My office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 AM until 3:00 PM. The latest available appointment is 2:00 PM.
Is a phone consultation a guarantee that you will be my therapist?
Phone consultations allow us both to get an intuitive feel for whether or not my skill set and style are a good match for your needs. If, after speaking by phone, either one of us senses it would be better for you to work with someone else, I will happily provide a referral.
Do you work with issues other than grief and divorce?
Yes. In over twenty years of clinical practice, I have worked with a vast array of presenting concerns. The best way to determine the therapeutic fit is for therapist and client to speak directly with one another. I encourage you to take advantage of the free telephone consultation so that, together, we can determine if it makes sense to go forward.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you wish to cancel or reschedule a counseling session, please do so no fewer than 48 hours prior to the scheduled start time of your appointment. If you choose to cancel within 48-hours of our appointment and we are unable to find an alternate time within the same calendar week (Monday-Friday), a full session fee is assessed.
If you leave a cancellation notice by text, email, or voicemail and you do not hear back from me within 24 hours, this means I did not receive your message. Please contact me again, preferably by phone, to avoid being charged for a late cancellation or missed appointment. Clients are responsible for insuring that cancellation notices are received.
Do you work with children and adolescents?
My counseling practice is geared toward helping people over the age of twenty-one. If you are seeking help for a loved one who is under twenty-one, I am happy to provide you with a referral.
How frequently will I attend therapy?
This is contingent upon what is appropriate for your needs. Generally speaking, however, for the first six to eight weeks, I encourage clients to attend counseling weekly. This degree of frequency allows us to establish a strong foundation. It also helps build crucial momentum toward reaching your therapy goals.
How long will I be in counseling?
The course of your therapy will be unique to you. I have seen clients achieve their counseling goals in anywhere from six sessions, to six months, to a few years. Most clients will start to notice some relief within the first twelve visits.
Do you meet with people online?
Occasionally, I do meet with folks via video conference. This decision is determined on a case-by-case basis and is reserved for clients located outside of the greater Seattle area.
Do you work with gay and lesbian couples?
Absolutely! I have worked extensively with gay and lesbian couples, so I understand the unique issues they face.
Do you work with couples together or separately?
Couples therapists differ greatly on this issue. It is my preference to meet once with both partners for the first visit. After that, I meet once individually with each partner and then again with both partners to talk about therapy goals. On a rare occasion, I may find it necessary to meet more than once individually with one or both partners but this does not happen often.
Individual meetings are used for the purposes of obtaining personal information. They are not individual therapy sessions. Should you want individual therapy while you are doing couples work, I can provide you with a referral to another qualified professional for this purpose.
If my partner and I choose to see you for divorce therapy and co-parent support, can you give us legal advice?
No. Divorce therapy and co-parent support is a series of guided discussions, the primary purpose of which is to insure that you and your soon-to-be ex are managing your feelings appropriately. When adult conflict is properly mitigated, co-parents can more easily reach consensus on how best to care for their children before, during, and after divorce.
If you and your partner were legally married, at some point, a legal separation or divorce will be necessary. This does not automatically mean years of a contemptuous (not to mention expensive) legal battle. In fact, there are several ways to pursue a legal divorce.
Regardless of which path you choose, counsel from a qualified legal professional is advised.
What is the difference between a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, and counselor?
Mental health terms are used interchangeably so it can be easy to get confused. Here are the differences:
Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is an MD who specializes in prescribing medications for mental illness. While psychiatrists do have some therapy training (the amount of which depends upon their training program), most psychiatrists focus on prescribing and managing medication.
Psychologist: A licensed psychologist has a doctoral degree exclusively for the purpose of providing therapy or counseling and/or working in a research or academic environment. Psychologists have four years of post-graduate education, followed by two years of full-time, supervised clinical service. Psychologists do not have prescription privileges. The terms "psychologist," "counselor," and "therapist" can be used interchangeably.
MA or Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC): LMHCs and MAs have graduated from a two-year Master's Degree program the emphasis of which is providing mental health services to the public. MAs and LMHCs are considered counselors and therapists.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW): LCSWs also have a Master's Degree, comprised of two years of post-undergraduate training in their field. Some social work programs provide therapy or counseling education and training.
Is there a risk-free way for me to get started?
Yes! Follow the link below to schedule your free, 15-minute phone consultation. I typically respond to messages within a few hours. So you won't have to wait long.