What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I will first schedule them in my medical record software and send them my paperwork. In the first session we go over the paperwork and identify the issue(s) they want to work on in counseling. Over the next few sessions we begin to flesh that out and begin to develop specific goals for counseling, and creating some tasks that can be done in and outside of each session to accomplish those goals.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I earned a Master's degree in Counseling plus I completed additional graduate coursework in Marriage & Family Therapy. My undergraduate coursework was in Psychology and I studied under Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, who are national experts on relationships.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
I have standard fees and my counseling intern, Heather Pace, has lower fees according to a sliding fee scale that ranges from $15-$40 per session. My standard rate is $125 per session, with the first evaluation session being $150, though I also take insurance while Heather does not.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Trust and clarity is important when working with a therapist. Although you're looking for help from a person, it is still a business which reflects the skill of the therapist. Make sure you find a therapist who runs his/her business with honesty and clarity, communicating every aspect to you so that you can feel safe and comfortable working with them - limiting the surprises throughout the process.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
One thing I like to tell new clients is that THEY are the expert in the room because they know themselves, their thoughts and feelings, experiences, fears, and hopes for counseling; I don't know them as well as they know themselves. My job, then, is to ask questions and get to know and understand who they are, where they've been, and where they want to get to. I think most people have a good idea of where they want to be, but they don't know how to get there - which is why they come see me! While I don't have the answers, I'm good at figuring some of those out along the way with my clients in a collaborative way. Together, we come up with new ways of doing and seeing things that help change things for the better.