More Things You Should Know
Know all the things!
Do you work with multiples?
I can work with multiples, although if you choose to have sessions that are held via phone call or online chat, that makes it much more difficult. I can't see you and you can't see me, so I won't have the visual cues to know that another inside person has come forward. Your system may have to be much more forthright about letting me know that I'm talking to someone else than they would have to be with someone they were talking to face to face. If that's okay with you, it's okay with me. Video calls are also an option I'm now offering (via Zoom), for those who prefer it.
Can I call/text you whenever I want? What if I need you between sessions?
I am not available in between sessions. As much as I wish I could be "on call" 24/7 for my clients, there is an emotional cost involved with this work.
I need time to rest, do self-care, and take emotional inventory of my own needs. So my availability is limited to the time that you book for your sessions.
If you feel you need additional support before your next session, you are welcome to email me (email@example.com) and see if I have any availability before then. If I do, you are welcome to book an additional time slot.
Part of being a healthy person is having (and maintaining) strong and healthy boundaries. In keeping with this, I do not answer unsolicited calls, text, or online messages on the phone line or chat service I use for peer work.
If you need to cancel/ reschedule/ inform me of something schedule-related or vital to an upcoming session, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I'm in crisis?
This is one of the limitations I have to set due to the fact that I am not a licensed professional.
I cannot work with people who are in crisis. I am not professionally qualified.
If you are suicidal, or engaged in acts of self-harm that are potentially life-threatening, I will need you to work with someone who is equipped to help with those issues, until you are stable. If this becomes the case, any sessions you have already paid for will remain available for rescheduling at a later time when you're ready.
It's not that I don't want to help people in crisis, it's just that legally I am not allowed to. Thanks for understanding.
What do I do after I book a session?
After you book your first session, I will have some paperwork I need you to fill out.
It is not extensive.
Legally I must have, in writing, that you understand I am not a licensed mental health professional and that you won't hold me legally liable for any particular outcome.
It also helps me to know beforehand some of the things you are struggling with, so that I can gather any resources I already have and get an idea of what you might need from me. Those questions are optional; if you really, really don't want to answer them we can just talk about them during our session(s).
What are your personal religious beliefs?
I do believe in a God but definitely am not interested in putting myself in any particular religious box. I am an "exvangelical" which means I have recognized - and am committed to fighting - the misogyny, the racism, the patriarchal theology, and the deeply toxic and dehumanizing theology found in conservative, fundamentalist Christianity. I reject those toxic mentalities and support creating a world where all people are equal regardless of race, gender, orientation, etc.
I am very much pro LGBTQ+, I do my best to be an ally to people of color, and I am continually seeking to keep learning about how I have benefited through no merit of my own, solely from being born as a white cisgender heteronormative female-identifying person in this country. I am not perfect, but I want to keep learning ways to use my unearned privilege to stand up for people who are marginalized and discriminated against, and change the culture surrounding these topics.
So whatever loving God you might associate with these things - that's the one I believe in. But it's also important to note that I do not need to bring in any reference to my or your faith in sessions, if you prefer to leave that topic out of sessions. That's totally fine. You get to decide.
I will also respect your choice if you do still identify with the conservative right-wing branch of Christianity, but we will have to decide whether this is a topic we want to discuss in sessions or not since our beliefs differ so much.
What I WILL do for you
I will listen
I WILL genuinely HEAR you
I will ask you questions to help you notice and explore your inner world and beliefs
I will show you options and help YOU to decide what is best and right for YOU
I will work with you side by side, as a team. NO one-up-one-down mentality. I'm your peer, and though I've learned a lot through study and experience, you're simply paying for my time, nothing more.
I will honor YOUR voice, wishes, and desires.
I will set boundaries for us to both feel safe with our interactions
What I WILL NOT do for you
I WILL NOT tell you what to do
I WILL NOT force you to listen to me
I WILL NOT diminish your experiences and pain, no matter how inconsequential you may have been taught to believe that they are
I WILL NOT continue to work side by side with you if we find that we are not a compatible team
I will not take responsibility for your actions
I will not try to "fix" you (you are not broken)
I will not pretend I know all the answers (I don't)
I will not act like I know about a topic if I do not have experience or knowledge in that area