Are you a Christian counselor?
No. My approach is secular. I respect that every person’s beliefs are different and private. Religion and psychology are too different to be in the same “room”; one is about faith while the other is based in science. Faith is often part of who individuals are and can be a source of couples’ conflict; however, I do not tell clients what to believe.
What disqualifies a couple from coming to see you?
Abuse of any kind (substance abuse, physical or emotional abuse), significant behavioral problems, severely conflictual couples, where counseling is a “last-ditch” effort to save a relationship, child custody issues.
Do you work with individuals, too?
Yes. It’s also true that relationship work includes individual sessions, too.
What will our work be like?
The reasons for seeking in-office work or workshops differ from person to person and couple to couple. In general, you can expect to discuss what’s happening in your life now, your personal history, as well as reporting progress and insights from the previous sessions.
The ultimate purpose is to help you bring what you learn in session into your life. Since in-office time occupies only a short amount of your life, what happens outside the office is really what our work is about. As an involved partner, I offer insights and perspectives to help you reach the goal you’ve set and may suggest things like reading a pertinent book, talking with family members, viewing films, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or trying out new ones.
Elements of coaching, counseling, education, and psychotherapy are all part of my approach.
What is expected from me?
Every client is expected to bring honesty, commitment, and responsibility to this experience. The absence of any of these may result in an end to our relationship.
Are coaches, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and social workers all the same?
Coaches are not required to hold any degree and are not state regulated in Colorado. Coaching is not reimbursable by insurance. The main focus is on a specific client goal which is achieved by building critical thinking, thought processes, and inquiry. Many mental health professionals, just like coaches, seek client change in thinking and behavior that lasts a lifetime. Coaches, however, do not focus on feelings or sources of dysfunction.
Therapists must have at least 2 years post-graduate education and must complete an internship. In order to become licensed, a regulated number of supervised hours must be accumulated, which takes about another 2-3 years.
What do all those letters mean?
M.A. or M.S. stands for Master of Arts or Master of Science. Both are 2 year post-graduate degrees. LPC stands for Licensed Professional Counselor. LMFT stands for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. LCSW stands for Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Acquiring any of these degrees does not insure licensure; that’s an additional step, without which insurance cannot be used. All behavioral health providers are state regulated and must belong to, and abide by, the ethical precepts of their particular professional organization.
None of these professionals can prescribe medication.
What if we don’t know if we want to be together?
Oftentimes, couples are in such pain they feel the relationship must be over. Deciding to go your separate ways needs to be based on thoughtful consideration, not hot emotion. Each of us know that the same-old same-old doesn’t work; you have to commit to discovery and growth. While that might result in splitting apart, it’s something you don’t know right now.
Do you work with couples where a disability or chronic illness is involved?
Yes! The unique combination of professional skill and personal experience — I have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis for over 35 years — makes me especially tuned in to the unique problems of this population.