How long will counseling take to work?
As common as this question is, it’s also impossible to answer. The average length of time I see a therapy client is 9 months-1 year, although the length of time has ranged from between just 3 appointments (using EMDR therapy to address test anxiety) and 6 years (for someone who is likely to be in therapy off and on throughout their life).
Variations in length of counseling can be attributed to many different things. For some, it’s the complexity of one’s history, diagnosis, and current issues. Other times, the consistency and frequency of therapy sessions are the deciding factor. In addition, the emotional safety of their home life. And, perhaps most importantly, the amount of work people put in OUTSIDE of the therapy room.
How does this actually play out for online therapy?
For example, two people start therapy under similar circumstances at the same time. Person A comes prepared to online sessions. They are thoughtful about what they’d like to accomplish that day. They’ve also been considering what was discussed in therapy during the rest of their week. And, practicing tools/observations/etc that we discussed in the session. Person B comes to most sessions. But, sometimes forgets or reschedules, leading to less consistency. In addition, person B also doesn’t really think about therapy once they walk out the door (or, these days, closes out their video session). Each time they come in to meet they say, “oh yeah, I forgot to focus on/try that thing we discussed last time.” And, is nearly at square one each meeting.
As you might guess, person A is going to be done with therapy a lot faster than person B. Person A will also likely feel that online therapy was much more beneficial than person B, who may start feeling that it is a “waste of time” or “not helpful”.
Can you see the difference? I hope so!
Is online therapy in REALLY confidential?
The short answer is YES. Whatever you talk to me about in session is truly just between us, with very few exceptions. Those include:
- If you appear to be a danger to yourself (actively suicidal, not just thinking, “I wish I wouldn’t wake up tomorrow”);
- Making a statement putting someone else in danger (homicidal with an intended victim, or threatening to go beat up some particular person and meaning it…things of that nature);
- Saying something that makes me suspect you or another specifically named person of child abuse, elder abuse, or abuse of the disabled.
These are by far the most common reasons that I (or any therapist) would need to involve another person in your treatment and/or make a report to Child Protective Services or the police.
What does confidentiality look like for teen therapy?
Since I work with a lot of 15-17yo clients, I am clear with parents that I do NOT tell them anything about what their teen shares with me unless it fits one of the above criteria. I do not share information about sexual activity, drug/alcohol use, sneaking out of the house, etc. Doing so would have the likely outcome of the teen not talking to me. Or, any adult about any of these behaviors. Not only does this mean our online teen therapy sessions are less effective, but this leaves them even more vulnerable on a daily basis. That said, I do encourage teens to allow me to talk to parents in some of these situations. Or, to have one or a few family counseling sessions with both teen and parents to address them in a way that is more comfortable for the teen.
What about hotline reports?
As a therapist, I have a personal policy that I NEVER make any report on my clients without their knowledge. You will ALWAYS know if I’m going to make such a report before I make it, so that you have a say on how that is done.
Please reach out to me directly if you have any questions about this.
How does online therapy work?
It’s easy! Online therapy in Colorado can be done from your smartphone or computer. I live in the Denver area, but the great news is that you are able to login to your therapy session from anywhere in the state of Colorado. I use my electronic health record (EHR)’s a video platform, which is secure as simple to use.
The morning of your online therapy session, I send out an email with a link for you to click on at our session time to “log in” to the video. If on your computer, all you have to do is click the link. If on your phone, you would just need to download the SimplePractice for Telehealth app (free) before the first telehealth therapy session. Then, you can click on the email link for the video to pop up. That’s it!
Why don’t you (and so many other Colorado therapists) take health insurance for therapy?
I 100% understand why you want to use your health insurance. And, I only recently stopped accepting any insurance at all. As a therapist, I want to help as many people in Colorado as I possibly can through online therapy. But I also really believe not accepting insurance was a decision I made so I can provide you, as my client, the best possible psychotherapy experience. So, let me explain how I came to that (difficult) decision.
Pre-existing conditions may cause you problems in the future.
I used to feel very comfortable telling people that except in some specific work environments (pilots, military personnel, sometimes doctors) your health information would be kept private. And, not used against you in any way. I am feeling less and less sure about that these days. So, the last thing I want is for anyone to be punished (i.e. not be able to get insured, have extremely high premiums, etc) for seeking help for their depression, anxiety, or anything else. Why might this be a problem for you?…
2. You are required to have a mental health diagnosis for insurance to cover services at all.
Why is this so? Well, that’s a whole thing. According to health insurance companies, if you do not qualify for a mental health diagnosis, then you do not need therapy. Also, if you start getting better, they can decide that you’re better “enough.” And, refuse to continue paying for therapy services. This means that as a Colorado mental health provider, I have to talk and write about you in the most negative light to ensure you are still meeting “medical necessity” for mental health treatment.
This is the OPPOSITE of how I actually see my therapy clients. Which, is to look for strengths, what is going well, what is getting better, and encouraging. And, working on continuing in that direction. It really just feels yucky to have to “play to the insurer audience,” in a sense. I’d much rather be completely focused on highlighting your progress in therapy and helping you continue to keep moving toward the best possible you.
3. Reimbursement rates for psychotherapy services haven’t changed in 6+ years (well, that’s not entirely true…one has decreased over the past year).
Like you, my cost of living increases every year. And, this includes my business costs. It is simply not sustainable to work for the same rate for years and years with no knowledge of when or even if rates will ever increase (one person I know said their rate hadn’t increased with one company for over 20 years!!!). As therapists, we are required to sign a contract saying that we accept X rate essentially until we terminate our contract altogether.
However, insurance companies can change the rates. Or, any other requirements therapists need to do to get paid ANY TIME THEY WANT. And, there is nothing I can do about it. Also, they can “recoup” payments made anytime as well, going back at least 12 months if not longer (in some states there is no limit how far back they can recoup $$). A friend of mine had $7000 recouped by one insurer due to a clerical error on the insurer’s part. But, that didn’t matter. As the “little guy”, she had no recourse to go after these huge companies and their legal teams. Would you want to be doing business with a company like this? I highly doubt it.
What do YOU do in online counseling?
As a Colorado therapist, I’m here to help you figure out the mess of life. Do I have the answers? Nope. Do you have the answers? I’m pretty positive you do. Do you know that you have the answers? No, and that’s why I can help you with!
Online counseling gives you an opportunity to look at what you want to be different in your life. Whether it be your relationship, your happiness, your job, anything. Working together in counseling can help you to navigate all the things. Additionally, I’m going to challenge you. You know those super unhelpful thoughts you have nearly every day? Those bad boys are going to be challenged head-on. As your therapist, I’m here to give you support and help you deal.
What’s your specialty as a therapist?
I love providing EMDR therapy. I have seen an ample amount of success with my clients. And, my client’s success in EMDR therapy is supported by research. It’s an effective treatment to use when providing trauma therapy. Overall, I love working with hot mess women going through many different things in their life. I really like to work with teens navigating the changes that are coming their way. I also love working with millennials that are really struggling with this whole ‘adulting’ nonsense. And, don’t forget about the hot mess moms. Y’all are doing 14,000 things at a time and it feels like you can’t catch a break! I work with all of my clients.
So…Can I see you for counseling?
While my physical therapy office has been based out of Lakewood, CO previously, now that I’m focused on providing online therapy services, I can see anyone in the state with online therapy in Colorado. So, if you live anywhere in the state of Colorado and sometimes feel like a hot mess, I’m here for you! Whether we’ll be helping you pull pieces back together after trauma, taming your teen, finding order in the midst of your anxiety or helping you feel more confident as a mom; I’m here to help.
Let’s get to work in counseling!
Whatever you’re going through, I’m here to help! We can work together in my Denver-based counseling clinic. Or, anywhere in the state with online therapy in Colorado (thanks, technology!) I offer many different psychotherapy services. I love working with hot mess teens, millennials, moms, and women. I’m experienced in providing trauma therapy and EMDR therapy. When you’re ready to begin counseling, follow these steps: