Q: Are you taking new clients?
A: As my schedule fills up, I change this answer. Yes, on a limited basis. As of February 18th 2018, my current openings are on Thursdays and Fridays, during the middle of the business day.
Q: Do you take insurance?
A: I am only able to accept limited health care plans through Regence, Aetna and Providence. I do not take any state funded healthcare options, and I do not plan to apply to those panels. **Please check your benefits, deductible amount, and eligibility before making an appointment.** Clients will be held responsible for anything a plan doesn’t cover. If your coverage has a reimbursable out-of-network option, or if you have a healthcare account, I can write the billing paperwork for those.
Q: What are your rates?
A: Fees are set on an income-based sliding scale, which will be in the documents section of this site. Sliding scale fees do not apply to third-party payers like insurance, accidents, or litigation. As of January 2018, the scale starts at $45 and goes up to $150.
Q: Do you do distance counseling through Skype or Facetime?
A: No, and I don’t intend to change that anytime soon. So much of what I do must be done in person, face-to-face, where I can read your whole body language and minute facial expressions. Technology is limiting with screen frames and buffering, and I prefer to work without that handicap. There are also laws in place that prevent me from offering counseling outside of Oregon and Washington.
Q: Are you able to take credit/debit cards?
A: Not yet, but I’m making progress on this. Cash or check is preferred. Electronic payments can only be processed via Paypal, and that isn’t the best option for many reasons.
Q: What hours are available for appointments?
A: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons in Portland, and biweekly on Wednesday mornings and Saturdays in Vancouver. I do not work on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. My latest evening appointment begins at 6pm. Emailing to make an appointment is fine, but don’t add any sensitive info because email is not confidential.
Q: Do you write letters in support of hormone replacement therapy, surgeries, or other transgender medical needs?
A: Yes, I do. I like to meet with you a few times for the letter to have all of the information and authenticity that the standards of care require. For more information, see the Transgender Resources section for the link to the WPATH website.
Q: Can my parent/spouse/supervisor/doctor contact you about me? Will they get any information about my case?
A: No and No. No matter who contacts me, I can never ethically admit that I know any client’s name. There are exceptions, but they must be made in writing. Ask your provider to submit a “Release of Information” or ROI form.
Q: Do you do ordinary couples counseling?
A: When sexuality or gender is the major issue in the relationship, I am happy to bring couples in as clients. Otherwise, finding a specialist for your particular issue is the best route.
Q: Do you see same-sex couples?
A: Yes, As well as people who are in gender-nondescript families. All couples sessions are an extra 30 minutes long so that everyone has a chance to talk.
Q: My teen claims to have gender issues. Can I sit in the sessions with you?
A: Usually I will say no to this request. First, law in both Oregon and Washington gives teens the same right to privacy as adults once they are 16. Teens younger than than 16 will still benefit from the confidentiality experienced in the counseling environment. However, if the teen requests your involvement, I typically respect that request. I don’t accept clients under 12.
Q: I would like to see you alone before I bring my spouse/offspring in to see if you would be a good fit for us. How does that work?
A: Usually, it doesn’t work well at all. If I meet one person in a family before meeting any other, there will be a natural bias set up from the start. This is not optimal for the person who is not at the initial meeting. I would rather meet you both at the same time, or simply see one of you as an individual, then find someone else who can help your family.
Q: What happens if I make an appointment and don’t show up for it?
A: The first time this happens is understandable. You should feel free to call me back and reschedule, because all of us have unpredictable things happen to us. I typically will charge clients for cancellations that are shorter than 12 hours. However, if missing appointments becomes a pattern, this indicates deeper issues than just logistics, and there are better options than simply making and breaking appointments.
Q: I’m a professional masseuse/dentist/plumber. Can I barter with you for my skilled trade?
A: Unfortunately, no. Because counseling is about relationships (with yourself and everyone else) counseling requires a relationship that must remain free of all other relationships. Barter puts another layer of relationship over the professional counseling relationship, which makes the work of counseling way more difficult than it needs to be for both of us.
Q: Do you host group therapy sessions?
A: No, not typically. I stay abreast of current groups in our area, and can likely refer you to a suitable group.