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The Art and Science of Change
Free 2-hour street parking on Capitol Ave. from 20th St. and up.
Steve Mackey is a cognitive-behavioral, exposure based, and motivational coherence-based mental health counselor and psychotherapist who offers individual counseling and psychotherapy services for issues related to anxiety, depression, fear, mood problems, low self-esteem, anger, habits, and relationship struggles for adults at 2020 Capitol Ave., Suite 5, Sacramento, CA 95811, serving the Sacramento, Elk Grove, Folsom, Roseville, Citrus Heights, Orangevale, Carmichael, Davis, and Galt communities. For more information contact 916 549-5772.
The information provided on this website is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Visiting this website does not constitute a therapist-client relationship. Information found on the internet is not a substitute for individualized evaluation and treatment by a mental health professional. All written and visual materials are the exclusive copyright of Steve Mackey, © 2011-2016.
Suicide & Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Deciding whether or not to pursue counseling can bring up all kinds of questions. Here are some of the most common questions people like you have. I hope they can help you make a decision about the counseling process and working with me.
1. How can I know if you're a good fit for me?
I strive to be as transparent as possible about how I can help and the processes of change that I use. I'm also transparent about my (continuing) journey toward change and growth that you can access here. Many have told me that knowing this information has been a help in their decision process. You can also call me at (916) 549-5772 to discuss any concerns that you may have about my services and me. Or you can access my free report to learn in more detail what I do to support your change efforts.
After we speak or meet, if you don't believe we're a good fit, I can provide referrals to someone who may be better suited for you and the issues you're facing.
2. What kinds of issues do you work with?
I work with adults of all ages and backgrounds who want to overcome challenges with anxiety, panic, worry, depression, procrastination, loneliness, shame, guilt, anger, relationship problems, or destructive habits. Many of these issues are related to fear at some level of emotional and mental processing, and making a change to resolve these challenges almost always involves some degree of fear. Resolving this fear, including the sometimes hidden fear of acknowledging some of these fears to yourself or another, is something that I have a particular interest in.
3. Can you guarantee that I'll reach my goals or find happiness?
My aim is to help you make the changes you want to make to become a happier you in as short a time as feels right for you. I focus on helping you decide what those changes are, what natural impediments to those changes block you from progress, and then designing with you tasks that get you to where you want to go. I believe strongly that happiness is much more dependent on progress toward important goals than actually achieving them, but that achieving goals can also be especially satisfying.
With that said, neither I nor any therapist can or should guarantee any results. Life and people are far too complex for guarantees. However, like most endeavors, you will tend to get out of therapy what you put into it. The most helpful qualities you can possess to increase the odds of getting what you want out of therapy are 1) curiosity about yourself and a willingness to understand deeper processes within you that you often can't recognize on your own, and 2) a willingness to try something diferent (that makes deep sense to you after we discuss it) in your journey. My commitment to you is to guide and support you to the best of my ability through this process and journey of discovery and change.
4. What is your fee?
My fees vary depending on the length of sessions you choose and whether it's an intake appointment or not. I offer discounts for double sessions and a package of sessions. We can discuss these options when we speak on the phone. To view my current fees and scheduling options, you can access my appointment book here.
5. How long do I have to wait for an initial counseling session?
Generally, I can book an initial intake appointment with you in a week, or two at the latest after we speak on the phone. If you book online, I will contact you within 24-48 hours to confirm your appointment and discuss your needs.
6. What's the intake process like?
After we agree to meet, I will send you a form describing my policies, as well as a few forms to gather information about you and what it is you're hoping to accomplish through counseling. These forms speed up the assessment process. I like to schedule an 80-90 minute block of time to discover more about you, your goals and the issues impacting your life. We can also schedule this time in two standard sessions of 45-50 minutes.
When you come into the building (a converted house), have a seat in the lobby and I will come to get you and bring you back to my office. We'll go over the forms and talk more in depth about your goals and challenges.
At the end of this appointment, I will have a much better idea of the goals you want to work toward that I can help you with, and you will have an idea as to whether we would be a good fit. If we are in agreement, we will sign an Agreement for Services/Informed Consent document and set our next appointment where we'll get to work on resolving issues and making progres toward what is most meaningful to you.
7. How do I pay and do you take insurance?
I accept credit cards, checks, or cash. I'm considered an "out of network provider" for insurance plans, meaning insurance providers do not pay me for the counseling I provide, but may reimburse you for my services. I'm happy to help you understand how you may be able to get reimbursed a portion of your therapy fees.
Please note, though, that in order for you to receive reimbursement from insurance, I will have to give you paperwork to give to your provider that includes a mental disorder diagnosis. I don't believe these diagnoses serve your ultimate best interests, even though one or more may seem quite accurate for the difficulties you're facing. For that reason and many others, I have decided not to work with insurance providers. For more information on the disavantages of using insurance benefits, click here.
8. How long can I expect counseling to last?
This is a difficult question to answer given how unique we all are. I have helped others experience parts of themselves that resolved troublesome issues in a few sessions. This is the exception, not the rule. I have also helped some for more than a year on particularly deep and thorny issues related to past trauma. However, I have also helped some with long-standing issues related to trauma resolve that trauma in a few sessions after quickly understanding their conflicting issues and emotions. I can never predict who will respond quickly and who will need a lot of deeper awareness and new behavioral practice before lasting change takes place. A reasonable figure would be anywhere from 6-20 sessions.
We all have what some have called an immunity to change - a natural defense system to taking on new beliefs, emotions, and behaviors that allow for deep change - just as the body's physical immune system will sometimes reject new and necessary substances designed to help heal. The strength of this emotional immune system varies in each of us. All of us want to feel as good as possible, and unfortunately, some people conclude that not changing gives them the best odds of not feeling worse. But as long as you're willing to keep exploring and trying, I'm committed to assisting you in your efforts to make meaninful change.
In order to head off the possibility of stagnation, I specialize in working with clients in thinking and imaginal experiences that can often get to the root of the ambivalence toward change that can thwart progress. I also solicit feedback after every session to get a clear picture of how our efforts are helping you or not.
9. How are you able to insure confidentiality?
Your confidentiality is of paramount importance to me. All notes and materials of our sessions are kept either in a locked cabinet within a double locked room or encrypted on a password-protected computer. All materials are destroyed after a period of ten years. I am the only individual who has access to these file, though in the event of an unforseen emergency related to my capacity to provide services, I do have a colleague who can access these records.
When you're ready to make a change in your life toward a happier you, here's what you can do.
Call today at (916) 549-5772 or email me here to discuss how I can help you make the changes you seek. If your ready to get started right away, call or click here to schedule an appointment.
I look forward to supporting your success.