Frequently Asked Questions
How is Spiritually Focused Psychotherapy different from traditional psychotherapy?
Spiritually Focused Psychotherapy(SFP) has at its core the recognition of the natural healing power of God. The emphasis of treatment is on trusting the inner consciousness of love, faith and forgiveness. We focus on the leadings of God while gently releasing our reactivity to the external world. Spiritually focused psychotherapy does not exclude psychodynamic aspects of counseling; rather, it uses our personal history and emotions as a guide to our blocks in listening to the Divine.
I do not practice a religion, is SFP for me? How does religion or lack thereof fit into SFP?
I do not proselytize or encourage any specific faith. If one truly practices the tenets of their own religion, and is committed to a daily spiritual practice, they will become joyful. Spiritually Focused Psychotherapy builds on your connection with your own faith and beliefs. I help people understand their doubts and questions about their own unique connection with God. We are being led to listen to the nudging and intuition of our inner being. Additionally, I believe there is a spirituality in skepticism. We need to question. Blind faith isn’t really faith at all. There is a relationship with the Divine. It is a two way street. One needs to question sincerely to receive. Philosophy, science and religion would all be seamless in the awakened mind.
What are the advantages of Fee-For-Service therapy?
Fee-for-service therapy allows providers freedom to use a model of health and not psychopathology. Medical insurance companies require therapists to search for and diagnose psychological problems in order to justify coverage. Diagnoses tend to be permanent and medication is the first rung of treatment. I do think that medication can be helpful at times and for a period of time. Spiritually focused psychotherapy is designed to help people internalize a method that will maximize the effects of medication and ultimately help the person to be free of the need for it. This is totally the opposite of what the pharmacological/medical model espouses. Our internal systems are seen as separate and not the interconnected whole that they truly are.
I believe clients are more than a diagnosis. As a holistic therapist I am able to help you follow a vision, and allow the natural forces of our body, mind and Spirit to heal. We can identify difficulties and issues as signposts to discovering irrational beliefs and hidden wounds that need forgiving and release. I believe that Spirit heals. Fee-for-service providers can provide God centered counseling; insurance providers see religion/spirituality as a support, not as a viable mode of healing. Without the binding dictates of the medical model, I believe that you and I are freer to create a treatment plan that really works.
Do you have any forms on line that I can fill out save me doing it later?
The Psychosocial Questionnaire on the Forms page.
I used to see you in Flint but I moved to Phoenix, can we do phone counseling?
Absolutely. Phone and Skype counseling can be effective, especially when combined with periodic face to face interactions. Since I know you, there is already an alliance that we can build on.
VIDEO calling, including SKYPE and FACETIME have some of the characteristics of both remote access and face to face interaction which can benefit counseling and spiritual development. This procedure is furthered by a few face to face interactions, when possible. Contact me to discuss these communications options and we’ll make a plan that will best suit your growth and needs.
Can I still use my FSA account to pay for your services?
I can only refer you to sources that have expertise in them. http://www.hsacenter.com/qualified-med-expenses.html or https://www.wageworks.com/employees/support-center/healthcare-fsa-eligible-expenses-table. As much as I can determine one can use monies they put in their FSA, HSA or Flex accounts to pay for Medical Expenses of which mental health is one such expense. You can also refer to IRS Pub. 502, Medical and Dental Expenses, call the number on your card or waste money talking to your accountant. To the best of my understanding Spiritually Focused Psychotherapy, but not Supervision, qualifies for such pre-tax health spending. Don’t hold me to it.
The shorter version is, “I don’t have the slightest idea.”.
What about email and internet/chat therapy?
I do not engage in email and internet/chat therapy. This type of counseling is still very new, and there are many unanswered questions about how well it works and if it is an appropriate way to deliver therapeutic services. Furthermore, you should understand that email is neither a secure nor confidential means of communicating, so I cannot guarantee your confidentiality if you contact me via email. The best way to contact me is to call 734-646-5591 and leave a message if I do not answer. I will get back to you promptly.
What is it like? What should I expect when I come in?
You can expect a warm, professional atmosphere. I will listen carefully to the struggles that are motivating you to come in. Then we will create a vision for your life and a plan for achieving it. Proper therapy has a beginning session and an ending session. The beginning is to clarify issues and create goals and directions. The ending session clarifies what you have gained, the direction in which you are going and resources you will need to keep your momentum. The final session is every bit as important as the first session.
What if I have an interview and don’t think you are the right person to help me?
If I am not the right person for you to work with, I will provide you with referrals for professionals who may be better able to serve you. My role is to assist you to find the help you need.
Will my private life remain private?
Your counseling is completely confidential. I do not repeat anything you say to me in private. That is another advantage of fee-for service psychotherapy. No one can ask for your records.
How long and how many times a week is a typical session?
Individual sessions are 50 minutes. Most clients are seen bi-weekly at first; however, everyone’s needs vary. The number of sessions and duration of treatment depend on your current needs and the goals we set.
How long will I be in counseling?
The length of time a client is in counseling depends upon the solutions they are seeking, their motivation and intended goals. Some clients have a very specific need that can be addressed in ten sessions or less. For many, spiritually focused psychotherapy is a process of discovery that can take a year or more. As much as possible we do set goals together and attempt to keep the process time-limited.
What if I want couples counseling, but my partner won’t come?
Unfortunately, sometimes one partner is not as willing as the other to be introspective and to attend counseling. However, it is possible to improve a relationship with just one person involved in counseling. Change yourself and the world changes around you! Often, the partner will come around; initial hesitancy is not uncommon. Please don’t use your spouse’s reluctance as a reason to not grow yourself. The spiritual component can be of concern here if your partner doesn’t embrace faith the way that you do. The answer is the same; don’t avoid treatment because your partner is hesitant. As you grow in faith, so will your partner. You are together for a purpose; grow yourself first.
Do I need to take medication?
We will answer that question together, likely in consultation with your primary physician. Therapists do not prescribe medications. Based on a joint assessment of your symptoms, mood and philosophy, it may be advisable to consult with your family doctor or a psychiatrist to determine whether medication is warranted. I am not a huge advocate for psychotropics. While they can provide some benefit and relief from symptoms, often the side effects cause more problems than they solve. Discontinuing the medication can be difficult and disruptive to one’s mental, physical and emotional health.