Counseling Ministry of Charlottesville

Living with Courage

frequently asked questions

What You Can Expect

How do we get started?
The first step is an email to or a call (434) 987-6097. I would love to hear from you. This allows us to get to know one another and I can answer any your questions you are holding.  If you are thinking about seeking outside help, but are unsure of what therapy entails, please call me for a free phone consultation.

What is a Free Phone Consultation?
During the Free 15-20 minute telephone consultation, we will discuss the current issues you are facing and how I can best support you. This will provide an opportunity to meet one another and will help you determine your comfort level. If your concerns our outside my areas of expertise, I will gladly offer a referral to the appropriate care provider.

Can counseling really help?
Therapy is a gift. It can be transformative and life-giving. Despite its effectiveness, however, therapy is not easy work. Over a period of sessions, momentum takes over and things beginning shifting in life and this can be emotionally taxing. Your motivation to make significant changes in your life directly effects the outcome of counseling. If together we feel barriers to your progress developing, we can explore alternative methods of intervention.

Does counseling always work?
I wish it did. However, there are no guarantees that counseling will address all of your concerns. I can say that I will do my very best to help you.

How long are your sessions?
Sessions are usually 50 minutes in length. At times, shorter or longer sessions may be needed.

How often do we meet?
We will usually meet once a week. However, if you are going through a really tough time, we can meet more frequently. As things get better, we can meet less often.

How long does counseling usually last?
After three sessions an initial assessment will be complete. This includes a survey of issues you face, the support system you have, and the coping skills that are serving you and identification of those that are not. It is at this time we together will get a sense for the length of journey ahead. The typical journey is somewhere between 10-20 sessions for brief, issue specific work. The journey of course is completely up to you.

What should I expect in my first session?
Before you come, you might want to write down any questions or important topics, so you can refer to them during your appointment. Also please download and complete the preliminary paperwork before you arrive for your session. Click here for the necessary forms. At each session expect to pay by cash or check at the close of your appointment. Checks can be made payable to Counseling Ministry of Charlottesville.

During the first several sessions, we will conduct a complete assessment. We will identify areas you struggle, areas you want to improve, and formulate your goals or hopes for therapy. Throughout the process, we will revisit your goals and once we determine you have met your personal goals, we will discontinue our work together.

Do you accept my health insurance?

While we do not accept insurance, many clients are able to obtain reimbursement for a portion of the cost of their session through their insurance provider, and we are happy to provide a receipt for this purpose. We recommend that you let us know at the initial session if you would like to obtain a receipt monthly. Please note that we are not responsible for what services that are not covered by your provider.

Do you have a sliding scale?
The use of sliding scale methods of determining fee for service are often arbitrary and are discouraged by the profession. However, the fee for service is lower than other counselors in the Charlottesville area.  If you need free or low cost-counseling, there are several in the area. One of them is Region Ten, 504 Old Lynchburg Road, 24 hour Hotline: (434) 972-1800 Click here for others.

What is the difference between an LCSW and other professionals?

Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) have a master’s degree in social work. Social work is a profession and a social science committed to the pursuit of social justice, to quality of life, and to the development of the full potential of each individual, group and community in a society.

License Professional Counselor (LPC) has obtained a level of training, supervision, education in a related mental health field that certifies competency.

Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) have a master’s degree and are relationship specialists that are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat: children, adolescents, adults, couples, families, and groups.

Psychologists (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) have doctoral degrees in psychology. In addition to being trained in therapy, some do psychological testing to assist with diagnosis and treatment planning when needed.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors with specialty training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, which often includes prescribing medication. They sometimes offer therapy and yet commonly work in tandem with a counselor of the patient.

What does “LCSW, ACSW, MSW, MDiv, ThM” mean?

LCSW means that I have obtained my “License in Clinical Social Work” in the state of Virginia, New York and North Carolina and trained to specialize in relationships, to assess, diagnose, and treat: children, adolescents, adults, couples, families, and groups.

ACSW stands for Academy Certified Clinical Social Work, a national accreditation that I obtained in 1989 through passing competency examination, supervised experience in the field, and core curriculum approved.

MSW signifies that I obtained my Masters of Social Work from the University of Georgia. Prior to obtaining my Masters of Social Work, I obtained my Bachelor of Science (B.S.) from Appalachian State, in Psychology. I also furthered my education at Princeton Theological Seminary and achieved a master of divinity and theology. For more details as to my education please click here.

How do we get started?
Please call me for a Free phone consultation to discuss your needs. My direct and confidential phone number is: 434-987-6097. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about how I can help you.

How do I pay for my visit?
All major credit cards, personal checks, and cash are accepted.