I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. I know how hard it is to share your fears, worries, and sadness with a total stranger.  If you are looking at this page and made it to the FAQ section, you are already SO BRAVE.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. Often times, our friends and family are wonderful supports, but sometimes that support leads to overly accommodating OCD.  Sometimes our friends and family get overwhelmed by trying to be supportive and your relationship may be impacted.  A therapist is professionally trained to hold space for you to process these emotions, hold your worries and guide you in challenging them.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with counseling.  While I am not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe medication, I am always happy to talk with clients considering this option as well as consult with your doctor.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

If you are interested in exposure therapy, you’re probably wondering how it all works.  Maybe someone has told you before “You can’t do exposure on that” or you’re just really confused by it all.  While exposure is what I am trained in and love to do, it takes some time to build trust and a relationship before beginning.  We would always fully discuss what the treatment plan looks like together before jumping in. Sometimes exposure means exploring fears in the office, sometimes we leave the office and enter the community.  As we navigate your treatment, it is possible to do telehealth (online) sessions as well as sessions in the home to properly address your symptoms.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can take to allow you to accomplish your goals is quite personal.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success. I assign weekly homework based on the exposure we worked toward in session.

What if I have a panic attack in session?

The fear of having a panic attack has probably kept you from doing a lot of things you’d rather be doing.  I believe in honesty so I won’t tell you I can guarantee you won’t have a panic attack in session.  The goal of exposure is to help you face your fear, which means your anxiety is naturally going to heighten.  This process is about TRUST.  Before we begin engaging in exposure, we will have created a relationship in which you feel comfortable exploring these fears with me and an ongoing conversation around how far to push (consent is of the utmost support to me in this process).

I said the same thing to my teen and they didn’t listen. Why did it work when you said it?

Magic? Seriously, though, who always listens to what their parents say?  Children and adolescents are often working through differentiation and wanting to be their own person.  Helping a young adult come to their own realizations without any other expectation allows folks to learn to make decisions and actions that are best in line with their values and goals. But yes, this can be frustrating for parents!

Exposure sounds like torture.  Why would you do this to me?

Exposure is hard. I’m not going to lie.  When I was first in grad school I thought exposure sounded cruel and couldn’t believe people did that! However, the science behind why exposure works cannot be understated.  Exposure is extremely effective and is the gold standard of treatment for OCD.  Sometimes we have to do things that are good for us, even though they are really difficult.  I believe in CONSENT always when engaging in exposure.  I will not spring anything on you, trick you, or force you to do anything you aren’t ready for.  I will, however, encourage you to work through any blocks that may come up and help you ready yourself to face your fears.  I am an exposure cheerleader.  YOU GOT THIS!

How do I get to your office?

Step one: don’t use apple maps.  It will tell you to go down the street and you will get confused.  Maybe. I did.  Officers Row is easily accessed from downtown Vancouver and close in to public transportation.  I am always happy to give instructions prior to booking our appointment and if you are lost, please call!

750 Officers Row
Vancouver, WA 98661

(360) 637-0716

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