What is the difference between counseling (or therapy) and coaching?

Counseling (or therapy) is always conducted by a licensed clinician (licensing requirements vary from state to state). In Illinois, the LCPC is the highest license for a master’s level clinician. Counseling involves evaluation, assessment and treatment.

This means that when individuals come to me for counseling, in addition to determining the presenting problem, I evaluate a variety of areas including sleep, behavior, anxiety or depression symptoms, substance use, and relationship functioning, as well as psychiatric history and family history of mental health problems. From that point I provide my professional assessment of the situation and make appropriate treatment recommendations. This involves determining some kind of mental health diagnosis, which ultimately means the services can be submitted to an insurance company for reimbursement (providing the insurance policy has a provision for mental health coverage.)

Coaching also involves an evaluation; however, the focus is more on the current problem, and no diagnosis is made. Coaching is more appropriate for short-term problems, where strategy and advice are needed, as opposed to treatment. Unlike counseling, coaching services are not eligible for insurance reimbursement and do not have to be conducted by a licensed professional.

What if I am not sure which one is right for me?

The best thing to do is call. I provide a free 15 minute phone consultation in which I can usually determine which service would be most appropriate. If you’re really not sure, I recommend starting with the coaching. If, in our work, I feel that longer-term therapy would be more applicable, we could make that transition quite easily. It is slightly more difficult to transition from therapy to coaching, and this would need to be discussed in much more detail in the therapy session.

What ages and populations do you work with?

I work primarily with adults and adolescents over the age of 12. In some cases I will work with younger children and this can be discussed in the initial phone consultation. In addition to working with individuals with mood and anxiety disorders, I specialize in working with individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and other emotion regulation problems. I also enjoy working with health care providers and first responders, aviation professionals, and caregivers.

What are your fees?

Coaching fees range from $75-200 per session, depending on the length of session and complexity of the problem. Fees for counseling/therapy range from $200-240 per session. Financial aid (or sliding scale) is available on a limited basis for those who qualify.

Do you accept Insurance?

Yes. I am on many insurance panels including Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO and HMO, Aetna and Cigna. Unfortunately, I am not in network for Medicaid or Medicaid replacement policies, Medicare, or United Health Care (Optum).

What if i think someone in my life needs therapy but they won’t call?

You’d be surprised how often I get this question. With the exception of adolescents, I almost always ask that the person wanting the therapy makes the initial phone call. I understand this can be difficult for some individuals; however, in order for therapy to be effective, there has to be a “buy in” for the person participating. If you are in need of support because your loved one has mental health issues, it is very appropriate and often extremely helpful for YOU to seek therapy as well!

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