FAQ

Here are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions. If you don't see an answer to your question here, please call or email

My standard fee for a 1-hour therapy session for an individual or family is $80.  I am committed to making therapy affordable, and so I do offer a limited number of sliding-scale spots on my caseload for those unable to afford my full fee.  Please call me to inquire about these slots and to discuss how we can work together to fit therapy into your budget.  

I do not currently contract directly with insurance companies.  If you have out-of-network benefits, you may be able to receive a full or partial reimbursement from your insurance company.  Please contact your insurance company directly to verify your mental health benefits.  

I do accept payment via Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA).  

I ask that you please cancel your appointment at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled time – I charge a $50 cancellation fee for appointments not canceled at least 24 hours in advance.  If you will be late for a session, please call to inform me.  I am willing to still hold session for late arrivals, but session time cannot be extended and the full fee will still be charged.

If my fees increase in the future, existing clients will be informed at least 30 days prior to the fee increase.

In the state of Oregon, the process to become a Licensed Professional Counselor requires a Master’s Degree in Counseling from an accredited University with 60 credits in specific areas and a 700 hour pre-graduate internship.  Post-graduation, you must then complete an additional 2400 hours of direct client work under supervision of a licensed counselor before you can become independently licensed.  This is where I currently stand. 

As an LPC intern, I am registered with the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists and I adhere to the code of ethics of the board.  Additionally, I receive regular supervision multiple times per month under Earlyn Smith, LPC who has over 30 years of experience in the field.  If you have any questions about this, please ask.  I am happy to discuss the supervision relationship more as we meet together.   

When you call me on the phone to discuss therapy services, we will chat for a few minutes so I can get an idea of what you are looking for, and you can get a sense of who I am and my approach.  If we decide to schedule an intake, you will be asked to complete intake paperwork online prior to your first appointment.  An initial intake appointment will be scheduled for 2 hours.  Our subsequent sessions will be 50 minutes each, but we will need a little extra time on this first appointment to take care of some business and get to know each other.  

When you come in for your intake, I will invite you to come into the therapy space and make yourself comfortable.  I provide tools and materials for you to engage in sensory play while we go over the initial intake questions.  Sometimes, the process of answering so many personal questions can be a bit uncomfortable, and I find that engaging in these activities can be soothing and make the process more pleasant.  Of course, the choice to engage in this or not is entirely up to you, as is the pace at which we will work through the intake.  I respect your autonomy and honor that you may not wish to share everything with me at this initial session, and that is just fine.  

After we finish going over the intake paperwork, we will take some time to discuss your goals for treatment and a plan for how our sessions together will proceed.  I usually will not offer a diagnosis unless you specifically request that I do so.  While I respect the importance of maintaining diagnostic criteria and discussing diagnostic terminology among clinicians, I feel it is rarely beneficial to treatment, and often can leave clients feeling labeled and misunderstood.  Instead, I prefer to work with the whole-person, viewing you as a complex and multi-faceted individual, shaped as much by your background and experiences as you are by your brain chemistry.  This is something we can discuss in more depth as we meet together.  As we conclude the intake, we will determine how often we will meet for sessions and we will work collaboratively to develop goals for your treatment that are relevant and meaningful to your life.  

Therapy can take time. While some modalities of therapy are certainly faster than others, the depth perspective I work from involves the foundation of a strong and trusting relationship between counselor and client.  This is why I encourage you to keep an open dialogue with me about what is working for you and what isn’t.  I believe good therapy is collaborative and non-authoritative.  Our dialogue will be ongoing throughout the process to assess your progress.  Our sessions may continue once weekly for a while, and as you progress, we may meet less frequently until we decide mutually that our work together is complete.

Sessions are typically client directed.  While I may offer a prompt or activity that I feel would be beneficial to your treatment, you will ultimately decide how you will follow or engage in that prompt or activity.  My work primarily centers around Expressive Arts Therapy, however, I also take an eclectic approach, taking pieces from several different therapeutic theories in my approach.  As each person is different, I believe the way I work with each individual must be unique and specific to their evolving needs.  I will meet you where you are and travel with you to wherever you need to go.  I look forward to the journey.

I offer individual counseling for adults in my office in Salem, Oregon and online via secure video link to residents of Oregon.  I offer family therapy to my established clients in cases where this is an identified need.  I offer occasional groups, which I will advertise on the blog.  Previous groups have included Teen Expressive Arts Group, Young Mother’s Support Group, Foster Parent Self-Care Group, and Men’s Anger Management Group.  Please call or email me to inquire about upcoming groups.  Finally, I offer workshops and seminars periodically for other professionals and the public.  Previous topics have included Expressive Arts Practice, Trauma Informed Care, The Western History of Mental Health Treatment, and Advocacy for the Rights of Individuals Undergoing Psychological Treatment.

I have an extensive history working with children – from years as an Early Childhood Development Teacher at a non-profit daycare center, to my work in community mental health as a Child and Family Play Therapist.  I love working with children, but my current focus at Garden of the Heart is in working with adults and adolescents (14+).  I will work with your children in the context of family therapy with you as the identified client.  Occasionally, I am willing to work with a child under 14 if there is a strong identified need for Expressive Arts services.  Please call me to discuss the situation case-by-case.  

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