Clinical counseling services

COVID case numbers in the area continue to fluctuate. I am utilizing a few risk mitigation practices in my office, including an HEPA air filter and my office allows for ample distance between us. Currently masks are not required when meeting in my office, however they are always an option. Please let me know if you would feel more comfortable for us to wear masks. The masking requirement may change as circumstances change. Also, telehealth services are an option.

My schedule for weekly and bi-weekly meetings is currently full and thus I am not able to take new clients for those services at this time. However, I am still booking intensive counseling sessions.

Individual Counseling (One- or Two-Hour Sessions)

When we first meet, we will discuss what you are looking for help with and together we will establish your therapy goals. In that conversation, we will discuss what meeting frequency makes the most sense for achieving your goals and fitting your budget. One hour and two-hour sessions are available. Some people find that a two-hour session allows them to engage in deeper work than what just an hour provides, thus helping to achieve their therapeutic goals more quickly. Initial one-hour intake session is $200, subsequent one-hour sessions are $180, two-hour sessions are $360. Typically, insurance companies will only reimburse for one 55-minute session per day.

Couples and family counseling (90-minute sessions)

I find that when there are more people in the room, having a little more time makes a big difference, which is why I allot an hour and a half for couples and family sessions. In couples counseling, we work together to identify the relationship you both desire, understand what is getting in the way of having that relationship, and then do the deeper work to address and work through the things that are in the way. Learning and trying out relationship tools and homework is typical. Family counseling is similar, only there are more than two people from a family present. 90-minute couples and family sessions are $270 each. 55-minute couples and family sessions are also available, at $180 per 55-minute session. Typically, insurance companies will only reimburse for one 55-minute session per day.

Meeting weekly for an hour or so in the office isn’t for everyone, so in addition to traditional weekly counseling sessions, I also offer other:

Intensive counseling (4-hours up to 4-days)

Intensive psychotherapy sessions offer more time and space to work toward your therapeutic goals. Sometimes the weekly hour-long session is not enough time to work through stuck relational patterns and traumatic experiences, or the pace of weekly counseling is just too agonizingly slow. Intensives range anywhere from 4-hours to a full 8-hour day, up to 4 full days. The format and components of an intensive are customized based on your goals and needs. We have the option of including some outdoor adventure-based work as well as equine interactions if it aligns with your therapeutic goals.

Intensives can be incorporated into existing therapeutic work. They can be done alongside traditional hour sessions or as a standalone service. Some find it helpful to occasionally add a counseling intensive, concurrent with their traditional weekly work with their existing counselor, in that case I would be consulting with your regular counselor to coordinate the work. Many people love coming to Vermont to enjoy the incredible beauty that abounds. With intensives, if you are coming from a distance, you might want to consider adding a few extra days to your trip to enjoy the Vermont fall colors, or skiing, or just exploring the history and charm that is Vermont. Depending on your location, it may be possible for me to travel to you or to a neutral location to conduct intensive sessions. Four-hour intensive is $750 and a full-day is $1,500. Insurance companies and VT-Medicaid do not cover intensive counseling services.

Group counseling (90-minute sessions)

“We are not capable of healing in isolation. We need other people. We are hurt in relationship and we heal in relationship. Our brain and nervous system are not isolated, but interconnected and social. At our core, we are social beings who regulate through connection with others. Being comfortable in your own skin and having tools that help you relax is a really big deal, but learning how to feel safe with others is revolutionary.”

-Dr. Diane Poole Heller

Group counseling offers the opportunity to work on therapeutic goals in a safe space with others who are working on similar goals. I call group a laboratory for emotional intimacy, a safe place to learn how to engage in a deep authentic way with others who have similar struggles and similar desires – people who want to lean more fully into life, who are in pursuit of more meaningful relationships, sustained serenity, and/or long-term sobriety. I offer different themed groups at different times. Past offerings have been focused on: Healing Trauma Sex Addiction Therapy Group for men, Healing Trauma Group, Partners of Sex Addicts Therapy Group, etc.

Clients are assessed and screened prior to joining a group to help ensure they are a good fit for the group process. If you are not an existing client, you will need to schedule an individual assessment session prior to starting group. Groups are closed, which means they run for a set number of weeks (6-12) and people are not added once they have started. Groups are 90-minutes and usually meet weekly. $65 per session.

Outdoor meeting options

For many people, including myself, being outside in nature is more calming than sitting inside a building. Natural beauty provides a grounding resource like no other, so why not capitalize on that resource and engage in counseling while immersed in natural beauty? There are a few parks, nearby to my office, that offer secluded, quiet places where we can sit and talk. This option works well for both talk therapy and experiential based work.

Adding an active component to the therapeutic work can also be beneficial. With outdoor work, we have many options that we can incorporate into your therapy. Nearby trails allow for walking or hiking. Snowshoeing and kayaking sessions are options as well. Counseling can be seen as an adventure into one’s interior world, so why not mirror that interior adventure with external adventure as well?

For meeting in a park, I can provide the folding camp chairs and the bug spray. If we are doing something more adventurous, like kayaking or snowshoeing, then you will need to provide the necessary gear for yourself for those activities. If the weather doesn’t cooperate with our outdoor meeting plans, we may need to change it up and meet in the office instead.

Equine interactions

Interacting with horses in psychotherapy involves gentle, curious, well-loved horses and the therapeutic process working together to increase self-awareness, internal resources, and understanding of oneself in relationship to others. Increased self-awareness, combined with internal resources, then provides the opportunity to try out different ways of engaging in relationship, increasing the ability to choose meaningful behavior while decreasing emotionally driven reaction.

Horses are herd animals; their survival requires them to innately know how to engage in relationship within the herd. Horses are always communicating with each other though subtle body language and progressing to more overt methods as necessary. Perhaps because horses are so relational, people tend to relate with them like they do other people. Horse interactions within the counseling setting provides opportunity to more clearly see the particulars of one’s dysfunctional and functional relationship dynamics. When adjustments are made to one’s style of relating, horses will provide immediate feedback.

Equine interactions generally involve ground-based activities (not mounted). Prior experience with horses is not required, however, an appreciation for animals is helpful. Depending on the therapy goals and associated equine based activities, I may involve a trained and certified equine specialist to join us to help with the handling of horses. Equine interactions occur at a nearby farm, therefore an additional facility fee of $25-45 per session is required to cover the expenses related to having access to the horses and farm. This facility fee is typically not reimbursed by any insurance or VT-Medicaid.

Feline interactions

Cats make everything better, right?! Well, I guess that might be a matter of personal preference (I proudly wave my crazy cat guy flag!) Like horses, cats are also very relational creatures, but unlike horses, they are solitary animals and offer relationship on their terms. Their presence can be calming and comforting as the cat purrs while snoozing on one’s lap or energizing as they entice people to join them in play.

Including cat interactions into counseling can provide comfort and an interactive component that can highlight helpful and unhelpful qualities of one’s style of relating. Cats have a lot to teach us about ourselves if we can slow down and open ourselves to listen.

I realize some people are allergic to cats and some may prefer not to have an animal present, therefore, before bringing one of my cats into a session, I will always inquire with you regarding your preference for having him present or not.