Biography (cont.)

Hello, I am Carla McCleary, a Licensed Professional counselor with 17 years of experience. I  have worked in a wide range of settings including a university counseling center, Intensive Outpatient Treatment for chemical dependency and Outpatient therapy for adolescents.  I specialize in treating anxiety, depression, substance abuse problems, exploring family of origin issues and how they impact who you are today. In addition, I'm experienced in helping clients increase motivation, work through grief & loss issues and elevate self esteem.  I offer a non-judgemental environment where you can  share confidentially. I provide support and respect for my clients individual needs, strengths struggles and experience. My approach is interactive but not pushy.  However, I will confront and challenge when necessary.

My Education

I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Behavioral Health and Addiction Studies from Drexel University in May 2006. I earned a Masters of Education Degree in Counseling Psychology from Temple University in 2011.

 

Treatment Preferences

The counseling theories and techniques I use vary, and are tailored to fit your individual needs. However, I do prefer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which focuses on developing healthier thinking patterns which has been proven to lead to healthier feelings and actions.  I also prefer Solution Focused therapy (SFT) which helps clients to  focus on exceptions to problem behaviors and patterns.  SFT  is  a great counseling fit for me because I pride myself on helping people turn challenges into lessons and opportunities for growth.

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Therapy Topics

Anxiety

  • Common  anxiety signs and symptoms include excessive worry, feeling nervous, feeling powerless, poor concentration and sleep problems.
  • In therapy people learn healthier ways to  cope with anxiety. I work well with those who worry excessively and tend to be over-thinkers. Usually we  explore unresolved issues they may not realize are contributing to their anxiety. Therapy  allows for exploration of thinking patterns that usually are more of the problem than the actual external problems. In therapy you can learn how to have healthier thoughts and no longer allow anxiety to dominate your life.

Depression

  • Symptoms of Depression include trouble sleeping, and lack of interest in hobbies you once enjoyed, changes in eating habits, and an inability to concentrate.
  •  When treating depression it is proven that there is power in numbers. Many times isolation and suffering in silence is a huge part of the problem.  Therefore just opening up in weekly sessions is usually helpful in elevating one's mood. Part of our work is to  tap into  strengths you may be overlooking. If you are depressed you mostly likely have thinking and behavior patterns that are self defeating, self destructive and self sabotaging. (Most depressed persons thoughts are depressing too) In sessions we work on replacing  negative self talk with more positive and kinder thoughts. We do so realistically and through building a therapeutic relationship first. 
  • We also get to the causes of these unhealthy thoughts in the process of eliminating them. Lastly you may need to make changes outside of therapy. A therapist can provide great support and encouragement but taking action is usually necessary  to improve your life. I often  tell clients that we can talk for hours, months and years but if you are not willing to make positive changes you cannot expect different results.

Transistion Period

  • Change from one state or stage to another, examples are divorce, loss of a loved one, career changes, childbirth.
  • Transition periods can be very challenging for people, Even positive transitions such as a new relationship or a new position at work come with stress. People in your life  expect you to be grateful.  However, along with these  new blessings can come new responsibilities, stress and self doubt . In therapy you have time to process the transition, some which are unexpected  such as death or  loss of a job . In therapy you don't have to worry about making sense or having the correct answers. You just need to be honest about your challenges, open to new perspectives to better help with with adapting and adjusting.

Relationship Problems

  • Relationships whether romantic, friends or family can become strained at different points in our lives. Therapy can be a good place to improve communication patterns, set healthier boundaries and learn to accept and respect differences in people closest to  you.
  • The relationship with self sets the foundation for all other relationships in your life. And if this one is unhealthy, than most likely others will suffer. For example if you improve your level of self-acceptance, you will be more likely to accept the flaws and differences in others. Therefore our work on strengthening relationships will include self exploration, improving communication and exploring family of origin issues.
  • A focus will be on how you communicate. Relationships cannot survive and be repaired without healthy communication. Often the question that comes up in dealing with relationships is Are You Saying What You Mean??
  • Again you will need to look at your own communication patterns and take responsibility in order for work to be effective.   Family of origin issues focus on your childhood, relationships with  parents and the beliefs you have developed about yourself and others. Often times this work comes up unintentionally. Our childhood often plays a huge role in how we interact with friends and the opposite sex. One sign that therapy is working for you is when unknown feelings and patterns are being uncovered, resolved and healed. 
 
 

Fees

FEES

Therapy Session $110

 Intake Session $130

OUT OF NETWORK

I can work with you as an Out of Network provider. Many of clients who used OON ( out of network) get reimbursed 65-80% of the counseling fee.  You will need to check your plan first to determine your benefits for licensed counselors as OON providers,  if  theres a deductible and if it's been met, and what percentage they cover for individual counseling. I will provide you with a receipt with the necessary information to obtain counseling fee reimbursement based on your plan.

REDUCED FEES

Reduced fee services are available on a limited basis

CANCELLATIIONS

If you are unable to keep an appointment, please notify me immediately. If an appointment is not cancelled or is missed without 24-hour notice, you will be charged for the session time.

INSURANCE

  • Highmark

  • Cigna

  • United Healthcare

  • Beacon