Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some answers to questions you might be asking.


General

You mention couples therapy a lot; do you work with individuals?
I work with individual clients on a limited basis because there are many terrific therapists throughout the valley who have availability to see individuals whereas there are very few qualified couples therapists in the valley (the demand far exceeds the supply).

Can I start seeing you solo and then transition to couples therapy?
No; with extremely rare exceptions, I don’t do this. I find it leads to confusion about the role of the therapist and does not set the couples therapy experience up for success.  Individual therapy and couples therapy are very different practices.

Do you take insurance?
No, I am not in contract with any insurance companies.  For a thorough explanation on why, you can read my blog post here.

If you’re not taking new clients, how can I locate other therapists who can help me?
ICEEFT.com has a directory of therapists with varying levels of advanced training in EFT.  The Gottman Method is another couples therapy approach, and this is a link to their directory.  You can also search on Psychology Today for therapists who say they work with couples, relationships, etc.  Because there is a shortage of qualified marriage counselors in the Boise area, you may need to seek out alternative approaches while you wait for an opening with a therapist.  

Why don’t you keep a waitlist?
I used to, but I found it became unreasonably long very quickly and became essentially meaningless except for the few couples at the very top. I’m only able to open up a spot in my caseload for a new couple when an existing couple of mine finishes therapy.  Since the number of inquiries I get far outpaces my ability to get new couples in, it just makes more sense to take new couples on a first-come first-serve basis as I develop openings in my schedule.

Why can’t I find a couples therapist who will work with us?
If you’re in Idaho, it’s most likely a simple (but very frustrating) issue of supply and demand.  Idaho has a booming population and very few specialist counselors.  The problem gets worse over time as newly graduating counselors have very few training options to become specialists themselves.  Occasionally, a couple might struggle to find a couples therapist because there is an obvious contraindication to couples therapy (like, one of you has an untreated addiction or one person has already left the relationship).

What can I do to help my relationship if I can’t find a therapist who’s taking clients?
While none of these is a replacement for therapy with a trained couples counselor, here are some things that may help you begin working on your relationship:

  • Read Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson OR for Christian couples, read Created for Connection by Sue Johnson and Kenneth Sanderfer
  • Read Love Sense by Sue Johnson
  • Complete the Hold Me Tight online program
  • Google EFT Intensives; you will find therapists in other states who offer intensive sessions where you can fit a lot of therapy into a few consecutive days.  You will likely need to travel to their state to participate in these options.  Not every couple is a good candidate for an EFT intensive, but the therapists’ websites will help you determine if an intensive is right for you.
  • Google therapists outside the Boise Metro area to see if you can do teletherapy with someone in another part of Idaho.
  • Purchase the Emotionally Focused Workbook for Couples by Jennifer Fitzgerald and Veronica Kallos-Lilly and set time aside with your partner to go through the exercises together (not recommended for highly distressed couples).
  • Seek out individual therapy to work on elements of yourself that you believe contribute to issues in your relationship (for example, improving self-image, learning to manage overwhelming emotions, learning how to cope better when your “raw spots” are triggered).  It’s much easier to find an opening with therapists who aren’t specialists in a specific issue (like couples therapy), so this can be a good way to make some progress on your part in things (Don’t view it as relationship therapy; that wouldn’t be fair to your partner who won’t be present or to the therapist.  If you choose this route, be sure to have a goal in  mind and tell the therapist that’s what you want to work on so the focus doesn’t turn to your partner or the relationship).
  • Listen to Foreplay Radio, a podcast focused primarily on sex but hosted by world-renowned EFT trainer, George Faller and Certified Sex Therapist Laurie Watson.  Some episodes will focus more on sex and others will include more EFT content.
  • Listen to episodes of That Relationship Show, (which used to be named The Couch) hosted by two Certified EFT therapists.  Most episodes are designed for therapists rather than clients seeking out therapy, but there’s quite a bit of overlap and some excellent guest speakers on this podcast.  One excellent episode is Strategies for Relationship Success with EFT Trainer Kathryn de Bruin, October 3, 2020, but there are many tremendous guests throughout the archives.

Do I need to be a resident of Idaho to see you for therapy?
No, but you do need to be physically in the state of Idaho at the time of our virtual session because I am only licensed in Idaho.

Telehealth

Why do you only do telehealth?
I operate a telehealth-only practice because it allows me to provide high-quality therapy while still maintaining my role as caregiver for a family member.

I began seeing clients virtually in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  I had never done telehealth prior to that and was surprised how well it worked and how much I liked it.  Unrelated to the pandemic, I became sole caregiver for an ill family member in 2020, so telehealth allows me to continue my practice (without lowering the quality of care to clients) as well as fulfill my caregiver responsibilities.

Does telehealth for therapy really work?
The studies on the effectiveness of teletherapy have been on individual therapy (not couples), but those studies show that teletherapy really does have the same level of effectiveness as in-person sessions.  The anecdotal evidence (not scientific, just based on the self-reports of couples therapists and their clients) for couples therapy via teletherapy is also overwhelmingly positive.

How can I know if I’ll like telehealth?
I offer a free 20-min. consult to new couples before I officially take them on as new clients; this is a time when we can make sure that both EFT and telehealth will be a good fit for you.

How do virtual sessions take place?
I use a licensed version of a common virtual meeting software to provide therapy in accordance with HIPAA and HITECH regulations. You and your partner can be in different locations at the time of sessions, although it is helpful if you can be in the same location for at least some of the meetings.  All you need is a computer, tablet, or a phone and a solid internet or wifi connection, plus a private location where you can talk without being interrupted or overheard.  I maintain a private space to conduct my side of the telehealth sessions as well.

Will my insurance reimburse me for my sessions if they take place via telehealth?
You’ll need to check with your insurance carrier to see if they will apply your out-of-network benefits to a service that takes place remotely.  Many do, some do temporarily due to COVID, and some do not.  You will also need to see if they would provide coverage for you anyway, regardless of meeting location, because very few of the services I provide are covered under most insurance plans.  Click here for more information.

Do you have a physical location where we could meet in-person?
I do not have a physical office space at this time; all my clients know that our therapy will be conducted purely via secure video for the duration of our therapeutic relationship.

What should I consider when deciding whether I want to do telehealth/teletherapy?
Some of the common benefits to telehealth:

  • I can offer more flexible scheduling than when I worked out of an office space.
  • You can choose the most convenient location for your therapy – as long as you can have privacy for our sessions and have a decent internet/wifi signal.
  • You don’t need to schedule a sitter (unless your kids are too young to stay occupied during our sessions).
  • Increased privacy by not having to show up to a physical location and come across people you might know in the waiting room.
  • My favorite part of telehealth – the change isn’t happening in MY office, it’s happening in your living room (or bedroom, office, car).  There’s nothing magic about the therapy office, but couples can get into a habit of doing one thing in sessions and then going home to the “real world” and falling back into old patterns.  When we meet in the space that’s “real life” for you, the progress we make becomes more transferable to your day-to-day life.

Some limitations to telehealth:

  • If you have a poor internet connection, telehealth won’t be a good option.  We’ll test this out before I take you on as clients so we have an idea whether it’ll work for you.
  • If you have a lot of distractions in your home or office when we’re meeting, you may find telehealth is less preferable to going to a therapist’s office.