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Frequently Asked Questions

There are many assumptions about therapy.

 

Obviously, therapy is going to look very different with different therapists and clients, but I have included some of my most frequently asked questions for our convenience. If you have additional questions, use the link below to drop me a line!

Plants
  • What is Marriage and Family Therapy and how is it different from Counseling?
    Marriage and Family Therapists pay attention to relationships and context. You do not live in a vacuum, and your therapy shouldn't be in a vacuum either. Everything from your childhood home, friends in school, relationships with siblings, your first relationships, current job, neighbors, and local government influence who you are and how you experience your life. Therapy that does not take these factors into account may fall short of meeting your needs.​ You don't have to retell your whole life story, just the parts that are relevant to your goals. ​ I am a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), am an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, and am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Colorado.
  • Are your sessions confidential?
    Yes. What we discuss in session is considered confidential and I would be breaking Federal, State, and ethical codes if I were to break confidentiality. That being said, there are some situations when I (and all licensed or credentialed counselors and therapists) am legally required to break confidentiality, which are: - Suspected child abuse or neglect - Suspected elder abuse or abuse of a dependent adult - Intent to harm or kill yourself - Intent to harm another person - If you reveal a threat to national security - If I am subpoenaed or court-ordered to reveal my notes or to testify in a court of law. Beyond these six situations, your sessions are protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). If you have any questions about confidentiality, you can ask your therapist at any time.
  • What is your typical process for working with a new client?
    After I receive an email from someone wanting to work together I schedule a free 20-minute consultation where we meet via phone or video chat to discuss what you are wanting to achieve in therapy. During that consultation we will both have the opportunity to ask questions and see if we are a good fit. If we both agree we are a good fit for therapy we will schedule our first session. If not, I will provide you with some referrals to help you continue your search for the right therapist. If we schedule a first therapy session I will provide you with intake paperwork to be completed online beforehand. Our first session usually includes time to answer any new questions and what's called a "genogram," which is a visual representation of your family dynamics. Don't worry, I draw it out, you just provide the information. This helps me get to know you and your relationships. Then we identify specific goals.
  • What education and/or training do you have?
    I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) which requires the completion of a Master's degree in the field, the completion of 2,000 hours of post-degree therapy hours, 300 hours of supervision, passing the Colorado Jurisprudence exam, as well as the National exam for Marriage and Family Therapists. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA from the COAMFTE accredited Master's program at North Dakota State University and graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor's in Psychology. Over the years I have worked with problems like anxiety, anger, depression, trauma recovery, family planning, boundary setting, infidelity, shame, grief, social oppression, gender identity, resentment, and much more.
  • What advice would you give to someone looking to hire a therapist?
    Make sure you find a therapist or counselor that you feel comfortable with. **The most important part of this process is how safe the client feels with their therapist.** Always schedule a free consultation with a therapist before signing any disclosure statements. It sucks to sign all the paperwork and pay a few hundred bucks working with someone just to find out 3 sessions in that you don't like them. Save yourself time, effort, and money and get to know them a bit first. Questions you can ask during a free consultation: - What is your philosophy of change? How do you believe people create change in their lives? - How do you make sense of client's problems? - How do you know when a client is ready to end therapy? - How much do you charge? - How often do you need to meet? - Do you offer online or in-person appointments? - Have you ever been professionally sued or grieved? - What is your typical availability? - What kind of topics do you discuss most often in sessions? Do you have a specialty? - Do you have experience working with _______? (Include what you are wanting to work on: grief, anger, depression, chronic pain, relationship struggles, addiction, bipolar moods, sexual trauma, etc.) I always provide time for my clients to ask these questions and encourage everyone to ask these questions regardless of where they go for mental health services. As a provider, if a potential client asked these questions during a consultation, I would know they had done their research and were serious about working to meet their goals. I would be stoked to work with someone who asked these questions!
  • What questions should I think through before talking to a therapist?
    What kind of therapy experience are you hoping for? Some people want to tackle an issue in a short amount of time. These folks might benefit from what's called a Therapy Intensive where you meet with a therapist for a long meeting (sometimes one full day, a full weekend, etc.) and blitz through the work. Other people have already done a lot in previous therapy and just want a session every few weeks to continue processing or get a little support. I typically require meeting weekly for at least a month to get some momentum in the work and then keep an open discussion with the client to discuss when to space out the sessions to every 2 or 3 weeks. How much therapy can I afford? Therapists in private practice (such as myself) are often more expensive than a community mental health agency because private practice therapists have to do all the work themselves. The benefit of a private practice therapist is they are usually highly trained in a specific topic so you get access to an "expert." When working with a private practice therapist you should expect to spend at least $100 per session, sometimes as much as $400. Ask your potential therapist about their pricing before signing a disclosure statement. If you can't afford at least $100 per session, I encourage you to check out group practices, community mental health agencies, counseling centers on university campuses, or Open Path Collective. What kind of therapist would I best respond to? Therapists show up all different ways because we are all different people. Some therapists are "say it like it is," direct, and blunt in their feedback, others are very gentle and delicate. Some are directive and will tell you what to do or say, others will let you lead the conversation. Some will let you know some about their lives, others will not share much about themselves. I tend to be delicate but honest with my feedback, will direct you in the session, and share some information about my life. For example, most of my clients know I am from Indiana, am a nerd, love cats, and hate cilantro (to answer your next question, it's worse than soap).
  • What is your code of ethics?
    Excellent question! As a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), I adhere to the AAMFT Code of Ethics. As a feminist-informed therapist, I also adhere to the Feminist Therapy Code of Ethics, which pays extra close attention to how therapists use their power. If you want additional information, please let me know!
  • What do you charge?
    My standard rate is $225 per hour-long session. Because of my Social Justice values, I also offer reduced rates for a limited number of clients, accept Medicaid, and offer a limited number of pro-bono sessions each week. Fees are discussed in the first session and you are not charged until we agree on a fee. If you would benefit from additional low-fee options, I highly recommend looking into Open Path Collective for additional options. Healthcare providers are required to provide a Good Faith Estimate of how much you can expect your healthcare to cost. Obviously, since your therapy goals can evolve over time there is a lot of flexibility in the length of treatment; however, I will give you my best estimate when we meet for the first time.
  • What got you interested in being a therapist?
    Anyone who has known me for even a short amount of time can tell I'm a talker, but I'm also a listener. Since my first psychology class in high school, I knew I wanted to be connected to the field, and once I began learning about Social Justice and privilege I was hooked. It took some time to figure out how I wanted to blend Psychology and Social Justice, and that path led me to private practice offering Feminist-Informed therapy. Check out my About page for more information.
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