I’ve never seen a counselor before. What is therapy like?
As a general orientation, the initial phase of counseling is a semi-structured discussion of your history and what you will be changing. This can take one or more sessions. At the end of this process we will set goals and the responsibility for the content of the sessions becomes yours! I do remain an active participant, providing direction as necessary. However, the expectation is that you will come to sessions with a sense of what you would like to work with—successes or challenges from the week, for example.
The sessions are a conversation in which we discuss your thoughts and feelings as you reflect and make changes. Sometimes I may ask you to do an “experiential” experiment. These tend to heighten some aspect of your experience and provide a different way to explore the content we are discussing. At times therapy can be uncomfortable. It is not uncommon for clients to experience strong emotions such as anxiousness, sadness, guilt, or anger. These are a helpful part of the process and I will encourage you to express and discuss them.
Usually counseling is an open ended process. Once we set goals, I see myself as an ally for change. However, you remain in charge of the pace and length of your therapy. I am happy for the process to be as short or long as it needs to be. Ideally, therapy is concluded with at least one session explicitly devoted to summarizing the work.
Do you prescribe medication?
As a psychologist my training has focused on psychotherapy, psychological assessment, and research. I do not prescribe drugs though some of my clients do take medication as an adjunct to their work in therapy. If you have a prescriber, I am happy to work with them to coordinate services. If a new or ongoing client wishes to try medication, I make a referral to one of the many excellent psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners in the Middle Tennessee region.
What is a psychologist? What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
Psychologists complete a bachelor’s degree, usually in the social sciences. They then go on to complete graduate coursework in psychology, earning a Master’s Degree (M.A. or M.S.) and then their Ph.D or Psy.D degree. Their graduate work revolves around psychotherapy, psychological testing, and research. After graduation, psychologists complete a year of supervised post-doctoral employment before full licensure. Their scope of practice encompasses psychotherapy, psychological testing, and research.
Psychiatrists complete a four-year bachelor’s degree (usually in the life sciences), four years of medical school and then several years of specialized training in psychiatric medicine. Psychiatrist prescribe medication for psychiatric disorders, and some also provide psychotherapy.
What is the fee for your services?
My therapy fees are $120 for each 50 minute therapy hour. Most clients come once per week, especially during the initial phase of therapy. There can be additional fees for emergency calls, phone consultations between sessions, or other psychological services. My entire fee structure is outlined in my intake paperwork.
Do you take my insurance?
I do not work within any insurance contracts. I can provide a summary of services for clients who wish to file for reimbursement with their insurance provider. You will need to contact your insurance company to determine your out of network benefits.