How do I get started in therapy?
1. The first step for getting started in therapy is to schedule a free consultation phone call by clicking to request an appointment on the website. I am offering this as a courtesy instead of playing phone tag between sessions. The calls are a free, brief 10 minute call to ask questions regarding the process, scheduling, or what to expect. This is REQUIRED for all new clients. Please do not email requesting we skip this because you feel we are a good fit. I also must feel we are a good fit as I may not feel I am the best fit for you. For example, if you are wanting a DBT-based therapist, I will cancel your call and provide you with referrals as this is not an approach that I use. Or if I do not take your insurance, I will provide referrals. Some clients are surprised to find out that their mental health coverage is provided by another insurance company (called a carve-out plan). In that case, I may be in-network with your primary insurance provider and listed on their website, but I am not a provider for your behavioral health insurance. These calls save us both time and money as you are responsible if insurance does not pay.
**I value the referrals from other providers as they are usually screening and matching you to the best therapist for you and your needs. If you are being referred from another provider (other therapist, doctor, etc.), please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not see a time that works with your schedule, you are needing something sooner, or you don’t see availability.**
Consultations are typically offered in the mornings or early afternoon based on schedule availability. If you do not see any available appointments, then I am currently booked. I do not keep a waiting list, but if someone cancels their consultation or fails to complete their consultation questionnaire, there may be openings. I also add in appointment times based on caseload availability, so if I am full then you can always check back in a couple of days.
2. Once you have scheduled a consultation call, you will receive an email with a link to the consultation questionnaire. This questionnaire allows you to briefly provide information or ask questions about therapy. If you do not receive this email within 24 hours of your request, please check your spam folder or email us. It also must be completed within 48 hours of submitting your request for a consultation. I have found that if it is not completed within the first 48 hours, people have decided we aren’t the best fit, are needing services I don’t offer, or are wanting to just see the first available counselor. If it is not received by then, your consultation call will be canceled without further notice.
3. Be available in a private, quiet space for your phone call. We will call you from 256-459-8229 at the scheduled time. If you do not answer, we will try a second time. If you do not answer after these attempts, this will be considered a no-show for the consultation, and you will need to contact us via email at email@example.com in order to reschedule. You are not guaranteed a consultation call reschedule if you no showed your appointment.
4. During your call we will discuss the therapy process, what to expect, and answer any questions. If you feel like we are a good fit at this time, we can schedule your first appointment. First appointments are usually scheduled within the next week. If you need to think about it, that’s okay too. If for any reason we don’t feel it’s the best fit, I can provide referrals to other providers. It’s not personal, just sometimes people aren’t the best fit or someone may not be ready to start counseling yet. My goal is to make sure we are a good fit and you feel comfortable talking with me.
What are my options for therapy?
Our options for sessions are as follows: in-office or telehealth for clients in Texas. For Alabama, I only offer telehealth for all new clients. If you prefer or require in-office sessions in Alabama, I can provide referrals to other providers in the area or you can check Psychology Today or your insurance provider. Telehealth is offered through HIPAA compliant Zoom unless your insurance plan requires another platform or unless previously discussed. Please let me know in advance if you would like me to wear a mask in sessions.
I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. In our work together, I’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way- teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, counseling is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with counseling. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success.