill for you upon request, but it will be your responsibility to file it and to communicate with your insurance company. Your out-of-network benefits may or may not cover my services. I cannot guarantee that your insurance company will reimburse you, nor will I register with them or speak with them on your behalf.

Can someone else pay for my services?

Sure, but you will need to sign a release 1) allowing me to confirm for them that you are a client receiving therapy from me, and 2) agreeing that I can inform they of the dates and duration of the sessions for which they are paying. They will sign an agreement authorizing the charges and acknowledging that they will not have access to any additional information about you or your treatment without your signed, written consent.

Do you accept clients who live outside Florida?

I am currently licensed as a mental health counselor in the state of Florida only. Legally, I cannot work with you unless you are physically located in the state of Florida at the time of service. Please see my travel policy for more information. If you are located in another state and would like me to consider licensure in your state, please let me know by completing this form.

How long is a session?

Video sessions are typically booked for one hour. One hour means one hour - not 45-50 minutes. I offer additional time in fifteen minutes increments via video, phone, and text messaging if the time is available. Please see my therapy service packages for all the details and feel free to send questions via this form.

What happens at the first session?

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What can I expect from therapy?

I will send you a confirmation text or email before every appointment. This email will also contain the link to a self-assessment that you will complete before each session so we can track your progress as you see it.

We will start each session with a few cleansing breaths to ground us in the moment.


How will I know if we are a good fit?

To some degree, you won't know until we work together for a bit. But it's important that you get a feel for who I am and how I do things before you commit to that first appointment, because if you're going to meet weekly with a therapist, it should be someone you like, have confidence in, and feel comfortable talking to. Research shows that the therapeutic relationship is the number one determinant of successful outcomes. To help you make an informed choice, I've provided tons of information about who I am and how I work all over this website. Check out my about page, my description of services, my policies and procedures, and the rest of the FAQs on this page. And if you're still not sure, there's a screening for fit questionnaire to help you further.

How often do we meet?

My business model is built around weekly services that include a minimum of one hour-long video session and 24/7 access to a HIPAA-secure, individualized, self-paced therapy and training website that I tailor to your needs. That's the base package at Tier 1. Tiers 2 and 3 offer additional therapy time via text messaging and phone using HIPAA-secure technologies. Please see my therapy service packages for all the details. If you have questions about these packages, please feel free to send questions via this form. I do not offer counseling services without the full Tier 1 package.

I base my business model on my training, field experience, and evidenced-based practices. Research in both counseling and education confirms that these methods and materials help you achieve your therapeutic goals and lead to lasting change.

After the first six months, we will review your case and decide together whether to meet less frequently, and I will provide you with an update to our pricing structure and informed consent agreement at that time.

Do you offer a complimentary phone consultation so I can talk to you before scheduling?

Generally speaking, I do not. There are two reasons.

First, free phone consultations are often mistaken as an opportunity to take the therapeutic relationship for a test drive. That's not a realistic goal. You can't build trust in 15 minutes. You might get a good feeling from talking to someone, and they might make a positive impression on you. But if you're ready to unconditionally trust someone you've never met after a 15 minute phone call, then let me tell you - that's something you might want to work on in therapy. Trust comes with time and consistency. The best way for you to determine if my services are a good fit for you is to look through my website. I've thoroughly described what you can expect from me, and what is expected from you as a client. Familiarize yourself with my clinical approach, service packages, and policies. I've given you a ton of information here, and I have probably addressed most of your concerns. If I haven't, please send me your questions via this form. Research shows that the therapeutic relationship is the most important determinant of success in therapy. If you decide to work with me, we will work together to establish that relationship. It will develop over time - not over a 15 minute phone call.

Second, when you commit to an appointment with a counselor, even a free consultation, you create a contract. You expect me to show up, and I expect you to show up. Your time is valuable, and so is mine. An exploratory phone call is similar to speed dating - there's no commitment from you, and no obligation. I am available for appointments when you are ready to make a commitment. You wouldn't want me to take your phone call without the willingness to work with you, would you? Well, same here. If you're not sure my business model is a good fit for you even after reading all the material on my website, take this screening quiz and see for yourself. I think the screening quiz will help you make an informed decision. If reading, watching videos, and interacting online are unappealing to you, then I can save you some time: My services are not a good fit for you. My services are 100% virtual, and they offer substantial, meaningful content. Yes, we will spend a lot of time just talking. But I will also give you learning materials to work on between sessions. Sometimes, you'll get them all done. Sometimes you won't, and that's okay. But this practice is built on combining talk therapy with education and real world application. If you're not interested in learning, I'm not the therapist for you.

What if I cannot make my scheduled appointment?

Please see my appointment and cancellation policies here.

How do you protect my privacy?

Please see my notice of privacy practices and my technology and security policies and procedures for details. These policies discuss:

  • Safeguards I have in place to protect you

  • Safeguards you can put in place on your end

  • The applications I use and why I chose them

  • How I comply with HIPAA

How do you define recovery?

I tend to favor the SAMHSA definition, which is inclusive enough to cover mental health, addictions, and wellness.

Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, n.d.)

If you identify as a person in recovery, then I consider you to be "in recovery."

Which recovery program is right for me?

List options with links

Where do you stand on harm reduction versus abstinence?

I have mixed feelings about it.


Do you offer group therapy?

I do not have standing group sessions. I set up groups when the need presents. I offer group therapy when there are a number of clients who 1) have expressed an interest, and 2) are working toward the same task or processing the same concerns. There is a screening process to make sure group members are a good fit for the group's purpose and dynamic, and there is a separate informed consent process to ensure as much protection of confidentiality as possible.

Do I need to be tech savvy to use your counseling services?

You do not need to be a tech expert, or even be comfortable with the programs I use, but you do need to be willing to use them. I am happy to spend time acclimating you to the technology. But if you are tech-resistant or using apps to communicate causes you such anxiety that you will avoid scheduling or keeping sessions, please find a local counselor who provides in-person services and save your self the stress. If you are not willing to create and safely store passwords and passcodes, virtual counseling is going to compromise your security and privacy. If you are not willing to spend time learning how to use the programs I use to deliver services to you, either with my guidance or on your own, this practice is not the right fit for you.

How can I learn more about you?

Read the Who is my counselor? section on this page, and check out my company vision, mission, and core values on this page. Browse the rest of the website for more information about me and what I do.

Can I refer my friends and family to you?

Absolutely! I appreciate your referrals. But please be aware that due to confidentiality laws, I cannot tell you if they have engaged in services with me or not unless they have signed a release saying it's okay for me to share that information with you. If they have not, my answer will be, "I'm sorry. I cannot confirm or deny whether someone is or has been a client."

What tech will I need?

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Why do you ask me to complete the intake process before our first appointment?

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Is there anyone you won't work with?

I do not work with clients under 18 years of age.

I do not work with clients whose diagnoses are outside the scope of my training and experience. My specialty areas are listed further up on this web page.

I do not work with clients whose presentation indicates that they would be best served by treatment at an inpatient facility. This may be determined from the initial contact, but depending on the information provided, it may not be possible to determine until the initial evaluation has been completed. Some clients may develop the need for inpatient treatment during the course of counseling. If this becomes apparent, I will make an appropriate recommendation.

I do not work with clients who are looking for in-person sessions, or whose diagnosis or current circumstances make in-person therapy a better fit. My practice is 100% virtual.

In keeping with the ethics of the counseling profession, I cannot engage in a counseling role with you if:

  • We are friends.

  • We are family.

  • We are FB friends.

  • We have a past personal relationship.

  • You are located outside the state of Florida at the time of treatment.

Do you provide documentation for people with emotional support animals?

Please see my ESA letters request policy here.

What is instructional design and what does it have to do with counseling?

How many times have you been to individual or group therapy where the therapist hands you a photocopy of a chapter and says, "We're going to read this and talk about it?" Bibliotherapy is a fabulous tool, and I use it often. But reading can get tedious and time-consuming and - let's face it - sometimes it can be a little boring. Think about the groan you can't hold back when you see a PowerPoint slide covered with text. Think about how you feel when the facilitator then adds insult to injury by reading it to you! Human beings cannot listen and read at the same time. And people process information at different paces. Some of you may prefer reading to watching videos. You may even prefer one over the other at different times of the day or week, or in different settings. Part of good instructional design is about giving learners options - choices about how they want to absorb the material, and choices about how they want to process and apply that material.

An instructional designer

What does your logo mean?

Please see the branding section of my About page for a discussion of my logo and color palette.

Do you offer in-person appointments?

No. My practice is entirely virtual. If you're a potential client and you are looking for an in-person provider, I have a few names in the Palm Beach County, Florida area I'd be happy to refer you to. Please reach out for those names using this form.

Do you accommodate people with disabilities?

Reading materials and videos are accessible through screen readers and closed captioning. Every effort is made to produce materials in multiple forms to accommodate those with visual or auditory impairment.

If you require an interpreter for video counseling sessions, you will need to sign a release of information specific to that situation, and your interpreter will need to sign a business associate agreement if they are not a covered entity. This is to ensure the protection of your personal health information.

Why don't you accept insurance?

So many reasons.

What is HIPAA?

Please read my Notice of Privacy Practices for a detailed definition and discussion of HIPAA.

What's the difference between counseling and therapy?

That depends on who you talk to. I use the terms interchangeably. Many of my colleagues do as well, while some colleagues think of counseling as a short-term service and therapy as long term service. Some professionals gravitate toward the term counseling to avoid confusion with professions that also use the term therapy, such as physical or massage therapists. Other professionals favor the term therapy instead of counseling to avoid confusion with professions such as school counseling or career counseling.

Another factor affecting how professionals refer to themselves is the difference in terms used by state licensing boards. Licensed clinicians have many titles. In Florida, we are called Psychotherapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). In addition to these titles, in other states you might also see the terms Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor of Mental Health (LPCC), Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC), Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor (LMFC), Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist (LCMFT), and Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP), to name a few.

What should I do in an emergency?

To receive help immediately, please contact one of the following:


The NAMI Help Line (National Alliance on Mental Illness).

Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., ET.

1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org

https://www.nami.org/help


SAMHSA National Helpline (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service).

Open 24/7, 365 days a year. Confidential and free.

1-800-662-HELP (4357), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889

English and Spanish.

This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline


Call 211 from most states in the U.S.A.

https://www.211.org/about-us/your-local-211


Call 911 for local emergency services.


Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

800-273-8255. Available 24 hours.

English and Spanish.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

What if I don't want to go through all this to start therapy?

To receive help immediately, please contact one of the following:


The NAMI Help Line (National Alliance on Mental Illness).

Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., ET.

1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org

https://www.nami.org/help


SAMHSA National Helpline (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service).

Open 24/7, 365 days a year. Confidential and free.

1-800-662-HELP (4357), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889

English and Spanish.

This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline


Call 211 from most states in the U.S.A.

https://www.211.org/about-us/your-local-211


Call 911 for local emergency services.


Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

800-273-8255. Available 24 hours.

English and Spanish.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/