Do you accept my insurance? No, I do not. I am a private pay therapist who will be happy to fill out receipts for you that you may submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement. HOWEVER, there is good news. Lee Ellis, LCSW offices with me, is a great therapist who I often refer to, and she accepts Blue Cross Blue Shield. If you’d like to make an appointment with Lee, call 501-993-9023.
Do you do sex therapy with couples? I am a Marriage and Family Therapist and all MFT’s are trained to counsel couples with sexual issues. It is a very common thing, by the way, so no need for embarrassment or shame.
What is your style of therapy? Hmmm, I can tell you that I am very active in the conversation and see myself as a kindly coach who can get tough if the case calls for it – for example, I can smell a person’s baloney a mile away, so just tell me the truth! I see my role as one to push, nudge, lean, and do what I can to influence people to be healthy and balanced with themselves and in their relationships. Yes, we will visit your childhood, and there is almost always some psycho-education involved. I draw lots of pictures and diagrams for couples because I like to make things very easy to understand. Also, we may laugh, cry, or … who knows? What I do know is that I have a lot of education and experience, and you are going to learn and grow a lot in the process of the type of therapy that I do.
What will give me and my spouse the best chance for success in marriage therapy? I’m glad you asked. I need both of you to check your pride and ego at the door and bring a humble heart; I need both of you to be open-minded, flexible, and highly motivated to do the work I will be asking you to do. If I suggest a book to read, for example, read it. I will only suggest it because there is some gold to be mined in that book, and there is something there just for you that will be one of the bricks in your wall of successful marriage therapy. I need you to be totally honest, I need you to trust me, I need you to resist blaming your spouse and instead look within yourself at the areas in which you’ve been less of a spouse than you had hoped you would be … if you can do these things then we will see great things! Oh, and did I say that marriage therapy usually involves a rather long term commitment. Stay the course!
Do you text and email with clients? Yes, and I do phone, Skype and Facetime, too. I am very accessible to my clients.
Why should I listen to someone like you who has been divorced? Shouldn’t I go to someone who has only known success in marriage? Wow, that one hurts! Just kidding, it really doesn’t. I feel I have had many life experiences that have enriched my life as a therapist. I was divorced from my kid’s dad in 1993 and was a single mom for years. Why people divorce is complicated and definitely does not indict a person as being defective or a failure. Because of my experience I can speak to you from the heart about the pain and difficulties of all of that, and lessons learned. I was not a therapist back then, but it was that experience that sent me looking for answers about how such a thing could happen. I wanted to understand it, and in my understanding I can now help others. It is the reason that I became a marriage therapist, and it is the reason I am so passionate about what I do. And, if it matters, I am now in a very happy marriage and getting it right, so the hard work of learning and growing has paid off!
Can you prescribe medications for me if I need them? No, sorry. I am a Ph.D. doctor, not a medical doctor. In our initial assessment I will usually be able to tell if you may benefit from medications. If we agree that you do, I have several doctors who I recommend, or you can go to your family doctor. We also offer other forms of therapy that may help you with depression or anxiety symptoms that does not involve medications.
Why is therapy so expensive? Because of overhead, mainly. That includes rent, my assistant, furnishings, computers and equipment, license fees, continuing education, insurance – all of it. And the other thing is, it costs the average therapist with a Ph.D. many years and close to $100,000 for their education and training … many of us will be paying those debts for years. Even though the basic fee you pay seems expensive, therapists do not get wealthy doing what they do.