FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

 

ABOUT ME

What makes you different than other therapists?

What do those letters behind your name mean?

Are you licensed?

Are you a social worker?

 

 

SERVICES

What is so great about couples therapy?

Why do you schedule sessions for 90 minutes for couples?

I want to come to couples therapy, but I also want individual therapy, can I just see you for both? 

Why won’t you see my kid as a client?

I really want to come to couples therapy, but I can’t get my partner to agree. Can you help me get them to commit to coming to therapy?

What if what I want to work on with you isn’t listed as part of the services you offer? Will you still see me as a client? Do you have experience in ___________?

Do you ever turn away clients? Is there any type of client you don’t work with?

Will you be giving me a lot of homework to do?

How do I subscribe to your blog?

How do I tune into your radio show?

 

 

LOGISTICS OF BEING MY CLIENT

Do you accept insurance?

How do I get on your sliding scale list?

Do you have a waiting list?

How often do you require that I attend sessions?

When do you see clients? 

Do you see clients on the weekends or evenings? 

Do you make housecalls? 

 

 

CONFIDENTIALITY

I want to call in to your radio show, but I don’t want you to announce that I am a client of yours.

Will you be talking about me on your radio show?

I saw you at Fred Meyer the other day, why didn’t you come talk to me?

What about social media?

 

 

MINDFULNESS AND HAKOMI

Why do you always want me close my eyes?

What is mindfulness anyway?

Will you be doing guided meditation with me?

What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation?

Do I need to meditate in order to be capable to be a Hakomi client?

How do you use touch in therapy?

What if I don’t want to do mindfulness one week and just need to talk to you? 

 

 

 

ABOUT ME

  • What makes you different than other therapists? I have traditional training in counseling through Portland State University and I also have additional training in advanced techniques and applications of mindfulness and a method called Hakomi. These are two cutting edge modalities that utilize the client and therapist relationship, ground-breaking science in Interpersonal Neurobiology and attachment.

  • What do those letters behind your name mean? The MA stands for Master of Arts and the LPC stands for Licensed Professional Counselor both are requirements to practice in the state of Oregon as a licensed counselor and therapist.

  • Are you licensed? Yes, I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Oregon as of September 2015.

  • Are you a social worker? No, I am not a social worker. Social workers have a completely different skill set and training than counselors and they are more oriented around connecting clients with community services (such as food banks or medical care). Counselors focus on the person and their own internal resources. I can assist to some degree to help connect you with the right services, but that is not my expertise or specialty.

 

SERVICES

  • What is so great about couples therapy? Couples therapy is good for any couple at some point during the relationship. Couples therapy won’t only assist couples in communicating better with one another, but it will also provide each partner with an accurate and in-depth understanding of each other. This deep understanding leads to more empathy and compassion and strength in the relationship. My job as a couples’ therapist is to hold a safe space for both individuals so that they both feel heard and understood. If there is high conflict, then that safe space is especially necessary. I am also an extra objective set of ears and can sometimes hear what each person is saying more accurately because I don’t have the emotional investment that the couple does in the conversation. I am then able to more accurately and effectively reframe or relay the message to the other partner. Because I am not part of the emotional make up of the couple, each person is more likely to actually hear something coming from me (an objective third party) than they are from the source of the conflict. Many times each partner will report to me “I thought you were on her side” AND “I thought you were on his side.” It is when I hear statements such as these coming from both partners that I know I am doing my job well. I work very hard at maintaining neutrality so that everyone in the room has a voice.

  • Why do you schedule sessions for 90 minutes for couples? My individual sessions are 60 minutes long, however, when there are three people in the room, I find that 60 minutes is not quite long enough. 90 minutes feels roomier and not rushed.

  • I want to come to couples therapy, but I also want individual therapy, can I just see you for both? Typically, the answer to this question will be “no.” If you are seeing me as a couple and desire individual therapy, please let me know and we can discuss what your best options will be considering your specific circumstance.

  • Why won’t you see my kid as a client? I do see children as clients but I will not meet with a child on a regular basis without the parents active involvement in therapy. Please see my KIDS page for more information about upcoming Mindfulness4Kids groups that I offer.

  • I really want to come to couples therapy, but I can’t get my partner to agree. Can you help me get them to commit to coming to therapy? No, I cannot assist you in getting your partner to commit to initially walking through my office door. However, once in my office I am happy to discuss any resistance or hesitation anyone has with resuming therapy. If you find yourself in this position where you want therapy but your partner doesn’t, my suggestion is that you first attempt to get them to agree to come to an initial session with me or have them give me a call. I am happy to discuss with anyone their hesitation to try counseling.

  • What if what I want to work on with you isn’t listed as part of the services you offer? Will you still see me as a client? Do you have experience in ___________? The services I listed on my Services Page are not all-inclusive. I work with a broad range of clients who all have a very broad range of needs. If there is something you are struggling with and do not see that listed on my Services Page, please contact me and we can talk about whether or not we would be a good fit working together.

  • Do you ever turn away clients? Is there any type of client you don’t work with? There are a small handful of clients that I do not work with. These include:

    • Addictions (alcohol, drugs, etc.): as a primary source of support. If you are a recovering alcoholic, for example, but attend AA meetings, then I am able to work with you. In order for us to work together, you must have some type of dedicated professional support for your addiction outside of me. I would be a secondary form of support for someone in this situation. Please give me a call if you have questions about this.

    • Active anorexia or bulimia: The same applies to eating disorders as the above for addictions. I cannot be the sole source of support for someone suffering from eating disorders. I am happy to serve as a secondary support

    • Couples in which domestic violence is currently happening: I cannot work with any couple in which there is current violence toward one another. If violence or abuse is in the past, that is different than present day violence and abuse.

If you fall into one of the categories above, please give me a call. I can help you sort through how to get support and I am happy to assist you in finding the best possible fit for your situation.

  • Will you be giving me a lot of homework to do? I don’t give a lot of homework to clients. If you know that homework is something that is very helpful to you, then please let me know.

  • How do I subscribe to your blog? Simply go HERE and click on Follow Me.

  • How do I tune into your radio show? The answer to this question will be posted once my show is running and I have the appropriate links. Until then, check back to this page for updates or subscribe to my blog and you will receive updates by email.

 

LOGISTICS OF BEING MY CLIENT

  • Do you accept insurance? Yes, I am a preferred provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield. If you have health coverage with a different insurer. I am happy to provide you with receipts so that you may get reimbursement from your insurance company.

  • How do I get on your sliding scale list? I have a handful of sliding scale slots in my schedule and once those slots are filled, I cannot accept any more sliding scale clients. I do not keep a waiting list for sliding scale clients. If you absolutely must have a sliding scale fee, then please let me know. I have resources that can help you find a therapist that is the best fit for you financially.

  • Do you have a waiting list? No, I do not maintain a waiting list. If my schedule is full when you call me, I suggest that we discuss options for finding you a good fit with another therapist. I am happy to help with referrals of trusted and skilled colleagues.

  • How often do you require that I attend sessions? For new clients, my preference is that we see each other at least once per week for the first two months. This is so we can establish a strong foundation of working together. After the initial two months have passed, if you want to scale back the frequency of sessions, please let me know and we will work out a schedule that works for everyone.

  • When do you see clients? I have office hours in the mornings, afternoons and evenings on Mondays and Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, I have morning only office hours.

  • Do you see clients on the weekends or evenings? I only see clients on Monday and Tuesday evenings and not on weekends.

  • Do you make housecalls? On rare and special occasions, I will make house calls for clients. If you require our sessions to be in your home, please call me and we can discuss our options. Rates for housecalls are listed on my Services page.

 

CONDIFIDENTIALITY

  • I want to call in to your radio show, but I don’t want you to announce that I am a client of yours. First of all, I do not recommend calling into my radio show if you are a current client of mine. There are various reasons for this, but all are directly related to protecting your privacy. With that said, I cannot tell you what to do. If you still choose to call in, rest assured that I will never reveal your identity on the air or elsewhere. Your confidentiality is my highest priority.

  • Will you be talking about me on your radio show? No, I will NEVER bring up any client name or other identifying information about any of my clients. It is entirely possible that I will discuss topics that perhaps we have discussed in session together, but I will never bring up any client, any client story or any client circumstances - EVER.

  • I saw you at Fred Meyer the other day, why didn’t you come talk to me? If I run into any client in a public place, I will not approach them under any circumstances. This is to protect your identity and confidentiality. However, if you see me in a public place and wish to approach me and say “hello” you are absolutely more than welcome to do so.

  • What about Social Media? I have a document that outlines your rights and responsibilites and precautions needed to ensure your privacy while utilizing all forms of Social Media. Please refer to this document and feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

 

MINDFULNESS AND HAKOMI

  • Why do you always want me close my eyes? Closing your eyes at times during our session assists in shutting out any external stimuli and gives you the opportunity to place all of your attention and focus on your internal world.

  • What is mindfulness anyway? Mindfulness is simply a way of observing yourself from an objective perspective and noticing how you engage with yourself and with your life. Mindfulness is extremely helpful at suspending any self-criticism and self-judgment so that insight can happen. One cannot have insight as to why they engage in a specific behavior if they consistently judge themselves for that behavior. Mindfulness removes that judgment so that everything becomes more clear.

  • Will you be doing guided meditation with me? No, I promise you that I will not guide you through fields of daisies to find your happy spot. The places I guide you through are WAY cooler than that. I do not practice guided meditation and would not know how to do that even if you wanted me to. You are actually the driver of the session and I simply come along as a guide and support.

  • What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation?

In general, meditators pay attention to what else beyond their internal experience makes up the present moment – enjoying the spaces between thoughts, sensations, emotions. Meditators experience consciousness in a direct way which can help them to reduce mental distress and suffering and also develop a method to stay unattached to the creations of the mind. On the other hand, mindfulness focuses attention on our inner experiences. However, rather than simply noticing the inner experience and letting go of it, a therapist utilizing applied mindfulness might encourage you to keep noticing the thought and/or your response to that thought (such as surprise, anger, curiosity, etc.) and also to witness, without judgment, what else arises. Applied mindfulness immerses us into our current experience and follow it to core beliefs and psychological material that are mostly unconscious and need to be explored in order for change to happen.

  • Do I need to meditate in order to be capable to be a Hakomi client? Absolutely not! You do not need any special skills to practice mindfulness in our sessions or to engage in a traditional Hakomi session. I will guide you through every step of the way.

  • Do you use touch in therapy? Do I have to be okay with that? Yes, I sometimes do use touch in therapy and no, you do not have to be okay with it or agree to it. I ONLY use touch with the direct and explicit consent of my clients. Touch is used in the context of an experiment. The way that touch could possibly be used in session is for example a client feels a physical impulse to push something out of their way. So, one way I may work with this, with the client’s absolute permission of course, is to set up an experiment in which I provide that “something” that the client can push out of their way. I may do this by holding my hand or arm up for the client to push away or perhaps I could stand with my back to the client and they, in a very mindful way, can push me out of their way. I am very specific and very intentional when setting up experiments such as these and ALWAYS have the client’s permission to begin even when no touch is involved. The value of touch in therapy is that it can provide information about your experience which may not have been revealed in otherwise. This psychological information can assist us in understanding reactions you may have to circumstances outside of our sessions and can also assist in invoking change and transformation. You ALWAYS have the right to refuse or decline any experiment or activity I suggest.

  • What if I don’t want to do mindfulness one week and just need to talk to you? This is perfectly fine and I am happy to accommodate. I understand that mindfulness is not always the best choice or that you may not be in the best frame of mind to engage in mindfulness. Also, if you have something important scheduled right after our session, such as a job interview, PLEASE tell me at the beginning of our session and we will make an assessment at that time how deep and how intense the session can go. I always do my best to make sure clients feel stable and grounded when leaving my office. However, sometimes this cannot happen in the manner in which I or you may want it to happen, so if I am aware ahead of time that you need to be stable and grounded (more than usual for something like a job interview) when our session ends, I will work with you to make that happen as you need it to happen.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Contact me:

(503) 341-6393

jenn@mindfultherapyportland.com

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©Jennifer D. Samsom, MA, LPC