For the variety of counseling services offered for those in Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan, Texas Corners, and the surrounding areas of Southwest Michigan, I am able to accept most insurance plans, including the following:
- Anthem PPO
- ASR/Administrative Systems Research
- Benesys Union Trust
- Blue Care Network
- Blue Care Network Advantage (a Medicare replacement)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- HAP PPO/AHL
- Physicians Care Network
- Priority Health
- Cigna Out of Network
- UnitedHealthcare Out of Network
- Sheet Metal Workers Local 7
Please contact me directly to verify insurances accepted as I also offer self-pay and out of network options for those who do not have insurance coverage or do not want to use their insurance benefits.
***AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Given that I am a Nutrition Network Practitioner with the leading international research organization on a way of eating that is well-documented to improve mental health, I realize that some may be interested in exploring the relationship between wellness/nutrition and mental health without formal psychotherapy. For those who desire to address this connection outside of the therapy room with more intimate support (e.g. via text or informal coaching meetings), I also have a lifestyle coaching business where I can provide individualized coaching for such topics. The only difference is that insurance will not cover such services. Please contact me directly with any questions.
Do you offer free consultations?
I offer free 15 minute phone consultations to explore your presenting issue, ensure that you feel I would be a good fit for your counseling needs, and provide information on the process of therapy. Please feel free to ask any questions that are important to you during that time. With any additional time required to explore the important parts of your story that exceeds 15 minutes, I recommend scheduling an in-person meeting to allow you the time you deserve.
Can I refer someone to you for counseling services?
Absolutely! Given that my growing practice is built on referrals, I would be honored if you would do so. I would appreciate your support in referring those who could use my help. I often have open spaces for new clients and I return any initial contact immediately or in less than 24 hours.
Please do keep two things in mind, however. First, because of confidentiality, if you are a former or current client, I cannot confirm or deny that I know you if someone mentions that they heard about me through you. Second, due to that same confidentiality, I cannot contact someone on your behalf or enroll them in services without their permission. The exception to this is if a legal guardian seeks counseling services for minor (those under the age of 18) for which they have custody.
What are your hours?
I purposely vary my hours in order to best meet the needs of my clients. However, in general, I have appointments between the hours of 7am and 6:30pm Monday through Friday. If you decide to contact me for counseling services, please let me know if you have any scheduling needs I would need to be mindful of in order to make sure that your needs are best met.
What is your fee?
My general session fee is $140 and my initial assessment fee is $165. I understand that finding the right therapist is a reflection of our need to protect our investment of time, money, and energy. If you have concerns about this cost, perhaps we could schedule a time to discuss how you may want to think about more than just the lowest price when choosing a therapist. As I explain on my home page, no two therapists are alike. Not every therapist has the education, training, approach, and experiences that I have, which is why therapy with me may represent a greater cost. Please also keep in mind that this cost reflects the other services I offer outside of the time we spend together, such as phone or email communication with you or you insurance company, gathering billing information, and collaborating with others (e.g. your doctor) upon your request in order to provide you with the best possible quality care. Therefore, if you are low income, uninsured, underinsured, or have concerns about your ability to pay, please contact me directly.
How do I schedule an appointment?
My hours are by appointment only. So, if you are interested in working together, you can contact me to schedule an appointment by phone at 269-254-1211. Or, since I am more accessible by email, you can also reach me faster at my encrypted email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What methods of payment do you offer for counseling services?
For those who are self-pay or for those whose insurance does not fully cover counseling services like individual therapy, couples counseling, or family therapy, remaining fees are able to paid with cash, check, Health Savings Accounts, or credit card payments. Although I am happy to assist you in the process, please keep in mind that you are responsible for knowing your insurance benefits (e.g. copays, deductibles) for counseling services.
How long would my visits be?
For individual therapy, couples counseling, or family therapy, appointments lengths are between 45-53 minutes, depending on insurance requirements.
Will my information be kept private?
For those applying insurance coverage to counseling services, I am required to share information necessary for billing purposes. However, as a therapist who strives to always practice ethically, I am bound by the confidentiality requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This means that I cannot even confirm or deny that I know you unless you have signed a specific release of information. It is of the utmost importance to me that services are safe and private.
How often would we meet?/
How long would I see you?/
How long before I see results?
The answers to these questions are so inter-related to each other that I need to comment on them together. Such answers are based on a variety of factors that could only be most accurately identified after I am able to talk with you about your situation. In general, because these questions are so common and so important, I will reply to them generally:
If you are using insurance, I first verify your insurance benefits. Second, although I ask you if you have any scheduling needs that we would need to respect, I keep in mind that research, particularly related to success of couples counseling, shows that an increased frequency of sessions at the beginning of therapy correlates to improved outcomes and the speed of results.
This means that I typically recommend meeting weekly in the beginning in order to get to know each other and develop a solid direction for how to best help you. Over time, however, given my strength-based approach, we will constantly re-evaluate your success and how often it is necessary for us to meet. It is also my goal to be able to have you leave each session having a specific tool or understanding that can help you improve your life.
To maintain the best results, research shows that it is best to not terminate therapy suddenly, but to gradually reduce the frequency of meetings over time. This may mean that we meet weekly in the beginning to help you through a crisis but, once you feel more stable, we meet bi-weekly and even eventually move to “booster sessions” every second or third month in order to help you maintain your progress. Keep in mind, this is your time, so I will offer my input but we will, ultimately, do what’s right for you. And, everyone is different.
One aspect of this that is essential to remember is, although I am solution-focused and want to be able to get you the fast results you desire, I also recognize that people come and go from therapy based on finances, life transitions, work demands, or other events. So, I have a “revolving-door policy” that welcomes people to work with me, even if it’s only for a short time, or to return to me after taking time off. There is no shame in returning after time away. Each of us have different needs and seasons in our lives that cannot necessarily be predicted. So, we will keep our minds open and, while recognizing that, just like anything else, you get from therapy what you put into it, we can have an open dialogue about how to best meet your needs.
What can I expect at the first appointment?
The first appointment will be different from any other appointment. At the first appointment I will be using the time to get to know you, your story, and what brings you in. Sometimes this “assessment” phase can last for the first couple meetings if there is a lot that you feel is relevant to what causes you to seek counseling services.
In case you don’t know where to start, which is perfectly normal, I have a set of questions I typically ask that help me assess where you are and what the next helpful step would be. The first appointment is also different because it is the only appointment at which I take notes in order to most accurately understand and remember your story.
Connected to this first appointment is also what I recommend doing at the second appointment, once I feel like I have a good understanding of your story. I always complete a “treatment plan” together with each client. Although it is unusual for a private practice clinician to do this, I do this for three reasons. First, collaboratively outlining the issues that cause you to seek counseling, the goals you have to overcome those challenges, and the specific steps we will take to help get you there allows us to have a clear direction of where to start.
Second, I feel that creating a plan for treatment is an ethical responsibility I have to my clients. My job is not just to actively listen to you. I have a responsibility to help effectively. This reflects my continual efforts to uphold the Code of Ethics for both of my licenses as a clinical social worker and a marriage and family therapist. Lastly, creating a “treatment plan” together help keeps me accountable to you. You (or your insurance) are paying me for a service and I want to make sure that we are using your time wisely and that you are getting to seeing improvements.
What if I schedule an appointment and feel like it isn’t a good fit?
That’s perfectly okay! It happens. Sometimes it is a good fit and sometimes it isn’t. I always welcome feedback from my clients throughout the entire process of therapy, even if it is constructive criticism. So, I’m happy to facilitate a referral to another trusted clinician if you would like to seek services elsewhere in Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan, Battle Creek, Paw Paw, and the surrounding areas of Southwest Michigan.