The terms psychotherapy and counseling are often used interchangeably. However, not all counselors are psychotherapists. There are other types of counselors, such as after school counselors and camp counselors. Being a psychotherapist requires a Master’s degree, and taking a state exam to be approved for a license as a psychotherapist. There are also other types of therapists, such as rehabilitative therapists, massage therapists, and physical, occupational and speech therapists. In the mental health world, many people shorten the title to “therapist.”

Yes. All conversations between a therapist and a client are confidential. It is also confidential that a person is meeting with a counselor. As a licensed social worker, I follow the professional ethical standards of the National Association of Social Workers. The only time that the mental health records of a client, or any of the information shared in therapy are disclosed is when the client signs a release of information allowing for the sharing of this information with a specific entity, (in which case we would discuss in advance specifically what information is to be shared) or in the rare situation involving an emergency, or when the safety of the client, or others are at risk.

People usually decide to seek counseling when the pain of what they are going through becomes too great for them to handle on their own, and they recognize the need for help from a neutral person.

Do you have anxiety? Depression? Stress? A trauma history? Do you struggle with being able to stay focused? With anger? With sadness, grief or resentment? Do you feel nervous around other people? Do you lack self confidence, or have low self esteem?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then I can help you!

If you feel comfortable talking about this with someone you know, then asking them if they could recommend a good therapist might help to put your mind at ease. Websites, such as Psychology Today, can also be a good resource, as the therapists listed there have been vetted for their credentials and the website also lists information about their specialties, which insurance plans they accept, if they are currently taking new clients and if they provide in-person or teletherapy. You may also call the phone number for customer service, member services, or mental health listed on the back of most health insurance cards, or look on the website for your insurance company for a list of therapists within your health insurance network, especially if costs are a concern for you. Often, your doctor, or prescriber can recommend a few good therapists. A popular method of searching for a therapist is to “ask Siri, Alexa, or Google for “mental health counselors near me.” However, this list will not give you much information about the counselors in your area, and you will end up investigating on your own. Lastly, if you have an Employee Assistance Program through your employer, I highly recommend that you confidentially ask your Human Resources Director, or contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) directly for a list of therapists whom they cover in your area, as this program will often cover the costs of therapy including copays for several sessions (possibly up to 10 sessions). You can also ask a therapist if they take your EAP.

I will take a copy the front and back of your insurance card (or cards). It is your responsibility to verify your insurance benefits, by calling the number on the back of your insurance card, or by verifying this information online on your insurance website, or in your insurance manual. I will bill you for any copays or deductibles through a credit, debit, HSA or FSA card.

LICSW- Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. This means that I have a license to practice social work, and therapy independently, without the supervision of another licensed provider. I am trained as a therapist and social worker. All therapists with this license have an MSW, Master’s in Social Work, and they are licensed by their state to practice independently. We passed a state licensing exam, after completing 3000 hours of supervised clinical experience under a LICSW. We are also required to get 30 CEUs (Continuing Education Credits) every 2 years. We can also accept almost all insurance plans.


LMHC- Licensed Mental Health Counselor. This licensed professional follows many of the above guidelines.


LMFT- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. These professionals also follow many of the same guidelines as listed above.


PhD- These practitioners have a PhD, or doctorate’s degree, and are considered “doctors” as psychologists. Some Psychologists may have a PsyD. Psychologists often see clients for therapy, but can also perform psychological testing for clients. Psychologists do not prescribed any medications.


MD- Psychiatrists have a Medical Degree (MD). Psychiatrists mainly work as prescribers of medications for mental health reasons (and for some illnesses and medical conditions such as dementia, chronic pain and addictions), and do not often spend time in therapy.

There are lots of good therapists out there, who specialize in various types of therapy. Some therapists are more eclectic, and try to individualize therapy, depending on their client’s needs. Scientific studies have found that the most important indicator of a success for therapy is the relationship that develops between the therapist and the client. In other words, “it needs to be a good fit.” Try to “interview” therapists before you make a commitment for a therapy session. Many counselors will offer a free consultation in person, on video, or on the phone. After you meet with your counselor for a few sessions, take time to re-evaluate the relationship, and discuss during your session what is working for you, and if there is anything that has not been helpful. Then you can decide together on the next steps. If it is your child or family that is in counseling, then do this together. You can also ask your child’s therapist for a family session without your child, to review their progress and how to continue to support your child with their goals. You may also ask for your child’s (or teen’s) records. Many therapists will ask you to sign a release for these records.

The first therapy session will involve a lot of questions from your therapist, as they get to know you, and try to get a summary of the information they need to help you to start addressing your problem or situation that brought you to counseling. After that, your therapy sessions will be more relaxed, and you will have more of a chance to talk about what is on your mind. You may also work on skills, learn about yourself and others who are in your life, and ways to cope with your struggles. You may even get “homework” to work on in between your sessions, to help you make more progress and to feel successful and confident, as you develop your coping skills.

This depends on each individual client, how big and complex their problem, and sometimes their life, or their family is. Sometimes new problems arise during therapy that require more discussion, support and work. Sometimes clients wish to bring in other family members, friends or relatives into their therapy sessions, to work on their relationships. I tend to think of therapy as “your therapy” and you get to choose how long to continue therapy for. You may start off in weekly therapy, and then back off to every other week, or even eventually monthly or less frequent sessions. The overall goal of therapy is for you to “graduate” from therapy so that you can use what you learned in therapy to move forward with your life. Often clients who “graduate” keep therapy in their toolbox, knowing that they can return to therapy at any time they feel it would be helpful.

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