Common Questions

What do all those initials mean - distinguishing different types of counselors

There are several different types of counselors, and it is important for you to find the right fit. I started to define all the licensure types here and then got lazy and thought, "surely someone has done this already in a manner that is vaguely understandable" and I found this link that seemed on par: Counseling Designations .

What is the best way to schedule an appointment?

You may call the office number at 615-295-5185 to request a brief phone consultation and to make an appointment. It is likely that you will have to leave a message because Mary is often in session with others. She will return your call within 24 hours. Or you may fill out the Appointment Request form below.

What happens when I fill out an appointment request?

Your contact information will be emailed to Mary who will then respond by calling, usually within 24 hours. She will speak with you on the phone briefly to understand more about what you are looking for and if appropriate set up an initial appointment.

What paperwork is required?

After your initial appointment is made, Mary will email the intake paperwork for you to fill out and bring with you to the session. You will also be given Practice Policies and Privacy Policies to review prior to the session.

What is the first appointment like?

The first appointment is often called an initial intake session. Mary Thompson, LMFT will review the intake paperwork along with important practice policies to include confidentiality and privacy. Next she will seek to learn more about why the client is seeking counseling at this time and some of their challenges. The majority of the first session time is spent on this. Lastly, she will give the client an overview of what the therapeutic process might look like to help both client and therapist decide if this is a good fit for the client. If there is agreement and a willingness to continue, the subsequent session will be scheduled.

How is payment made?

Insurance is not accepted at Graceworks Family Counseling so clients are required to self-pay. The cost is $90 per 50-minute session. Typically payment is made at the beginning of the session. Payment types are cash, check, credit or debit cards. HSA cards are accepted also. Note there is a $25 returned check fee and a $40 missed or late cancellation fee. This is reviewed in the Practice Policies.

How often and how long will I need to go to counseling?

Most therapists will prefer that clients come weekly when starting out. This helps the therapist to become immersed in the client’s perspective as quickly as possible. When the client feels that things are resolving and goals have been met, therapy sessions are reduced to bi-weekly or monthly. And when agreed upon, stopped with an open door to resume at any time needed. The question of how long this takes is a more difficult question as it depends on the problems presented and the commitment and availability of the client. It is important to note that Mary uses many short-term, solution-focused, and experiential treatment types that support a briefer overall therapy commitment. This subject should be discussed in detail in the first session.

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office.  Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone.  This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.

However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:

  • Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
  • If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.

What treatment types do you use?

Mary has been trained to use Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy when working with couples. This approach seeks to restore safe emotional connection. This involves identifying negative cycles of interaction and triggers and emotional responses. Becoming atuned to what is being experienced and reflected in the session is is a large part of the work, and these sessions are often very active and engaging. She also includes work on communication with hands on and experiential activities during the sessions. Time is also spend on dealing with difficult past influences and hurts that may be getting in the way

For individuals who are suffering from big or little traumas, Mary uses Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing ( EMDR ). This is an eight-phase approach which helps reduce emotional distress surrounding specific memories or adverse life experiences. This treatment type can be helpful with anxiety and depression also.

Additional treatment types are Solution Focused Brief Therapy which seeks to look at solutions rather then the problem to build hope for the future and Narrative Therapy which focuses on separating people from their problems and seeks to help people become empowered to make changes in their lives.

These are a few of the therapeutic approaches that will be taken at Graceworks Family Counseling. All therapy is a presented with acceptance and a non-judgment manner and focuses on the goals that the client defines.

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Appointment Start Times


1:00 PM-6:30 PM


1:00 PM-6:30 PM




1:00 PM-6:30 PM