What would you like to know?
What can I expect from our first session?
Our first session is meant to be an expansion of our phone consult. You’ll receive a background information questionnaire and formal paperwork through a secure client portal after our initial phone consult and before our meeting. We discuss your goals for counseling in greater depth and determine a plan of action. By the end of our time, you have a clear understanding of what to expect in future sessions, a game plan, and something specific to consider before our next visit. The relationship between client and therapist is the biggest contributor to success, and I want you to be successful. Ask a lot of questions of anyone you are checking out. I like to tell all people seeking support that if there isn’t a sense of hope and relief as your are walking out the door, you may want to keep looking. All good therapists respect that, and want you to find the right match. If you change your mind after our time, I’m happy to provide names of other resources you may find more in line with what your are seeking.
What are your credentials?
My background is diverse. As I age, I find that life experience counts just as much as degrees and certificates! I also learned when I returned to the work force in a different country, job descriptions and roles, as well as necessary credentials were challenging to navigate. I’m providing a list of paper stamped items and specialized trainings and am happy to address any training or experience in the field you are inquiring about in specific detail.
PhD Student at Texas Women’s University in area of Family Studies
Masters of Science in Counseling, Southern Methodist University (MS)
Licensed Professional Counselor, TX (LPC)
Registered Play Therapist (RPT)
TX certified Teacher, School Counselor and Special Education Teacher,
Guest Presenter “ADHD, What Else Could it Be?”: Tx Counsel on Family Relations 2016 Conference
Mind Body Connection Practitioner (meditation, mindfulness, wellness options)
Filial/Parenting Skills Educator
Certified Positive Discipline Educator
Educational Liaison for parents new to or already involved with 504/ARD/Testing processes
Certified HR Generalist (to enhance Career Counseling)
Equine Assisted Psychotherapist (when access to facility) (EAP)
Recent Continuing Education: Sexuality in Marriage and Infidelity, Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Parent/Teen Mediation, Holistic Healing Modalities, Addictions and Treatment . . . ask for other areas.
5 yr BEd. (University of Victoria, 1993)
BC certified Teacher (general ed, severe learning and behavioral issues, alternative education, special education) which included programing for children with high functioning autism and foster care/legal issues.
Do you diagnose or help with ADHD?
Absolutely. My professional career started 20 years ago in the school system when ADHD wasn’t such a common label. I’ve followed the increases in diagnosis, the changes in how medication is used and the broadening explanations for its causes. I prefer to call what I do “ruling out ADHD”. It is a chameleon that gets misdiagnosed so, so often, many times in place of anxiety. Regardless of the label, I provide practical skills for children and parents to manage and decrease the symptoms associated with ADHD, as well as provide a multitude of alternatives to medication.
Call to find out more about my specialization in this area.
Do you take insurance?
This seems to be on everyone’s mind. I provide out of network documentation for you to submit to your insurance company, however, I do not accept insurance. I encourage all potential clients to contact their insurance provider prior to starting therapy services with anyone to understand what portion of fees are covered and for how long. Often, fees paid can go towards meeting out of pocket deductible. In order to submit to insurance, however, a client must be given a diagnosis and potentially have records requested by insurance companies to determine if coverage will continue.
How much will it cost?
I charge $120 for 50-minute sessions. If you are looking for basic guidance, a few sessions may be all you need. For the majority of clients, I encourage them to plan for a two month commitment (8-10 sessions). This allows time to connect, uncover, strategize and practice. After that, or earlier if you feel you are making great progress, we’ll re-evaluate. Therapy is like getting in shape. Change is going to take time and commitment, and each person’s transformation is different. You are not under any obligation to continue therapy for a set amount of time, or at a pre-determined interval. Best practice encourages weekly sessions, however, each situation is unique. Some clients stay for a short period and return as they need more support, some come as their budget allows and some come once or twice per week for months. You are the best judge of what will work for you, while I can provide general guidelines for what I have seen be successful in the past.
I was told I need CBT. Is that something you do?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is basically helping a client to understand how beliefs and self-talk are affecting choices and behaviors. Yes, I use CBT as well as other modalities fitting to the issues presented, client values, religious beliefs and the client’s personality. I can incorporate meditation and mindfulness if interested, working from a Mind Body connection model. I use standardized, and informal assessments when needed to rule out or confirm diagnosis.
What's with all the mini figures in your office?
One modality that has been proven to move clients closer to the change they want more quickly than basic talk therapy is called Sandtray or Sandplay Therapy. The premise is that by using the miniatures as metaphors for life, the brain’s conscious, logical, filtering process is bypassed and clients are able to “see” their situation in new ways. Kids love it, and both teen and adult clients are amazed by the power and results after giving me the raised eyebrow the first time. Learn more about sandtray here or come for a visit and see for yourself. With my passion for understanding the brain at a neuroscience level, feel confident that there is scientific evidence that my toys have a useful purpose!
Why the dragonfly?
The dragonfly has mesmerized me for as long as I can remember. As a child, I would catch them on my finger and despite being an avid equestrian felt a connection to the dragonfly in a symbolic way. When setting up my practice and determining a logo/visual, this was the first thing that came to mind. Later research on dragonfly symbolism proved to me that it was a perfect fit for what I believe comes from the process of counseling. Consider the following beliefs and see if you can relate to the power of dragonfly symbolism.
Dragonflies are born in the water and begin to grow there for up to five years, but then they move into the air and learn to fly, yet only for a short few months. This style of life symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living IN the moment and living life to the fullest. By being present of the moment in your day, you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want and what you don’t. The metamorphic act of emergence from nymph to Dragonfly is a metaphor for how we can strip away our long held beliefs of our limitations, our doubts and our self doubt. The dragonfly is considered the symbol of transformation because of the way that it grows and once reformed, dragonflies demonstrate incredible flight patterns, able to make quick direction changes look effortless as they glide through the air. The dragonfly can inspire and motivate people to be flexible and adaptable in the situations that they come across in life.
When I started my private practice, I wanted to embrace as much as I could into a branding name and logo. Canexas is the combination of Canadian and Texas, at the same time sounding like “connects us” when said (at least with MY accent). Family Solutions was added because I wanted people to know that I look at individual struggle as more than just that of an individual. Each of us has in impact on those around us, either directly or indirectly, and family can define those who you choose to, or wish you could, place in your circle. The dragonfly, well, it was the icing on the cake.