Q: What is walk-and-talk therapy?
A: Just like it sounds, walk-and-talk therapy is talk therapy conducted while walking. Talk therapy is often recommended for individuals experiencing mental or emotional distress. Exercise has also been shown effective for improving mental and emotional health. I take therapy outside to not only incorporate the benefits of talk therapy and exercise, but also the benefits of being in “nearby nature” which has also been shown to be therapeutic. I currently conduct therapy in Piedmont Park in midtown Atlanta or other mutually agreed upon location.
Q: Do you only do walk-and-talk therapy?
A: No. I also have office space for initial consults and those times when either the weather is bad or clients would prefer being inside. In addition, I am a distance credentialed counselor meaning I conduct online therapy for residents of Georgia. Current legal and ethical standards prohibit therapists from conducting therapy/counseling with clients outside their state of licensure.
Q: You are a licensed marriage and family therapist. Does this mean you only see couples or families?
A: Good question! Actually most of my clients are individuals. Like other mental health professionals I am trained to manage a wide array of mental and emotional issues. Being a licensed marriage and family therapist means, however, that I was trained to approach these issues from a systemic point of view. I consider all the various influences that might be contributing to someones overall well-being, as well as helping my clients view their circumstances from a broader perspective to consider solutions they might not otherwise have been aware.
Q: What about confidentiality if you’re doing therapy outside?
A: Another great question. Clients are in charge of what they do and do not divulge in therapy. Any information shared in a therapy session, regardless of setting, is considered confidential and privileged within the confines of legal and ethical standards; therefore, I treat all information divulged in an outdoor session the same as any information revealed in a traditional therapy setting. I have a few different session routes in areas in the park with less activity or foot traffic. I monitor surrounding activity and will change our session route as appropriate in order to avoid being overheard, or I may ask a client to pause for a second (both conversation and/or walking) to also protect confidentiality. All my clients have the option of scheduling an in-office session, particularly if they know they need to discuss something of a sensitive nature.
Q: Do you take insurance?
A: Currently I do not take insurance; however, clients may keep track of their payments via my online, secure, encrypted client portal and may print statements to submit to their insurance for reimbursement.
Q: What is your therapeutic approach?
A: I approach therapy with compassion and empathy with a focus on client strengths. I also employ a strengths-based approach where I help my clients see what they’re doing right, determine what other things they feel are within their means in order to continue to improve upon what they already do well. I employ a variety of cognitive and experiential approaches and attempt to tailor client sessions to my clients’ unique personality and circumstances.
Q: In what areas do you specialize?
A: As I mentioned previously, I am trained as a “general practitioner” of mental health and approach treatment from a systemic focus. Having spent many years working within the medical field, I also specialize in helping clients who have a new or chronic health diagnosis manage the stresses and systemic issues that present when dealing with issues related to their physical health. I believe our overall well-being, including our physical health, cannot be separated from other areas of our overall functioning. When someone receives a new health diagnosis it can create added stress including depression, anxiety, or grief over loss of quality of life. People sometimes experience relational stress, or find themselves navigating appointments and treatment regimens that create problems with work and other areas of their lives. In addition, physical health outcomes are often dependent upon patient behaviors such as whether they get enough exercise; eat a healthy diet; follow through with recommended appointments, therapies, and medications; yet these expectations often seem insurmountable combined with patients’ other responsibilities, and often cause their own new stresses. I can help individuals and their family members manage these new stresses, create a reasonable and manageable approach to total health, as well as help them navigate the complicated healthcare system.
Q: What are your office hours?
A: Therapy sessions are by appointment. You may call me at 404-895-1525 to schedule an initial consult. Subsequent appointments for established clients may be scheduled via the online client portal. Regular appointment sessions may be scheduled Monday – Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. but if you desire/require an appointment time outside of these regular hours please call and we can work out a time convenient for you.