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Frequently Asked Questions


How long is a session?

A session is typically 50 minutes long, but an initial comprehensive session can be scheduled for 90 minutes, depending on the needs of the clients.  At the time of the first session clients are typically asked to come 15 to 20 minutes early so that Donalisa can review intake forms (that should be completed before attending the first session*) and also to review office policies.

Can children/teens go to therapy without their parents?

Children and teens often benefit from individual and/or from play therapy sessions and enjoy getting the special attention that they get from having time alone with a therapist. They also have the ethical right to confidentiality.  Parents, however, need to give Donalisa feedback as to how the child is progressing, or having difficulties. Donalisa, likewise, will develop common goals with parents about how to help their child, for example,  face discomforts, be positively motivated and encouraged, live with appropriate and consistent structure, develop and maintain empathy with others, handle their impulses, overcome their challenges and insecurities, or fears and how to help their child balance responsibility and fun. 


Who Can Request Services?

  • Client

  • Parent/guardian when minor

  • Insurance Provider

  • EAP

  • School-Administrators, Teachers, Counselors

  • Social Workers

  • Child Welfare/Social Services

  • Juvenile Offices

  • Courts

  • Attorneys

What is Donalisa’s theoretical orientation or description of how she works?

Donalisa is eclectic in her orientation. She predominately draws from Family Systems, Cognitive Behavioral, and Solution Focused modalities. Therapy typically involves the expression of feelings, the assessment of personal needs and the development of tools that can help clients meet their needs. Donalisa allows her clients to have the opportunity to explore their feelings in a safe and accepting environment. At times, therapy may also involve role-playing, journaling, homework tasks, guided imagery, dream work, and relaxation training. For families, it may involve treatment that focuses on helping to improve the process and effectiveness of communication. Overall, Donalsia considers therapy as "client-centered" and the techniques that she uses depends on what methods are most comfortable and helpful to each unique individual.

Does Donalisa work with developmental challenges such as Autism? 

Although Donalisa works with children and families to help them cope with such challenges, It is best to seek an initial evaluation for possible developmental challenges through psychological testing evaluations.  They are the experts and can also provide you with appropriate referrals for ongoing healthcare, benefits, placements and/or specialists.


What are the distinctions between psychotherapy licenses?

If you are seeking a medication evaluation, or believe that you have a chemical imbalance, or illness related problem, effecting your body and sense of well-being, a Psychiatrist or primary care doctor can help you. They are MD's and they alone can prescribe medication.


Psychologists are also doctors but they practice with a Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. and cannot prescribe medication. They focus on personality adjustment and psychological disorders and typically have three to four years additional education beyond a Master's Degree and beyond the education of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Depending on their experiential training and/or research expertise, they may specialize in working with specific types of problems, or with specific age groups. They may also provide their clients with psychological testing evaluations.


Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)

Clinical social work is a specialty practice area of social work which focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness, emotional, and other behavioral disturbances. Individual, group and family therapy are common treatment modalities. Social workers who provide these services are required to be licensed or certified at the clinical level in their state of practice.

Social workers assist people by helping them cope with issues in their everyday lives, deal with their relationships, and solve personal and family problems. Some social workers help clients who face a disability or a life-threatening disease or a social problem, such as inadequate housing, unemployment, or substance abuse. Social workers also assist families that have serious domestic conflicts, sometimes involving child or spousal abuse. They focus on interpersonal interactions, communication and personality adjustment.  Some have education and experience in working with children and adolescents and/or couples and families. Some social workers conduct research, advocate for improved services, engage in systems design or are involved in planning or policy development. Many social workers specialize in serving a particular population or working in a specific setting. Although a bachelor’s degree (BSW) is sufficient for entry into the field, an advanced degree has become the standard for many positions. A master’s degree in social work (MSW) is typically required for positions in health settings and is required for clinical work as well.


I have a master's degree in social work and am licensed as a Clinical Social Worker.

When in doubt ask a potential therapist about their background, license and experience


Source: National Association of Social Workers

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