frequently asked questions
You have questions, because starting therapy is a commitment.
You're gathering information
Getting started can be hard. You can want to and it’s possible to still feel stuck or reluctant.
You’re likely reading this page because you’ve been contemplating making a commitment to change. It shows you’re curious and starting to think about doing the work to bring about a desired change in your life.
You’ve come to the right place. If you’ve never experienced therapy before, or even if you have, you might be wondering Why should I go to therapy now? What will I get out of it? What do I have to put into it? And more.
The possibilities of life and therapy come with no guarantees or certainties, but it can help to get some idea of what your experience with therapy might look like.
See my About page to see what it might look like with me in particular.
Read below to see if I address your questions or concerns.
Questions & answers
Talk therapy can offer you a place to feel heard, give you tools to enhance your well-being, or offer relief from patterns of negative or unhelpful thinking about yourself or others.
Ultimately, I believe it helps you understand how your unique world experience contributes to and affects your well-being.
You show up curious about or committed to a desire to make a change. I show up curious about and committed to you. Together we design and work the plan that will move you from where you are now to where you’d like to be.
One part of my job that I take as seriously as any other part is to work myself out of a job with you. You show up willing to do the work and ready to accept challenges and I show up ready to challenge you by inviting change into the space.
We move at your pace and meet your needs and assess and adjust as we go.
You’ll be able to say you’re done when you’ve arrived at the change you wanted to see in your life and are experiencing life differently.
We review your progress along the way and adjust as needed.
Starting with weekly sessions for a month or so is a great idea so that we can generate momentum and gain some traction for your desired change.
However, we’ll schedule what makes sense for you and the changes you’d like to make.
It’s great that you have a support system. However, sometimes sharing with someone we’re not related to by blood or by heart removes a layer of fear of disappointing or worrying them.
Also, sometimes our support system will automatically take sides. It might be more helpful for you to talk with someone who will ask exploratory questions that lead to thoughtful pause, reflection, and action—i.e., your desired change.
I’m human and have my own biases drawn from my world-view, but in becoming a psychotherapist, I was trained to see, listen to, and be present for people differently.
My presence in our therapeutic space together is about my bringing hope to and supporting you in your desire for change and helping you learn more about yourself and your relationships as you move toward your goals.
I get that there will be some things that will feel uncomfortable for you to talk about.
This is your time for talking about whatever would be helpful for you to process — relationships, self-worth, social rules, sex & sexuality, life transitions, fantasies, death & dying, political climate, grief, gender roles, thoughts of harming self or other, celebrations, fears, aspirations — to name just a few.
Other things might we might bring into our space together . . . tears and crying (and no apologies needed ever for tears and real feelings), swear words (I am good with using and hearing them, and if it’s not your thing, then we won’t), and laughter (a “mini-workout” for the body and spirit).
So . . . there are no can’t talk abouts in our space.
This is a real and important consideration in your information-gathering phase. If you’re ready for a conversation, but not quite ready to schedule your first appointment with me, click here to schedule your no-obligation 20-minute phone consultation with me and I’ll do my best to address your concerns.
Some people have heard from their friends and family that therapy is hard. If you’ve experienced this, props to you and your friends and family for having conversations about therapy!
Hard in the case of going to therapy usually means that uncomfortable feelings, thoughts, or memories can surface. Or it can mean that you’ll leave our session with a lot on your mind.
I encourage you to keep in mind that change is made through challenge.
I am not contracted as in-network with any insurance panels. I am considered an out-of-network provider.
Please see my Fees page for more details.
Please do. Bring a list any time, and feel free to take notes in session as well.
We’ll get to what we can (in other words, we’re not going to try to cram it all in). It’s also the case that a list is not required.
Yes. Some people find that their partners aren’t yet ready to commit to therapy and others are interested in exploring themselves and gaining insight into their own habits and patterns first.
If your partner is on the fence and looking to you to make the first move, invite them with you to the session and we’ll go from there.
All questions—just like all people—are welcome here. I know I can’t have covered everyone’s questions on this page, so if you’d like to have a conversation, click here to schedule your no-obligation 20-minute phone consultation.
Once you’ve decided that you’d like to pursue services with me, I set you up in my secure client portal and email you a link. You use that link to log in using your unique information and then complete the forms online. (It’s pretty slick.)
If you're still on the fence, or need to talk it out to decide, let's have a conversation.
If you’re feeling ready to start having things be different and feel better, click the button below to schedule your no-obligation 20-minute phone consultation. We’ll get a phone call scheduled and go from there.
2497 7th Ave E, Suite 109
North St. Paul, MN 55109-2949
Heritage Counseling Services therapist, JoEllen Lange, MA, LAMFT, is a relationship psychotherapist working toward full licensure under supervision of an AAMFT- and Minnesota Board-approved licensed therapist.
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