Frequently Asked Questions

Many people have questions when they are considering counseling. Read on to learn more about counseling in general, as well as counseling at Strata. If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed here, please contact me and I'm happy to answer them for you.

Counseling in General

what is counseling?

Counseling, also referred to as therapy or psychotherapy, is a safe, supportive alliance created by therapist and client where an individual can explore a range of issues important to them in a confidential, non-judgmental atmosphere.

is what i say confidential?

Absolutely. Counselors are bound by professional ethics to maintain confidentiality at all times. Except in cases where an individual is disclosing the current or recent abuse or neglect of a child under the age of 18, a person over the age of 65, or someone with a disability, confidentiality is essential to creating a safe, therapeutic environment.

counseling is only for crazy people. why do i need it?

It's a myth that counseling is only for "crazy people." In fact, many people can benefit from the kind of space that counseling can provide - safe, supportive, confidential and non-judgmental. In the same way that a doctor provides support for physical stressors, a counselor provides support for emotional and mental stressors. Counseling can help reduce stress, improve functioning, and enhance quality of life.

counseling is only for severe problems. how can it help me?

This is another myth. Counseling can help with a number of challenges that you may be experiencing, even if you don't currently consider those roadblocks to be seriously interfering with your life. In fact, it can be helpful to seek counseling in a proactive manner, before things feel out of control.

a counselor doesn't know me. How can they help me?

This is one of the great benefits of counseling - a counselor does not have a personal relationship with you! Since a counselor is not part of your day to day life, they can offer a perspective free from bias. Further, a counselor will not offer you their opinions, like friends or family might do. A counselor's role is to help you discover the answers that are right for you.

when will i feel better?

This depends on several factors, including the complexity of the issue, its duration, and the time that you dedicate to working on it both in and outside of sessions. Generally, I recommend beginning with 10 sessions. Most people start making progress and noticing changes in that time. That said, some people benefit from fewer sessions, while others might need more long-term therapy. After the initial meeting, I will have a better idea and can give you a sense of what to expect.

Counseling at Strata

What will happen at my first session?

The first session is an opportunity for you to begin to get to know me, ask questions, and sense if I feel like the right counselor to work with you. I believe that the relationship between therapist and client, or "fit," is the foundation upon which everything else grows. If you don't feel like I'm the right counselor for you, I will happily provide referrals that can better meet your needs.

what do i need to bring with me?

Please bring identification, method of payment, and paperwork (if you have chosen to fill it out prior to the session). Some people find it helpful to jot down some questions and bring those in with them as well. 

will you diagnose me?

No, participating in counseling does not require a diagnosis. However, if you will be seeking out-of-network insurance benefits, a diagnosis will be necessary to file with your insurance. Before this happens, we can discuss the benefits as well as the potential risks so that you can make a fully informed decision that feels right for you.

will you prescribe medication?

No, only licensed physicians can prescribe medication. If I believe that you might benefit from medication, I will either refer you to your primary care physician or provide referrals for physicians who I feel can treat your needs best.

how much does a session cost?

The standard session rate is $100. If the cost would prohibit you from seeking counseling, we can discuss the possibility of a negotiated rate. Sliding scale services are available on a limited basis. Please visit the fees page for more information.

how will i feel after counseling?

Everyone may feel differently. Counseling is a place where difficult topics (in fact - any topic!) can be discussed, and therefore it can be emotionally draining. If you notice that this happens on a consistent basis, let's talk about it and together find a solution. It is my goal (and my commitment) to do all I can so that sessions feel productive and emotionally safe.