FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What follows are the most common questions people have when considering therapy with me. I hope my responses will ease any anxiety you may have around starting therapy and help you in deciding whether we would be a good fit.
What is your rate and do you accept insurance?
I am happy to discuss my rate with you--feel free to inquire by email or phone. I am setup as a self-pay practice, so I do not bill insurance. The benefit in going this route is that we will not have to operate under the control of an insurance company-- this means that you will not be limited to a certain number of sessions and that I will not be required to diagnose you with a mental health disorder or share your personal information with the insurance company.
What is therapy? How does it work?
In therapy we work together to make sense of what you are experiencing. In doing this work, my hope is that you come to realize that you are a human being having a very HUMAN experience. There is nothing wrong with you and we don't need to "fix it" or "make it go away".
For some people therapy is the only place in their life where they can tell all and truly feel heard. I tailor my approach to each person and operate from a person-centered, trauma-informed, mindfulness-based perspective.
This (5 min) video interview with therapist Sam Rader, will give you an even clearer picture of what therapy will be like. My approach as a therapist is closely aligned with how she describes working with people in this video.
BuzzFeedVideo: A Therapist Answers Questions You're Too Afraid To Ask - Dr. Sam Rader
What Will the first session be like?
We will start with a discussion about confidentiality and then I will turn it over to you to share about yourself and what has brought you to therapy at this time. My goal is to get to know you and your world. We will discuss what you hope to gain from your therapy experience, as well as what you can expect from me as your therapist & how the process of therapy works.
How do I know you're the right therapist for me?
Searching for a therapist can be really overwhelming. It is hard enough to get to that point where you're ready to reach out for help and then there are so many of us out there! What you need to know, but few therapists will share with you, is just how critical the therapist/client fit is to a positive therapy experience. I encourage you to ask lots of questions and not settle for anything that doesn't feel just right to you.
Pay close attention to how you feel as you explore their website, and in any communication with them. Ask yourself: "Can I see myself opening up with this person? Do I feel safe? Comfortable? Does it seem like they get me?"
We will probably be a good fit if you are seeking to be understood from a strengths-based perspective rather than through the lens of diagnosis & pathology. I bring a genuine curiosity to each session rather than imposing my beliefs or making assumptions about you.
If you would be interested in hearing more about my approach as a therapist and sharing about what you've been struggling with, just let me know. I'd be happy to give you a call.
Who do you usually work with?
People that I find benefit most from my services include:
-- Individuals who may have been described as "people pleasers", who feel guilty saying no & setting boundaries in relationships
-- Health/mental health professionals, and/or caregivers that feel burnt out and want to restore mind-body-spirit balance in their life
-- Family members of those struggling with addiction who feel hopeless and fearful because of their loved one's choices
--Individuals who may have been described as a "highly sensitive person" or an "empath" and want a safe space to process their feelings
--Individuals who need someone to be "real" with because everywhere else in their life they feel they have to "keep it together"
I do well with creating space for the ‘hard-working, cram-as-many-things-as-you-can-in-to-one-day-and-really-stress-yourself-out’ person to begin to find self-compassion, slow down, and learn self-care.
Additionally, a large part of my practice is devoted to working with LGBTQ+ individuals.
While these individuals might be seeking therapy to discuss issues relating to their sexual orientation or gender identity (i.e. coming out to family/friends, or beginning social/medical transition), it is also likely that these individuals simply want to find a therapist to work on anxiety, depression, or various other mental health concerns, but need to be sure their therapist is supportive & affirming of their LGBTQ+ identity.
Are you going to give me advice?
One of the major misconceptions about therapy is that it is the therapist's job to tell you what to do. This is what happens when we go to the doctor, so naturally we can expect the same sort of experience in therapy, right?!
While it might be frustrating and confusing at first, you will know you’ve found a good therapist when he/she does NOT give you advice, even when directly asked for it. If I were to offer you advice, it would be filtered through my unique set of experiences, which means it would make perfect sense for me, but maybe not for you. If I tell you what to do, I deprive you of the opportunity to struggle through it, gaining confidence and trust in yourself through that process.
What I will do is encourage you to share your thoughts, feelings and experiences in our sessions. You will always be met with understanding. I may also offer insight, observations, practical tools, ask questions, and recommend books/media relating to what you are dealing with.
How can I get the most out of my therapy?
Therapy requires a significant investment of time, energy and money. It is important to understand that going in.
It is very possible to create lasting change and to find healing through therapy. However, if you go in with a "Let's see if this works" sort of mindset and are quick to cancel your therapy sessions when things get busy in other aspects of your life, you're likely to be disappointed with the results from your therapy experience.
Making the decision to invest in therapy is a decision you're making to invest in yourself. You are likely to see much better outcomes if you make the decision from the get go to FULLY COMMIT to your therapy. This is you saying to yourself, “You know what, yes, I matter, my mental health matters, and I deserve this hour a week, I am worth it.”
What makes a "good therapist"?
You'll know you've found a good therapist when she or he doesn't try to rescue you from your pain but instead, stays present with you through it.
Sometimes I have people that come in for that first therapy session and they're wanting relief... and FAST.. and that makes perfect sense. We are offered a number of quick fixes everyday: "Try this pill", "Why don't you just have a drink", or maybe for you it is overworking, overeating, 'numbing out' with TV or Facebook, etc. In our society, we receive the message that when we feel any sort of discomfort we need to escape. We need to run, or hide or get rid of it any way that we can.
In therapy we explore where your emotions are coming from when they arise. That sadness you feel, the loneliness, the anxiety, the fear...what is it trying to tell you? What if those negative emotions that we so desperately want to escape are there for a reason, trying to reach us, as if to say, "Something isn't right here!". And maybe that means you need more self-care or maybe that means you are hanging onto what has become a toxic relationship. Perhaps there is unresolved trauma driving your anxiety and depression. Therapy is about digging deep into those feelings we usually try to make go away or ignore.
When we no longer allow ourselves to "check out" and instead pay attention to all that we are experiencing, we have the opportunity to gain insight and learn skills to better manage our difficult thoughts and feelings. Instead of offering you solutions & answers, a good therapist will "hold the space" for you to sort through all that you are experiencing. This way you leave your therapy experience feeling empowered & capable of handling all that life throws at you.
Not all therapy is good therapy. Check out this practical guide to help you in your search for a "good therapist".
Is what I share confidential?
All information you share with me is held strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone unless: 1. You authorize release of information with your signature 2. You present a danger to yourself 3. You present a danger to others or 4. Child or elder abuse/neglect is suspected. If you are involved in a court case and a request is made for information about your therapy, I will not disclose information without your written agreement unless the court requires me to. I will do all I can within the law to protect your confidentiality.
When and How Does Therapy End?
The duration of therapy looks different for everyone. I have seen some people for a few months and others for a few years. I am committed to providing therapy to you as long as it is constructive and healthy. You can end therapy at any time. I encourage you to let me know in session if you are considering ending therapy, so that we can process this and you can get closure.
What is the difference between a counselor, THERAPIST, PSYCHOTHERAPIST, psychologist and psychiatrist?
The terms "counselor", "therapist" and "psychotherapist" are often used interchangeably to describe Master's level mental health professionals of varying credentials (LPC, LCSW, LMFT, etc.). A psychologist is a mental health professional with a doctoral degree who often conducts psychological assessments/evaluations in addition to providing therapy. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who prescribes mental health medications to people and usually does not provide therapy.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Licensed Professional Counselors have earned a Master's degree in counseling, passed a national licensing examination, completed 3,000 hours supervised counseling experience and been granted LPC licensure from the Missouri Division for Professional Registration. My supervision was provided by Licensed Psychologist Dr. A. Leslie Anderson (MO#2004024714).