Here are the questions I most often hear and my answers:
1. “How long are your sessions?” I set aside 1.5 hours for new individual clients or couples. This allows plenty of time to connect, for me to understand what has brought you in, to assess if our goals for counseling match, and to see if my skills are the best fit for your particular needs. Follow-up sessions for individuals are usually 1 hour but can be longer if needed. Follow-up sessions for couples are always 1.0 hours.
2. “How many sessions will I have with you?” I will usually see individuals between 1-3 sessions, using a brief and very effective therapy called Rapid Resolution Therapy. Couples will vary, but can expect to be feeling better somewhere between session 10-12.
3. “What makes RRT so different than any other form of counseling?” In RRT we theorize that emotions originate in the subconscious mind, which works radically different than our conscious mind. There as an RRT therapist I language my sessions in a way that the subconscious mind understands so that the emotions are quickly transformed and change is immediate.
4. “What will it cost?” I charge per session versus per hour. For first sessions it is $180 and follow up sessions of Rapid Resolution Therapy are $120. Couples sessions are $120. Payment is due at the time of your session.
5. “My wife (or husband) feels I am the problem and should be seen first. She (or he) will think about coming in only after I improve. Will you see me?” My experience as a couples therapist and the best practices in the field of marriage and family therapy indicate it is better to start with both members of the couple from the first session. In this way the relationship becomes my client, and the alliance I have with each of you can be established without bias. I understand you may be calling me in the context of built up hurt or even distrust–you with your partner or from your partner towards you. But designating one person to come in for problems affecting both is almost never a good idea. Also, I will be screening for any significant individual issues that would indicate other forms of counseling need to come first. As an analogy, you wouldn’t take your car to the mechanic after repeated stalling but then tell him you only wanted him looking at the brakes, would you? Please let me help you get to the heart of whatever is troubling your relationship in the most efficient manner possible.
6. What do I need to read or do to prepare for seeing you? For people who have experienced trauma or any kind of disturbing life or relationship event, I figure they’ve done the hardest part by picking up the phone and showing up. Please come as you are. We will have everything we need right there as we collaborate on getting you feeling better even in the first session.
I do ask new clients to fill out a new client questionnaire by clicking markchidley.medforward.com. Then please print off, sign, and date the Informed Consent. Please bring the Informed Consent with you.
7. “What if I cannot afford it right now?” Much of the time, this is about a reluctance to spend money on oneself. This is understandable and many folks are under other financial commitments. But consider that your mind and overall health is much more valuable than any piece of machinery or material possession you’ll ever own. Science is showing that the quality of our relationships and our perception of support and connection (or lack of it) affect productivity, health, even our longevity. Just imagine as you could be– tuned up, clear, coming from a place of peace, connection, and wisdom. How could you not be doing the best thing for those around you? I would suggest you are worth this investment and that together we can make sure it’s the best money you ever spent.
For those who are truly disadvantaged or have special circumstances, please call and let’s discuss it. I do give special consideration to veterans or those who have been through sexual violence.
8. Do you take my insurance? Answer: it depends. The insurance scene is constantly changing. Please call your provider to see if I can be included under what is called a Single Case Agreement. Get an authorization and authorization number for the first visit from the rep and call me with this, your date of birth, and member number.