Bloom

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Because finding the right therapist may not always happen on the first try, a consultation can be helpful to determine the right “fit.”  If I end up not being that right person for you, I will do my best to connect you with the one who is!

Give me a call at 706-340-6944 or send me an email at shannon@lagomcounseling.com. I look forward to talking with you.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

I use a warm, person-centered, and judgement-free approach, which means that I see YOU first, not your problems. My ultimate goal is to provide you with the platform and confidence to find your voice, so that you have the autonomy and courage to be exactly the person you want to be.

WHAT IS AN LCSW? DON'T I NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR?

LCSW is an acronym for Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Basically it indicates a person who has a Master’s degree in Social Work, and has proven to the state board that they have experience and knowledge in the field. I’ve been working in the field of social work for almost 10 years now, with experience in domestic violence, addiction, and sexual trauma.

No, I’m not a doctor, and yes, there is a chance that I can’t meet all of your needs. For example, I can’t prescribe you medication. If we find in our sessions that you have a need (like a prescription) that I can’t meet for you, I will connect you with the appropriate resource.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? WHY CAN'T I USE MY INSURANCE?

Therapy generally costs anywhere from $60-$120, with a lot of different factors that go into the cost. I charge $80 per one hour session.

I don’t take insurance for a couple of reasons – one, I’m a small practice and this type of extra work takes away my ability to focus on my clients. Two – insurance companies require a diagnosis in order to reimburse, and this isn’t always necessarily indicated. You might want therapy and not really have a condition that warrants a diagnosis; I can still help you and provide a safe space for you to talk about your needs, but I don’t have to label you to provide that support.

Another drawback is that sometimes insurance will dictate how long therapy can last. Sometimes this is completely appropriate, as you might have a specific issue that really can be dealt with in 6-10 sessions. Sometimes it isn’t so appropriate, and you may want support for a more long term period of time. By not using insurance, we get to decide on the appropriate length of time together, which in my experience is unique to each individual person.

Insurance obviously has it’s benefits, and sometimes is a necessary part of our care. If you do need to find a therapist who can provide support while also using your insurance, let me know! I’m happy to find you a better fit.

I'M AFRAID OF BEING JUDGED IN THERAPY.

I honestly have no interest in judging you. I consider myself an “ally-in-training” for the LGBTQ community and for people of color, meaning I don’t pretend like I know everything and I don’t pretend to always get it right. I’m going to screw up sometimes and I sincerely hope that I get called out on it so that I can be better.

As a therapist, part of my job is to support you from where you are. The long and the short of it is — if it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

I'M WORRIED ABOUT MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY FINDING OUT WHAT WE TALK ABOUT.

One of the cool things about my job is that I’m essentially a professional secret keeper. Your mom, your partner, your teacher, your boss — none of these people have rights to your information. There’s only a few reasons why I might be forced to break confidentiality:

  1. I believe you’re a threat to yourself. This doesn’t mean that if you say, in exasperation, “I wish I was dead,” that I’m going to immediately call the paddy wagon for you. It means that if I really, truly believe you’re in danger of hurting yourself, I have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect you and connect you to a higher level of care.

  2. I believe you’re a threat to someone else. Again, saying “I could just kill her” is often used colloquially and doesn’t necessarily mean that you intend to kill someone. But I will start asking questions, and may be forced to involve other people, such as law enforcement.

  3. I believe that you’re putting a child or a dependent person in danger. This includes any minor who is under your care, or an adult who is incapable of making decisions for themselves.

  4. You subpoena me to court.

  5. You sign a release of information to a specific person for a specific purpose. For example – I’m going to ask you to sign a release for an emergency contact of your choosing. This is so that if there is an actual emergency (“Hey, Ann’s arm fell off and we’re waiting for the ambulance, thought you’d like to know.”) I have someone I can contact. This doesn’t mean that this particular person has free reign over all of your info; it means that I can disclose specific information for a specific purpose and nothing more.

Have a question that was left unanswered? Get in touch with me today.