Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is your counseling approach?
A. I prefer a solution-focused approach. That is, we will determine the nature of your problem or
concern, and then find the approach best suited to resolve it. I frequently rely on techniques such
as EMDR, Hypnosis, or EFT to effect rapid change whenever possible.
Q. Are you licensed to provide mental health services?
A. Yes, I am licensed by the State of Maryland as a Clinical Professional Counselor, license
Q. What is your educational background?
A. I have a Masters Degree and Post-Masters Certificate in counseling from The Johns Hopkins
University. I completed my undergraduate work at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Q. Have you received any other specialized training I should know about?
A. I am a certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and a certified hypnotist. I received my psycho-spiritual training from the late Rev. Fred Mansbridge. I have completed training in EMDR, Gestalt Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems, and the meridian based therapy, EFT. Each of these methods contribute to a solution-focused approach in my counseling.
Q. What is NLP?
A. "A literal translation of the phrase 'Neuro Linguistic Programming' is that NLP empowers, enables and teaches us to better understand the way our brain (neuro) processes the words we use (linguistic) and how that can impact on our past, present and future (programming). It gives us strategies for observing human behaviour and learning from the best (and worst) of that!" source
Q. What is EMDR?
A. The EMDR International Association defines EMDR as follows: "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders." source
Q. What is EFT?
A. Simply stated, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is an evidence-based, emotional version of acupuncture except needles are necessary. Instead, you stimulate well established energy meridian points on your body by tapping on them with your fingertips. source
Q. What is psycho-spiritual counseling?
A. Those who are seeking personal growth and desire an expanded view of the world will find psycho-spiritual counseling appealing. Psycho-spiritual counseling brings together classic counseling and a spiritual perspective of your concerns or problems. It takes into consideration your belief system, your energy system, and states of awareness.
Q. I cannot be hypnotized, and I do not like the idea of someone having that kind of control over me anyway. Do I have to have hypnosis?
A. Hypnosis will not be used without your permission. However,
trance states are commonly misunderstood and not recognized. Such states are often experienced when falling asleep or daydreaming, or even when driving a car. Hypnosis simply invokes that state of highly focused
attention – and I draw on it in some way with most of my clients. That allows us to work with the underlying experience or misunderstanding that resulted in imbalances such as anxiety or fears,
and provides a means to make progress quickly – even if a deep trance has not been achieved.
Q. Is there something wrong with me if I choose to seek counseling? Do I have a mental illness if a doctor or someone I know recommends that I see a counselor?
A. No, or no more so than anyone else. Anger, sadness, anxieties, or a lack of confidence are common, even ordinary occurrences – but sometimes they create an imbalance in our lives. I do not think we should be labeled with a disorder when we seek assistance and support in order to have a productive and satisfying life. Today’s mental health field is generally defined by the medical model of illness that insurance companies use to determine allowable coverage. That is, in order to receive treatment, you are re-quired to have a diagnosed disorder such as depression or an anxiety disorder. We will discuss any diagnosis you have, and what diagnosis is best for our work together.
Q. What if I have been diagnosed as having a mental disorder by another practitioner?
A. My license includes the responsibility of diagnosis, which is required by health insurance. However, diagnosis can be subjective, and I am not required to accept another clinician’s diagnosis. We will discuss any diagnosis you have, and what diagnosis is best for our work together.
Q. What about confidentiality?
A. You have a legal right to the confidentiality of what we discuss in our sessions, and even to the fact that you are in therapy with me, unless you give me written permission to disclose that information (for example, to your medical doctor). I am required to safeguard that confidentiality. There are, however, some legal exceptions:
• I will notify the authorities and others if I believe there is a risk that you will harm yourself or
• I am required to notify the authorities if I have cause to suspect that a juvenile (under age 18)
has been abused or neglected.
• I also must contact the authorities if I have reasonable cause to believe that abuse or neglect of
an elderly or disabled person has occurred.
• If you are involved in a legal proceeding, a judge may order me to disclose information related
to your treatment.
It is also possible that we will run into each other at local events, a store, or other places outside my office. To respect your privacy, I will do no more than say hello, unless you prefer that I not even do that.
Q. How long does treatment last?
A. I wish I could give a definitive answer to that question! The length of time a client needs is as individual as my clients. Some people discover what they are seeking in just a couple of sessions;some need more time. You and I will revisit that question as frequently as needed to help you feel comfortable, and to review your progress toward your goal. If you choose to not use health insurance, I am required to provide a good faith estimate of the cost and length of therapy. Any meaningful estimate will be based on what I learn from the potential client, and is likely to change as I gain knowledge of the client. Research has shown that 6 sessions, or 12 sessions, are average lengths of time in therapy, and that most people only have 1 session! I prefer to discuss this with you, learn what your needs are, and work from that – but I will provide the good faith estimate.