When a counseling relationship is working well, clients experience new insights into their situations, clearer thinking, increased energy, better understanding of their feelings and needs, release of troubling emotions that have held them back or been confusing, and a greater sense of wholeness and peace within themselves. Therapy is a process, and a working partnership develops between client and therapist. Therapy is not always comfortable or straightforward as difficult emotions and ways of being often have to be sorted through in order for new energy and change to appear. Clients should feel comfortable with their therapist and be able to ask about whatever is on their mind regarding the process. In spite of the uncomfortable emotions experienced, clients I have worked with feel that the temporary pain of the working through process is well worth leaving behind the continual pain of living the way they had previously.
You can expect to talk about the concern(s) that brought you into counseling, about your background and personal history. You can share on a level that feels comfortable for you. You can also expect to have some paperwork to review.
How long does a counseling session take?
Sessions are typically scheduled for 50-60 minutes and most people see me once a week for consistent progress to be made.
How long does counseling last?
It is helpful to make a commitment to yourself and the counseling process of at least 4-6 sessions. During the first one to two therapy sessions a thorough assessment is completed, goals are identified and jointly we create a treatment plan that fits your needs. With any counseling situation, it is ultimately up to the client as to how long he or she engages in treatment. Each situation is unique and it is part of my job to help you determine how many therapy sessions may be needed to reach your desired goals.
How much does counseling cost?
A typical counseling session costs $140. Most insurances will partially or fully cover the services. If you have concerns regarding affording psychotherapy, we can discuss these and whether or not you may meet my guidelines for a sliding fee scale. I work out mutually agreeable payment options with all of my clients so that cost does not hinder them in pursuing counseling. While many clients are initially very concerned about whether or not they can afford counseling, most find that as their life and priorities change new ways of funding therapy appear--whether through less need to consume to distract from pain or through new means of income due to increased energy and investment in life.
How do I find out if my insurance covers therapy services?
Please refer to the paperwork and fees section for a list of insurance companies in which I am an in-network provider. Specific policies vary in their coverage and it is important to verify your coverage prior to your first appointment. Here are some important questions to ask when calling to verify your mental health benefits:
Has my deductible been met for the year?
What is my copay amount?
What is my co-insurance amount? (The % of each visit you are responsible for)
Is there a limit on the number of visits per year?
You specialize in the use of individual Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) and individual and Gestalt Therapy. How does this work?
EFT was born out of contemporary psychological beliefs and has developed into a widely accepted evidence-based approach to therapy for the treatment of several imbalances in relationships both external and internal. EFT was created and should be used for conditions where there is a non-working over-control of emotions despite the positivity or negativity of those emotions. In conditions where there is an under-control of emotions, EFT can effectively be used as a second stage of treatment. Emotion Focused Therapy is exactly as its name states and is focused on the constructive use of emotions and how they can help individuals heal and benefit from them. EFT generally takes 16 to 20 therapy sessions.
Gestalt therapy seems to be particularly beneficial for people who are rather 'buttoned up' when it comes to their emotions. But it can be used for a wide range of mental health needs. During therapy the client is encouraged to bring out hidden feelings. Much use is made of something called the 'open chair' technique.
This is when the client sits opposite an empty chair and then mentally places into that chair someone significant, who has caused them pain or trouble. The client then tells the 'person' in the empty chair what they have been unable to express before. Sometimes the client is encouraged to swap chairs and to answer his own claims or accusations from the other person's perspective. This technique can give rise to emotional scenes, and the previously buried emotions need to be handled carefully. Gestalt therapy is not a ‘quick fix’. Treatment takes time and is closely tailored to individual needs. The length of treatment varies for each person, but can range from a few months to one or two years of weekly meetings, depending on the nature of your problems.
What does LICSW and LMHC stand for?
LICSW are the initials to indicate a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. LMHC are the initials to signify a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. This means that I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work and have completed the necessary requirements to be fully licensed in the state of Washington. Licensing requirements include completing 4,000 post-Master’s level work hours under the supervision of an LICSW and passing the license exams.
Why did you choose Viveza for your practice name?
Viveza is a Spanish word used to communicate a sense of aliveness, brilliance, or vividness. The therapeutic endeavor is to bring about a waking up, a coming to life, experiencing oneself as real, whole and full of energy and vitality.
I am only able to respond to a small proportion of the phone calls that I receive (usually just current clients), because I do not have an office assistant. I am able to respond to emails quickly throughout the week. I review all of my phone messages, so rest assured that I have registered and appreciated what you had to say even if I was not able to respond by phone.