Information

Guadalupe Mountains National ParkHow Counseling Works

Counseling (also called therapy, psychotherapy, or “talk therapy”) is all about having a professional you trust and can open up to about your problems in a confidential setting. Depending on your presenting issue(s), needs, schedule, and finances, you would typically have an appointment with me every week or every other week (or eventually even on a monthly basis, for the maintenance phase).
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My job as the therapist is to listen to you in a nonjudgmental way, to learn the history of your issues, to identify maladaptive responses or unhelpful patterns of thoughts, to offer empathy and insight, and to help you re-frame problems and develop a workable plan for making the changes you want and moving forward in life.

Your job in therapy is to consistently attend our scheduled sessions, to be open to the process, and to complete any “homework” assignments in-between the times we meet. To get the most out of therapy, it is important to assume responsibility for your experience. I can only work with the information you provide, so honesty is essential for an effective counseling relationship. You agree to come to counseling free from the influences of drugs including alcohol.

Length of Treatment

Some clients need only a few counseling sessions to achieve their goals; others may require months or even years of counseling. As a client, you are in complete control and may end our counseling relationship at any time, though I do ask that you participate in a termination session if possible. There are certain situations in which I might terminate our counseling relationship, and we will discuss those during our first session.
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You also have the right to refuse or discuss modification of any of my counseling techniques or suggestions that you believe will not be helpful or might be harmful.

While benefits are expected from counseling, specific results are not guaranteed. There is a risk you may experience periods of emotional discomfort on the way to your goals, due to the nature of the therapeutic process, which often involves discussing very personal difficulties or past traumas.

No single therapist is the best for every client. If you do not feel I am the right fit for you, I will be happy to provide referrals for other therapists in the area.

I also have the right to terminate our counseling relationship, if I believe it is in your best interest. When it is appropriate I will terminate a professional counseling relationship if it becomes reasonably clear that you are not benefiting from the relationship. When professional counseling is still indicated, I will take reasonable steps to provide referrals and/or alternatives that may be available to help you.

Ethics

I abide by the American Counseling Association (ACA) and American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) professional codes of ethics.

Dual Relationships

Our relationship is a strictly professional, rather than a personal, one. Please understand that, while I do genuinely care for my clients’ well being, I will avoid initiating or having any relationship with you outside of the counseling relationship, to protect your welfare. Therefore our contact will generally be limited to only counseling sessions. It also means I cannot engage with you via technology or social media (for example. Facebook or LinkedIn) because it blurs the professional boundary. A dual relationship is defined as any non-counseling activity that is initiated by either the counselor or the client for the purpose of establishing a non-therapeutic relationship, and should be avoided. However despite a misconception, not all dual or multiple relationships are avoidable, unethical, or harmful. We will discuss dual relationships more during your first session.
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If we unexpectedly encounter each other in a public or social situation, please know that I will not approach or address you in a familiar way, other than giving the same polite smile or “hello” that I would offer any stranger. This is not to be awkward or rude but, rather, to protect your confidentiality – especially since others in the situation may know that I am a counselor. If you wish to approach me, initiate a conversation, and/or introduce me to people you are with, that is entirely your choice. Be assured that I will not be offended if you do not. If any situation like this arises, know that we can talk about it during your next therapy session.

Records and Confidentiality

One of my highest priorities is protecting your confidentiality in all matters within the scope of the law. You are protected according to federal law (Regulation 42 CFT Part 2). Also Title 22 of the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 681, Subchapter C, Rule 681.45 provides that communications between a licensee and client, and client’s records, however created or stored, are confidential under the provisions of the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 611. Section 611.002 (a) provides that communication between a patient and a professional are confidential. However there are some limits to confidentiality, and we will discuss those more during your first session.

Fees and Insurance

You are responsible for paying at the time of your session unless prior arrangements have been made. My fee for an initial 60-minute counseling intake appointment is $135. The price for each subsequent, standard 45-minute counseling session is $110. Group counseling sessions are $60.

I accept payment by cash, personal check, or credit card. There will be a $35 fee for all returned checks.

Since scheduling an appointment involves the reservation of time specifically for you, I respectfully ask for a minimum of 24 hours’ notice for cancelling or rescheduling your appointment. At a minimum, please cancel your appointment by calling, texting, or emailing me, or canceling it using my Transcend Counseling scheduler (CLICK HERE) by 9:00 pm Central Time the evening before.

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The fee schedule for cancelled or rescheduled appointments is as follows:

  • Appointments cancelled or rescheduled with more than 24 hours’ notice: No fee
  • Appointments cancelled by 9:00 pm the previous evening $65 fee
  • No-shows & late cancellations (after 9:00 pm the previous evening) Full session fee

The above fee(s) will be automatically charged to the credit card number you have provided, if you keep one on file with me, or will be due prior to the start of your next scheduled session. My fee structure may change at any time, with at least two weeks’ notice to you. You will receive written notification and may be asked to sign a new informed consent form if that should occur.