Common Questions

How does therapy help?

Individual Counseling: Everyone gets stuck from time to time and can use a little help getting over obstacles, changing negative patterns or letting go of the past. Even strong, independent and self-reliant people need an outside perspective, a resource to help generate ideas, a mentor to guide, encourage and support, and an accountability partner to stay focused and moving in the right direction.

Couples Counseling: I enjoy helping couples develop more loving relationships. Often only one person is willing to start the process. Even if your spouse won’t join you in counseling you can make dramatic improvements in your relationship on your own. I speak your language and help you translate it so your spouse can understand you. Are you ready to get started?

Telephone Counseling: Busy professionals, moms, students, physically challenged and long-distant clients can optimize their time by utilizing telephone counseling. It allows you to juggle the needs of a busy life, devote time to yourself and your growth, but does not cost the time and gasoline of travel through traffic, and reduces your carbon footprint. Often clients can schedule a session during lunch at work or while the kids nap and find a quiet place to talk with me for an hour. It’s an efficient use of time and can be utilized as a motivator for the rest of your day to make you even more productive and focused.

What happens in therapy?

At the beginning of therapy I take a slightly more active role, asking you questions and getting a feel for who you are and what you need. But generally, you will do most of the talking. My job is to help you understand, refine, resolve and change.

I will listen for opportunities to point out where you are too close to the issues and offer insight and perspective. I will also point out patterns I detect in your thinking or behavior that indicate limiting and outdated beliefs. I will challenge and confront, but with gentleness and compassion.

All of us see our own life much like looking at a mosaic that is right at the end of our nose. It’s impossible to get any sense of the whole picture from there. One of my jobs as the therapist is to help you gain some perspective and see the big picture.

How do I know if I need therapy?

People come to therapy for many reasons: Perhaps you are dealing with a lot of stress; maybe your relationships are not as fulfilling or happy as you want. If you are not succeeding and moving ahead in life the way you want to be, or your emotions of anger, sadness, anxiety or guilt are causing you problems, I can help.

What kind of therapy do you offer?

I will help you sort through your feelings, beliefs and thoughts so you get a clear idea of what you need to do to resolve dilemmas or problems. In the evaluation phase of therapy you will learn a lot about yourself, gain insight into behaviors and emotions that will surprise you, and identify which emotional “muscles” you need to strengthen. Then we create a plan to help you strengthen those areas.

What's the best type of therapy for me?

Therapists use many different approaches. Some are more geared to resolving past issues and traumas; others are focused primarily on changing unrealistic or negative thought. My approach is to focus on what is problematic in the present and work to resolve the pain, fear or anger that holds you back. While we talk about the past, we do not focus there. And while we explore the thoughts, we work toward awareness and mindfulness more than replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. We work on an experiential level so that you can try on different behaviors and see what happens to your thoughts and feelings.

Will I have a diagnosis?

Insurance will only pay for therapy if you have a diagnosable condition. If you plan to submit our sessions for insurance reimbursement we will discuss what diagnosis fits you and the implications of having a mental health diagnosis. If you do not plan to submit for insurance, your work with me is considered personal growth and does not need to be disclosed to anyone.

How long will I be in therapy?

Many of my clients see significant improvements in their relationships, professional success and personal happiness in less than 10 sessions. When problems of depression or issues resulting from childhood need deeper work, I will work with someone as long as necessary. We make each session count and utilize homework to make changes happen quickly.

How will I know when I'm ready to get out of therapy?

We set goals in the therapy process and when you have reached those goals we develop a plan to continue your growth work on you own. While you can always come back for a “tune up” and many clients do, I will encourage you to stretch the time between sessions until you feel confident that you can continue your progress. The best way to use therapy is to schedule weekly sessions for a few weeks, devote your time and energy between sessions to work on “homework assignments” and make progress quickly.

How much does therapy cost?

I offer 60 minute sessions for $120. If you want longer or shorter sessions they can be prorated. The fee is the same whether it is a couple’s session, an individual session or a telephone session. A few therapists charge less sunsetthan I do but most charge more. Many therapists have greater overhead with office rent and staff. My home office allows me to keep fees reasonable for clients. I offer payment plans, accept credit cards, will hold checks till payday, and in some cases can offer a reduced fee for a limited time. I work hard to help you get the most out of each session. If you work hard between sessions too, we can maximize your progress and minimize your costs. See all fees and packages.


Jeanne M. Strauss, LCSW, NBCCH • 210-787-6384 • Email

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