Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need Brief or Long-Term Therapy?

Our initial sessions are considered a period of assessment for both of us to see if we can work together and what will be your initial focus. After our initial session, I will make my recommendations as to what I believe are viable treatment goals for you as an individual or a couple. For couples, treatment is considered time-limited within a period of 8-30 sessions, once per week, depending on your distress.  For an individual, therapy is open-ended as to whether you feel need to address a singular issue or if your mental and emotional distress requires a more long-term approach for support and guidance.  Long-term therapy is anywhere from 6 mos. onward on a weekly or bi-monthly basis. 

It is important to understand, and I can help you with your questions about this during our initial sessions, that therapy is a "process" and as such, requires your input, attendance and commitment in order to feel a significant return and alleviation of symptoms.

What is a first session like?

A first session will include:

Initial paperwork to be completed:

  • Informed Consent: an explanation of my practice, what you can expect from my services and your agreement with a signature to those services.
  • Notice of Privacy Practices: an explanation of your rights as a recipient of therapeutic services as the consumer; your expectations of confidentiality; exceptions to confidentiality should that arise; and important information regarding contacting me through social media and cell phones; your agreement with a signature to those services.
  • Client Information Packet:  Extensive, in-depth questions about symptoms, past history, current history, contact information, medical info, Rx info, a list of your symptoms and what you would like for us to include as treatment goals.

If you are unsure of how to begin, I will ask a few questions to get us started.  If you feel comfortable enough that we can begin the process and adventure together, then we will continue with a set appointment time for each week.

How does therapy actually help?

I will quote from two sources that speak concisely about how therapy works with the whole person (body, mind, spirit):

“Welwood (1984) provides a framework for three over-arching principles of psychological (and spiritual) healing:  (1) grounding; (2) letting go; and (3) awakening the heart.  He speaks of human beings standing on the earth, oriented toward the open sky.  Over-absorption in either one results in leading an unbalanced life: our head is either buried like that of an ostrich, or our head is in the clouds.  Balance midway between earth and the open sky resides in the heart.  Repairing damaged balance requires attending to the practical, the somatic and the “here and now” experience; it also requires letting go of old patterns, beliefs and structures.  Then we are able to experience an “open heart,” where we allow the vulnerability of taking others in as well as putting oneself out to others:  'I took him into my heart' and 'My heart went out to her.'  Welwood describes this open-hearted balance as the interplay of courage, humor, and compassion."

This is quoted directly from:

Hartman, D. and Zimberoff, D. Corrective emotional experience in the therapeutic process. Journal of Heart-Centered Therapies, 2004, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp.3-84.

And the source for the above authors is from this work:

Welwood, J. (1984). Principles of inner work: Psychological and spiritual. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 16(1), 63-73.

What is Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy?

  • EFT is a structured, experiential model of couple therapy that helps partners move from conflict, distance and distress to increased openness and trust. As the reactive cycles of conflict and distance that fuel distress are identified and resolved, the therapist then helps couples access and expand underlying emotions of sadness, loneliness and fear so both partners can begin to shift their relationship to one of secure engagement, leading ultimately, to a strong and enduring attachment bond.

    Originated by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg and rooted in John Bowlby’s attachment theory, the effectiveness of EFT is strongly supported by 25 years of respected outcome research, with success rates of up to 70%, and a growing body of process research that has identified the interventions essential in creating lasting change.
  • This information is taken directly from the ICEEFT site.  For further info on EFCT, click here.
  • For more information about EFCT, see my Links page.

What is Depth Psychology and how does that help?

Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.
Carl Jung, "On the Psychology of the Unconsciousness", 1917
Swiss psychologist (1875 - 1961)


From a wonderful website,

"Depth psychology is a “holistic” view of the person, taking into account pre-natal experience, early development, cultural and archetypal implications, and the current context within which the individual exists. Making conscious what is often unconscious, this tradition allows for the non-traditional modes of seeing and being, both in life and therapy.
"Depth psychology respects the inherent nature of the individual, and of each culture. Respectful of culture, tradition, and belief system, depth psychology is asking the deeper questions: What is the next level of consciousness that allows a person to sit with the pain, and endure the insufferable? How do we shift from healing as a goal to one of a journey? Depth psychology’s primary focus is on the human psyche’s tendency toward wholeness and calls attention to the importance of what lies below the surface of conscious awareness.
"Depth psychology invites us to expand our capacity to be with pain instead of numbing emotions, to grieve losses in place of seeking substitutions, and to empathize instead of pathologize, allowing for answers to emerge from the depths of the psyche."

For more information on Depth Psychology, click here.

What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and how does that help?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy ("DBT") focuses on four main areas of treatment and is an integrative approach to address moderate to severe distress with anxiety, depression, mood disorders, trauma, PTSD, and personality disorders.  The four main areas are (1) Distress Tolerance, (2) Core Mindfulness, (3) Emotional Regulation, and (4) Interpersonal Effectiveness.  DBT is a well-researched, solution-focused therapy that contains a map of specific, easy-to-understand and access, interventions for clients to utilize from the very first session.

For more information on DBT, click here.

Do I have to share things I don’t want to?

Absolutely not.  It is up to you what you would like to discuss during a session.

Why do I have to pay for therapy?

Like any service you need or are interested in utilizing, payment is a necessary function of rendering those services.  You are paying for the skills, expertise, education and availability of that service provider.  Psychotherapy or counseling is like any other business service including medical services.  Your payments ensure that I am impartial, ethical, educated and knowledgeable about what services I provide and that those services are rendered in a timely, productive manner.

Most importantly, therapy is an investment much like taking care of your health and your teeth are an investment in your continued well-being, happiness and ability to function on a daily basis.  Our mental and emotional health is vital to our ability to have continued financial, relational, familial and professional and personal success.

Why insurances do you take?

I take Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (PPO/Traditional), Beacon Health Options (formerly Value Options), Cigna, McLaren Health, Ulliance EAP, Tricare East, and New Directions Behavioral Health EAP.

Coverage varies with each policy and may include deductible rates, copayment and/or coinsurance.  You can contact your health insurance plan to learn more about what your plan covers.  I will take your insurance information at the time of our first call to set up an initial appointment and verify your benefits for mental/behavioral health.  Below are some questions that are helpful to ask:

  • Do my insurance benefits include mental health services?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • Will I be required to pay a copay?
  • Is there a limit to the number of sessions per year my plan covers?
  • What is my deductible?
  • Do I need to get approval from my primary care physician?

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact me at least 24 hours in advance of your session. Sessions canceled with less than 24 hours notice will charged my full rate for the session.

Are therapy sessions confidential?

Yes. Your privacy is important to me, and you can trust that our sessions, as well as any of your personal information, is always held in the strictest of confidence. Additionally, anything you transmit over our website is highly secure, and stored data is HIPAA-compliant.

Confidential information disclosed in private therapy sessions is legally protected. However, there are some exceptions to this, including instances of suspected child or elder abuse, or when a client presents a serious danger of violence toward himself or herself or another person.