Common Questions

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What is a Marriage and Family Therapist?

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are relationship specialists who specialize in understanding mental health and treat persons involved in interpersonal relationships. We are trained to assess, diagnose and treat individuals, couples, families, adolescents, children, and groups to achieve more adequate, satisfying and productive marriages, families and social adjustment. We do not prescribe medication, but we work closely with your doctors to provide the best integrative health care.

I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

On the contrary. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason isn’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

How does therapy work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.

How long will therapy take?

Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular weekly sessions initially, and then space them out as you see progress.

If I commit to therapy, what can I expect? How can I get the most out of therapy?

It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in sessions back into your life. Beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, if you are receptive to “homework”, I can suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your progress – such as practicing relaxation skills, journaling on a specific topic, reading a pertinent book, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.

My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?

If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.

Why I do not accept Insurance?

As a fee for service provider, I do not accept insurance; clients pay me directly rather than going through an insurance company. This allows for you and me to determine the most effective course of therapy and allows for the highest quality of therapeutic services without the confines of managed care or insurance companies.

  • When using insurance, insurance companies require a diagnosis for yourself or one of your family members:By law I still may need to give you a diagnosis, but this information is confidential and is not shared with insurance companies.
  • Some diagnoses are not covered by insurance.
  • Most insurance companies will not provide reimbursement for couple’s therapy unless one of the couple is given a mental health diagnosis e.g  couples therapy is not covered under insurance unless the insurance holder is given a diagnosis.
  • Paying “Out of Pocket” provides you with control over your Mental Health Records/Personal Heath Information.
    • Please note exceptions to confidentiality.
  • Managed care can sometimes dictate or limit the number of sessions and may not pay for services that you require or need.  I believe in client autonomy and you and I will decide how long to maintain therapy.
  • Managed care may dictate the type of treatment or approach that can be used in therapy and may not cover different approaches that are success full for treatment e.g. For the treatment of trauma, co-dependency, stress, chronic pain, relaxation, grief and loss, illness, anxiety, anger, concentration, eating and weight management, nervous habits, self-defeating habits, school performance, test anxiety, and/or sleep problems.

Many clients have found that Mental Health Services may be reimbursed through your Out of Network Benefits, Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), and Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) offered by their employers. ***You will require a receipt of service if you chose to use these options.

What are In-Home Counseling Services?

In-Home Counseling takes place in the client’s home rather than in my office for those who would otherwise have a difficult time accessing therapy or getting to an office for a therapy appointment due to illness, disability, transportation, childcare, and/or for those who are facing difficulties leaving their home. I offer highly personalized in-home counseling services for those living in the South West Metro area, communities served include: Chanhassen, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Wayzata, Shorewood, Excelsior, Victoria, Shakopee, Deephaven, Crystal Bay, Mound, St. Bonifacius, Minnetrista, Waconia, Cologne, Jordan, Carver, Burnsville, Savage, and Prior Lake.