BLOG—Check Back Soon!
Mindfulness-Your New Superpower?
Tips for Effective Video Therapy Sessions
9 Thinking Habits That Drive Stress
START HERE ...
Want solutions and practical new tools to help you move forward in an area of your life where you can't seem to get traction? I use a brief, solution-focused approach to counseling which is different than traditional, longer-term psychotherapy. Focusing on your future vision of the part of your life you want to change, I help you use and build your strengths and take positive steps toward realizing a solution, rather than dwelling on your past experiences and problems.
Here are some common issues I can help you with...
- STRESS/ANXIETY: Learn healthier ways of dealing with stress and anxiety and create balance in your life
- HEALTH GOALS: Make sustainable changes in your exercise, nutrition, and wellness habits
- PRODUCTIVITY: Improve focus, and attention, time management, and overcome procrastination
- MAJOR CHANGES: Better navigate big life transitions-college, career, new baby, marriage/divorce, mid-life, and more
- BIG DECISIONS: Gain new insight to help you make important decisions based on your values and priorities
- CAREER: Chart a new course for a more satisfying career, start your business strong, or land your great next job
- PARENTING TEENS: End struggles, increase connection, foster emotional intelligence, and build character
- MORE: See more areas I specialize in and what I don't work with
HOW BRIEF SOLUTION-FOCUSED COUNSELING WORKS
Here's a snapshot of the process—
- First, I help you more fully envision the new future you want to create in the area of your life that you desire to change and clearly define the specific changes would you like to achieve. Change is often achieved within 2 to 12 sessions.
- Next, I help in defining a road map with clear, actionable steps to reach your goal.
- We identify, use and build your strengths, knowledge, and motivation, combined with new tools, resources and support, to help you make progress .
- Together, we track progress, fold in new insights from overcoming any obstacles along your path, and celebrate your successes along the way.
Ready to try a results-oriented approach that focuses on solutions in the here-and now, not on problems and the past? You can schedule online or request a free consultation. Feel free to get in touch with any questions, or take a look around to find out more. Learn more about how I work with you, my style, and philosophy.
COUNSELING VS PSYCHOTHERAPY-WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
I specialize in counseling—we can meet in my Austin office or online via video sessions. Counseling generally requires less time than traditional therapy for many common issues. While both approaches can help you make changes in yourself, your relationships, and your life. and share some aspects in common, there are important differences. The following may help you determine the best fit for you:
Counseling fits best when you’ve merely hit a speed bump on the road of life or find yourself at a crossroads, facing a major decision or change. Focusing mainly on the here-and-now, the future you want to create, and your strengths, counseling can help you get back on track or help you navigate a tough transition—offering new skills, support, and resources to identify and overcome lifestyle patterns and thinking habits that are blocking your path, bogging you down, or creating needless stress.
Psychotherapy is generally the best choice when you need more than a simple “tune-up” to get back on the road—when you've hit a roadblock and are feeling significant dysfunction or distress. Through a sustained healing alliance with a therapist, you typically explore your problems, often rooted in the past, in order to gain insight into underlying causes of dysfunctional patterns—often with a focus on processing distressing feelings, memories, and thoughts—with a goal of healing your relationship with yourself or others.
So which approach seems like the best fit for you? If you feel like counseling is the best fit or if you're still unsure, you're welcome to set up a free consultation to help you decide.
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING & fees
Can't fit in weekly sessions or a full hour session into your busy schedule? I offer flexible scheduling options, including video sessions, to work with your busy life. 15-90 minute sessions are available, depending on your needs and preference. Limited after-hours appointments are available. Meeting twice monthly or for shorter or longer sessions works well in some cases. After achieving your goals you can meet monthly or quarterly for "tune-up" maintenance sessions to help ensure your long-term success.
MY AUSTIN OFFICE HOURS
(In-person meetings in my Austin office)
Mon, Wed, Fri: 12:30 - 5:30 pm
Additional hours by appointment
MY VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS
(Video sessions in or outside of Austin)
Mon, Wed: 9:30 - 11:30 am & 7:30 - 9:30 pm
Tue, Thu: 9:30 to 4:30 pm & 7:30 - 9:30
Fri: 9:30 - 11:30 am
I recognize your choice to embark on a new path in your life through seeking counseling support can be a significant financial investment and not easily affordable for all. For this reason, I will flex around both the length and frequency of your sessions, when appropriate, to work with your budget. For example, you can meet for 15-90 minute sessions, meet just twice a month, or choose other intervals as appropriate.
Simple Fee Structure You are charged by the length of session needed at a rate of $30 per 1/4 hour, when paid in full at the time of service. Sessions range from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on need and type of session. A typical session is 45 minutes to 1 hour, so for example, the fee would be $90 or $120. A 30-minute follow-up or 15 minute brief check-in would be $60 or $30. An extended session of 75 or 90 minutes would be $150 or $180.
I offer the following additional options and resources to help make counseling more affordable
- Sliding Fee Scale Several slots in my schedule are reserved for a further discounted rate, based on special circumstances and financial need. Visit Open Path to check availability
- Insurance Co-payments If your health plan offers coverage for your issue, I will accept your co-payment and file insurance claims for you
- Out of Network Claims Filing As a courtesy, I am able to file your insurance claims to assist you in receiving reimbursement even if I am not in your plan network
- HSA / FSA Account I can accept payments directly from your HSA or FSA health or flexible spending accounts via your account program credit or debit card
- EAP Employee Assistance Program If I am a provider on your employer's EAP plan, your authorized visits will be free of charge
- Low-Cost/Free Counseling or Therapy You may check the following page to help you locate lower-cost options for providers and resources
For your convenience, I accept all major credit cards, FSA or HSA spending account cards, and electronic payments such as PayPal. I accept checks or cash on a limited basis. Payment is due in full at the time of service unless otherwise arranged. My regular rate will be charge for sessions not paid timely and requiring invoicing by my billing service.
FLEXIBLE SESSION LENGTH OPTIONS
Sessions range from 15 to 90 minutes—based on the time needed for your specific focus, phase of progress, or goal and other considerations.
- 45 minutes The most common session length, allows in-depth focus and promotes solid, steady progress
- 15 or 30 minutes Shorter sessions work best for accountability check-ins, as a follow-up to boost motivation or refocus, or to help you get back on track if you get derailed
- 60 or 75 minutes Longer sessions are most effective for intensifying focus and accelerating progress, tackling a more complex problem, or when multiple issues require attention
- 90 minutes Extended sessions are ideal when including a partner or family member in your session, if needing a 'catch-up' session after a planned break, such as travel, and after successfully reaching your goals to maintain your progress with periodic maintenance sessions
FLEXIBLE SESSION FREQUENCY OPTIONS
Meeting once weekly is most common, but research shows meeting more or less frequently can be beneficial for some situations. The length of time and frequency of meeting is determined by your goals, budget, time-frame and schedule, as well as other factors we will determine together.
- 1 x Week Weekly meetings are generally associated with the strongest, steady progress according to research. However, weekly meetings are not always practical and sometimes are not the most helpful frequency.
- 2 x Month Meeting every-other week can be effective if you are able to stay focused on your goals and make progress between sessions. Optional therapeutic 'assignments' such as reading, journaling, or practicing new skills and tools, can help you maintain sustained focus and progress.
- Monthly or Quarterly Meeting monthly or quarterly can be effective in helping you sustain longer-term success after you have reached your goals or when need regular maintenance tune-ups for achieving overall life balance or choose to pursue long-term self-development.
- 2 x Week Meeting several times per week may be helpful when you encounter an unexpected setback and want assistance getting back on track as quickly as possible, or when you want to focus more intensively to accelerate progress.
To help you get traction and build momentum at the outset, meeting at least once weekly in the beginning is recommended. As you make progress towards your goals, we can make adjustments as needed.
WHAT CAN i HELP YOU WITH?
STRESS/ANXIETY: Learn healthier ways of dealing with stress and anxiety and create balance in your life
HEALTH GOALS: Make sustainable changes in your exercise, nutrition, and wellness habits
MAJOR CHANGES: Better navigate big life transitions-college, career, new baby, marriage/divorce, mid-life, and more
BIG DECISIONS: Gain new insight to help you make important decisions based on your values and priorities
PRODUCTIVITY: Improve focus, and attention, time management, and overcome procrastination
CAREER: Chart a new course for a more satisfying career, start your business strong, or land your great next job
In addition to the issues mentioned above, ispecialize in the following areas for which I have a particular passion and experience:
Do any of the following describe you?
…A young adult, millennial, or mid-lifer on the awesome adventure of becoming the most authentic, best version of yourself or wanting to better navigate the transition to college, a new career relationships, or other important life goals?
…Creatively or mentally gifted, a deep thinker, spiritual seeker, intuitive, artist, or highly sensitive person wanting to explore and mine your inner world for insight, inspiration, growth, meaning, self-actualization?
…A high-achiever, perfectionist, or go-getter wanting to achieve greater balance, deeper connections, and even a bit more enjoyment in your life?
…Going through a big life reset or transition—newly married, new job, new parent or empty-nester, big career move, relocation, etc.?
…Past ready to start living more mindfully in the present, with more focus, contentment, compassion and poise when life throws you a curve-ball?
…Curious about your personality type or identifying your deepest values, strengths and areas ripe for greatest growth potential, or interested in exploring the Enneagram to deepen your self-understanding, self-compassion. and accelerate your evolution?
If you recognize yourself above, I invite you to contact me for a brief conversation to better understand your needs and goals and determine if I might be a good fit. Or simply get in touch if you’re ready to set up an initial appointment.
ARE THERE ANY ISSUES YOU DON'T WORK WITH?
Yes, I refer to specialists for certain issues because they can be more effective than a non-specialist. Below is a list of issues outside of my current scope of practice. I will gladly assist you with a referral to professional experienced in working with your issue. Or you may find assistance from specialists for your particular concerns by clicking in the links below:
Active serious mental illness, such as psychosis, severe depression, bipolar disorder and others
Addiction, chemical/alcohol abuse, or behavioral addictions (gambling, sex, video games, etc.)
Gender identity confusion/crisis (I welcome all individuals regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation)
Legal issues requiring my court testimony or documentation (child custody, disability, injury, etc.)
Individuals under age 17
Biblically-focused counseling (I welcome people of all faiths and non-religious individuals with a spiritual outlook and seek to integrate your faith and religious beliefs and values in my approach)
If you don’t see your particular issue or concern on the list above, feel free to give me a call to inquire
Is video counseling right for you?
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
So, when does online video counseling using an app like Skype make the most sense? It can be the best option when convenience, scheduling flexibility, and extra privacy are a priority for you.
...no fighting traffic or juggling childcare to squeeze in appointments
...have a counseling session using your smartphone, tablet, or computer
...the privacy and convenience of connecting from the comfort of your home
...seeing a specialist not available in your local area
...maintaining your momentum to reach your goals even when traveling
HOW DO I CONNECT VIA ONLINE VIDEO?
Connecting via video is simple and secure, I use VSee, a free teleconferencing app designed for your security and privacy. VSee works with Android and iOS on any device. You only need a regular high-speed internet connection, I chose VSee because it's intuitive, stable even over long distances, and secure.
After scheduling your first video appointment, I will send you an invitation to join me on VSee. Once logged in, you can click VSee's handy test call button to check and adjust your settings.
IS VIDEO COUNSELING ONLINE AS EFFECTIVE AS IN-PERSON?
Yes. In a number of research studies on effectiveness, remote web-based video therapy was found to be equally, and in some cases, even more effective, than traditional in-office counseling or therapy.
Have more questions about video counseling via the internet or how it works? Just drop me a line or give me a call.
CAN I USE SKYPE OR FACETIME FOR COUNSELING?
It's not recommended. VSee is my video conferencing app of choice because it meets federal regulations to safeguard privacy and security of your personal health information, unlike Skype or FaceTime. Your data and conversations are not as secure while using Skype or FaceTime to meet with a professional online. VSee was built specifically for secure telehealth service delivery and is also free and easy to use. VSee also has the advantage of using lower bandwidth, so it's more stable across long distances, overseas, and in rural locations.
CAN I USE INSURANCE FOR VIDEO COUNSELING?
Sometimes. Health insurance coverage has increased dramatically in recent years for online video counseling, aka "telehealth' or "telemedicine." Coverage varies by plan and from state to state. Telehealth for mental and behavioral health services are mandated by Texas law for certain types of plans. I'm an approved telehealth provider with several major insurers. Health benefit plans often stipulate that a "HIPAA-compliant" technology such as VSee is used to maintain your healthcare privacy. Check the list of insurance plans I'm contracted with and call Member Services for your health plan to check for coverage and any special requirements or authorization needed.
DO I HAVE TO BE A TEXAS RESIDENT TO MEET WITH YOU?
Yes, but you don't have to live in Texas to meet with me. I can provide counseling services to you wherever you're located around the globe. If you're a college student from Texas living away from home in another state or country, I can still work with you. Likewise, if you're a US military or government employee residing in Texas but stationed overseas. If you're not a Texas resident, you can check the following link to locate an online provider in your state.
I've had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people from rural Texas, other states, and other countries. Working with people who would otherwise not have easy access to needed counseling support is not only an important cause which I'm an active advocate for, it's also a great privilege and an interesting experience that I enjoy.
Ready to schedule a video counseling session? Click here to book an appointment.
My endless fascination with the power and potential of the human mind since I was a teen and my own healing and transformative experiences in therapy as an adult inspired my decision to pursue psychology as a profession. I continue to pursue pathways of personal growth, most recently, wellness coaching and mindfulness practice. I moved to Austin over 20 years ago for graduate training in the UT doctoral Counseling Psychology program and received a Master's degree in Educational Psychology in 1997. I grew up in Fort Worth, graduated from the University of Dallas, a Catholic liberal arts college, and pursued post-graduate study in psychology and art at Penn State. Since obtaining my license as a professional counselor in 2002, I have worked in schools, clinics, psychological assessment, psychoeducation, and independent private practice working with all ages for over 15 years, As an advocate for increasing access to mental health services for under-served areas through technology, I have expanded my reach outside of the local Austin area with telehealth counseling services, allowing me to connect with a diversity of people from many walks of life and all over the world which I greatly enjoy.
MY APPROACH, STYLE, AND PHILOSOPHY
Approach Solution-focused brief counseling is one of several treatment approaches I use in helping you "grow your best self." I choose to specialize in the solution-focused, brief treatment model because it can generate results quickly for many common issues through focusing on positive actions you can take in the here-and-now of your daily life, putting your strengths to work in building a more ideal version of your future life, rather than focusing on the past, problems, and symptoms. Other approaches I often use include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness training, all approaches that can help empower you to meet life's challenges with greater resilience and effectiveness, and in harmony with your values. I draw on insights from positive psychology, a developing new branch of psychology, which has been called "the science of happiness,' to provide practical tools to help you enjoy more satisfaction and peace in your life. I use assessments or psychological "tests" to track your progress and to promote accelerated insight into your personality, relationships, and patterns.
Style Above all else, I strive to be authentic and fully present with you during sessions, to meet you where your are, with genuine appreciation and compassion for what brings you to this point in your life—without judgment, assumptions, or an agenda. I view my work as co-creating a positive and productive space for you to experience full freedom to explore, discover, and claim new aspects or disconnected parts of yourself. I've been told by clients over the years that I have a calm, positive, and reassuring presence. I especially love working with those who are new to counseling and therapy and work to make the process for newcomers less mystifying and daunting.
Philosophy I embrace the idea that optimal well-being integrates all facets of the self—body, mind, heart, and spirit—and that cultivating greater self-awareness, gratitude, and compassion towards self and others opens the door to an authentic, meaningful, and deeply satisfying life. I believe that when our actions are motivated by love instead of fear, an ordinary life of surviving and striving can be transformed into an extraordinary life of abundance and thriving. I view counseling and therapy as one of a number of useful paths for healing and personal growth which can be instrumental in helping us find the courage and wisdom to follow an upward arc in our lives, moment to moment and day to day.
PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION, CREDENTIALS, AND AFFILIATIONS
Bachelor of Arts, 1987 University of Dallas, Liberal Arts, Irving, Texas, and Rome, Italy
Master of Arts 1997, University of Texas at Austin Counseling Psychology, Educational Psychology doctoral training program
Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, License #17728, 2002 - current
American Counseling Association, Member
Texas Counseling Association, Member
Coalition for Technology in Behavioral Science (CTiBS), Member
Association for Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC), Member
Texas Association for Humanistic Education and Development, Member
Open Path Collective Psychotherapy Collective, Member
Still have questions about my experience, background, or training? You're welcome to drop me a line.
INSURANCE & private PAYMENT
I'm open to working with your insurance plan. Even if I’m not in your provider network. I can help you obtain your out of network benefits information and out-of-pocket costs. Click to view the list of health insurers I currently work with.
INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR VIDEO COUNSELING
Good news—more health plans are now covering "telehealth" sessions (a.k.a., video counseling, web therapy, online therapy, distance counseling, virtual or e-therapy). Coverage varies by plan. For details of your telehealth coverage, you can call the member services phone number on your insurance card—and check out my tips on what to asking your insurer about your telehealth service coverage in Q&A.
PRIVATE PAYMENT WITHOUT INSURANCE
Prefer to pay privately without insurance benefits? Many people prefer to pay directly without filing claims with their health plan due to several potential advantages. Benefits including a greater choice of treatment options, limiting the information shared with your insurer regarding diagnosis and treatment, and protecting your future eligibility and rates for life, health, or other types of insurance, and protection in legal situations such as divorce or child custody cases. If privacy control over your health information is a concern, it is important to understand that utilizing your health plan benefits requires a documented mental health diagnosis which may become part of your Medical Information Bureau record and can be shared with insurers.
No insurance, no coverage for counseling, or a high deductible? It's still possible for find affordable options. Despite popular notions of therapy taking many months or years, counseling doesn't have to be long-term to be effective for many common issues, especially using brief solution-focused and cognitive-behavioral approaches, among others, Counseling is usually shorter-term than traditional psychotherapy, so seek counseling if you can seek counseling if you don't have a serious mental illness or dysfunction. I offer a discounted rate for payment in full at the time of service, for reduction of administrative collections costs, and I offer flexibility for length of sessions and how often we meet. I also offer a limited number of reduced fee openings in my schedule which you can learn more about through Open Path. or view additional low-cost options. Even without insurance coverage, I'm able to accept your FSA or HSA funds for payment. I respect that most people have limited financial resources, so please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss the options.
MY PRACTICE SCOPE
ARE THERE ANY ISSUES YOU DON'T WORK WITH?
Yes. That's because specialists are most effective for certain types of issues. Most professionals have particular areas of expertise and interest, so are more effective with those issues than no specialists. Below is a list of issues that I don't work with currently—I will gladly assist you with a referral to another professional who specializes in your issue. Or you may find assistance from specialists for your particular concerns by clicking in the links below:
- Life-threatening condition, psychiatric emergencies, and crisis intervention
- Active serious mental illness, such as psychosis, severe depression, bipolar disorder and others
- Addiction, chemical/alcohol abuse, or behavioral addictions (gambling, sex, video games, etc.)
- Eating disorders and self-injury
- Unresolved abuse/trauma
- Gender identity issues (I welcome all individuals regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation)
- Legal issues requiring my court testimony or documentation (child custody, disability, injury, etc.)
- Couples counseling or relationship issues involving abuse or violence
- Individuals under age 17
- Family planning or pregnancy counseling
- Biblically-guided counseling (I welcome people of all faiths and non-religious individuals with a spiritual outlook and seek to integrate your beliefs and values in my approach)