• Ask Alexa!

    Dear Alexa,
    What if my spouse or partner refuses to come to counseling?

    In couples counseling, I encourage the couple to come in together. But if your partner refuses to join you, then come alone! Even if just one of you comes to therapy, we can begin to make changes in how you and your spouse are communicating. This can have a huge impact on the way you talk to one other, settle disagreements, and relate to each other, even if only one of you is actively seeking change. And chances are that once your partner begins to see positive results, he or she will warm up to the idea of counseling.

    Dear Alexa,
    How can I/we get the most out of counseling?

    In my experience, these are the kinds of clients who have the most success:

    • Individuals who are motivated to make progress
    • Individuals who are willing to put time and effort into getting healthier and improving their lives
    • Individuals who are ready to stop making excuses and start making changes
    • Couples who love each other and want to stay together
    • Couples who are willing to put in some extra time and effort into the relationship
    • Couples who are open to trying new things and changing established patterns

    Whether you’re in individual or couples counseling, you can maximize the benefits by:

    • Keeping your appointments, and being on time
    • Following through with any assignments, tasks, or “homework” that the therapist recommends
    • Being honest and open with the therapist about what you’re thinking and feeling
    • Alerting the therapist if you’re feeling uncomfortable about any point in the process


    Dear Alexa,
    What should I look for in a therapist?

    Finding the right professional can be a challenging task, but it’s worth the effort. Ask for referrals from people you trust. Check credentials: academic background, supervised clinical training, licensure or certification. (For more about my background, please review my credentials.)

    Beyond a personal referral and solid credentials, here are some qualities to look for:

    • A good therapist is well qualified and experienced at the particular type of counseling you seek.
    • A good therapist helps you feel safe and respects your privacy.
    • A good therapist gives you his or her full attention.
    • A good therapist earns your trust.
    • A good therapist treats you with respect and dignity.
    • A good therapist is nonjudgmental.

    Many of my clients recommend me to their friends and families. I consider this a stamp of approval since I know they wouldn’t trust me with their loved ones unless they believed in my abilities and the work I do.

    That being said, choosing a counselor is a very individual process. Because a good fit between client and counselor is so important, I offer all potential new clients a fifteen-minute appointment free of charge. This gives the client an opportunity to chat with me, tour the office, ask questions, and determine whether they will feel comfortable working with me. For more information about the counseling process, review the First Visit Information.