HOW CAN I SCHEDULE AN INITIAL APPOINTMENT?

Currently, I am not taking on new clients at the moment.

OFFERING IN-PERSON?

All sessions at AgoraCounseling are provided through a TeleTherapy platform either through the computer or over the phone.

 

HOW DOES TELETHERAPY OR TELEHEALTH WORK?

Teletherapy or telehealth works in much the same way as regular counseling or therapy, however instead of meeting in person, the counseling session is done over the phone or internet.  When you register for a counseling session with me, you will recieve a link the day of the session to your email address on file.  When you click on this link, either on your phone or computer, a window will pop open letting you know that you are in the waiting room.  When our session begins, I will appear and we will conduct our session in much the same way as we would have if we were in person.  It is just important that when we conduct our sessions together, that you are able to find a place that is private, safe for you, and that you aren't driving during our session.

WHAT TYPE OF THERAPY DO YOU OFFER?

I pull my therapy practice from a couple of different theories including Solution Focused  Brief  Therapy (SFBT,) Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR.)  However, the core of my therapy comes from Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT.)  This theory holds that most of our struggles in life are caused by self-defeating thoughts and feelings and that we can bring stability to our life by challenging the rationality of those feelings and replacing them with healthier, more productive beliefs.

 

HOW LONG ARE SESSIONS? 

Sessions are 45 minutes long, adhering to what is called "the therepeutic hour."  The remaining fifteen minutes are used to compile what happened in the session, and prepare for the next scheduled session.  As well as taking care of self-care.    

HOW OFTEN ARE SESSIONS?

Sessions are scheduled weekly.  In some cases, a client may request bi-weekly (every other week) sessions in order to better fit their schedule or due to financial reasons.  In those cases I would work to accomodate that client, as long as it did not interfere with an effective treatment outcome.    

 

DO YOU HAVE A SLIDING SCALE?

I don't have a Sliding Scale offered in my practice.  A Sliding Scale is a type of fee structure where people with a lower income, or higher expenses are charged a lower fee.  For this to work, clients who don't qualify for the Sliding Scale are charged more to offset the cost.  Instead of offering a sliding scale, I offer a flat-rate fee of $58 to all clients which is competitive with the lowest rates in our area.  Also the strict cancellation policy assists in keeping costs low so that the fee that is charged to clients for services can remain as low as possible.

WHAT WILL THERAPY COST ME?

I have a flat-rate fee for all clients which is $58.  The initial visit and all subsequent visits are charged the same amount.  This is charged 48 hours before the scheduled session.  I accept Visa, Discovery, Mastercard and American Express.  When you schedule your session, which can be done at the bottom of any page on my website, Yellowschedule will take your billing information.  Yellowschedule is a HIPAA compliant scheduling, billing and teletherapy service that is used by many therapists who provide mental health counseling over the internet.  

DO YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?

I am not an in-network provider with any private insurance programs.  However, many insurance providers do allow for all or at least partial coverage for out-of-network Licensed Mental Health Counselors.  If you are going to seek reinbursement from your insurance provider, it is a good idea to contact them prior to starting counseling in order to request information about your out-of-network benefits.  I am able to provide you with a Superbill after services, which you would then bring to your insurance company in order to seek reinbursement.    

WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION POLICY?

I reserve time on my calendar for my clients each week.  If a client cancels at the last minute, or does not show for an appointment, it costs the practice money and prevents someone else from recieving services at that time.  For that reason no-shows or appointments cancelled less than 48 hours prior to the session, will be billed at the full fee of $58.  This is for appointments cancelled for any reason.

 

One of the ways AgoraCounseling is able to provide such low rates compared to other practices in the area is because we adhere to this cancellation policy.  It does not work for everyone, some clients will prefer to see a counselor that charges more but who has a looser cancellation policy.  However, for clients who are serious about counseling and are looking for the lowest rate possible, this is the best policy for them.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT IN AN INITIAL COUNSELING SESSION?

During an initial session I will spend time gathering information about your current concerns.  I will ask that you share information with me regarding what has brought you to counseling.  I will also ask questions about previous life experiences and relationships.  Because my counseling-style is present focused, in most sessions the past will only be in the periphery, however, in the initial session it is beneficial to build a framework of who you are as an individual and the experiences that have gone through that have shaped your life.  

 

I will make time for you to ask me questions about my practice and counseling style.  Together with you, we will create a treatment plan for our future sessions together, including our main goals for treatment.  From me, you can expect transparency, authenticity, and challenges, as well as well as my full commitment to provide you with the highest standard of evidence-based treatment. 

HOW CAN COUNSELING HELP ME?

A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling. Licensed Mental Health Counselors can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, and creative blocks.

Counselors can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from counseling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from counseling include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values

  • Developing skills for improving your relationships

  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek counseling

  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety

  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures

  • Improving communications and listening skills

  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones

  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

HOW LONG SHOULD I EXPECT TO BE IN COUNSELING?

I come from a therapy perspective that does not believe counseling should be eternal.  Studies on counseling have shown that around the six month mark of counseling there is a decline in new gains.  For this reason I renew treatment plans every three months.  This allows us to decide if there are still areas in your life that you want to focus on and address, while also assessing that the counseling sessions are providing an intended effect.  Most clients are able to discontinue counseling after 3-6 months with the ability to come back into counseling if it is needed again in the future.  Some will leave treatment earlier than that, and others may need more time.   

ARE COUNSELING SESSIONS CONFIDENTIAL?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.  I take the privacy of my clients very seriously and will not put the privacy of their health information in jeopardy. 

However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule:

*  If the client may be an immediate danger to themselves or others
*  If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect themselves, such as the case of child or elder abuse
*  To share information as necessary to obtain payment for services
*  When mandated by federal or Florida laws

DO YOU PROVIDE TRAUMA COUNSELING?

I am a trauma informed counselor, this means that I understand the widespread impact of trauma and the routes toward recovery.  I can recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma, and work within my practice to avoid retraumitization.  Through my practice I can teach tools that will aid you in living with trauma and improve your sense of safety.  I do not, however, provide intensive trauma counseling which delves into the trauma itself.  These types of counseling such as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT,) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR,) are best done in person and need to be done by a therapist who is trained to provide them.  

WILL I BE JUDGED?

Counselors are human and come with their own preconcieved biases, cultural values, and opinions.  However, good counselors are trained to identify their own biases so that they do not allow them to interfere with the counseling session.  Often we as individuals are our own harshest judge, it is not my place to judge you.  It is my place to help you grow in your self-acceptance and obtain the goals you have for yourself.  So when you come into session with me, you can expect me to listen non-judgementally, not impose my own view on the world, and not give you my answer to your problem but assist you in finding your own answer.    

HOW SAFE IS THE THERAPY SPACE?

In my practice, I have no ulterior agenda, my goal is assisting you in accomplishing your goals, or addressing your negative symptoms.  I will respect your cultural/ethnic background, identity, and religion and these things will only become a focus of counseling if they are tied with the reason you came into counseling and you wish to address them.  In my practice you will not be sold on a pyramid scheme, or be encouraged to practice tools that have no scientific basis.  I promise to provide tools that are evidence based, and that will compliment your cultural practices, and religious beliefs.  There are no hidden charges or fees.  I will hold strict boundaries in our interactions to protect the therapeutic relationship.  In short, I will work to ensure that the therapy space is as safe as possible.

POSITION ON MEDICATION FOR MENTAL ILLNESSES?

It has been widely studied that the long-term solution to mental health problems cannot be addressed soley through treatment with medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, mental health counseling addresses the cause of these problems and the behavior patterns that curb our progress.  This does not mean that medication can not have a place in the treatment of mental health problems, because they can be very effective at eliminating or reducing symptoms.  I readily work with individuals who are also taking medications, as well as those who do not.  It's important to work with your medical doctor so you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.