FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why Just Talk?
Just Talk is a combination of supportive conversation, mindful listening and intuitive guidance – all of which I’ve been on the receiving end of and which I feel are incredibly valuable mediums for emotional healing and positive growth.
Sessions are informal and do not follow a set structure, but rather a natural flow guided by what is present for you in the here and now. 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”.
For two years I worked as a Behavioral Health Interviewer 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 afterwards – despite the fact that they were purely informational and came with no therapeutic intent whatsoever. My colleagues and I would often speak about the unmet need of people to “just talk” to a friendly listener – and from those observations, this site came into being!
Just Talk is a move to fill that gap.
Apart from work, I have traveled a great deal, lived abroad, and moved many times. I’ve personally experienced and also 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. Your privacy is of the greatest importance to me and all calls are taken in private spaces. I understand the experience and vulnerability of being a client and take this very seriously. 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 carefully consult my legal disclaimer.
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. During my program, I obtained over 600 hours of counseling experience from local hospitals, schools, and private clinics.
My B.A. 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. In both Miami and Havana, my studies were focused on the political and social underpinnings and experience of contemporary Cuban society. The experience of finding an emotional connection to individuals who were on very opposing extremes of the political dialogue and climate was powerful for me, and inspired me to continue my studies in psychology.
While working at Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research, I completed training in Advanced Motivational Interviewing for Healthcare and Facilitative Leadership for Emerging Leaders (both in 2016).
I am not a licensed clinician or counselor.
How are individual Just Talk sessions different from coaching?
Just Talk sessions can “stand alone” – as compared to coaching which suggests a linear process. In fact, this approach is at the heart of Just Talk – we are not “building up” to change but building upon the immediacy of connection.
Instead of going from “here to there”, sessions 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.
Again, the Just Talk model is not a linear one. It isn’t meant to suggest that you will be somehow better off if you have 10 sessions versus 1 – and frankly, I discourage this sort of thinking, which is an incredibly disempowering approach.
Of course, I am here to support you and you are always welcome to book longer (back-to-back) sessions or perhaps several sessions over the course of a week or month, etc … but if goal-setting and linear progress are your primary frame of reference for success, then you’re better off seeking a life coach or therapist.
What can I do to prepare?
The first session/initial consultation is free.
I will email you a link to the disclaimer to fill out, as well as a couple of questions to answer beforehand to give context for our conversation. Other than those, you don’t need to prepare anything for your first session – just show up! ☺ Please be on time.
For additional sessions, I will email a payment request via PayPal. Payment is required to secure your time slot, and must be received at the time of booking.
Please be clear-minded to honor the process and yourself – refrain from using any substances prior to sessions, including but not limited to 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 at least 24 hours 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?
Aside from the above stated 24-hour cancellation policy all payments are final. 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. As such, I do not make any claims to diagnose, treat, prevent or screen for mental illness, and I do not provide any form of psychotherapy. Use your discretion in deciding whether these sessions are for you. All services on this site do not replace and/or substitute medical, legal or mental health advice. If you are seeking medical, legal or mental health advice please visit a professional in those areas. 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.