Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need counseling?

Sometimes it’s helpful to discuss circumstances and experiences with someone who can offer professional expertise and an objective, non-biased, non-judgmental perspective. If you’re feeling stuck, and if your situation is impacting your day-to-day functioning or well-being, it may be time to ask for help. Seeking assistance is not a weakness; it demonstrates great wisdom, self-awareness, and courage.

Will my privacy be protected?

Your privacy is very important to me. The counseling relationship is protected by both legal requirements and professional ethics. What is shared between us will be kept confidential unless you or others are in danger or at risk of harm, or unless you provide me with written permission. I will explain limits of confidentiality in more detail and answer any questions you have during our intake session.

What can I expect during
our sessions?

There are many approaches to counseling and various formats in which it may occur, including individual and couples. Despite the variations, usually sessions last anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes. We may begin with a check-in since your last appointment, and I will work collaboratively with you to determine what you would like to discuss during that session. Our interaction can help you clarify issues so that you can solve your problems independently with my guidance, support, and expertise. There will be goals that you and I will establish to work on during sessions. I might suggest and practice coping tools with you to help you to manage your challenges. The goal of counseling is to help you become more self-sufficient so that you can manage your own difficulties independently and eventually not need services.

Will we meet in person or online?

The choice is yours! I see clients at the Thriveworks office in Manassas, Virginia, and I also meet with clients from Virginia and the District of Columbia via telehealth. Meeting online uses a secure, HIPAA-compliant service video call, and many clients find it both comfortable and convenient.

What if I don’t know what to say? What if I’m afraid?

Counseling is more than a conversation, and it is not always comfortable. This is because change and resilience occurs outside of our comfort zone. We will address your fears together. My role as your counselor will be to facilitate our conversations during the session in an intentional manner. We will process and explore difficult areas in a safe environment in order to understand them and change your reactions to them. However, I will remain respectful of your limits, and I will not intentionally press an area if it would cause you harm. 

Do we need to talk about the past?
It’s over and done, right?

Perhaps. You may have been told by loved ones that you should just “get over it” and “move on.” Or maybe someone tried to encourage you by suggesting that things could always be worse, and you should just toughen up. Though the people in our lives may have good intentions, such statements can leave you feeling devalued and misunderstood. Stuffing away the emotions and beliefs brought about by past events may provide temporary relief for some, but it can also feel isolating.

Understanding past experiences, behavioral patterns, and relationship dynamics can provide insight into your present circumstances that lead to a better future. What we’re going through today is not always rooted in the past, but it may be helpful to understand where you’ve been as you figure out where you’re going.

Why is counseling costly?

Counseling is an investment in your well-being and emotional health, and it’s akin to seeing a medical doctor, enlisting the skill of a physical trainer, or pursuing continuing education. I am a qualified, trained, experienced mental health professional who continues to seek education and peer consultation in order to best serve your needs. Investing in quality counseling services can have a long-term, positive impact in many aspects of your life, both internal and external.