Q. What is your counseling approach?
A. I prefer a solution-focused approach. That is, we will determine the nature of your problem or concern, and then find the approach best suited to resolve it. I frequently rely on techniques such as EMDR, Hypnosis, or EFT to effect rapid change whenever possible.
Q. What is EMDR?
A. The EMDR International Association defines EMDR as follows: “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a method of psychotherapy that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches.” (From: http://www.emdria.org/)
Q. What is EFT?
A. Simply stated, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is an emotional version of acupuncture except needles aren't necessary. Instead, you stimulate well established energy meridian points on your body by tapping on them with your fingertips. (From: http://www.emofree.com/newcomer.htm)
Q. What is psycho-spiritual counseling?
A. Those who are seeking personal growth and desire an expanded view of the world will find psycho-spiritual counseling appealing. Psycho-spiritual counseling brings together classic counseling and a spiritual perspective of your concerns or problems. It takes into consideration your belief system, your energy system, and states of awareness.
Q. I cannot be hypnotized, but I am curious about regression therapy. How can we obtain information if I can’t go into trance?
A. Trance states are commonly misunderstood and not recognized. Such states are often experienced when falling asleep or daydreaming, or even when driving a car. Hypnosis simply invokes that state of deep relaxation and highly focused attention –- and I draw on it in some way with most of my clients. That allows us to work with the underlying experience or misunderstanding that resulted in imbalances such as anxiety or fears, and provides a means to make progress quickly -- even if a deep trance has not been achieved.
Q. What is NLP?
A. NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming describes the fundamental dynamics between the mind (neuro) and language (linguistic) and how their interplay effects the body and behavior (programming). The basic premise of NLP is that the words we use reflect an inner, subconscious perception of ourselves. If these words and perceptions are inaccurate, as long as we continue to use them and to think of them, the underlying problem will persist. In other words, our attitudes are, in a sense, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Q. Are you licensed to provide mental health services?
A. Yes, I am licensed by the State of Maryland as a Clinical Professional Counselor, license number LC3429.
Q: Will you accept my insurance?
A: No. Your time with me is highly personal and private. I am not comfortable allowing corporate third parties to decide if you are deserving of treatment, how much treatment you need, or requiring that you be labeled with a diagnostic term that may make it difficult to obtain reasonably priced health insurance in the future.
Q. What is your educational background?
A. I have a Masters Degree and Post-Masters Certificate in counseling from The Johns Hopkins University. I completed my undergraduate work at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Q. Have you received any other specialized training I should know about?
A. I am a certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and a certified hypnotist. I received my psycho-spiritual training from the late Rev. Fred Mansbridge. I have completed training in EMDR, Gestalt Psychotherapy, and the meridian based therapy, EFT. Each of these methods contribute to a solution-focused approach of short duration in my counseling.
Q. What if I have to miss a scheduled session?
A. We all have unforeseen interruptions to our schedules, and I do understand the occasional need to change an appointment. However, if you fail to notify me twenty-four hours in advance, I will charge a $50 non-cancellation fee.
Q. What if I can't afford your fee? Do you offer a sliding scale?
A. Yes, I do have a sliding fee scale. I am willing to discuss my clients’ needs on an individual basis.
Q. Is there something wrong with me if I choose to seek counseling? Do I have a mental illness if a doctor or someone I know recommends that I see a counselor?
A. No. Anger, sadness, anxieties, or a lack of confidence are common, even ordinary occurrences – but sometimes they create an imbalance in our lives. I do not think we should be labeled with a disorder when we seek assistance and support in order to have a productive and satisfying life.
Today’s mental health field is often defined by the medical model of illness that insurance companies use to determine allowable coverage. That is, in order to receive treatment, you are required to have a diagnosed disorder such as depression or an anxiety disorder. That is contrary to my approach.
Q. What if I have been diagnosed has having a mental disorder by another practitioner?
A. My training, as required for licensure, includes knowing how to diagnose disorders as defined by the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health) and knowledge of appropriate treatment. I will, with your permission, work with your doctor in the treatment of your mental health.
Q. How long does therapy last?
A. I wish I could give a definitive answer to that question! The length of time a client needs is as individual as my clients. Some people discover what they are seeking in just a couple of sessions; some need more time. You and I will revisit that question as frequently as needed to help you feel comfortable, and to review your progress toward your goal.
Q. What about confidentiality?
A. You have a legal right to the confidentiality of what we discuss in our sessions, and even to the fact that you are in therapy with me, unless you give me written permission to disclose that information (for example, to your medical doctor). I am required to safeguard that confidentiality. There are, however, some legal exceptions:
• I will notify the authorities and others if I believe there is a risk that you will harm yourself or someone else.
• I am required to notify the authorities if I have cause to suspect that a juvenile (under age 18) has been abused or neglected.
• I also must contact the authorities if I have reasonable cause to believe that abuse or neglect of an elderly or disabled person has occurred.
• If you are involved in a legal proceeding, a judge may order me to disclose information related to your treatment.
It is also possible that we will run into each other at local events, a store, or other places outside my office. To respect your privacy, I will do no more than say hello, unless you prefer that I not even do that.