Frequently Asked Questions
What format are therapy sessions?
I offer therapy through telehealth (audio/video) and in-person. Occasional audio only sessions are available to accommodate travel schedules, technology issues, etc.
Do I have to live in Austin to work with you?
Nope! I am licensed in the state of Texas, so if that's where you are, I can work with you.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
You can expect to set aside 50 minutes for each session unless we discuss a different session length ahead of time. From there, it may look different for everyone based on their needs.
First sessions, called an "Intake Session," are lots of information-gathering so that I can have a general understanding of your overall story. We might not go as deep in this session, and I may write down a few things so that I don't forget later. I might ask questions about your family and friends, medical and substance use history, your job, and other basic information. Medical and substance use history is helpful for me to know about because sometimes our physical health can affect our moods and overall mental functioning.
As we continue to work together, we'll follow whatever threads seem the most helpful to you. The pace is up to you.
Is therapy confidential?
The short answer is yes, what we talk about in therapy stays between us. But confidentiality is not absolute, so there are a few reasons I am legally mandated to break confidentiality. Here are the main reasons:
If I'm worried about your safety or someone else's
If I believe someone from a protected population is being harmed or neglected, such as a child, elderly person, or someone who is disabled
If I receive a court order from a judge
I will do the best I can to involve you in the decision to break confidentiality if the situation allows.
What does your license mean?
I have two different licenses: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (LMFT-Associate) and Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPC-Associate), both in the state of Texas.
For both licenses, the word "Associate" means I meet with a licensed supervisor every week until I have 3,000 hours of experience working as a therapist and counselor, which usually takes several years. The required hours include meeting with clients directly, time spent meeting with my supervisor, and time I spend doing things like admin tasks, additional training, research, etc.
To be an LMFT-Associate, part of my education and training involved learning about and working with people in relationships, whether as a couple, family, co-parent, or a different kind of relationship. It also means people's relationships are one way I try to understand them, even if I am meeting with an individual. This license reflects the way I see the world.
In the state of Texas, LPC-Associate is a more common license than LMFT-Associate. LPC-Associates may see their clients' concerns in a more individualized light, instead of through the lens of their relationships, but this is not a hard rule. I decided to get both licenses because LPC-Associate is more widely recognized and somewhat more portable, just in case I want to try to become licensed in another state. Another reason I like having both licenses is that sometimes when people see "marriage and family" in my license, they think I don't work with individuals. I wanted to send a message that I want to hear your story, no matter your relationship status.
Do you have a sliding scale?
I do take on a limited number of sliding scale clients, yes. I am not currently taking on new sliding scale clients at this time, but I am happy to add you to my waitlist or provide you with a referral with a sliding scale or low-cost option.
Sliding scale clients and I work together to figure out what their fee should be, so it is based on a combination of what I can accommodate and the client's financial situation. I do not do an income verification but simply ask that you consider what you can reasonably afford. It's important for you to have a stake in your mental health journey, so in working to decide how much is reasonable, consider an amount that will not put your financial security in jeopardy but will still motivate you to do the work. If/when your financial situation changes, your fee can change to reflect your income.
Why don't you take insurance?
This is a great question that unfortunately doesn't have an easy answer. One reason is that lots of insurance companies won't work with licensed associates.
Another reason is because working with health insurance sometimes means therapists are forced to work using a medical model of care. The idea behind a medical model is a good one: it's an attempt to match someone's concerns with a proven treatment. But in practice, a medical model often doesn't match up well when it comes to mental health. For instance, if you go to therapy because you have anxiety, a medical model might suggest treating the symptoms of anxiety. But it wouldn't necessarily be concerned about the reason you have anxiety in the first place.
The relationship between mental health and insurance is complex! I am more than happy to discuss in more depth if you have more questions.