(720) 722-1434

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I seek a counselor? Can it be beneficial to me?
If you’re asking this question, you likely would benefit by seeing a counselor. 🙂 Seeing a counselor is simply a way to better your life, to add more tools to the emotional, relational, spiritual toolkit and clear out old ways of being that aren’t working or as effective as you’d like anymore. If you are seeking to make any change in your life, likely a counselor can help!

Unfortunately, many people wait until they are overcome with symptoms of depression, anxiety or other issues to seek help. The short answer is that it is better to seek help sooner than later as what starts as a light depression or mild anxiety, for example, left unaddressed, can unfortunately make all areas of life difficult and even impair your ability to work or connect to love ones. Counseling can be beneficial for anyone seeking personal growth, life direction, more connection in their relationships, more freedom from symptoms of mental illness or relief from unwanted feelings, for example.

How do I set up services? How does this work exactly?
You can either book a 15 minute phone consultation  or set up an appointment by calling me directly, or contacting me via the online form. It is not uncommon to get my voicemail, and you can leave a message with your contact information, best time to call and I will get back to you in 24-48 hours during the business week. I like to take the time early on to get to know you a bit by phone and hear about your goals in counseling to make sure we’d be the right fit before moving forward. After our phone conversation, we can set up our first appointment date, and I will send you the forms to complete electronically before the first session.

What can I expect for the first session?
In general, the focus of the first session is to get to know you, your history, presenting concerns, and goals for therapy. Additionally, you will get a feel for me, my approach and how I believe I can help you. Many people find themselves nervous about going to this first session, and this is completely normal! It can feel very risky and vulnerable to talk about our painful past, difficult feelings and obstacles we’ve been fighting. Don’t worry, we will go at your pace and slow things down if needed, sometimes it takes several sessions to obtain all of this information and establish safety in our relationship to talk about the deeper issues. 

How often will we meet?
This depends on various factors. If you’re looking to make some quick changes due to the severity of your current symptoms, we can meet for intensives several hours a day or several times a week until life is feeling more manageable. In general though, I recommend weekly meetings to start in order to establish our relationship and start making some progress towards your goals. Then, we can talk together about times when spreading out the sessions make more sense. If cost is inhibitive, we can also look into spreading out sessions or shortening the session length in order to still be able to provide the help your looking for.

How many sessions until I see results?
You will likely immediately benefit psychologically by starting counseling because you are taking action towards bettering your personal well-being which can feel empowering and take those who are struggling with helplessness/hopelessness into new, uncharted territory. I recognize the value of the time, money and energy you put into counseling, and I therefore seek to tailor the most effective interventions to address your concerns with the goal that you are back thriving in life as soon as possible. To answer this question, consider how long it would take to move a stack of 10 bricks, 1,000 bricks, 100,000 bricks. It would take a much longer time to move 10 versus 100,000, and this idea also applies regarding therapy. Some concerns will be much easier to resolve than others. There is no set number of sessions I can give you, but I can tell you some of the factors that influence the results:

  • how long you have experienced your symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, panic disorder, etc. and their severity
  • the severity of your trauma history (if any), especially childhood trauma can lead to longer therapy times but not always
  • how much you follow through during the week on the homework assigned to you in counseling sessions
  • your genetic predisposition relating to mental illness 
  • how robust your support system is as well as personal resources

Can you help my depression and anxiety immediately?
When you come in, we will immediately get to work on a treatment plan to address your specific symptoms, and you will walk away from the first session with specific changes you can make to help.

Can therapy substitute medication and vice-versa?
I firmly believe medication is not needed for everyone seeking counseling; however, if you are taking medication for a mental health issue, research indicates that combining both counseling and medication is best. Unfortunately, many people turn to medication for a quick fix, and I believe that healing mental illness takes time (especially if it is disrupting your life to the extent that you’re considering medications). I would encourage anyone considering medications to be careful to ask your prescribing doctors questions before making the decision. For some, medication can help with the physical chemical imbalances and symptoms of the mental health issue, and the counseling helps to re-wire the brain the thinking, feeling and behavioral patterns. This article may provide some helpful further reading regarding this topic.

How is counseling different than talking to a friend, family member or priest?
The importance of family, friends and even a religious community cannot be understated, and I will help you to continue to build into having a supportive community at your side. However, the feedback you receive from loved ones and respected religious leaders, for example, will likely be quite unique from that of a counselor. To start counselors have years of specific training to help you with your mental health issues, relationship difficulties, unhealthy patterns and unwanted feelings. Additionally, you will have an unbiased, nonjudgmental professional with fresh eyes approaching your concerns with whom you can rest assured your information will stay confidential (no need to worry if your mom is going to share your information with your siblings). Many people worry about truly sharing the depth of their pain or sadness because they don’t want to overwhelm loved ones or have to emotionally caregive others, and with counselors, we are trained professionals to receive it all and deal with our emotions appropriately (its our job to handle our emotions, and we help you learn how to handle yours). Another common issue is that non-professionals tend to try to fix a person (tell you what you should do or feel) without actually hearing or creating space to be with the person in their pain and empowering the person to be able to find their own way to healing with the emotional support and other tools presented in counseling.  

What is your cancellation policy?
I have a 24-hour cancellation policy. Your appointment involves the reservation of a time specifically for you. You may cancel or reschedule by phone or email or the full fee will be charged and due at the time of your next appointment unless it has been otherwise discussed.

Do you take insurance?
I am able to provide you with a “superbill” that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. You will need to contact your insurance company regarding this process and whether this is a possibility given your specific plan. I’m not on any insurance panels and would be what is considered an “out-of-network” provider.

Why should I pay out of pocket for counseling when my insurance covers it?
Paying out of pocket gives you the most confidential care. When you see a therapist through your insurance, they are required to provide information to the insurance company to justify the validity of the services they provide which at the very least includes a psychiatric diagnosis, but also can include your treatment plan, therapy notes, and duration of the problem. Once this information has been given to the insurance company, the therapist has no further ability to control the dissemination of that information and it becomes part of your permanent record. Unfortunately this can impact future health, life and disability benefits and premiums should you be unemployed, self-employed or need to purchase your own benefits. 

Paying out of pocket means will be able to find the most qualified counselor for your particular concern which can lead to fewer sessions, quicker results, and potentially lower out of pocket costs in the long run. Additionally, because insurance companies pay a fraction of their normal fees, many counselors must have a very high caseload to stay in business. What that can mean for you is your counselor may have less to invest in your care with less mental space to remember your story (while no counselor’s memory is perfect, if one counselor sees 20 clients per week and another 40, there is no doubt who will likely be able to remember more), less money in their practice to get new, high quality trainings, less time to plan for your counseling sessions to make the most of them, and even fewer resources for their own self-care (goodness knows we want our own counselor to be at the top of their game). 

Beyond the benefits of paying out of pocket, other questions one might consider is what sort of mental health coverage your insurance offers if any. Unfortunately many plans don’t start covering mental health services until you’ve met a very high deductible and in those cases, it makes more sense to go to an out of network specialist for the above reasons I just mentioned. Though I don’t take insurance, as an out-of-network provider, many PPOs and HMOs will cover all or a portion of my fee using your out-of-network benefits, and I can provide a superbill for you to submit to your insurance company if requested. Additionally if you have an HSA, flexible spending account or medical savings account, you may also be able to use these funds. Should you like to use your insurance, please contact your company and ask if you have out-of-network coverage for mental health and ask they send you a copy of your coverage so that you can use this when you submit documents to them in the future. Other questions you may ask are:

  • Are outpatient counseling sessions covered through my insurance, and what is the cost?
  • If I have a plan with a deductible, what is it and has it been met?
  • How many sessions of counseling per year does my health insurance cover if any?
  • Is approval or referral required from my primary care physician?
Heal, Grow, Thrive.
Get Started
Embodied Counseling
Denver, Colorado
720.722.1434
Back to the Top
©2019 Embodied Counseling
All Rights Reserved
Website by Maniac Monkey Media