FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why Just Talk?
Just Talk is a combination of supportive, truthful conversation and personal coaching, both of which I’ve been on the receiving end of and which I feel are incredibly valuable mediums for personal change. Truthful conversations naturally move away from superficial topics and opinions, and towards a more heart-centered focus on what is important to you in life, and why. In a time when we are awash with superficial encounters, this is a small online space for “real talk”.
Professionally, I worked as a Behavioral Health Interviewer for almost two years within the Behavioral Assessment and Change Department of the Center for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente in Portland, OR. The research participants I interviewed frequently commented on how helpful or calming our interviews were, and how much better they felt afterward – despite the fact that they were purely informational and came with no therapeutic intent whatsoever. My colleagues and I would often comment on the unmet need of people to “just talk” to a friendly listener – from that observation, this site came into being! JustTalk.Com is a move to fill that gap.
Apart from work, I have traveled a great deal internationally and moved over a dozen times. I’ve personally experienced and witnessed the value of having an impersonal encounter with a kind stranger that allows you to perhaps give a more open, honest, or truthful account of your life and goals. When the dense impressions of the past are not there, we are seen much more clearly for what we are. That experience, in and of itself, serves as a very powerful affirmation. The simple power of friendly conversation that goes beyond mere ‘small talk’ is enormously undervalued.
Is it confidential?
Everything we speak about is kept confidential to the absolute best of my abilities. Your privacy is of the greatest importance to me and all calls are taken in private spaces. That being said, there are inherent risks to online communication, including via Skype, email, and phone, which by default fall outside of my abilities to fully guard against. Please consult my legal disclaimer.
Importantly, I always reserve the right to break confidentiality if I feel you are at risk of harming yourself or others, or if I have any suspicion of harm being done to another – animal or human.
Use your discretion and intuition in deciding whether these sessions are for you – I am neither trained nor qualified to provide crisis counseling or psychotherapy through this medium. If you are having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or contact a qualified psychotherapist or mental health care provider. If you are feeling suicidal, please immediately contact the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and talk to someone. You are not alone.
Is this therapy?
What is your educational background?
I have a Master’s Degree (2013) from La Salle University in Clinical-Counseling Psychology, which I obtained at their overseas campus in Prague, Czech Republic. My BA is from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where I studied Political Science and Sociology. I also completed a semester abroad at the University of Havana, in Cuba, and a summer semester at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) at the University of Miami, both in 2011.
While working at the Center for Health Research, I completed training in Motivational Interviewing for Healthcare and Facilitative Leadership for Emerging Leaders (both in 2016).
I am not a licensed clinician or counselor.
How are individual JustTalk sessions different from coaching?
JustTalk sessions can “stand alone”, instead of coaching which is necessarily a linear process.
Instead of going from “here to there”, they go from “here to more here”… so to speak. The point is to hold space for a conversation that reconnects you to your truth, which is inherently a place of greater space, quiet and freedom.
For those who wish to have more regular support or have something particular they’d like to work on, I also offer intuitive life coaching. These sessions are tailored to each individual client based on your goals and contact preferences and can be discussed during the initial phone call.
What can I do to prepare?
I will send you a copy of the disclaimer as well as a couple of questions to fill out beforehand. Other than those, you don’t need to prepare anything for your first session.
Please be clear-minded to honor the process and yourself – refrain from using any substances prior to sessions, including alcohol.
I felt like crap when I booked this session; now I feel better. Should I cancel?
This is very common! ☺ While the final decision is up to you (and I honor all cancellations and refund requests made 24h in advance), I encourage you to think twice about canceling. There is a certain momentum to the process of change that starts when you book your session. Cutting it short prematurely is unlikely to give more than a passing satisfaction. When you show up, you prioritize yourself – and that act of self-affirmation creates a ripple effect for the rest of your life.
Do you offer refunds?
As a stated policy, I do not accept refund requests. The purpose behind the free 45-min initial consultation is to clarify for yourself whether this is an investment you would be interested in making and whether you feel it would add value to your life.
In practice, however, I would consider and likely honor a well-thought out and timely request.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed mental health care professional, and as such, I do not make any claims to diagnose, treat, prevent or screen for mental illness, and I do not provide psychotherapy. Use your discretion in deciding whether these sessions are for you. If you are having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or contact a qualified psychotherapist or mental health care provider. If you are feeling suicidal, please immediately contact the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and talk to someone. You are not alone.