Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Counseling Services

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Thank you for your interest in my counseling services.

I will start taking appointments in January of 2023.

General Questions

Why don't I see testimonials on your website?

We've grown accustomed to using reviews on shopping websites to help us decide if a product is right for us. It might be helpful to see testimonials about a therapist's services, but it is not ethical for us to post them - not according to our ethics codes. The solicitation of testimonials is in conflict with the several of the ethics codes of the therapeutic community, including the ethics codes of the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers.

Solicitation and posting of testimonials can be seen as 1) a violation of confidentiality, 2) self-serving, and 3) a way of pressuring clients when they are in a vulnerable position.

I will never ask you to refer people, I will never pressure you to send me clients, and I will never ask you for a testimonial to post on my website. The best testimonial you can give a therapist is to refer others who need help. However, due to confidentiality, please keep in mind that I will not be able to tell you if I was contacted by someone you referred to me. Even if they tell you that they reached out or started seeing me for therapy, I cannot confirm or deny this without their written permission.

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 have a good feeling about, 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, and the rest of the FAQs on this page. You will receive my policies and procedures via email shortly after I receive your completed initial contact form. My policies and procedures spell out exactly how I do things.

If you are not sure if online therapy is right for you in terms of the technology involved, see my technology self-assessment screening to help you decide.

What's the difference between counseling and therapy?

That depends on whom you talk to. I use the terms interchangeably. Many of my colleagues do as well. 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. Some colleagues think of counseling as a short-term service and therapy as long-term service.

Another factor affecting how professionals refer to themselves is the difference in terms used by state licensing boards. Licensed clinicians who provide therapy/counseling 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.

I tend to favor the term counseling because my professional license and certification titles are Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), National Certified Counselor (NCC), and Board-Certified TeleMental Health Counselor (BC-TMH). You will see both terms on this website, and for the purposes of my practice, you may consider them synonymous.

Do you accept clients who live outside Florida?

Not at this time. 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 read my travel policy for more information. You will receive all my policies and procedures via email after I receive your completed initial contact form. If you are located in another state and would like me to consider licensure in your state, please let me know by completing the corresponding form on my contact page.

Do you accommodate people with disabilities?

Please see my disability accommodations page for information about therapy accommodations for clients with disabilities.

Do you offer group therapy?

I do not have standing group sessions. I set up groups when the need presents, and they differ in purpose and frequency. 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. I have 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.

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.

Each session starts with a web-based self-assessment check-in form, which you fill out either before we begin the session or just as we start.

Once you are admitted to the session, we begin with a few cleansing breaths to ground us in the moment.

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What can I expect from our first therapy session?

In our first meeting, we will have several goals:

  • Confirm your identity. I will ask you to show me your government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license or identification card.

  • Go over your "paperwork", including the informed consent agreement.

  • Address any questions about the informed consent agreement.

  • Clarify any questions I may have about your responses in the intake form or biopsychosocial interview form.

  • Complete any additional assessments that seem necessary based on your history.

  • Discuss safety protocols, login processes, and privacy issues.

  • Establish an emergency management plan.

  • Talk about how to get a hold of each other.

  • Get to know each other a bit.

  • Identify your goals for treatment.

  • This meeting will last for 60-120 minutes and will take place via video conferencing. I do not provide evaluations or initial sessions via telephone or chat.

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. See my technology self-assessment screening for more detailed information.

What tech will I need?

For teletherapy to work smoothly, you will need, at minimum:

  • A computer and/or smart phone.

  • A reliable internet connection.

  • An email address you check regularly.

  • A free HIPAA-secure mobile app (I will send you a link for this).

  • The willingness to access communications and materials online.

  • The willingness to either use secure sign-on methods or sign a waiver to use unsecured methods.

  • The willingness to remit payment online through secure applications.


Please read my notice of privacy practices and my technology and security policies and procedures for detailed information about the apps I use, and visit my technology self-assessment screening to help you determine if teletherapy will work for you. To make things a little easier, I have tutorials on my tech trainings page that walk you through how the applications work.

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 on my counseling services 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.

I do not work with couples or offer family therapy where the family is the client. I do, however, strongly encourage family members to get involved in supporting their loved one’s treatment, and I will invite a family member to join you for your session if you and I agree that it would be helpful. In this context, family sessions should be considered collateral sessions, where the client is the individual in therapy and not the collateral. The collateral is a guest, and is there to support the client. Please note that I will not hold secrets for a collateral regarding information they offer regarding you and your case. Your family and friends should not expect phone, text, or email contact with me outside of sessions. If I am contacted by your family and friends outside of a collateral session, I will:

  • not respond at all unless I have a written release of information from you to speak with them.

  • respond in a limited manner according to the written release of information you provided specifically for that contact.

  • respond with “Per HIPAA law, I can neither confirm nor deny whether someone is or has been a client, or even if they have contacted me”.

  • not respond to voice mail messages from collaterals because it is my policy to limit calls to appointments only.


In keeping with the ethics and laws 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.

How can I learn more about you?

Read my counseling services page, and check out my company vision, mission, and core values on my about page. Browse the rest of the website for more information about me and what I do.

What does evidence-based mean?

Evidence-based treatments are therapeutic modalities and strategies that have shown to be effective in scientifically-designed research studies.

Practice-based evidence is another term of interest in therapy. This is what we call it when clinicians base their treatment strategies on the results they've seen in their work with clients. Some of the most well-known psychologists based their theories on practice-based evidence, such as Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development, Freud's theory of psychodynamics, or Maslow's hierarchy of needs, all of which have had a dramatic impact on the field of psychology and on therapeutic modalities.

A good clinician relies on a combination of evidence-based practices, practice-based evidence, and craft to choose their therapeutic approach(es) and design personalized treatment plans for clients.

What's the proper term for telemental health therapy?

Ah, the terminology debate. There's an argument for or against just about every term. "Virtual" implies that something is not real. "Online" isn't associated with texting. "Digital" isn't associated with video conferencing. Web-based leaves out phone calls and text messaging. "Remote" and "distance" are applicable to therapy delivered via video conferencing, phone, and text messaging, but these terms are seldom used by therapists or clients. In the field, we use the terms telehealth, teletherapy, or telemental health therapy to refer to therapy delivered via telecommunications. You'll see all three of those terms on my website. I also use the term "online" because it's the term folks tend to search for when they are looking for therapy via distance.

Terms for therapy via telecommunications:

  • Online therapy

  • Online psychotherapy

  • Online counseling

  • Teletherapy

  • Telecounseling

  • Telemental health therapy

  • Telemental health counseling

  • Telehealth

  • Virtual therapy

  • Virtual counseling

  • Remote therapy

  • Remote psychotherapy

  • Remote counseling

  • Digital therapy

  • Digital counseling

  • Distance therapy

  • Distance psychotherapy

  • Distance counseling

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, "Per HIPAA law, I cannot confirm or deny whether someone is or has been a client, or even if they have contacted me."

If I am seeing a client who has provided a release for me to speak with you, please be aware that:

  • A release of information is almost always specific to certain information and will probably limit the topics I can discuss with you.

  • I understand that sometimes, family and friends want to tell me about a loved one with the intent to help.

  • I will not hold secrets from a client for anyone who speaks to me regarding that client.


Do you provide documentation for people with emotional support animals (ESAs)?

Please refer to my ESA letters request policy. If you are a potential client, the short answer is that I only consider writing ESA letters for clients who are actively on my caseload for at least three months, and only with an evaluation specifically for that purpose. Fees for the ESA evaluation are separate from regular session rates and are outlined in my ESA letters request policy.

What does your logo mean?

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

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

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.

Placeholder - more to come here about what an instructional designer is and does.

What if I want to let you know about a company I represent?

If you are a marketing or outreach professional, please contact me via this form.

Appointment Questions

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 a therapist, 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, familiarize yourself with my clinical approach, services and fees, and getting started with therapy page. Once I receive your initial contact form, I will send you my my policies and procedures via secure, encrypted email. In my policies and procedures, I've thoroughly described what you can expect from me, and what is expected from you as a client. 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. As I've said often on this site, 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.

My services are 100% online, and include substantial, meaningful psychoeducational 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 interested in learning, I'm the therapist for you. If reading, watching videos, and interacting online are totally unappealing to you, then I can save you some time: My services are not a good fit for you.

What hours do you work?

I schedule appointments seven days a week from 12pm-9pm ET (yes, that includes weekend evenings). This does not mean I am available nine hours a day, seven days a week. It means these are the hours during which I schedule appointments. Some time slots are for video sessions and other time slots are limited to phone or text sessions. Because I run a concierge service, I do not book appointments back-to-back. My schedule tends to book up a or more week in advance, so please keep that in mind if you've got a time preference.

I offer HIPAA-compliant video, phone, text messaging, and email therapy sessions. Video and phone sessions are synchronous. Text messaging and email messaging are asynchronous. You may occasionally get an immediate response to a text or email, but that will be unusual and should not be expected.

Video

I schedule video therapy sessions Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays between 12pm and 8pm ET, pending availability, with the last video session starting no later than 7pm ET.

Phone

I schedule phone therapy sessions seven days a week from 12pm-9pm ET, pending availability, with the last phone session starting no later than 8pm ET.

Text or email messaging

There is no charge for text messaging or emails that are related to appointments, payments, or quick questions. texting for any other purpose is considered therapy and charges will apply per my fee schedule. I offer therapy via text messaging or email throughout the week from 12pm-9pm seven days/week. Fees for therapy via text messaging or email are calculated on a word count basis. This includes text/email messaging in both directions.

Response times

Please see my therapy services and fees for details about response times and fees, and see my technology and security policies and procedures for a description of the technology used to keep these communications secure.

Do you offer weekend or evening appointments?

Yes to both. Please refer to the above FAQ about my hours.

What if I cannot make my scheduled appointment?

Please see my appointment and cancellation policies. You can find those policies on my therapy services and fees page.

How often do we meet?

My business model is built around weekly services when we start out. For the first month, I recommend weekly one-hour video sessions. If you prefer phone sessions, we can switch to audio-only sessions after the initial video session. I also offer therapy services via HIPAA-secure text messaging or email. If you'd like to meet more often than once a week, let me know. Please see my therapy services and fees for all the details. If you have questions after reading that page, please feel free to send questions via this form.

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.

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

How long is a session?

Video sessions are typically booked for one hour. One hour means 60 minutes - not 45-50 minutes. If you'd like to use less time, that's up to you, but you are charged based on what you booked. I offer additional time in fifteen minutes increments via video, phone, and text messaging if you'd like to go over the hour and the time is available. Please see my therapy services and fees page for all the details and feel free to send questions via this form.

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.

How do I schedule appointments?

You schedule appointments directly through me after you have completed the intake process. Once I've received your completed intake forms, I will text you a link to install a HIPAA-secure text messaging app and accept my invitation to a secure conversation. I will also send you a secure, encrypted email that you can reply to securely. We will communicate about appointments through secure texting or email - sometimes both. I will send appointment reminders, but you are responsible for keeping the appointments you schedule.

Can I call you from the car for my therapy session?

If you schedule therapy during a work break or lack privacy at home, you may choose to sit in your car during therapy sessions. Please find a safe location to park and let me know where you are in case of an emergency. If you are in your car during our session, make sure you supply me with your ten digit local emergency number at the start of the session so I can call and send help if you are carjacked, hit by another driver, or experience a health emergency.

I ask that you do not drive during a therapy session. Therapy can be an emotional experience that distracts you from your vehicle, the road, and other drivers. Your risk of an accident increases when you are distracted while driving. If you're driving during a session, you take full responsibility for the risks and consequences.

How early/late can I call or text?

Current clients will receive an invitation to secure texting once the intake process is completed. Clients should feel free to text at any hour - literally. I keep my tech applications and device notifications on silent and check them throughout the day. Clients should not expect a response at any hour. Please see my therapy services and fees policies and procedures for additional details on response times.

I do not answer calls except by appointment - no exceptions. You are free to leave a voicemail on my business phone at any hour. I will respond by email, so be sure to leave your email address. My business voice mail is HIPAA-compliant. All voice mails will be saved and stored per HIPAA regulations.

If you are not a current client, please contact me using the relevant form on my contact page.

Can I bring another person to my sessions?

In most cases, this is inappropriate and will result in termination of the session without refund. However, there are times when it may be helpful for me to talk to a supportive person in your life - either in our session or in a separate interview session. We have a term for support persons in this context. We call them collaterals.

Collaterals may be a client’s friends, family, legal team, or other healthcare professionals - basically anyone who is connected to the client and can provide insight or assistance with the therapeutic process. As the clinician, my role in a collateral session is to gather information and provide educational resources or clinical referrals when beneficial.

Collateral sessions should not be misconstrued as therapy for the collateral. Collaterals are not clients and are not protected independently of the client; the client holds the rights to confidentiality and the rights to access and transmit records of collateral sessions. Please note that I will not hold secrets for a collateral regarding information they offer regarding a client, nor will I keep from a client that someone contacted me about them.

Please note that I do not work with couples or offer family therapy where the family is the client. I do, however, strongly encourage family members to get involved in supporting their loved one’s treatment, and I will invite a family member to join you for your session if you and I agree that it would be helpful. In this context, family sessions should be considered collateral sessions, where the client is the individual in therapy and not the collateral. The collateral is a guest, and is there to support you, the client. Please see my therapy services and fees page for collateral session fees.

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/

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

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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/

Fee Questions

What do you charge?

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 or direct pay.

I do not take insurance, file insurance, or communicate with your insurance company. I do not provide superbills for you to submit for reimbursement. I do not accept assignment and I do not accept worker's compensation. I am strictly self pay.

I would love to work with you, but if you have insurance and plan to file an out-of-network claim, I am not the clinician for you. You need a therapist who provides superbills, whether they are in-network or out-of-network.

You are under no obligation to accept my policies; you have the option to work with a clinician who accepts your insurance or who provides superbills for out-of-network claims. Please see my find immediate help page for resources to help you locate a provider who can serve your needs, or contact your insurance carrier for a list of contracted providers.

Why not accept insurance?

Involving insurance would make it impossible to offer the features and benefits of a concierge practice. You can read about those benefits on my counseling services page. My business model does not accommodate the restrictions and administrative demands required when dealing with insurance. I want to spend my time working with my clients, not negotiating with insurance companies. Some of my services are not covered under the traditional medical model of treatment (e.g. therapy via texting or phone; psychoeducation via e-learning; collateral consultations).

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 them of the dates, frequency, 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. Both the client who signs the informed consent agreement and the person who signs the fee agreement are financially responsible for all fees. This includes fees for services scheduled and received and fees associated with no shows and late cancellations.

If your parent or partner is paying for your treatment, the important thing to remember is that they care about you and want you to get well. That's why they are making this financial investment. It's up to you to communicate to them that for that to happen, you need the freedom to be open and honest with your therapist. If you need me to explain the limitations of confidentiality to your parents or partner, I can schedule a collateral session with them to discuss the boundaries around your treatment.

If I pay for someone else's services, can I be there during the session?

No one can be open and honest when they know they are being watched. Healing takes time, comfort, trust, and safety. So does change. Change has a flow, and that flow is disrupted when change in behavior feels like a performance instead of a natural evolution. Change in behavior stems from change in attitude, and inner work must be organic to be authentic.

It may be your intention to be supportive, and you may be coming from a place of love, but watching or listening to someone's therapy is not healthy. It's spying. It's impossible to feel safe when someone is spying on you. No matter who's doing the spying. The only people in the therapy session should be the therapist and the client(s).

An exception is something called a collateral session. This is not the same thing as a family session or a couples session. In the context of a collateral session, a client's support person(s) attends the therapy session but is not considered an additional client; they are present in a support capacity. The need for a collateral session is determined by the therapist and the client, not by the collateral, and is scheduled only when clinically useful. In that case, there is an informed consent process prior to booking the appointment so everyone is clear on priorities, expectations, and privacy considerations.

Please note that in the state of Florida, video or audio recording someone without their permission is a crime. It is the policy of this practice to press charges against anyone who records a session without express written permission.

If you contact me about a client who has provided a release for me to speak with you, please be aware that:

  • A release of information is almost always specific to certain information and will probably limit the topics I can discuss with you.

  • I understand that sometimes, family and friends want to tell me about a loved one with the intent to help. However, please be aware that I will not hold secrets from a client on your behalf. If you call to speak to me about a client, I will tell the client we spoke, and I will not hold the content of that conversation from the client.


If you plan to pay for someone else's services, please arrange for them to sign a release of information prior to contacting me. Once they provide this release, I will contact you via your preferred email. The client will provide your preferred email address on the release form, and I will send you a web-based fee agreement form to complete. You will be able to fill out this form on a computer or mobile device.

Why don't you accept insurance?

Some of my services are not covered under the traditional medical model of treatment (e.g. therapy via texting or phone; psychoeducation via e-learning; collateral consultations). Involving insurance would make it impossible to offer the features and benefits of a concierge practice. You can read about those benefits on my counseling services page. My business model does not accommodate the restrictions and administrative demands required when dealing with insurance. I want to spend my time working with my clients, not negotiating with insurance companies.

Confidentiality, Privacy, and Security Questions

What is HIPAA?

Please read my notice of privacy practices for a detailed definition and discussion of HIPAA.

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

Can I contact you to talk about my family member or friend who is one of your clients?

Not without a signed release of information from them. If you contact me and there is no release, my answer will be, "I appreciate your concern and your interest, but per HIPAA law, I cannot confirm or deny whether someone is or has been a client, or even if they have contacted me."

If I am seeing a client who has provided a release for me to speak with you, please be aware that:

  • A release of information is almost always specific to certain information and will probably limit the topics I can discuss with you.

  • I understand that sometimes, family and friends want to tell me about a loved one with the intent to help. However, please be aware that I will not hold secrets from a client on your behalf. If you call to speak to me about a client, I will tell the client we spoke, and I will not hold the content of that conversation from the client.

Recovery-Related Questions

How do you define recovery?

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

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."

Recovery is universal. Everyone is recovering from something: Lack of control. Low self-esteem. Insecurity. Substance Addiction. Behavioral Addiction. Depression. Stress. Anxiety. Overwhelm. Imbalance. Disease. Injury. Disability. Infirmity. Grief. Loss. Sorrow. Heartbreak. Childhood. Bullying. Family dysfunction. Fear. Poverty. Trauma. Abuse. Intimate Partner Violence. Motivational bankruptcy. Moral bankruptcy. Financial bankruptcy. Social bankruptcy. Spiritual bankruptcy.

I rarely encounter a person who is in recovery from just one thing. My clients are adults looking to recover. I work with the whole you - not just this or that problem. Active recovery permeates all areas of our lives - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relational, educational, social, familial, and vocational.

Which recovery program is right for me?

That is something you will decide after reading about the options, attending some of the meetings, and processing your experiences in therapy. I do not advocate one type of program over another. I do strongly suggest you try as many as possible so you can make an informed decision. What all recovery programs have in common is some type of mentorship, whether it be individual or group mentorship. Support from like-minded people who share your experiences, issues, and feelings is crucial for any type of recovery.

To clarify what I mean by meetings: Meetings may be self-help, facilitated, task-oriented, process-oriented, 12-step, educational, or just two people getting together to work on recovery. Work in this context may mean formal activities or it may mean conversation and emotional support. Meetings may be structured or unstructured.

I find it works really well for most folks to approach each program with a "keep what you can use and leave the rest" attitude. You may love the concepts of one program, but dislike the structure, and vice versa. You may consider the ideology problematic but find the strategies useful. You may like the mantras and catch-phrases but prefer a different interpersonal dynamic. You may gravitate toward spirituality but prefer to avoid religion. You may eschew spirituality altogether and prefer language that is more clinical or business-like. You may decide to embrace one program primarily or exclusively, or you may decide to participate in several. You will figure out what works for you over time.

I will not push you in any one direction, but I will push you to gather as much information and experience as you can until you can make an education choice. See my references page for a list of recovery programs.

Do you require drug testing if I'm being treated for addiction recovery?

I do not refer my clients for drug or alcohol testing. If you are recovering from an addiction, you do not need a drug test to tell you whether or not you are using alcohol or other drugs. You know. Generally speaking, I know too. It's pretty easy to tell when someone is still struggling with alcohol or drug use, or is acting out on a behavioral addiction. Since I do not deal with insurance companies, I am not required to report negative substance screenings to justify continued treatment coverage. I do not think anyone benefits from me asking you to pay for drug or alcohol screenings except for the company that bills you for the labs. Making someone else responsible for tracking your drug or alcohol use may provide accountability, but it does not improve your personal sense of responsibility and can contribute to your feelings of shame and guilt. You'll benefit a lot more from developing an honest therapeutic relationship in which we can work on your coping skills, relapse prevention skills, and self-monitoring skills.

Where do you stand on harm reduction versus abstinence?

I have mixed feelings about it.

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