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Therapy-ish Consultations:

Meaningful Conversations Can Change Everything

You know what it feels like when you talk over a problem with someone who really gets it? That feeling of a weight lifted or a sigh of relief, when you realize you’re understood and someone’s in your corner?

 

Well, that’s the essence of what I offer: conversations that can change everything.

 

Hi, I'm Dawn. Drawing from 16+ years as a licensed therapist, I've re-imagined my approach to professional support and guidance and now offer a unique service exclusively, something I call Therapy-ish Consultations.

Impactful Conversations
with an Emphasis on Tools, Strategies & Resources

Therapy-ish Consultations involve an impactful conversation…a conversation where you tell me about a problem you have or something you're stressed about and I help you sort things out, think things through, and figure out what to do next.

 

These conversations emphasize workable, realistic solutions and help you make sense of your experiences, gain clarity, and get things in perspective, so you can feel better about yourself and your life. Commonly addressed problems or struggles include those in the areas of relationships/family, work/career, health/well-being, or overall stress.

 

A major focus of these conversations is on tools, skills, strategies, and resources…and you walk away with something practical you can use right away to help with whatever you're struggling with and head toward your goals. When the conversation is over, you'll feel calmer and you'll understand yourself and the situation better. More importantly, you'll feel like you can handle it and you'll know your next steps.

Therapeutic, But not Therapy

If what you've read so far sounds a lot like therapy, that makes sense! There are some similarities. But before I share more details about Consultations, let me define what I mean by Therapy-ish. I decided on this term as a lighthearted way to describe what I offer—to me it means having therapeutic qualities like psychotherapy, but without actually being therapy itself.

Therapy-ish Consultations offer a unique approach to professional support and guidance that is distinct from therapy but therapy-adjacent, so to speak. They're therapeutic conversations where the topics may overlap with those discussed in some types of therapy—such as relationships, work, and general stress—but the focus, structure and framework of Consultations differ significantly from the format of traditional therapy, as explained in detail below.

calm, cup of tea, laptop, conversation over video.jpg
So Therapy-ish Consultations
are like
Therapy's like-minded,
as-needed cousin.

Consultations Have
a Different Focus Than Therapy

The Focus of Consultations

Consultations are conversations that are centered around:

  • solution-oriented support and practical guidance to handle problems and stressors in your relationships, work, health and overall well-being;

  • tools, strategies, skills and resources to handle life's ups and downs and challenging situations;

  • your own strengths, resilience, and agency, and your own personal development & self-reliance outside of sessions;

  • clarifying your goals and forward movement/actionable steps in the directions that matter most to you.

 

The Focus of Therapy

In contrast, therapy (short for psychotherapy, aka clinical counseling) is generally oriented toward improving symptoms of mental health conditions, such as depressive disorders, bipolar disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance-related disorders. There might be some overlap between what is discussed in Consultations and in some types of therapy sessions—you might talk about specific situations in your life in either one. But Therapy-ish Consultations are not treatment for diagnosed disorders through ongoing sessions over a period of time, the way therapy would be.

Which Is a Fit?

Clinical counseling/therapy can be extremely helpful for those who need it, as I know from personal experience as a client myself and from my professional practice as a clinical counselor/therapist for over the past 16+ years. Although I remain a licensed therapist and have the qualifications to provide psychotherapy and diagnoses of mental health disorders, I've shifted away from clinical counseling and now offer Consultations only. If after reading this information, you're still not sure whether Consultations or therapy is the right fit for you, I can help you decide. If during a Consultation we find that you'd be best served by therapy, I can help you navigate the mental health system and find your way to the right counselor for you.

Consultations Have
a
Different Framework Than Therapy

The Framework of Therapy: Not a Fit for Everyone

I've purposely designed Consultations to have a different framework than the way traditional therapy is practiced currently. Therapy often involves recurring, ongoing appointments with a counselor, normally for 50-minute sessions weekly or bi-weekly, usually for months at a time and sometimes years. This framework works very well for many people, but it's simply not a fit for everyone.

 

Within this framework, most therapists work with many of their clients on a long-term basis. As a result, we've inadvertently created an environment in the therapy field where someone seeking support has to deal with long waitsfor appointments or even for replies to inquiriesor is simply unable to find a suitable therapist that has space for new clients. I believe no one's to blame here, as I’ve been in a therapist’s shoes for many years; that's just the reality of therapy these days.

 

In addition, one often needs health insurance to pay for as much of the cost as possible, because it can be otherwise unaffordable for an individual to pay full price for therapy that's practiced within the typical framework. Even when it is covered by insurance, copays or deductibles can put it out of someone’s reach budget-wise, because it can be a regular, long-term expense.

 

Common Assumptions About Therapy

Another aspect is that some people have other reservations about engaging in traditional therapy aside from the format. They might believe it's unnecessary, feel they can get the same support from friends or family, or dislike the idea of delving into the past or bringing up painful memories. And some assume therapy is only for those with major issues, needing a 'big enough reason' to justify seeking support.

A Flexible Option

I created Consultations to not only address some of these internal and external barriers, but also to provide another optionnot better than therapy, just something different that might be a better fit for some people. Consultations offer a flexible alternative for those uncertain about or not currently needing traditional therapy, or for when someone might want professional support and guidance when a challenging situation comes up in their life, without necessarily engaging in therapy. Consultations aren't a replacement for therapy, if therapy is what you need to address mental health concerns. They provide accessible, convenient, and personalized support and guidance, as needed,when you need it. Read on to find out about all the features that make Therapy-ish Consultations unique.

Unique Approach to
Professional Support & Guidance

Features of Therapy-ish Consultations

Standalone format—

Consultations are standalone sessions scheduled one at a time, on an as-needed basis. At the start of our conversation, we dive in and get down to the business of addressing your current problem or struggle and provide you with tools, strategies and resources for immediate use. Because each session is considered to be self-contained, there's no expectation of recurring, frequent or ongoing appointments over a long period of time. Some people have just one session, others have a few in a row on a short-term basis, and others have them periodically on their own timeline.

Support when you need it—

I reply to every inquiry, usually within a day, but always within 48 hours. Consultations are scheduled within a few days, so you can get support when you need it, not weeks later. Because I don't reserve regularly-scheduled sessions for clients and only schedule Consultations on an as-needed basis, I have expanded availability to get people in quickly.

Convenient appointments—

I offer flexible appointment times and you choose how long an appointment you can fit inchoose from 30-, 45-, 60-, or 75-minute sessions. All Consultations are done virtually, over phone or video, so you save travel time and meet from the comfort of your own home.

Flexible pricing approach

I've created a fair and reasonable cost structure where you can choose the length of session that fits your budget. Because you schedule Consultations only as needed, they won't be a regular expense on an ongoing basis.


Approachable & objective—

I'm easy to talk to, like a good friend would be, but I stay neutral and objective, which is usually more difficult for someone close to you to do. I also have the skill set and experience as a professional to be helpful in a way that a friend might not be able to be. And since it's a professional relationship that's different from a mutual friendship, you'll never need to ask me about my life!

 

Customized—

Unlike searching online or asking Google or ChatGPT personal questions, Consultations will always be tailored to your unique needs and focused on your individual situation so that you will find each meeting valuable.

 

Solution-oriented & goal-centric—

Consultations refrain from exploring deeply painful issues or past trauma.* Instead, we spotlight your goals, concentrating on practical and realistic solutions to resolve problems, reduce struggles, and build overall well-being. The emphasis is on making small (sometimes tiny) changes to move forward, one step at a time, which can have a significant positive impact on various aspects of your life.

 

No need for a 'big enough reason'—

You don't need to have a mental health condition, be going through a major life crisis, or have a 'big enough reason' to schedule a Consultation. People schedule Consultations for numerous reasons, and all are valid, even if you think you 'should' be able to handle something on your own. And even if you have a good support system, you might just need a little extra support to be able to handle your current problem, especially when your friends and family don't know how to help, are out of ideas, or have difficulty truly understanding what you're going through.

*Exploring deeply painful issues and past trauma is sometimes what an individual needs. If this is the case, I can help you find a psychotherapist that would be helpful for this.

Although Consultations are not therapy, as a currently licensed therapist, I continue to follow the counseling ethics codes and state board rules. One example of how this benefits you is that you get the same degree of confidentiality you would if I were your therapist.

Friendly Conversation

“I wholeheartedly recommend Dawn and her services to anyone that is seeking clarity, direction and usable tools for creating their best life. Working with Dawn was my best investment in years…I was immediately able to make shifts in my thinking, discernment, and actions, which has brought more empowerment, excitement, and confidence as I go through my day. Dawn is an exceptional human being, teacher, and guide. She brought great skill, experience, genuineness, humor and non-judgment, as she guided me in exploring my core values, desires, and goals for this life journey. I now have a working life map to help guide my daily choices and decisions. I will most definitely be referring my clients, friends, and family!”

~Kathy D. Baltes, LCSW, Maine
Find out more details about my Consultations on the Service Details page here.
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