Salem Oregon Marriage and Family Therapist - Christian Counselor

Marriage Counseling

Individual Adult Counseling

Premarital Counseling

(503) 930-6222

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COUNSELING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

Q. What is counseling like with you?
Usually a couple of sessions are needed to acquire a holistic picture of the dynamics, personalities, and challenges faced by the client(s). Collaboration about goals and an initial plan of therapy are then developed. In-session discussions, experiences, and homework assignments are employed to maximize the effectiveness of therapy. Progress is periodically evaluated to adjust the course of treatment, and flexibility is important to contend with unexpected turns.

I endeavor to meet the client at their level of spiritual need as well, respecting the uniqueness of each person. I will pray and refer to Scripture in session according to the expressed needs and desires of the client(s).

There are many orientations and approaches to counseling. My Professional Disclosure Statement describes the orientations I use. I would be happy to answer any further questions you might have about my approach.

Additionally, there are other ways of dealing with life’s challenges besides counseling with a professional. For example, support groups, self-help books, and/or lay counselors can contribute to coping with many kinds of problems.

Q. Are you a doctor?
No. I have a Master’s Degree, and am licensed in Oregon as a Marriage and Family Therapist (L.M.F.T.). Counselors with higher levels of formal education include psychologists, and psychiatrists, the latter having a medical degree with emphasis in psychology. Certain tests, evaluations, and any pharmaceutical prescriptions are beyond my level of training. I would, if necessary, refer you to someone who could accomplish these particular tasks.

Q.  I’d like an appointment; what do I do next?
Call me! We’ll arrange a time to fit your schedule as much as possible. Most appointments can be arranged within a week or so. Meanwhile, you can download the Professional Disclosure Statement and appropriate Intake Forms and fill them out to bring with you when we meet. You’re under no obligation beyond the first session should you decide, after meeting, that there may be a better “fit” for your circumstances.

Q. What do you charge?
My fifty-minute session fee is based on the individual’s or couple’s gross annual income, and ranges from $50 to $95. Adjustments can be made to accommodate special circumstances. Please see my Professional Disclosure Statement for the details. Premarital counseling is usually a package fee of $295. Payment is customarily expected at the time of service, either by cash or check, unless otherwise prearranged.

 

Why I don’t utilize insurance companies . . .
Many, if not most insurance companies have yet to acknowledge the important influence that relationships, especially marriage, have on general health and well-being. They will therefore not provide funds for marriage or couples’ counseling without insisting that at least one member be formally diagnosed with a mental health disorder. While this is sometimes appropriate, I believe it skews the focus of this mode of therapy more toward the “identified patient” rather than onto the relationship itself. Insurance companies also require continuous treatment rationale centered on the individual(s) labeled with the diagnosis in order to continue to fund what the insurers define is necessary duration of treatment.

There is also the possibility of increased risk that confidentiality and privacy could be compromised, because personal health information required to be shared with the insurance company is no longer kept solely within the confines of the counseling office. Insurance companies then maintain their own sets of records, conceivably for years.

From a practical standpoint, there is a thick layer of paperwork and administration needed to support the insurance bureaucracy; time and energy for which I would much rather apply more directly toward my clients needs, such as additional research and consultations on their behalf.

Lastly, my sliding scale is comparable to some insurance company levels of co-payment. It’s possible you could find your fee to be little more than your out-of-pocket deductible expense.

 

Contact & Location Information

 

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