Is this approach for me?
This non-traditional approach is not for everyone and some issues that clients need to address would be better suited for an intimate office environment. During our initial phone conversation, we will discuss your goals and evaluate whether walk and talk therapy would be of the most benefit for you. If not, we can set up a time to meet at my office space. If it is a good option for you we will set up an appointment to meet at an agreed upon trailhead or walking path at one of the many beautiful parks in the Austin area and start our work together by going for a walk. I pride myself on being a very open, client-centered therapist who is open to your feedback at all times and we can make changes throughout our relationship if needed.
Who benefits from walk and talk therapy?
-To benefit from walk and talk therapy clients need to be open and comfortable to discussing their treatment in open spaces where confidentiality can not be guaranteed and they are not concerned with being seen with their therapist. The space will be determined by taking into consideration the comfortability and safety of both the therapist and client. -Clients who are experiencing a feeling of being stuck; feeling frustrated with their circumstances, feeling unable/unmotivated to make changes towards their personal growth, feeling like they are not progressing creatively in their art. -Clients who experience anxiety and depression and would like to experience a decrease in symptoms. -Clients who are experiencing issues in their relationships with significant others, coworkers, school mates, or family members. -Clients who are grieving due to experiencing a loss. -Clients who are going through life transitions such as marriages, births, new job, moving, or experiencing different phases of life that can cause significant amounts of stress. -Clients who are having difficulty managing the stress of their life and experiences. -Clients who have tried traditional therapy in an office setting and feel that it is not working for them. -Clients who have a very busy schedule and would like to meet near their workplace for all or part of their lunch break so that they can have a convenient time to engage in a therapy session. Thirty-minute sessions are offered at $70 and can be excellent for meeting with a therapist during your lunch hour. Session duration and rates are arranged at the time of appointment scheduling and are not subject to change. -Clients who would like to bring their dog to the session. If you feel that your pet can help you to feel more relaxed and comfortable then they are welcome to join us. It can be a distraction for some clients so you would need to make a decision based on your circumstance on whether or not this would be a good option for you. -Clients who are new moms who feel they would benefit from the movement and the processing of unexpected emotions that can come with the transition to motherhood. It can be challenging for new moms to find time and the physical/emotional energy to process through this transition. This unique approach allows the convenience of you being able to bring your baby with you in a stroller while you are in session. -Clients who want to feel empowered, more in touch with their feelings and less inhibited. -Clients who want to experience more confidence and improvement in their self-image. -Clients who have fears of being seen walking in to a therapy office and would like the anonymity that comes with walking in public with another person who happens to be their therapist. -For the client that has an incredibly complicated schedule this great way to kill two birds with one stone: conditioning your physical and emotional well-being. While walking and sharing your struggles you will find it easier to remain present and help you to get grounded. -Clients who want to get their therapist at their best. Movement is helpful to both the therapist and the client being present and staying attuned in the process of change.
Do I need to be in great physical shape?
Typically no, this approach is not a workout and the pace will be set by you, a leisurely walk where we are able to easily converse throughout the hour of activity. If you have difficult with movement/activity in your daily life or, are under the care of a doctor for any health condition that could affect your mobility or your ability to be outdoors in different temperatures, I would recommend utilizing office sessions. I would also recommend before intensifying any level of activity in spite of your level of health consulting with your doctor to make sure that this is a good fit for you. The therapy will be the focus of the session and walking is a secondary benefit.
What happens if I see someone I know?
If you have ever been to any of the parks around Austin you will see people walking alongside each other and talking, we should not attract any more attention than any of those people. Unless you tell someone that you are engaged in a therapy session it is highly unlikely that they would be able to come to this conclusion by seeing you walking on the trail with me. I would like to think that the risk of someone seeing you walk in to a therapy office would be close to the risk you would take of someone knowing that you are engaging in your therapy session on a walk. I had one person describe it to me as if they feel they are “hiding in plain sight” by being able to get their therapy session while on a walk. We will discuss any concerns that you might have about this happening and will come up with a plan that you are comfortable with should any one that you know approach us while we are on the trail. In my experience and from learning about the experience of other practitioners this has never been an issue but, developing a plan will help you and I to know exactly how best to behave should that scenario arise.
What about confidentiality?
I will do my very best to uphold confidentiality and protect you as much as I can, we will be out in public during our sessions and there are certain risks that you will have to acknowledge exist and agree to take if you choose to do walk and talk therapy. Ways that we can work together to maintain the highest level of confidentiality is that we will change our pace if others are around to get more space from them, or take a completely different route, if needed we can go and find a place that is more secluded and sit in the sunshine for a while to continue our session where you feel the most comfortable. If someone we know approaches us, we may avoid introductions and politely excuse ourselves from the conversation; it is up to you to acknowledge me as your therapist if you so choose, but that is completely up to you. I will always follow your lead and never compromise your confidentiality, and follow the plan we have discussed previously.
What if we have an appointment scheduled and there is inclement weather?
It depends on you and what you feel is best for you in that moment. In some cases we might grab our umbrellas and head off on to the trail anyway, or you might decide you’d like to meet at an indoor venue instead. We will be flexible and find a way to meet for your session that works best to meet your individual needs for that day.
What should I wear to our session?
I would recommend that you wear clothes that are comfortable for you and walking/tennis shoes that you do not mind getting a little dirty. I will be dressed in workout apparel because I also want to be comfortable for our session.
My child/teen is not open to traditional therapy. Would walk and talk therapy be an option for them?
I have extensive experience providing therapy to children and adolescents. We can discuss and evaluate whether walk and talk therapy would be a good option for your child due to what type of challenges your child is experiencing. I have found this unique approach to be highly beneficial for children entering into adolescence and adolescent children. Many find the intimate setting of a therapy office to be overwhelming and can become more likely to be blocked and not join as quickly with the therapist. The outdoor setting can provide a non-threatening environment for your child to feel comfortable and be able to have a good opportunity to be open to the experience of therapy.
What services do you offer?
I offer individual therapy, family therapy, couples therapy, walk & talk therapy, eco-therapy, and animal assisted therapy.
Do you do animal assisted therapy?
My dog Pixie, (AKA Best dog in the world), is a registered therapy dog with PetPartners. She and I work as a therapy team so, Pixie can spread her love to the community of Austin. I am very interested in utilizing the benefits of animal assisted therapy and look forward to Pixie being active in helping people in their healing process. Pixie can come to walk & talk sessions to increase comfort in the therapy process. We can discuss whether or not you would like for Pixie to join us in our work together during our initial phone call. There are numerous benefits to animal assisted therapy. Using an animal in the therapeutic process can help with rapport building, the client experiencing an increase in self-esteem and motivation, and decreasing feelings of anxiety and stress. Animals are accepting, non-judgmental, and have a magical way of helping people open up and feel comfortable.
What problems/Issues do you work with?
I am licensed as a professional counselor and a marriage and family therapist so I am experienced in many different areas of mental health issues and family/relationship issues. This is not an all-encompassing list but, here are some areas of focus that I feel very capable of working with: relationship issues, self-Esteem and self-confidence, job and career issues, anxiety and fears,depression, stress management, grief, trauma, personal growth, life transitions, and women’s issues.
How much does a session cost?
I offer a brief complimentary consultation over the phone for the first contact which ranges from 15-30 minutes. This free consultation is designed to help you understand how counseling services might be beneficial to helping you achieve your goals and to address any concerns you might have about the therapy process.Individual, couple, and family sessions are 50 minutes and cost $125 for each session. There is no extra fee for walk and talk,eco-therapy, or animal assisted therapy.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Cash, personal checks, or major credit cards are accepted for payment. Please make checks out to Madrone counseling and Wellness. Fees are due at the time of service.
What types of insurance do you accept?
I currently accept Cigna and Blue Cross Blue Shield. I am also an out-of-network provider with most insurance policies. I will provide you with a detailed session receipt that you may file with your insurance company if they will reimburse you when you choose to use an out of network provider.
What if I can't afford your rate?
I offer many reduced-fee spots, which I give out based on availability and the honor system. If you say you can't afford $125 per session, we will discuss a lower fee so that we can work together without it being a financial burden to you. My reduced-fee spots are limited in number and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Do you offer 30 min. sessions at a reduced rate?
Thirty-minute sessions are offered at $70 and can be excellent for meeting with the therapist during your lunch hour. Session duration and rates are arranged at the time of appointment scheduling and are not subject to change.
Do you offer a reduced fee, or sliding scale fee?
At this time I offer many reduced-fee spots, which I give out based on availability and the honor system. If you let me know that you can't afford $125 per session, we will discuss a lower fee so that we can work together without it being a financial burden to you. My reduced-fee spots are limited in number and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
How do I start?
To get in touch with me to set up an appointment you will email me at [email protected] and leave convenient times and days that you would like me to contact you. I will contact you and we will have a complimentary phone consultation where we will discuss if we are a good match and what therapeutic environment would best suit your needs. At this time, I can answer some of the questions you may have and we can discuss your goals for therapy.
What forms do I need to fill out?
After our initial phone conversation, you will be emailed a username and password to have confidential access to a client portal on SimplePractice, where you can read and acknowledge my informed consent, practice policies and privacy statements. There will also be an intake questionnaire for you to fill out. If you choose to experience walk and talk therapy, there will be a form that you must read and acknowledge for that as well. If the client is not an adult the guardian must read and sign the consent form for the therapist to be able to have consent to treat a minor.
Where do you practice?
When doing walk and talk therapy the location is more flexible and will be determined based on convenience and comfortability. I am based in South Austin and also rent an office space in that area for those who feel the walk and talk therapy approach is not for them.