David Ashburner

MA, LPC, CSAT, CMAT, CHFP

214-773-6201

david.ashburner@gmail.com

*Evening appointments available

FAQs


What is counseling?

The term counseling can have many different meanings. For my purpose I use the following definition:

Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.
-American Counseling Association

Counseling can take different forms including: individual counseling; group counseling; family counseling; marriage counseling; couples counseling; divorce counseling; career counseling; structured support groups; and substance or addiction counseling.


What is your counseling approach or theory?

I approach counseling with the belief that you are the best expert on you, and that I have special knowledge, skills, and experience that can help you attain your goals. My method of counseling combines Individual Psychology and Family Systems Therapy. This means that I look at issues in the context of your goals for counseling, your family background, your values, and your current life dynamics. I do not do a cookie cutter approach – everything is made-to-order. Although we may look at the past, our focus will be the future – where to go from here to meet your goals. I take a positive approach to problems, assuming that people are resilient and have tremendous abilities to address their life situations. It is my role as a counselor to help you use your particular strengths to address your issues. If you do not think you have any strengths, then we will work together to find them…I assure you, strengths are there.

How we approach your particular situation depends on many things. The first determinant of how we will work together is what you want to get out of counseling. There may be times that you do not know exactly what you want – you just know that your life is not what you want it to be or that you want help. In that case we will work together to understand your situation and define what you want. Other major determinants of how we will proceed are if you are in crisis, what stage of life you are in, and who else is being affected by your situation. Above all, we will proceed by agreement.


Are my sessions confidential?

By law and professional ethics, your sessions are strictly confidential. Generally, no information will be shared with anyone without your written permission. It you have seen another therapist or health care professional, it may be helpful for me to contact them so we can coordinate our efforts. If this is necessary, I will ask for your written permission to contact them. There are, however, several exceptions to this confidentiality policy:

  • If you are a perpetrator of child abuse or elder abuse, I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities.
  • If you threaten harm to yourself, someone else, or the property of others, I may be required to call the police and/or warn the potential victim, or take other reasonable steps to prevent the threatened harm.
  • If I am ordered by the court to testify or release records, I must do so.
  • If there is a licensure board inquiry, I may be required to share information with the board.
  • If action is required to collect fees, then confidentiality may be breached through collection procedures.
  • If you are seeing me for couples counseling, there may be times were I will meet with each individual separately. If secrets come up in the individual counseling session that I feel are important to the couples process, I will work with the disclosing individual on how best to bring the issue to the attention of the other individual.
  • What if I need medication?

There may be times that I will recommend that you discuss the option of medication with your physician: however, only you and your physician can come to the decision if, and what, medication will be used. There are many well-done studies that show that medication can be a reasonable choice, either with or without counseling, to help manage many situations. I will be happy to work with you and your physician to make sure that you have the most appropriate management of your situation so that you can attain your goals.


What if my situation falls outside of your areas of specialty?

No counselor can treat all things. In the case where your needs will be better served elsewhere, I will explain my thoughts and views and provide you with referrals to other resources.


Where is your office?

My office is located at St. Andrew United Methodist Church which is located at 5801 West Plano Parkway, Plano, TX 75093 (Map). This is ¼ mile east of the North Dallas Tollway on Plano Parkway.


What if my religious beliefs are different than yours?

No two people match up exactly on religion or spiritual issues. I am a Christian, and I believe that spirituality is important. I will strive to meet you where ever you are on religious and spiritual issues.


What if I get too dependent upon my counselor?

Losing one’s independence and autonomy is a common concern of many people. My role is to help you be your own boss, and to make the right decisions and changes you want. Over time we will work to help you be more and more independent, and to eventually not need my services.


How quickly will I see results?

This is highly variable. Some people experience positive results after one session, and for others it takes many sessions. Sometimes symptoms worsen before they get better because counseling brings up painful emotions. Our goal is to confront issues and emotions together, and with time, to work through them, and achieve your goals.


How many sessions does counseling last?

Length of counseling is very difficult to predict. Each individual has unique strengths and weaknesses, and each problem is different from the next. Although some clients can meet their goals in one session, this is unusual. There are other clients who require several years of counseling to meet their goals. However, this is also unusual. It generally takes 2-3 sessions for us both to have a good understanding of your situation and goals – however, the helping process will begin with the first visit. It is my aim that each client will finish counseling in a timely manner, without unnecessary waste of time or money.


How long does each session last?

Sessions most commonly last 60 minutes. If we know we are going to cover a particular subject or topic that will take more time, we can agree ahead of time to make a longer appointment. There may be some situations or individuals where short sessions of 30 minutes are most appropriate, and there are times when longer sessions need to be scheduled.


How often will we meet for counseling?

Generally, we will meet once a week. If you are in a crisis situation it may be best for us to meet more often, such as 2-3 times in a week, and then drop back to once a week. As you achieve more of your goals we may agree to meet every other week, or once a month.


After we are finished with counseling, can I come back?

Yes! There are several situations where returning is a good decision. First, you may want what I call a “tune-up”, on your original situation or goal. Also, there may be other issues that come up on which you may wish to work. If you are not sure if I am the right person for you to work with on the new issue, you can call me and we can discuss it. If you need a referral to a different counselor, I will be glad to give you several names of individuals that may better fit your needs.


Do you offer evening appointments?

I have afternoon and evening appointments available.


What is your fee?

Each 60 minute session will be $150.00, and 90 minute sessions are $200.00. Payment can be made by cash, check, or credit card. If we decide that a longer or shorter session is more appropriate for your situation or goals, then the fee would be adjusted to reflect that. Payment is due at the time of each session.


What type of payment do you accept?

Payment can be by cash, check or credit card at the time of each session.


Do you take insurance?

I feel that insurance companies sometimes get in the way of me providing the best service for you, and so I do not directly participate in any insurance plan. In many cases insurance will reimburse you for all or part of the fee: therefore, I provide appropriate documentation for you to file with your insurance company.


What if I cannot make an appointment?

You will be billed in the full session fee, $150.00, for missed sessions unless you call 214-773-6201 at least 24 hours in advance to cancel or reschedule the appointment.


What if I need to talk to you between appointments?

There may be times when you need to speak to me, and you should call 214-773-6201. I may not be able to talk to you at that time, so leave a message and I will get back to you ASAP. If your topic is lengthy, we can try to set a phone appointment, or schedule a session as time allows for both of us.


What should I do in an emergency?

In the event of an emergency, you should call 911, or go to a local emergency room when necessary and appropriate. It is your responsibility to seek the appropriate resources in emergency situations.