Frequently Asked Questions
How do I schedule an appointment?
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, please call my office at 717-288-5064 to discuss your treatment preferences. When you call, please leave a detailed message on my secure voicemail system and I will contact you within 24 hours to schedule. If you prefer, you can use the secure, online portal to schedule your initial appointment.
Do you have evening and weekend appointments available?
Yes! I understand that life exists outside of therapy and I strive to accommodate evening and weekend appointments.
Is the office difficult to locate?
My office is located just north of Lancaster City in Oregon Commons, along Oregon pike. There is a tall green "Oregon Commons" sign next to Friendly's indicating your turn. The office is conveniently situated near route 30.
Will my information remain private?
Absolutely. Confidentiality is taken very seriously. When you arrive for your first session, there will be dedicated time to discuss confidentiality extensively.
What can i expect when i bring my child to therapy?
Bringing a child to therapy is a big decision for most parents. I gather information first and foremost from you, because you know your child best. I invite both parents to participate as much as possible. At our initial meeting, I may ask you for permission to consult with your child’s teacher, pediatrician, or anyone else who may have important information to share about your child. I will obtain your written permission before consulting with any other professional about your child. Children vary in their response to meeting a new therapist. Some children separate easily from their parents in the waiting room, while others need the security of having a parent join them for part or all of the first session or two. We will do whatever helps your child feel most comfortable. You and I will discuss this in more detail after our initial meeting.
Aren't people who go to counseling or therapy "weak," "Crazy," or flawed in some way?
In my experience, this is probably the biggest myth that keeps people from seeking help. We may believe that we “should” be able to solve our problems all on our own, and that reaching out to someone else, especially a professional, would mean admitting defeat. Asking for help from a counselor or therapist somehow feels shameful as if it means there’s something really wrong with us.
So, why do we tend to believe this?
It’s true that there are a lot of cultural and media messages that teach us this view. And these messages are powerful, but not based in reality. The vast majority of people who go to counseling are ordinary, everyday people struggling with ordinary, everyday problems. They may be having difficulty adjusting to major life changes — like becoming a parent, becoming an empty-nester, getting married or divorced, starting a new job, losing a job, or experiencing grief and loss after experiencing a death in their lives. They may be experiencing problems in their relationships, having trouble managing stress, feeling overwhelmed by self-criticism and self-doubt, or struggling with body image concerns. Often these life changes can come in waves or in waves. The fact that these struggles are common and natural does not mean that they are not painful and challenging to us.
Contrary to what some people think, asking for help does not make a person weak. In fact, it takes courage and a certain amount of emotional maturity to acknowledge that we don’t know all the answers and to reach out and ask for some guidance. Being willing to ask for help is a way of taking responsibility and doing what we need to do to take care of ourselves.
Will talking about my problems make a difference?
It’s true that just venting and rehashing your problems over and over probably won’t change anything. It might feel good and cathartic in the moment, but when you leave, the problems are still there. Fortunately, that’s not what counseling and therapy are really about. Counseling is about discussing these problems with the purpose of developing a new understanding of them, exploring what caused them (or keeps them going), and experimenting with alternative solutions. In other words: to work toward making real changes that will help you feel more satisfied with your life.
Won't talking about my problems actually make them worse?
It’s true that talking about problems or painful emotions that you’ve been trying to ignore for a long time may feel more uncomfortable for a while. Feelings may come out that you’ve been working hard to stuff down, resist, and deny. But they’ve been there all along, and they’ve probably been impacting you in various ways — through physical health symptoms, nagging worries or discomfort, strained relationships, etc. Sometimes things have to get a bit worse before they get better. But that increased discomfort is temporary. And it leads to things feeling better. Always remember, you can move at your own pace, and a good counselor will help you figure out how to explore things in manageable amounts so you don’t end up feeling overwhelmed without the skills to cope.
Counseling isn’t always easy. It’s challenging. At times it can be uncomfortable, even painful. But a part of the job of a good therapist is provide a safe space to process, to be with you in that experience, to teach you skills to manage (not avoid) the discomfort, and to help you learn to have compassion for yourself in the process. All with the end goal of feeling better and working through the issues so they don’t keep getting in your way.