In addition to psychotherapy, I offer consultation services. It is important to understand the difference between therapy and consultation. Therapy is intended to facilitate healing, change, and growth in an individual person or with a couples' or family relationship. Consultation, on the other hand, is time- limited and generally focused on a particular question, issue, situation, or problem. As a mental health professional, I can offer a unique form of expertise to help you address the concern, access appropriate resources, or decide if therapy is likely to be helpful.
Some examples of when consultation might be appropriate:
- A specific conflict occurs with a colleague, co-worker, friend, partner, or family member, which is not part of an ongoing pattern of interaction. Sometimes, a disagreement might catch you by surprise and leave you wondering if it's you or the other person who caused it. A brief consultation with a neutral person can help you sort things out.
- An unexpected parenting challenge, such as your college student deciding to drop out and become a professional race car driver. I can help you understand when such decisions might actually be a reflection of your child's honest self-assessment vs. when an emotional difficulty or substance use issue might be interfering with his or her ability to make healthy choices.
- A one-time opportunity for a career change arises, but taking advantage of it would cause significant disruption to your family. Together we can explore the implications of a major change, and I can offer suggestions on how to discuss a sensitive and emotionally charged topic with loved ones.
- Someone close to you has told you that you are making a mistake by doing ________ (fill in the blank). You don't think so, but you want to be sure you've objectively evaluated the situation.
These are just a few examples of possible consultation topics. Sometimes, just one consultation appointment will give you the assistance you need to move forward. For other issues, more sessions might be appropriate. If I believe that your issue would be more appropriately suitable for therapy, I will tell you so. I will also tell you if my areas of expertise are a good fit for your needs, and if not, I will try to refer you to someone who would be a better match.
Although I can offer suggestions and advice, I do not make decisions for clients or tell them what to do. I trust in your own ability to choose what is best for you, given the right information and tools. That being said, consultation is not appropriate for addressing ongoing patterns of behavior, emotional difficulties, abusive relationships, and so on, unless the consultation is focused on the best way to move forward with a plan to work on such issues.
If you have consulted with me on a particular issue, I may offer you the opportunity for follow-up phone consultations on the same issue in the future. This availability would be based on my opinion that phone consultation would be appropriate for your concern. The consultation time would be pro-rated based on my 50-minute fee of $120, with a minimum consultation time of 25 minutes.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 925-236-0826, to make an appointment for consultation services.