Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What are those initials after your name?
Ed.M is a master’s degree. I earned it at Temple University, Philadelphia PA, where the Counseling Psychology department happened to be in the School of Education. LPCC-S stands for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor – Supervising. It’s an independent counseling license in state of Ohio, and it authorizes me to supervise other counselors.
2. What can I expect when we meet?
Our appointments will last forty-five to fifty minutes. At the first session, we’ll talk about the symptoms and challenges you face. Over the next two sessions, we’ll work at your problems, but we’ll also set goals and talk more about your history. We’ll discuss your treatment options and which interventions are most likely to help.
3. Do I have to talk about my past?
It’s your therapy. We’ll talk about the issues you feel are important to talk about. Depression can often be treated with a focus on the here and the now. For anxieties like fear of heights or claustrophobia, the treatment is largely the same no matter how the problem started.
On the other hand, if things from your past hurt you now, that’s not in the past. That's now. Old memories may seem too painful to discuss. If they’re important, you'll learn ways to regulate your emotions so they’re more tolerable.
4. People tell me I should get therapy, but I don’t think it’s me who has the problem.
You could be right. If you have difficult people in your life, we’ll find ways you can hold effective limits with others to get more of what you want and need.
Sometimes when others create problems, we get trapped in, “If only,” thoughts:
- “If only they would drive safely. . . “
- “If only they would listen the first time . . .”
- “If only they would show a little common sense. . .”
If you’ve waited long enough for people to straighten up and act properly, we’ll concentrate on how you can be more effective with others and live more easily in the world as it is.
5. How long will it take?
You should feel at least a little better within three months. Most traumatic symptoms can be resolved in ten to twelve sessions of focused work. When a client hasn’t gotten any better after twelve months, a therapist has an ethical duty to refer them to someone else.
Once we’ve talked about the problems you face, you’ll get a better estimate of how long treatment may take. We’ll talk regularly about your progress and how to fix problems that block it.
6. How will I know when I'm done?
You’ll know, because you’ll set specific, measurable goals for your therapy. Targets like, “Only one panic attack a month,” or, “Stand in a broom closet with my anxiety at a two on a one-to-ten scale," are worded so you can track your progress.
If you’re not sure what your goals are, we’ll talk about that in session. We’ll explore all the possibilities for the future you want to work towards. I’ll ask questions like, “If this problem went away tomorrow, what would you be doing differently?” to help you put your steps towards that future into measurable terms.
7. Is this confidential?
There are strict confidentiality rules in both professional ethics and the HIPAA law. Generally speaking, your personal health information cannot be disclosed without your written permission. There are only a few exceptions to that rule, and they include:
- If a judge issues a court order that requires disclosure.
- Suspected child abuse, dependent-adult abuse or elder abuse. Therapists are required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client intends to harm themselves or another person. The therapist will make every effort to work with the client to ensure their safety. If they won’t cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety. If a client threatens serious bodily harm to someone else, and the therapist can’t help them commit to a better plan, the therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
8. My insurance company doesn’t list you as an in-network provider. Can I still use my insurance?
Check your insurance coverage or contact your insurance company to get answers to these questions:
- Do you have mental health benefits?
- What is your deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does your plan cover?
- Is there a limitation on how much your coverage will pay per session?
- Is primary care physician approval required?
- Will your insurance pay for services provided by an out-of-network provider?
If you're able to apply for reimbursement, I’ll provide you with the information your insurance company needs.