Here are the answers to many of the commonly asked questions about therapy and specifically therapy with me!
How Do I Make An Appointment?
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
This will be different for every client, depending on what is going on with you. A typical therapy appointment reoccurs once a week. It can be as few as 6 sessions/6 weeks. When you come in for your first appointment we can discuss this if it is a concern for you.
is the Appointment?
I offer 45 minute and 55 minute long sessions. Some insurance providers do not cover 55 minute sessions so they may not be available for everyone, depending on your insurance provider.
Please always call or text if you are going to be late. If you will be more than ten minutes late, the appointment will need to be rescheduled so that you do not miss out on the benefit of your full appointment.
Do You Offer Online Video Sessions?
Yes! I provide online sessions to anyone residing in the state of Mississippi. My practice uses a secure, HIPAA compliant video platform to make sure that your virtual sessions are confidential. Most insurance companies pay for online therapy the same way they do face-to-face so typically you have only a copay.
Do You Offer Sessions Over the Phone, Email, or By Text?
No. Phone sessions are not covered by most/any insurance providers. Text message or email are not ideal ways to conduct a session and neither is covered by any insurance providers. Because so much of communication is non-verbal, email and text are not appropriate or ethical ways of providing therapy. Texting is also not secure or HIPAA compliant so I use texting and email ONLY for scheduling and schedule changes.
How Do Online Sessions Work?
It can be intimidating if you are not familiar with it but virtual therapy is really easy! The day before or morning of your therapy session you will receive an email or text message with a link. If you have already installed Zoom, all you do is click on the link. If you have not installed Zoom before, you will be prompted to install it. You can attend appointments from any computer or tablet that has audio and video capabilities or from your smartphone.
It is best to attend your online appointments from a safe, secure place where you can feel comfortable talking freely and not be concerned about others overhearing. You can view a video example of a video session that I have made here.
What Will My First Session Be Like?
Your first appointment is an opportunity to get to know the therapist as much as it is for me to get to know you! You will receive some basic paperwork by email that you will fill out prior to the appointment. If you have insurance, you upload a photo of your insurance card. We will go over the paperwork and then I will ask some questions about what brings you to therapy.
If you have questions or concerns, this is a great time to ask them. If for some reason you feel uncomfortable, like we don’t “mesh” well or just don’t hit it off then you are not obligated to come in for future appointments. Sometimes you might feel like one therapist’s style isn’t quite right for you and that is ok! Professionals know that it is not personal.
Are Therapy Sessions Confidential?
Yes. For adults coming to therapy, what is said in the session is confidential. Your information is protected by HIPAA. If you wish for a therapist to speak to your doctor or anyone else you will have to sign an information release. The situations where information is not confidential are: abuse or neglect of a child; abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult such as an elderly person; if you are a danger to yourself; or if you are a danger to others. An example of a danger to others would be if a client stated in session a credible threat toward someone like: “I am going to shoot my boss.” An example of danger to yourself is if you have suicidal ideation with a plan, such as: “I have a bottle of pills hidden at home in case I need them.” In the rare occurrence that something is said in session that I feel I am mandated to report it, I will discuss the situation with you during the session.
Examples of things that are not a danger to others and will be kept confidential are:
- cheating in a relationship
- past crimes such as discussing an incident you were previously on trial for
- health status such as a diagnosis of cancer you do not want to discuss with family yet
- common fears like “am I good parent?” or “am I bad husband?”
- identification as LGBTQIA, involvement in kink/BDSM, polyamory, or other things that you might not want to discuss publicly or with family & friends.
These are just a few examples but confidentiality is not only an ethical obligation of therapists and counselors but also mandated by law in most states. We take it very seriously. In order for therapy to be a safe space you have to feel comfortable sharing things that you might not feel comfortable talking about in other settings. Confidentiality is also maintained by office staff and other therapists or counselors that you may encounter in the office.
How Long Have You Been In Practice?
How Much Are Sessions?
I accept insurance and am in network with the following providers:
Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Magnolia, Medicare and Medicaid, and United Healthcare.
Some insurance companies allow you to use out of network benefits. When you do that, you pay upfront and I provide you a receipt that you send to your insurance company and they reimburse you for a portion of the fees.
My session fee for individual counseling, 45 minute session is $185.
For 60 minute sessions my fee is $200 for individual and $250 for marriage/couples counseling. 45 minute couples’ sessions are not offered.
If you do not have insurance, financial assistance is sometimes available, contact the office directly for more information 769-224-4234.
When Are Appointments Available?
I see clients Monday through Thursday 8:30am-5pm. I have appointments in the office during these hours and also online virtual sessions.
Evening appointments may available in some cases. After-hours appointments are cash only and full fee.
Do you have evening or weekend appointments?
At this time I do not offer appointments later than 4pm or weekend appointments.
Where Is Your Office Located?
I see clients via telehealth and at my office in Ridgeland, MS. Please visit the Locations page for addresses, maps, and parking information.
Are your offices ADA compliant or accessible to those in wheelchairs?
Yes, my office in Ridgeland has a wheelchair accessible entrance although the main entrance does have steps. If steps are an issue for you, please let me know when we book the appointment and I can direct you to the accessible door.
Other Common Questions
I see that you practice at Grace Christian Counseling.
Do you provide religious or Christian counseling?
Do you work with those who are not Christians?
I do not provide religious based counseling or Christian counseling. If your religious and spiritual beliefs are important to you than we can definitely integrate those into therapy if you wish. If they are not then we will not. Also, if you have no religious or spiritual beliefs, that is quite all right and I have no problem with that.
I believe that MY religious and spiritual beliefs have no place in YOUR therapy.
If you are looking for someone that practices overtly Christian counseling one of the other counselors at GCCC might be a good fit for you.
Does your office have gender neutral restrooms?
The suite where my office is located has locking single-stall restrooms that are marked with gender signs. However, I encourage people to use whichever restroom they feel best reflects their gender identity and makes them feel most comfortable.
Do you work with the LGBTQ community? Have you seen trans clients before?
I do work with many clients who are part of the LGBTQ community. This includes transgender clients and those who are non-binary or do not identify as a particular gender. I believe that everyone deserves access to mental health services and should not have to be afraid that who they are will be an issue when they need help for depression, anxiety, etc.
I do not think that your sexual orientation is something that needs to be addressed in therapy unless it is part of what you are coming to therapy for. Often heterosexism (homophobia) in our families and in society does impact a person’s mental health. I can help you navigate a family and society that believes there is something wrong with you. There is no such thing as “fixing” an LGBTQ person through treatment because they are not broken. All professional organizations related to psychology and counseling have officially opposed “conversion” and other such therapies. So-called conversion or “reparative” therapies are not only unethical but they are extremely harmful and many are a form of psychological torture.
Do you see LGBTQ couples?
Yes, of course!
Can you see me and my spouse together and also separately?
Will you see multiple family members for individual therapy?
For couple’s counseling it is important that neither person feel the therapist is on one side or the other. Because of this, I do not see clients as individuals that I also see for couple’s counseling. At this time I do not offer family therapy.
For members of the same family, it depends. In general I do not because I will end up with information about one client from another client’s perspective. Again, it is important for me to remain impartial.
I have other therapists in the suite where my office is located and in the community that I can refer your other family members to if we are working together.
My minor child is coming to therapy, what should I expect?
The first session you will usually both meet with the therapist briefly so that you can share what is going on with your child from your/the family’s perspective. If the child wishes, the parent may sit in for the first session while they become comfortable. Typically after about ten minutes I will ask the parent to step out and wait in the waiting area for the duration of the session. While confidentiality does not apply the same way for minors as it does for adults, I will discuss with you the need for confidentiality. I usually asks that parents allow the child to speak to me in confidence. This allows the child to be honest about what is going on in their life. Both parent and child will be told that if something comes up during the session(s) that I feel the parents need to know. I will ask the child for permission to bring the parent in to talk about it. However if the child declines and I feel it is necessary that the parents have the information, I will need to inform the parents either way.
Do you support Black Lives Matter?
Can a white therapist really understand the struggles of a person of color?
Understand? Definitely not. Empathize? For sure. I respect the need and desire of a person to see a professional of their own race. However if there is not one available I do my very best to provide culturally competent therapy. I attended Jackson State University for graduate school and had the opportunity to learn from the perspective of an HBCU curriculum. I was able to be present for many open discussions about race that allowed me to see and hear the experiences of my classmates in a way that I would not have been able to in any other setting. Additionally, I had the privilege of learning from professors who were and are activists; social justice leaders; and members of the boards of organizations like the ACLU and NAACP. I continually challenge myself to recognize and combat the privilege that I experience and to learn and grow whenever possible. At the same time I don’t believe I can ever truly understand what it means to be a person of color in America today. I also believe that systemic racism effects the mental health of individuals in a way that professionals must acknowledge and integrate into mental health treatment as appropriate.
What if I realize during my session that the therapist knows _____?
During the session it might come to the attention of the client or the therapist that you have a mutual friend, family member, attend the same church, or something else that might be a boundary violation. Anything that might make you feel like you cannot be open and honest in therapy should be discussed and you might be referred to another therapist. Please feel free to say something as soon as you realize there is some sort of connection the therapist may not be aware of! An example of how this might occur could be that during the session as you are talking, the therapist might realize she has treated one of your family members in the past which could be a conflict of interest. It might come up that you work with the therapist’s sibling or spouse and these can be potential conflicts that should be discussed. If either the client or therapist feels that it would be a boundary issue then the best practice is to refer the client to another counselor.
Will you judge me?
Therapists and counselors are trained to treat our clients with “unconditional positive regard.” We are here to help you with whatever is going on in your life that you are struggling with. This is one setting where you do not need to worry about being judged. I have worked with clients from all walks of life – many different races, genders, and sexual orientations. Also, I have worked with registered sex offenders and people who have been convicted of felonies. I have treated people who didn’t graduate high school and people who have more degrees than I do! Off the top of my head I can’t think of anything I would judge a person for. I have even worked with people who are Dallas Cowboys fans! 😉