What to Expect
What is Counseling?
Counseling is a partnership in healing formed in the professional relationship between a counselor and a person, couple, or family to create positive change in a safe, comfortable environment. Interested in exploring how to live a more satisfying life? We can work together to open up more freedom and possibility, even when things are difficult. Life can feel like a dimly lit hallway with only one door at the end. Therapy is about turning on the lights together so that more doors come into view. It is our personal philosophy that the same challenges that bring one into therapy can also provide powerful opportunities to create change in ones life. Through the skills that therapy offers, future challenges are more easily addressed and personal goals are more readily met.
What can I Expect from You as my Counselor?
As your counselor, you can expect that I will work with you every step of the way from developing goals to deciding together when the work has been completed. I will provide a comfortable, respectful, safe environment. I will respect your privacy by maintaining your confidentiality within the legal limitations that we will go over during your first appointment. You may take a look at the forms at the bottom of this page for instances when I am mandated to break that confidentiality. I believe encouragement and compassionate empathy should always be part of the counseling process. In addition, I will answer any questions or concerns you have at all stages of the counseling process. Finally, the counseling relationship is a professional relationship, which means that unlike other relationships I will not
socialize with you and your family or discuss your private concerns with others. Finally if you are bringing your child for counseling, I will make efforts to include you in family therapy sessions at various times to encourage your child's sharing with you insights that they have gained from counseling.
If you ever leave a session mad at me as your counselor or upset about your counseling experience, please remember that I consider a gift for you to come back or contact me about your concern. This gives me the option to repair or make it right if I have insulted you in any way.
What Is Expected of Me?
As a counselor, I expect my clients to be committed to counseling and work toward their own best interest. As we work together, I want you to be comfortable in telling me what is working, what is not working, and continuously challenge themselves to make the changes and growth they desire. I welcome this feedback as it has been incredibly helpful in making me a more effective helper! I expect you to arrive on time and to be sober during the counseling session. I also request that you give me 24 hours advanced notice if you will be unable to attend your counseling appointment. I will try to make accommodations for a different time if this is possible. Finally for parents who bring their children for counseling, I request that you do not
ask your child about what they talked about during their counseling session. This can make them feel uncomfortable with continuing to share difficult thoughts and feelings in sessions with me.
Your First Appointment
Your first session is typically an intake appointment that takes 60-90 minutes and includes a brief interview and the completion of various forms that are provided at the bottom of this page. It may be helpful to print and fill out these forms before your initial appointment; however this is not necessary. The goal of the intake is to inform you of your rights as a client and get all the necessary history and information to together create a strategy for healing. After the intake, we will agree on a standard appointment time that usually occurs on a weekly basis. Because each therapist has a unique style and philosophy of treatment, it may be helpful to discuss this prior to starting counseling with me.
Some folks like to arrive a few minutes before their first appointment to complete the intake paperwork, which will be waiting for you in the lobby. Please feel free to enter via the red door into the lobby and begin filling out this paperwork if you would like. The intake paperwork is also available for you to download from this website and print / fill out on your own if you would like; however this is not required. If you would like to take a look at the intake paperwork, please refer to the forms column in the left column of this page.
While most appointments will last 55 minutes in length; however the intake appointment typically may last longer than this time. Longer and “marathon” appointments are also available upon request.
Information about distance counseling (Telemental Health)
Many of my clients are living far from the office and thus are not able to attend sessions in office. For these clients distance counseling, which is also known as telehealth services are available. This type of counseling takes place as a video session from your computer to your device. In order for this type of session to work you must have a computer with a screen, microphone, camera, high speed internet, and speakers. Many computer, tablets, or cellphones have these standard features already. The software used is HIPAA compliant and secures the connection between our computers to ensure your privacy. If interested, please feel free to contact me!
Please note that some insurance companies do not currently reimburse for counseling services provided remotely. As a result all distance counseling services are self-pay unless your insurance covers these services (currently Presbyterian, BCBS, and Molina in New Mexico).
An invoice can be provided for these services to help you receive reimbursement from your insurance company if desired. Services are not available in states where I do not hold a license. Thus services are only currently available in New Mexico
Please remember to utilize the following boundaries and recommendations for telehealth sessions:
- Please be aware that your confidentiality can be compromised by the setting that you choose to connect with me via telehealth.
- Please keep the standards of behavior and attire that you would have if you were meeting with me in the office.
- Please be aware to utilize a headphone with microphone to better protect your privacy from others who may over hear details from your session.
- Please choose a setting that is private to meet for a telehealth session where others won’t be in the room with you or overhear the sensitive things discussed during sessions.
If interested please email me. Services are conducted through a program called VSEE
. You can click on the link to goto their website where you put in your email and sign up for a free account. After you have signed up, please download their program, which we will use for distance sessions. This program provides a secure video and text messaging connecting for conducting sessions while ensuring your privacy.
Information about Social Media Policy
Please feel free to download my notice of privacy practices
that includes policies and procedures in the informed consent section at the bottom of the document. My social media policy is currently:
I protect your privacy by Protecting your confidentiality on any social media websites by actively avoiding any contact on these sites or apps. When that is not possible, I will not respond to any communications on such sites or apps. This is due to any communication via social media representing a potential violation of your confidentiality. If you choose associate yourself (like, follow) with my social media websites, please be aware that you will loose a degree of confidentiality. Any personal sites are strictly private and hidden to the degree possible. If you find me on public social media or apps, I request that you do not connect with me on that medium in any manner including swiping left and avoiding contact.
If you have any questions about potential confidentiality concerns or connecting on social media, please contact me directly by telephone before
connecting with me through these electronic mediums.
Electronic Communication Policy
Please also remember the electronic communications policy that is also in the notice of privacy practices:
Email, text messaging, and other electronic communications are not secure mediums and therefore, confidentiality cannot be assured. Please use discretion when sending information that is sensitive in nature. Out of session electronic communications may only to be used for appointment scheduling. Text and Email conversations other than for scheduling appointments may compromise your confidentiality and should be avoided. If you are in a crisis, please call me rather than text or email me. When electronic messages are sensitive in nature, I request that you telephone me so that I may verify your identity rather than text message this content. Otherwise I may be unable to respond to your message. I will not respond to your message except during posted business hours and when I am not in session. You may also choose to receive counseling via telehealth (via the application vsee) or in office; however not all insurance companies reimburse for telehealth.
Finding the Office
Steve's office is located in nob hill. Please see the map of his office location (below). The street address is 231 Sierra Dr SE Suite 12 Albuquerque, NM 87108.
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