Frequently Asked Questions
Your Questions Answered
What is therapy?
While therapy can help most people overcome life difficulties, not every person who is struggling with a life transition needs therapy.
Many people heal their minor emotional wounds by relying on friends or family for support. Other people might learn from books or support groups.
Each of us experiences difficulties at some point in our life – usually after a major life event. Or sometimes when we feel like we are stuck in a rut and need a change. Therapy is most effective for basically healthy people who have experiencing some distressing events (a mental or emotional injury) – the end of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, a job or career change, family conflicts, addictions or physical illnesses.
In our therapeutic dialogue I hope to help you find more clarity and ways to overcome life’s difficulties, as well as creating new personal opportunities.
Therapy occurs in a unique relationship that cannot be found elsewhere, in which the therapists is the instrument.
Who is the right therapist for me?
Your ideal therapist is more about the match between you and the therapist than the therapist alone. It’s important to feel understood, safe, and comfortable with the therapist you choose.
If the therapist is a good fit for you, you should feel a sense of relief and validation by the comments they make.
It’s important to take the time to find someone you feel you can trust and that you enjoy talking with.
A good therapist will be able to create an environment of safety, security, and trust. You want to look for a therapist that is direct, honest, personal, and authentic and expresses warmth and empathy. More importantly you feel heard, accepted and understood.
Training and credentials, for example, a valid license, are critical elements in determining the quality of your therapy. You should also look for a therapist that adheres to a code of ethics and provides a high quality of care.
Is online therapy confidential?
As a nationally certified counselor, I adhere to a code of ethics which insures your privacy and confidentiality.
There are some important exceptions to this rule. I am legally and ethically bound to breach confidentiality and report to proper authorities if I suspect that you are a clear and present danger to yourself or anyone else.
I am obligated to warn any person who may be in danger from your actions. I am bound by law to report any suspected child abuse, elder abuse or animal abuse.
In the case of court proceedings involving my client, I may be subpoenaed to release confidential information or if I am the defendant in a client initiated lawsuit or malpractice claim I may be required to breach confidentiality.
Outside of these very rare exceptions, all counseling session communications are strictly confidential. Although I may at times feel the need to obtain peer supervision regarding some issues relating to information brought forth in a session, the client is not identified in any way.
The client is the holder of Privilege which basically means that all counseling session communications belong to the client. Any release of information outside the exceptions listed above, must be explicitly approved by the client in writing.
What about my privacy?
At my practice I use password protected computers with a full array of security software. Online counseling is conducted in a private office. All clients who participate in counseling with me are required to acknowledge their understanding of privacy and confidentiality. This is referred to as “informed consent.”
If your computer does not have security systems or you access a public computer, you can help ensure privacy by using a free secure web based email system such as Safe-mail (www.safe-mail.net) or Hushmail (www.hushmail.com).
Please note despite our efforts and safeguards, absolute confidentiality and privacy cannot be guaranteed over the internet.
What are the concerns with online therapy?
Online counseling, sometimes referred to as cyber-counseling or e-therapy, has some unique benefits such as being discrete and accessible. With these benefits comes a few challenges. By law, a minor must have parental consent to participate in counseling. Obviously, it is not difficult for a minor to pass as an adult on the Internet. As such, part of distance counseling informed consent is the acknowledgement that a person requesting counseling sessions is an adult. Should a minor wish counseling sessions, parental consent must be obtained through email and fax and verified through phone contact.
An additional concern of Internet counseling is client identity. To help avoid any imposter concerns and verify client identity, a special codeword, password or nickname may be decided upon to then verify identity at the beginning of each email communication.
With technology there is always the possibility of failure and computer crashes, alternate modes of communication need to be established at the onset of counseling sessions.
Last, but by far not the least of special concerns, is the issue of misunderstanding. Because online counseling is devoid of so many verbal and visual cues, misunderstanding is possible. Every attempt is made to be as clear and straight forward as possible. Nevertheless, if a misunderstanding does occur, the client is encouraged to clarify and no extra charge for emails on clarification shall be charged.
How much does the therapy cost?
Please view the services and fees page for details.