What is counseling? How is it different from talking to friends or family?

Counseling presents an invaluable opportunity to have an unbiased, trained professional help you gain perspective through encouraging you to think objectively about yourself and the experience of loss, develop and implement positive coping skills, and identify and manage emotions.

I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to counseling weak?

Everyone experiences loss during their lifetime. Sometimes those transitions are easily navigated on our own or with the help of friends and family, but there are times we can benefit from extra support, a listening ear, and someone experienced in discerning how to move forward. Having the self-awareness to recognize those times of need is an invaluable strength and an admirable quality.

Can’t I just take medication and avoid counseling?

Research shows that the long-term solution to processing the pain associated with any emotional struggle cannot be resolved through the use of medication alone. In some cases, the combination of medication and psychotherapy is considered the most effective approach. While medication treats associated physical symptoms, an integrative counseling approach focuses on processing your distress and addresses any emotional and behavioral patterns that may impede progress and lasting change. It is important that you maintain ongoing, open communication with your physician regarding both your physical and mental health needs.

How do I schedule an appointment with you?

When someone makes the decision to pursue counseling, I strive to make scheduling as easy as possible. There are several ways for you to schedule an appointment with me. Please choose the option that is simplest for you.

  • Call 785-820-6882. If I am in session I do not answer my phone but I encourage you to leave a confidential voicemail and I will return your call as soon as possible.

  • Send an email:

What happens during the first session?

When you decide to make the wise, life-enriching decision to begin counseling, you take the first step towards positive overall wellness. Just like anything new, though, the process can produce feelings of anxiety and fear. One of my top priorities is ensuring a safe therapeutic environment and relationship. If you have any questions or concerns as we begin (or at any point throughout the process), please ask.

All initial consultations are complimentary as I believe that it is vital to determine if my style of practice, philosophy and overall approach is the best fit for you. Upon scheduling this appointment, I will send you forms to complete and bring with you to your session. The purpose of these forms is to gather information about you and also give you important information about how I structure and engage clients in the counseling process. The resounding tenet of our work together is for you to grow in self-awareness, to reach your desired goals, and to implement lasting change through restoring hope and reframing grief so that the loss you are experiencing becomes incorporated into your personal journey. When you arrive for your initial consultation I will encourage you to share your story and what prompted you to seek counseling at this time.

This session is important as the primary objective is to decide if you and I can effectively work together. Should we conclude I am not the best fit to walk with you through this process, there are many quality, respected counselors in this area and I can provide you with a list of referrals. If we decide to move forward as a team, we will collaboratively develop a plan for future sessions.

How do I know that you will keep my information and what I say private?

Confidentiality is a key component of the counseling relationship. Successful counseling requires a high degree of trust with immensely sensitive, extremely personal subject matter. Your right to confidentiality will be carefully maintained and will not be disclosed without your written permission, with the exception of the following situations: suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, vulnerable adults, and elders; suspected danger to self or threats to harm another person; court order. More information is detailed within the Office Policies and Agreement form I will provide to you. Please feel free to ask any questions for clarification. With regards to outdoor counseling, please be aware that all reasonable efforts will be made to safeguard your confidentiality but there are inherent limits to confidentiality with sessions being held in a more public environment than the privacy of an office. We will thoroughly discuss any concerns you have and plan for potential scenarios prior to utilizing outdoor counseling. Please note that in couples counseling I do not agree to keep secrets as I believe this erodes the counseling relationship and further damages any healing or progress in rebuilding trust.

How long are sessions and how often do we meet?

Typically, sessions are 50 minutes in length and scheduled on a weekly basis. However, throughout my experience as a counselor, and specifically within the area of grief and loss, appointments have varied from every other day to weekly to monthly “check-ins”. The course of counseling is fully dependent upon progress toward desired goals and individual client needs. We will regularly revisit this topic to evaluate the continued necessity and frequency of sessions.

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact me at least 24 hours in advance of your session. Since clients are seen by appointment only, once an appointment is scheduled that time is specifically reserved for you. A cancelled appointment delays collaborative  work and directly impacts your progress. Therefore, sessions cancelled with less than 24-hour notice, and not due to an unforeseen emergency, will be charged a set fee of $25.

I’m a new mother. Can I bring my baby with me to our session?

Congratulations and welcome to the journey of motherhood! As a mother, I fully understand the challenging demands of an infant and believe the decision whether or not to bring your baby is yours. Some moms find that having their newborn with them eases their mind and enables them to schedule appointments without the added stress of coordinating childcare. Others prefer to schedule appointments when their partner is home or childcare is easily arranged so that they can fully focus on their emotional needs. A creative method I regularly use with new mothers is outdoor counseling, as it conveniently allows for emotional processing and physical movement while pushing your newborn in a stroller.

I really need some additional support right now but I cannot make it to your office. What can I do?

I commend you for reaching out. On a case-by-case basis I can offer in-home counseling sessions. Please call me at 785-820-6882 and we can discuss your needs and current situation to make the best decision for you at this time.

Why are you wearing workout clothes?

I offer outdoor counseling as an approach when working together. Learn more about the benefits here. Additionally, I fully believe that counseling is enhanced through a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere and desire for clients to feel at ease in my presence.