Serenity Family Therapy
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I do not believe in working from a short term framework. That being said, there are times where this is appropriate. However, most of my cases tend to last 6 mos. to a year. I think it takes a good 3-4 sessions to really get to know a client and their story. Then, changing long-standing habits and patterns takes time. However, all during and after that time, I am very active and directive. I am not the type of therapist who will sit back and ask you “how does that make you feel?” I am much more likely to give you my actual opinion and ask you to do very specific things which, in my opinion, tends to speed up the healing process. I give a lot of homework, which means you are in therapy all throughout the week, not just during your session.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have a Ph.D. In Marriage and Family Therapy, earned from Texas Tech University in 2001. Prior to graduating and beginning my practice, my work was primarily in research, wherein I was the Asst. Director of Research and Grants in the Departmeant of Neuropsychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Science Center Southwest Institute for Addictive Diseases. While working there, I wrote many book chapters and articles that appeared in peer-reviewed scholarly journals.
I also worked at the SMU Masters in Counseling Program as an adjunct Professor for 7 years.
Additionally, one of my favorite things to do is to supervise students and new interns who are just learning to do therapy. It’s very exciting to watch them grow and learn, and feel like I am contributing to the next generation of therapists.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.
Unfortunately I no longer accept insurance as direct payment for services. I charge $150 per 1 hour session. I accept all forms of payment, including FSA debit cards.
How did you get started in this business?
I truly feel this was a calling for me. I have known since I was 12 years old that I wanted to be a counselor of some sort. I am the only person I know who never changed their major in college, and knew exactly what I wanted to do when I graduated. Even after practicing for 20+ years, I still love what I do! It’s never boring, it’s never the same day twice, and I feel so uplifted by the amazing resilience of the human spirit that I have the privilege to see every single day!
What types of customers have you worked with?
I truly believe I have worked with all types! That doesn’t mean I can or should work with all types however! The types I tend to shy away from, because I believe they require a certain skill set that I do not possess, are people with an active addiction or an active eating disorder. If you are in recovery from either of these issues and seeking help for other issues, even if you believe or we discover that it may be playing an active role, I can usually handle that just fine.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
This has nothing to do with therapy, but I just took my middle teenage daughter to her first broadway show. We saw Moulin Rouge in Boston while visiting colleges. She does Musical Theater herself. It was truly one of the best shows I have ever seen! We went with my mother too, so it was three generations of girls having a fun girls night out at a fun feel good musical! I loved watching my daughter’s reaction to the show. What a wonderful night. The show highlights a full range of human emotions and the triumph of the human spirit, I got to be with my family and favorite people. It couldn’t have been better!
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?
1) Do your homework to make sure they are competent. Make sure there are no complaints against them online or on their licensing board.
2) Make sure they have a lot of experience and are adequately qualified to treat your issue.
3) Assuming all things are equal, pick someone you “click” with. 85-90% of the curative factor in therapy depends on the relationship you have with your therapist!
What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?
Why are you seeking treatment? What are your goals? How do you think a professional can help you? This may seem obvious, but many clients have not thought this through and seem to believe I have a magic wand I wave and their problems will disappear (I wish I did!). The more clear you are about your goals, the more likely you are to meet them.