Affirmative Heart Counseling | Therapy that's a work of heart

New Clients – What to Expect

Assessing Support Needs

As a solo-practitioner with limited capacity due to my own disabilities, I am unable to cater to clients who require extensive support such as those currently dealing with suicidal intent, eating disorders, personality disorders, or who are in crisis. I will do my best to get an accurate sense of my ability to help you properly during our initial phone consultation. However, if, after beginning our sessions, I come to feel that I cannot adequately support your needs, I promise to guide you towards someone who can provide the level of care you need.

Therapeutic Frequency

In my experience, therapeutic efficacy is most obvious when meeting weekly. However, success can also be seen when meeting every-other-week. It can be very helpful to meet weekly at least for the first couple of months as we get to know each other. After we have been working together for a while and you have seen considerable progress, we can discuss reducing the frequency of sessions or possibly ending therapy with the option to resume in the future, if required and appropriate. I completely respect your autonomy in this process, and while I may provide professional recommendations in this matter, your choice and what you can financially commit to is ultimately the most important thing.

Cultural Compatibility

Born out of my own cultural background and personal experience (AuDHD), I have a direct approach to communication. Although I assure you my intent isn’t judgmental, it might seem that way to some. I feel that I am a warm and caring individual, and try to express myself that way, but I understand that I may not always be perceived that way by people with a different background. That being said, I believe in the therapeutic value of navigating through such discomforts and discrepancies in communication styles to find ways to connect and build trust. I will always assume positive intent in you, and hope you will do the same for me.

My Therapeutic Beliefs

Healing, to me, is about cultivating acceptance, compassion, and appreciation for oneself. I believe in the profound transformative power of slow, methodical work, as opposed to quick fixes. While I will provide practical and solution-focused techniques for specific issues, a considerable part of our work will involve active listening and space-holding on my part, in order to help us both better understand your experience. I will provide insights, advice, challenges, affirmations, and ask clarifying questions, but will not always have “the answer” for you. Over time, my goal is to help you build trust in yourself so that you find your own answers.

Change is subtle, gradual, and may not always seem apparent. Much like grains of sand forming a mound, each small adjustment integrates into your daily life, ultimately accumulating into something significant. I encourage you to be patient with yourself and our work together. As they say: “trust the process”.

Initial Consultation

I generally start with a free 20-minute phone consultation where we can ask each other questions and assess our compatibility. If at any point I feel that your needs would be better met by another professional, I will do what I can to help you find referral options. If we both feel like we could do good work together, we’ll move forward to the intake process.

Intake Process

If you are paying out of pocket, you will skip directly to step 2.

  1. If you are covered under one of the insurance plans that I can accept via Headway and you wish to use your insurance benefits, you will register with Headway first. They will verify your insurance benefits, including co-pays/coinsurances and deductibles, and you will have to setup a payment card with them to cover your portion of the payments according to your insurance plan. Once everything is verified with Headway, and you have agreed to their terms, we can move forward on our end.
  2. We’ll get an intake session scheduled on the calendar and I will email you encrypted intake paperwork to digitally sign and agree to. If you are unable to submit your paperwork back to me before the session start time, we will work on it together during the first part of the appointment.

Insurance and Session Notes/Privacy

I like to let people know before deciding to work with me via their insurance company that in order to comply with insurance requirements, I must keep detailed notes about our sessions. Your insurance will legally have access to these notes should they request to review your file for medical necessity. In order to facilitate this process, I record audio from our sessions and use a HIPAA compliant digital scribe to summarize the content. I then review it for accuracy before placing it in your file. You must consent to my process of note-taking in order to see me under your insurance plan (either through Headway or via submitting superbills for reimbursement). If you are paying out of pocket with no insurance involvement, then you can opt out of this.

Session Logistics

To ensure a relevant and productive therapy session each time, I recommend that between sessions and just before sessions, you take time to reflect on the week’s experiences and jot down key thoughts or interactions that you’d like to explore further.

Each session is 45 minutes, unless you have signed up for an EMDR intensive, which is 90 minutes.

I will email you the necessary details for our video session (via Google Meet) about 10 minutes prior to each session.

Please note, I require a 48-hour cancellation notice, without exception, but I provide one late-notice absence waiver per year. Failure to give sufficient notice will result in a full session charge unless rescheduled for the same week, given my availability.

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