Counseling with Emma

-Is grounded in evidence-based practice and cutting-edge theory

-Is heart-centered and soul-enriching

-Provides a space for deep inner work, transformational healing, and personal growth

-Is catered to your unique journey

-Is rewarding and even FUN! Because who says therapy can’t be enjoyable?

Here are the basics about psychotherapy with Emma:

I Help Young People Overcome:

-Anxiety

-Depression

-Loneliness

-Stress and burnout

-Trauma

-School, life purpose, spiritual, and career issues

-Relationship issues

Through This Framework:

-1:1 individual psychotherapy

-In my office in St. Louis, MO

Or online for residents of Missouri and Illinois

-for 50 or 75-minute sessions

-in a safe, confidential, and compassionate relationship

-built upon your unique goals

With These Techniques:

-Internal Family Systems

-Mindfulness-based psychotherapy

-Somatic psychotherapy

-Trauma-informed care

-Tension Release Exercises

-Stress Reduction

-Mindful Self-Compassion

“Emma is an incredible therapist and person. She is highly intuitive, empathetic, and is able to hold the space for you as you process your emotions and situations in your life. She is able to sort through different experiences and help you find clarity in the chaos. I highly recommend Emma as a therapist, especially using the Internal Family Systems model.”

-Client Testimonial

Heart-centered and evidence-based counseling for young people like you.

It’s tough to be a young person today. Burnout, depression, anxiety, and loneliness are hitting young people harder than ever before. These issues are understandable reactions to our stressful, high-pressure, and isolating modern lives.

Millennials are being called the “therapy generation,” because we are more likely than previous generations to suffer from mental health issues, but we are also more likely to devote ourselves to personal growth work.

I believe your devotion to your wellbeing is a strength, and I love helping young people just like you to grow.

My therapy practice focuses on helping college students, graduate students, and young professionals navigate this difficult and unique phase of life.

I partner with you to help you process who you’ve been shaped to be, make peace with your past, discover your strengths, decide who you want to become, and forge your own path in life as the person you want to be.

Many of my clients are held back from the vibrant, full lives they want to live because they are suffering from the following issues:

Anxiety

-Feeling constantly on edge and never able to relax

-worried no one likes them

-frustrated when their anxiety gets in the way of being able to do well in work or school

-it always feels like life is about to come crumbling down

Held Back By Traumatic Pasts

-they feel stuck in patterns that aren’t serving them

-unable to break free from past hurts and heavy burdens, no matter how much they want to

-worried they will always be trapped by their trauma

Depression

-every day feels like a battle, but they don’t have the energy to pick up their sword

-everything feels pointless

-they can’t enjoy the things they used to love

-no one “gets it” and they feel completely alone in their pain

Stress and Burnout

-they give their all, but it never feels like “enough”

-overwhelmed by the pressure coming from every angle

-burning out and not sure how on earth they’re going to keep going

Feeling Lost and Confused

-unsure where they want to go with their career or spiritual path

-completely overwhelmed by their options and torn in different directions

-second-guessing their choices, unsure if they are “right”

Feeling Lonely & Disconnected

-feeling lonelier than ever, despite their follower count

disconnected from who they truly are

-craving deeper connections with others, but don’t know how to create meaningful relationships

These are understandable reactions to a modern society that is increasingly stressful and isolating.

But life doesn’t have to be so painful. It is possible to return to your naturally calm and resilient state.

What if you could have the fulfilling life you were born to live?

It is possible to feel…

-Whole again, no matter how “damaged” or “broken” you may currently feel

-Seen and loved for who you really are

-Self-confident in yourself and your choices

-Calm and centered, even when facing the many challenges life brings

-Connected to who you are at your core

Connected with others, having the deep, fulfilling relationships you’ve always wanted

Curious, creative, and in love with life

-Holistically healthy and spiritually fulfilled

Like the happy, vibrant person you deserve to be

That’s what I love helping teens, college students, and young professionals like you to do. I am a young person myself, and I understand the struggles our generation is facing.

As a psychotherapist in St. Louis, MO and online, I help you…

-Become friends with your emotions and learn how to make them not so scary, reducing stress, sadness, anger, anxiety, and loneliness

-Learn to love yourself, and use this loving presence to transform even your darkest parts into something beautiful

-End the inner war and make your head a place you love to be

-Heal from old trauma and become the person you’ve always dreamed of being

-Tap into your inner wisdom so you can become your own healer and overcome anything… long after therapy is over

Everything You Need To Know About Online Therapy

Online sessions are conducted on my comprehensive and intuitive online portal. This is the same portal you can use to book sessions and fill out documents. 

The first step is requesting a free consultation call using the orange button.

In this call, you can get to know me, tell me about yourself, and ask questions about online counseling or therapy in general.

After you have been accepted as a client, you can easily select appointment times that work for your schedule on your online portal. I then guide you through the simple process for how to access the video platform.

Treatment Methodologies

In therapy, we work together to set goals and decide what approach is best for you, based on your unique needs and wishes. Below you will find treatment methodologies I have advanced training and experience in. 

Internal Family Systems

IFS is my main approach to working with clients. It is the most effective and rewarding healing tool I have found. Some of my most profound insights and life experiences have happened while I was experiencing IFS as a client, and I have witnessed rapid, deep transformation in my own clients using this model.

IFS helps you experience healing, self-love, and inner harmony. IFS is helpful if you feel torn, disconnected, at war with yourself, or are experiencing uncomfortable thoughts, emotions, or behaviors you can’t understand or stop. It may include working with the inner child, the inner critic, and all the parts of you which make you unique. It is an experiential, imaginative, and body-based approach grounded in mindfulness. It can be deeply transformative, emotionally touching, and even fun!

I have completed level 1 and 2 of IFS training.

Mindfulness

According to John Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness means “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” We spend much of our lives contemplating the past and worrying about the future. Actually, most of our suffering happens in our own minds! Mindfulness helps you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, recognize what isn’t serving you, and fall in love with the beauty of the present moment. Mindfulness has been proven to reduce depression, anxiety, and rumination. Many people feel more calm, joyous, and connected from it. It can be done formally, in meditation, or informally, in self-awareness throughout your day.

I lived and worked as a therapist at a mindfulness center in Thailand for 18 months, and used mindfulness with clients to great success.

Trauma/Tension Release Exercises

Tension Release Exercises (TRE) helps you tap into your body’s natural ability to de-stress through movement and shaking. It releases stress and tension from both the body and mind, signaling to your body that it can relax. Because of this, it has the potential to help you release present-moment stress and past trauma. No “talk therapy” is involved. Many people report reduced stress-related pain, feeling more connected and present, sleeping better, feeling calmer, more energized, more resilient, and more alive.

I have completed a year of training in TRE and am a certified TRE Provider. Read more about TRE here.

Stress Reduction

Body-based forms of stress reduction are extremely useful for helping to reduce stress, anxiety, tension, and uncomfortable emotions. Depending on your needs and wants, I can incorporate breathing techniques, restorative yoga postures, grounding exercises, and guided relaxation techniques to help you achieve a state of inner peace and calm.

I am an advanced yoga instructor and I worked as a therapist at a mindfulness-based residential recovery center in Thailand for 18 months.

Key Characteristics of My Approach

Our understanding of the human psyche is changing. Cutting-edge psychotherapy is trauma-informed, holistic, non-pathologizing, compassionate, and strengths-based.

I had the opportunity to serve as a therapist at a mindfulness-based recovery center, where I learned cutting-edge, evidence-based approaches that help clients achieve transformational change in an empowering, rewarding, soulful way. 

These are key perspectives that inform the way I work with clients.

Deep, Transformational Healing Work

The problems we see on the surface, such as stress, depression, lashing out, or overeating are the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes, these are clues to something deeper, such as past trauma or old burdens we are carrying such as feeling “not good enough.” Thus, my clients and I go deep to get to the heart of the issue, instead of merely treating the symptom. This is often deeply moving, rewarding, and transformative.

Solution-Focused for Personal Growth

Most clients come to therapy to gain relief from suffering and develop into the people they want to be. Some clients want to focus more on healing. Others prefer a brief, solution-focused approach that focuses primarily on action and is similar to coaching. I am able to offer both, and often combine deep transformation with personal growth work. When we begin working together, we can discuss what approach will most benefit you. 

Holistic Wellness Focusing on Body, Mind, and Spirit

Gone are the days when we thought working with thoughts and behaviors was the only way to change. I honor clients as holistic beings and take the body, mind, and spirit into account. We incorporate your emotional wellness, mental wellness, relationships, spiritual fulfillment, physical wellbeing, and work/school life to help you grow on every level.

Self-Compassion

Compassion is a cornerstone of my approach. Healing happens best in the context of a compassionate relationship where you feel seen, honored, and understood… both by your counselor and by your Self. Even if you struggle with self-criticism, self-judgment, or self-loathing, compassion is a muscle you can build. It honors the suffering, disappointment, and failure which is part of life and offers kindness instead of judgment for profound healing.

Strengths-Based and Non-Pathologizing

You are fundamentally good and whole. There is more right with you than wrong with you! It is my belief that the behaviors, emotions, or thoughts you have that aren’t serving you (such as anxiety, depression, lashing out, etcetera) are your unconscious best attempt to deal with the challenges of life, even if they are causing suffering. For example, anxiety’s role is generally to protect us from some kind of danger. This is useful and necessary, but for some people, anxiety becomes so extreme that it takes over their life.

The good news is that no matter how bad things are, there is nothing “wrong” or “defective” about you. It’s just that your system is a little out of balance. For this reason, I prefer to look at mental health issues as “symptoms” or “injuries” rather than “disorders.” Together, we work to understand these patterns with compassion and curiosity, and help them relax, so that you can claim your birthright as a healthy, vibrant individual. 

Trauma-Informed

When most people think of trauma, they tend to think of shocking, life-threatening events that cause intense physical harm. However, modern psychotherapy recognizes that trauma exists on a spectrum ranging from stress to PTSD. Traumatic injury can develop either from shocking events or smaller but impactful events over time, such as bullying or lack of affection. Part of being trauma-informed means building resilience and empowerment, and opening up past hurts only if and when you are ready.

Body-Based

“Somatic” means “relating to the body.” The field of psychology has long addressed suffering by focusing on the brain. Recently, however, somatic approaches to psychology are quickly becoming the gold standard for healing, especially from deeply-held suffering and trauma, because they yield results that were previously impossible. Becoming more attuned with the body builds the ability to stay present and feel “okay” even during intense emotional experiences. It even catalyzes insights that could not be gained through talk therapy alone.

Experiential

Unlike many other forms of therapy, we don’t just “talk” about your issues and come up with theories about why you are the way you are and make guesses for how to change. We use your own inner experience and your own inner wisdom to know the best steps forward. You may spend a lot of sessions “inside yourself” with your eyes closed, on your own hero’s journey exploring the inner territory of your psyche. Many clients say that this is rewarding, insight-provoking, and even fun. They feel like the hero of their own story.

Counseling FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about psychotherapy services with Emma.

Do you see clients online or in-person?

I see clients both in-person in St. Louis, MO, and online video sessions, depending on your location and preference. Online counseling happens through a HIPAA-compliant platform, which protects your personal information from being seen, accessed, or hacked by anyone but us. It is also possible to do a hybrid of in-person and online counseling. Please note that in the USA, counselors are licensed in specific states. I hold an LPC license in Illinois and a PLPC license in Missouri, and can only see online clients from these states.

What are your credentials?

I hold a PLPC license in Missouri, which means “provisionally licensed professional counselor.” This means that I have completed a 2-3 year graduate degree in counseling which included an internship, I have taken some grueling 3-4 hour exams, and I hold a provisional license issued by the state of Missouri. As a PLPC, I practice under a supervisor (Karen Grayson, LPC, Ph.D.) who gives me guidance, when I need it, on how best to help you.

I have also taken advanced training in Internal Family Systems and Tension Releasing Exercises, and am an IFS Therapist and TRE Provider. You can verify my IFS credentials here.

How much do therapy sessions cost?

My current rate for a 50-minute individual counseling session is $100. The rate for an extended 75-minute individual counseling session is $140. I do offer a limited number of sliding scale rates for clients in need. If you are in financial need, please discuss this with me during our phone consult.

Can I use my insurance to pay for counseling?

Yes and no! I am not on any insurance panels at this time. In order to bill your insurance for counseling services, I would need to give you a diagnosis and share your personal health information with your insurance company. I prefer not to work this way.

Many people elect to use their out-of-network benefits to pay for counseling. I am able to provide an “out of network” form, which you may be able to use to get your insurance to cover your counseling services. This means you pay me out-of-pocket, and your insurance company reimburses you individually for what you have paid. This is dependent on your insurance plan and your ability to submit your own documentation to the insurance company. It takes a little work on your part, but the benefits are that you can work with me if you connect with me, and you aren’t limited only to specific therapists who take your insurance, who may not specialize in your issue.

Here are some questions you can ask your insurance provider:

  1. Do I have mental health insurance benefits that allow for out-of-network services?
  2. Do I have a deductible, and how much has been met?
  3. How many mental health sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
  4. Does my insurance require that I have pre-authorization prior to sessions with a therapist? (If so, please have that information before the first session). 
  5. What credentials does my therapist need in order for me to be eligible for reimbursement? (I am a PLPC in Missouri).
How do I get started with counseling?

The first step to starting counseling is to schedule a free 20-minute consultation with me. The purpose of this phone call is for us to connect so you can tell me a little about why you’re seeking therapy and see if I can help you. This also provides a space for you to ask any questions you have about therapy before we initially start.

What can I expect in my first session?

The first session will be a little different from subsequent sessions. In the first session, we will meet each other, you can give me an overview of what you are hoping to work on, we will set goals, we will go over some forms, and I will ask you many questions about your history so I can have a big-picture understanding before we begin working. I may write a lot in this session!

How many sessions will I need?

This varies depending on each unique client’s goals and needs. To see significant and lasting improvements in therapy, most clients generally come for at least several months.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a therapist?

Psychiatrists are medically trained doctors who specialize in prescribing medication for mental health illnesses. Most psychiatrists do not practice “talk therapy,” but rather monitor your response to medication and make brief suggestions for improvement.

I am a therapist, also known as a psychotherapist or counselor. I am NOT a psychiatrist. A therapist has a graduate or doctoral degree. A therapist develops a therapeutic relationship with clients and typically meet with clients once every week or two for about an hour. Therapists take time to deeply understand clients and their struggles because they primarily help clients make improvements by working through talk-based therapy with emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Therapists do not prescribe medication, but may sometimes refer clients to psychiatrists for an evaluation if they believe clients could potentially benefit from it.

What is it like to be in therapy?

When some people think of therapy, they think of an expressionless psychologist asking probing questions and scribbling secretively on a clipboard. This is generally inaccurate for most modern therapists! I believe some of the most important factors for healing and growth are helping you feel safe, relaxed, understood, and cared for. In therapy, you can expect a warm, welcoming, compassionate person who will walk alongside you. Generally, you get to decide your goals, how much you want to reveal, how deep you want to go, and how quickly. I consider you to be the expert, and I help guide you to be able to access your own innate ability to heal and grow.

Ready to jump in?

If you’re curious about therapy, schedule a free phone consult with me so you can tell me a little about yourself and ask any questions you may have. 

If you’re not quite ready to jump in yet but want to see what it’s like to work with me, download a free self-love meditation I made just for people like you.

Copyright Emma Donovan, 2019, 2020. All Rights Reserved.