The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination. -Carl Rogers
Compassionate and Confidential Counseling
and Psychological Testing
We have openings for child, teen, & adult therapy. In-person or telehealth therapy.
Most BCBS plans are accepted as well as a few other health insurance plans.
Adult Mental Health
Whether you need treatment for a mental disorder or just a safe place to work out some problems, we can help. Our therapists offer anxiety counseling, depression treatment, trauma therapy, and general counseling to work out life stress. Reach out to schedule your counseling appointment with one of our psychologists or therapists.
We are LGBTQ+ friendly, neurodiversity affirming, and we respect and celebrate your race, culture, faith, and all the other parts that make you unique!
We offer psychological and neuropsychological testing for memory problems, ADD and ADHD, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality disorders, and more.
Child & Teen Mental Health
Is your child or teen struggling with depression, anxiety, bullying, social problems, or something else?
Our child counselors and child psychologists help children and adolescents with anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and more using cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based therapies.
Are you worried about your child or teen's behavior, mood, or school performance?
Our child psychologists offer a range of psychological testing for kids and teens in a relaxed environment. We offer learning disability testing, ADHD testing, assessment for behavior problems, early entry to kindergarten testing, and more.
Our practice appreciates human diversity and does not discriminate based on age, ability, race, religion, marital status, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Our building is fully accessible.
Adult Psychological Services:
LGBTQ+ Friendly Therapy
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
ADD & ADHD Testing
Child & Teen Psychological Services:
Psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor - what's the difference?"Counselor" and "Therapist" are general titles to describe professionals who provide assistance to people in many aspects of their lives. In the mental health treatment field, these titles mean that they provide mental health counseling. You could also call it mental health therapy or psychotherapy. These terms may apply to licensed mental health professionals or unlicensed individuals such as life coaches and case managers. You should always choose a mental health professional who is licensed at the state level. This ensures that your therapist is skilled and that your privacy is protected. Mental health licenses in North Carolina include: Licensed Psychologist Licensed Psychological Associate Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Licensed Clinical Social Worker Providers that prescribe psychotropic medication: Psychiatrist Physician's Assistants Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners Psychologist vs Psychiatrist: Psychologists diagnose and treat mental disorders with therapy. They may also do psychological testing. Psychiatrists diagnose and treat mental disorders with medication and, less often, therapy. Therapist vs Psychologist: A psychologist can be a type of therapist, but not all therapists are psychologists. Therapist is a more general term and can apply to any mental health counselor or even non-mental health professionals like physical therapists or speech therapists. Therapists may or may not be licensed. Counselor vs. Therapist: In mental health, these are equivalent and general terms to describe professionals who provide psychological support, guidance, and treatment. About NC mental health licenses: Licensed Psychologist: A Licensed Psychologist must have a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychology. This involves four years of undergraduate study and then four to six or more years of graduate study. A Ph.D. requires a dissertation, which is an original piece of research in the field of study. Not all people with doctorate degrees in a mental health field are qualified to pursue a North Carolina license as a psychologist. A licensed psychologist must have completed an approved doctoral program with specific coursework and training, an internship and postdoctoral residency, and successful completion of state and national board examinations. The title of Licensed Psychologist in North Carolina is a protected term that describes only individuals with that specific state-issued license. Licensed Psychologists diagnose mental disorders and conduct psychotherapy, psychological evaluations, and psychological testing. The main factors that separate licensed psychologists from other mental health professionals include additional training in psychology, research experience, and heavy training in psychological testing and assessment. Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC): Requires at least a master's degree in mental health counseling or a closely related field, has completed an internship, intensive supervised practice, and has passed a licensing examination. LCMHCs are well-trained in providing psychotherapy from a variety of theoretical perspectives. A therapist in this field who has a master's degree and all required training but are still under supervision and working toward full independent licensure are known as LCMHC-A (associate). Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA): Similar to an LCMHC, an LPA has at least a master's degree in mental health counseling or another similar field. They also completed an internship, intensive supervised practice, and have passed a board examination. LPAs in North Carolina are supervised periodically throughout their careers by licensed psychologists, but they are well-trained and competent therapists. Some LPAs also provide psychological testing. Our LPAs offer ADHD testing, learning disability testing, psychological evaluations, and other kinds of mental health testing. Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW): Requires a minimum of a master's degree in social work, internship, a period of supervised practice, and passing a board examination. LCSWs are also adept at psychotherapy. They are well-qualified to provide mental health counseling for children, teens, and adults like other licensed counselors. Individuals in this field who have all their education and training but are still under supervision and working toward independent licensure are known as LCSW-A (associate). More details about providers that prescribe psychotropic medication: Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) whose specialty is in mental health medicine. Psychiatrists diagnose mental disorders and prescribe psychotropic medication when needed. Although not as heavily trained in counseling techniques, some psychiatrists do offer psychotherapy. Some primary care physicians prescribe some psychotropic medications, like antidepressants, antianxiety medications, and ADHD medications. There are also physician's assistants that prescribe mental health medication as well as psychiatric nurse practitioners. No two mental health professionals are alike! Even among clinicians with the same degree and license, there are many differences in expertise and specialties. Some clinicians specialize as child therapists or child psychologists and do not treat adults at all. Others specialize in psychological evaluation or neuropsychological testing only and do not do counseling, but they likely do not offer all types of evaluations. Your clinician will tell you if they feel that they do not have the expertise needed for your situation and provide you with referrals to clinicians who may be more helpful.
What is therapy like?People seek therapy for any number of reasons. We see clients with many presenting problems, such as sadness or depression, stress, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors, relationship issues, grief, trauma, divorce, work issues, and social problems. Some clients may not even know exactly what they need to change; they just know they are unhappy and want to explore the cause. You don't need to have a mental illness to benefit from counseling. The first therapy session is generally part assessment, part counseling, and part just getting to know each other. Some clients are in crisis and need to spend much of the session working through their immediate feelings and formulating an initial plan of action. Others are not in emotional crisis, and their first session is spent describing the issue that brought them to counseling and providing background information. We generally spend a couple of minutes in the first session going over the initial paperwork and answering any questions about policies, fees, and confidentiality, and then inquire about the issue at hand. The session continues from there based upon your needs. Depending upon your needs, we generally recommend weekly sessions at first. The frequency of sessions eventually tapers to every two weeks, then one or more monthly check-ins until the end of therapy is mutually agreed upon. You may need just a few sessions, or you may need many sessions. Once therapy has ended, you are always welcome to return should the need arise again in the future. Since people of different ages are at different developmental levels, a child therapist approaches therapy differently than a teen therapist or adult therapist. Pediatric counseling often involves art and play activities, and child psychologists work closely with the parents. All of our mental health counselors are different. Some of our therapists offer cognitive behavioral therapy. Some are trauma therapists who offer EMDR therapy and other trauma informed therapy. Some of our clinicians offer grief counseling, some are ADHD therapists, and some offer elements of DBT therapy. Still others consider themselves to be anxiety therapists or OCD therapists. We will let you know when you call or email us if we have a counselor who might be a good fit!
What happens in a psychological evaluation?In general, the first session of a psychological assessment involves gathering information about you. You will likely be asked a lot of questions about your childhood and family, academic and employment history, mental health and medical history, alcohol and drug use, trauma history, and more. Sometimes, a second information-gathering appointment is needed. The psychologist will find out what questions you want answered by your evaluation and choose methods and psychological tests that have the best chance of answering those questions. Testing may be done the same day or in separate appointments. Some tests are completed by yourself by answering questions, and other tests require the psychologist to administer them to you. We may need to review your prior medical and mental health records. After all testing is done, your clinician will write a detailed clinical report that includes your history, presenting problems, psychological testing results, any diagnosis that has been given, and recommendations for treatment. The psychologist will go over all of this with you during a final feedback session. Psychological evaluations can require anywhere from one to four or more appointments and may take anywhere from a week to more than a month to complete. You may ask for updates on the progress of your evaluation at any time. People seek psychological evaluations or assessments for any number of reasons. They may wonder if they have a depressive disorder, an anxiety disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or another mental illness. We offer learning disability testing (including dyslexia testing), gifted testing and IQ testing, ADHD testing, early entry to kindergarten testing, neuropsychological testing, and other types of mental health testing. We provide pre-bariatric surgery evaluations to ensure that patients are psychologically ready for surgery. Finally, we also conduct forensic psychological evaluations in civil and criminal legal situations. We offer many kinds of psychological testing, but if we feel we aren't qualified for your specific concern, we will try to help you find a psychologist who is better suited for you.
Do you take health insurance?All of our mental health providers are in-network with most BCBS plans in North Carolina. We cannot guarantee that your insurance will pay for services, because that's controlled by your insurance company. We will try to verify your benefits and give you an estimate of the cost of your evaluation or treatment, but we recommend you also contact your insurance company through the phone number on the back of your card to ask about your benefits and what's covered. Some of our clinicians are in other insurance networks like Tricare, Aetna, and Medicare, but not all, so please ask. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of providers in your network. Finally, even if the clinician you want to see is not in your network, you may have out-of-network insurance coverage. Patients may pay a bit more when they see an out-of-network provider, but some patients have excellent coverage and pay very little.
Do therapists diagnose?Yes! Any licensed psychologist, LPA, LCMHC, or LCSW in North Carolina is qualified to diagnose mental disorders. Many mental disorders, like anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, PTSD, and OCD can be diagnosed by licensed mental health providers without additional testing. Sometimes, psychological testing is needed to help the therapist determine your diagnosis. They will tell you if they feel you need mental health testing and help you access it. Will a therapist tell you your diagnosis? Of course they will! You have the right to know your diagnosis if you have been diagnosed with a mental disorder. Therapists may not volunteer this information, so feel free to ask. Can I self-diagnose? You can easily find the diagnostic criteria for any mental disorder on the internet, but having the symptoms does not mean you have that disorder. Diagnosing mental disorders sounds easy, but it involves much more than checking off symptoms. Licensed mental health professionals have extensive training in evaluating your history, symptoms, and the clinical significance of your complaints. They must also consider many different possible explanations of your symptoms, such as other mental disorders, medical conditions, effects of substance use, the effects of past trauma, cultural factors, and more in coming to a diagnosis. If you suspect you have a specific disorder, like ADHD, PTSD, OCD, or autism, please consider getting a professional clinical evaluation. The explanation for your symptoms may not be what you think it is!
Our therapists and psychologists provide evidence-based behavioral health care to improve your emotional wellness. If you need medication for your mental health condition, we are happy to refer you to recommended psychiatrists in Cary, Raleigh, and the surrounding areas for your medication needs.