Frequently Asked Questions
Where is your office located?
The office is located in Clayton, MO at Bemiston and Hanley.
230 South Bemiston
Clayton, MO 63105
I can just talk to my friends; why should I go to therapy?
Friends can be fantastic for blowing off some emotional steam; but since they are not trained therapists, they make mistakes in how they help you through emotions or situations. One of these mistakes is pushing their opinions on you or what they think is right. In therapy, you learn to trust yourself and your own instincts. Friends and family, even with the best of intentions, can sometimes create more discomfort. My philosophy is that you are the only one who will be living with your decisions; therefore, you are the only one who can make them. Therapists are trained in giving you space to do that.
How often should I go to therapy?
The process is in your control. I suggest that you come every week for at least a month to establish a strong therapeutic relationship and get the ball rolling quickly. Therapy is like going to church or the gym; it is a process that only works if you commit to it.
I feel weird talking to a stranger!
That is a normal part of having healthy boundaries! As you visit consistently, you and I will feel more comfortable and open. The therapeutic relationship takes time to get more comfortable. Eventually we won’t be strangers. Thank you for considering letting me into your heart and mind.
Why don’t you take insurance?
Healthcare and insurance has changed vastly over the past few years. Insurance is paying for less, and there are less options for you. On my end, as a provider of mental health care, it is difficult to get reimbursed fairly and in a timely manner. The paperwork is time consuming and would require hiring an employee for accounting which drives costs up even more. Battling paperwork and the worry of when and if I will get paid distracts me from you and the reason you are in to see me. Not taking insurance simplifies the process. Your typical therapist should cost about $100-$200 for a 50-minute session. This also includes an additional 10 minutes of time when you are not present for the therapist to take notes and organize any relevant documents.
What do you charge and what does it include?
My rate is $100. This includes 50 minutes of face time with me and 10 minutes of casework after you leave. I do not charge extra for a quick e-mail, responding to a text message, or even a short (5-10 minute) phone call.
What am I actually paying for when I go to therapy?
What a great question! When you purchase therapy you are paying for a lot that you may not be aware of. The first and most obvious is the time spent with the therapist. Some things you are investing in that don’t stand out as easily include, the expertise of the therapist, continuing education they have taken that informs them on how to best serve clients just like you and the time spent on you when you are not in the office when the therapist is taking notes, consulting and doing research. Mediators and attorneys charge for these extra services by keeping record of all the time spent on you in and out of their office and send you a monthly bill, therapists don’t.
What happens if you go out of town?
I don’t often leave town for more than a week at a time. If we need to do a session over the phone or skype, that is available to you. I am always available via text or e-mail as well. If there is ever an emergency, call the police or 911.
Can you do counseling over Skype or phone?
What if I want to bring my kids to therapy, but I am divorced?
In situations where parents share time spent and decision making, I would need a release to be signed by both parents giving consent to treat. There are situations where one parent has the decision-making power. In this case, I would simply need documentation confirming that the parent that contacted me has this power, and then we can start our work together.
Side note: Whenever possible, it is ideal to involve both parents in the treatment of children.
I’ve noticed you have a therapy dog, but I am scared or allergic.
Piper is not allowed on the furniture, and it is leather so that should limit any allergens. If for any reason you would like Piper not to attend your session, just let me know ahead of time so we can arrange that. She won’t get her feelings hurt.
What is Piper (therapy dog) like in session?
Piper is a Border Collie who is about a year old. She pretty much lies around in session. After she gets to know you, she may ask for a pet or maybe give you a lick. Otherwise she’s like a log of a dog on the floor by your feet. Some people like to sit on the floor and cuddle during session; some just ignore her. Whatever you are comfortable with, Piper is fine with, too.
What unique things have you done in therapy sessions?
Some clients find it hard to sit for various reasons. I am near Creve Coeur Lake, so I am available to meet for a therapy walk there after we have a few sessions under our belt. It has also been fun to go in the parking lot and throw around the therapy ball that has questions on it to break the ice with clients who need a kick start.
I cannot find a sitter for my kid, but I want to go to therapy.
Kids are a part of life. I have two boys myself who are grade school age. My office is set up for kids to wait in the waiting room, if necessary. We have all sorts of toys they can play with or free Wi-Fi for their personal tablet use. If you have a very small child that you feel may not be too much of a distraction in session, as long as they cannot understand the conversation, I am willing to experiment with this arrangement. We can troubleshoot from there.
What does “PLPC” stand for?
PLPC stands for, Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor. This means I am under supervision by Marilyn McCaffrey (lic#: 2000173598). All counselors are required to meet with a fully licensed counselor for a minimum of two years and 3,000 hours of service before gaining full licensure. I am just about complete with my duties under supervision, having completed hours above the 3,000 hour minimum requirement.