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How long does each session last?

Each session lasts 50 minutes.

What can I expect at my first session?

The first meeting is an opportunity to assess your treatment needs, establish goals for treatment, and to begin a collaborative working relationship with me. We will start out by spending a few minutes reviewing paperwork and going over the limits of confidentiality. I will then ask you to talk about a number of areas in your life, including the reason you decided to begin therapy, the history of your concerns, your family and social history, and experiences with alcohol and other substances. I will then answer any remaining questions you may have, and we can discuss if the therapy relationship feels like a good fit for you. At times, I may feel that your needs would best be met through services I am unable to offer. In such a case, I will provide you with referrals to another clinician or agency that better matches your treatment needs.

Will what I share in therapy remain private?

In most instances, yes. What my clients share with me is private, and I am ethically and legally bound to maintain disclosures confidential. This means I will not disclose what you discuss in therapy (or that you are even a client of mine) with your family, friends, romantic partner, doctor, etc. without your written permission. There are limits to confidentiality, however, such as when threats of harm to self or others, domestic violence, or known or suspected abuse toward vulnerable populations place people at risk. In such cases, I am obligated to break confidentiality in order to protect people’s safety.

What if I need medication?

Psychiatrists are able to prescribe medication. Most psychologists, including myself, are not. If you believe that you would benefit from medication, I will encourage you to speak with your primary care physician or will give you referrals for local psychiatrists. If you begin a medication regimen while in treatment with me, I will likely have you sign a release for me to speak with the prescribing physician to ensure that the medications are working properly and to convey to your psychiatrist any relevant information regarding your treatment with me.

What are your qualifications?

I received a PhD in counseling psychology from an APA (American Psychological Association)-accredited program. I am licensed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to practice independently. I currently work in both private practice and as a staff psychologist at the University of Kentucky Consultation and Psychological Services (CAPS). I am a member of the American Psychological Association as well as the Kentucky Psychological Association and the American Group Psychotherapy Association. I frequently attend conferences and workshops to keep my clinical skills up to date as well as to develop and enhance other areas of clinical interest. I have been doing clinical work for eleven years and have worked with individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds (e.g., economic backgrounds, ages, abilities, race/ethnicity, religious affiliations, sexual orientations) and who have sought treatment for a wide-range of issues.

Why is therapy so expensive?

Therapy is an investment. Individuals who seek the services of a psychologist have often struggled with issues for a number of years prior to seeking treatment. Therapy does not have to be a long-term process. Some clients may experience significant symptom relief after just a few meetings. Most attend weekly sessions for a few months. Some individuals may need longer-term care for more severe issues they have struggled with for a number of years. In all cases, therapy can provide you with support and guidance as you take active measures to better understand your situation, make desired changes, and work through stuck points in your life. Most individuals will experience an increased self of well-being, increased productivity at home and at work, and more fulfilling interpersonal relationships during and following the course of treatment.

How would you describe your approach to therapy?

I seek to create a safe, supportive environment in which my clients can feel comfortable fully exploring their struggles as well as sharing their successes. I work predominantly as an interpersonal process therapist. In short, this means that I help clients understand their typical ways of interacting with others. Often, these interactions were once adaptive, but over time became limiting and may even be creating dissatisfaction or conflict with others. By better understanding the origins and consequences of their interaction style and practicing new ways of interacting in session with me, clients can then begin to make desired changes with other people in their lives. In addition, I approach therapy from an emotion-focused framework. I believe that our feelings are adaptive, helping us identify our needs and guiding us to best respond to the varied environments we are in every day. I help clients understand how life experiences have shaped the emotional lens through which they see the world. If these events led to painful ways of engaging with life, I can help client reprocess these emotions so they feel freed from their past and empowered to create a more satisfying future. I also incorporate many cognitive-behavioral techniques into my work. The emotions we feel are strongly linked to our thoughts and behaviors, so learning to think and behave in ways that are in keeping with our goals helps increase a positive state of mind. Finally, I utilize many family systems approaches. I believe that the challenges we all face are influenced by a number of factors, including experiences we had in our families growing up, messages we have learned from society, and the unique cultures to which we belong. Through the process of therapy, I explore with clients how these forces contributed to and may be perpetuating their distress. With this process more fully understood, I then assist clients to utilize the power they have to improve their situation, and hopefully, the environments in which they live.

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