Counseling Sessions

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
— Rumi

WHAT TO EXPECT

The following hopefully provides you answers about how counseling sessions are set up, when they are, and other frequently asked questions. But if not, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Can you help me?

This is a typical question sometimes explicitly asked and sometimes internally pondered.

It often comes as a shock to clients, especially new ones, that my job is less about helping, advising, or problem-solving. Instead, I am more like an ally or guide who joins you on a road trip when you decide it is a good time for exploration. You are the driver. Your hands are on the wheel, and you get to accelerate or brake as you see fit. I sit beside you, holding the map if you want one, acknowledging the open road ahead, pointing out the attractions or distractions on the way. But where we go and how fast we get anywhere is completely up to you.

Is asking for help a sign of weakness or failure?

When life feels like a struggle, reaching out for support or trying something new may feel awkward or even scary. This is normal.

In our Western culture, we are fed messages like “pull yourself up by the bootstraps, leaving us feeling embarrassed or shameful when asking for support. When internalized, this messaging becomes self-aggression toward oneself.

The fact that you are here, reading this, considering a call, is an act of courage. In the face of your discomfort, uncertainty, or fear, you are choosing to lean into your experience with care toward yourself, seeking support, which is a powerful movement toward well-being.

What does Contemplative Psychotherapy mean?

Contemplative Psychotherapy is rooted in the view that we all have innate wisdom and wellness regardless of the presenting problem or symptoms. Reclaiming this well-being, also referred to as our larger Self, awareness, basic goodness and more, gives us access to many healthy psychological attributes including courage, flexibility, resilience, creativity, patience, connection, kindness, compassion, and clarity.

As a Contemplative Psychotherapist, I also hold the view that pain is inescapable in life. This is actually good news because your pain is not your fault. There is nothing wrong with you and nothing to fix. Being human, living in a body, means we all experience pain. Aging, dying, death, loss, and grief are part and parcel of being human.

When we protect ourselves from feeling this pain, we suffer. Resistance to pain is an instinctive, primitive way of warding off the discomfort. Yet, we also have the capacity and ability to respond rather than react in life. Working in a contemplative way means taking the time to be with and investigate our lived experience with curiosity and care. This way we realize we have a choice.

What exactly will we be doing in therapy?

As a Contemplative Psychotherapist, I practice a client-centered approach. This means in sessions we will follow your lead and need. Whatever is coming up in the present moment experience, pleasure or pain will be welcomed. What that will be for you specifically is unknown, and that is part of the healing journey. You are a particular individual with unique strengths and wounds, thus your path to reclaim well-being will be unique as well. The work could be to get curious about hidden beliefs that hold you back from what you want. It could be revisiting a particular wound that is impacting your daily life. Perhaps we work on mindfulness or compassion practices.

More specifically, we will slow down, recognize, and allow your experiences—thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories, and urges—to arise with mindfulness and compassion.

My intention is to provide an open, non-judgmental, curious, and compassionate space for this process to unfold. So, instead of avoiding reality, you begin to make friends with it and find greater resilience and agency in your life. What we can feel, we heal.

Do you offer teletherapy or in-person sessions?

Due to the current COVID-19 conditions and thus the regulations set forth by DORA, the governing body for psychotherapists in Colorado, I will be offering in-person sessions without masks at your request on Wednesday, Thursday, and Fridays with some availability early morning and late in the day on Mondays and Tuesdays. These sessions will take place at my office at 106 E. Baseline Rd., Lafayette. All other sessions will be provided virtually through an online HIPAA-compliant platform called Simple Practice.

When are you available?

See schedule for current availability. I am available Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as well as 9 AM and 3-5 PM on Mondays and Tuesdays for in-person sessions. All other times are available for teletherapy sessions.

How much do sessions cost?

A standard session costs $150 and is 50 minutes, with longer sessions available upon request at an additional charge. I also offer a limited number of sliding-scale slots based on need and availability. Feel free to inquire about this offer.

If you are interested, please contact me here to sign up for a free 15-minute consultation or to schedule an appointment.

How long will therapy take?

Therapy varies for each individual, as it is dependent on why you are in therapy and what you hope to get out of it. Some clients arrive with a specific concern/issue to address like dealing with feelings of anger or challenges with social anxiety. Other clients arrive in therapy with more of an exploratory goal of examining habits, beliefs or their relational style.

Ultimately the duration of therapy is up to you. In the beginning, we will assess what you are wanting out of therapy. We will then discuss goals you may have or the direction you may want to go in life, what values are guiding you and what obstacles are getting in the way. As therapy progresses, we will reflect upon what has changed and what has not based on your own inner experience and understanding.

When therapy is ready to end, we will terminate our relationship with the knowledge that you are always welcome to return for a “tune-up,” or to venture together on a new leg of your journey.

Who do you work with?

I work primarily with individual men, women, non-conforming, non-binary, trans men, and trans women—18 and older.

What kinds of concerns/symptoms do you work with?

I work with a variety of concerns or symptoms, including:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety (general anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/OCD)
  • Depression
  • Feeling “stuck”
  • Grief/loss and transitions
  • Isolation
  • Loss of meaning and purpose
  • Relationship Transitions
  • Self-esteem/self-aggression
  • Sexual/gender identity/exploration
  • Trauma
  • Uncertainty

If you feel as though your current concern does not fit neatly into one of the listed areas of focus, feel free to get in touch. I would be happy to refer you to someone who can help if I am unable.

What if I am anxious or feel overwhelmed when talking about my concerns?

The feeling of anxiety and overwhelm is an attempt to keep us safe. You could say it means well. Anxiety is an emotion (that has a host of sensations and thoughts) we all experience. It can be a major motivator and can help you prepare for what is to come—like a job interview or difficult conversation or your first therapy session.

Yet, we can become entranced by it, and before we know it our lives have been restricted or even paralyzed because of it. I often ask my clients to check in with the question, “Is this experience truly dangerous to you in this moment or is it just highly uncomfortable?”

I can assure you that any sensation or feeling your body produces can be handled by the body. This may seem counterintuitive, but facing such feelings and sensations is the first step toward healing and radical well-being. What we resist, persists. As soon as you begin to pay attention to what is actually happening it shifts.

How do I pay for the sessions? Do you take health insurance?

Private pay clients can make payments via cash, check, debit cards, or credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover are preferred through my HIPAA compliant software, Simple Practice). When you have decided to work with me, we begin by filling out some paperwork. Included in that paperwork is a document to confidentially submit your credit/debit card information. This way, at the end of each session I can automatically charge your account. Less time is spent discussing or dealing with payment and more time for you in session.

If you want to work with me and have Kaiser insurance, your copay, if there is one, will be deducted from your credit card on file. If you have any other insurance, my full fee will be charged to your credit card, and I am happy to provide you with a monthly super bill for possible reimbursement from your insurance company.

How do I get in contact with you?

I welcome an email or phone call from you. If you are interested in setting up a 15-minute free consultation or you’re ready to schedule a session, click below. Or you can email me at dawn@dawndeanocounseling.com, or call or text me at 720-778-1090.