What is therapy?

Psychotherapy is not easily described in general statements.  It varies depending on the personalities of the psychologist and client, and the particular concerns you bring forward.  My approach to psychotherapy integrates cognitive and behavioral principles, interpersonal process approaches, feminist and multicultural theory, and mindfulness-based approaches.  The methods I utilize are informed by theory, professional literature, research evidence (when available), and “best practices.” In order to provide you with the best possible services, I am engaged in ongoing professional development activities, such as reading professional publications, seeking consultation with colleagues, and attending continuing education and training events.

What happens in the first session?

Our first session (or sometimes 2 sessions) will be an initial consultation.  During this time, I will assess your needs and offer you some first impressions.  Together we will set goals for therapy and I will make treatment recommendations to help you reach those goals.  We can both decide if I am the best person to provide the services you need in order to meet your treatment goals.

What are typical sessions like?

Your sessions are your time to discuss any topics which you feel appropriate.  I often open the session by asking about any updates you have since our last meeting and by asking what you would like to focus on today.  Usually, you will do most of the talking, but sometimes I will teach you strategies or provide information and ideas.  Other times the session might feel like a conversation.  At the end of most sessions I will check in with you about whether you feel you are making progress.

How often are sessions?

I will usually recommend weekly sessions (45 to 60 minutes per appointment) initially so that we can build a therapeutic relationship and establish some momentum in our work together.  As we continue to meet we can re-evaluate whether meeting more or less frequently would be appropriate.

What are the risks?

Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks.  Therapy usually involves a substantial commitment on your part in terms of time, money, and energy.  In my experience, clients who put more effort into working on their goals between sessions tend to have greater benefits from counseling.  Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress.  You should know that sometimes people find that they feel worse before they feel better.  Making changes in your life, working through emotional difficulties, shifting your ways of thinking, trying new behaviors, developing new patterns, and gaining self-awareness or insight is often challenging.  Although it is impossible to guarantee outcomes, if we decide to work together I will make every effort to help you succeed.

What if it doesn't work?

You have the right to refuse any of the suggestions I make in counseling.  You are encouraged to initiate discussion about how therapy is going for you.  I invite you to provide honest and direct feedback about the therapy process, and any concerns you may have about counseling or about me.  Please talk with me about these things so that we may address them.  I will also initiate discussions about your progress.  If it seems that you are not making progress toward your goals or benefiting from therapy, I may recommend that we end counseling.

Do you take insurance?

Yes, but every plan is different.  Find the answers you need on the Insurance & Fees page.

Is it confidential?

Yes.  Your privacy is essential and I go to great lengths to meet (and often exceed) the standards of confidentiality set forth by my profession’s ethical code and by state and federal laws.  For details on confidentiality, please read the Notice of Privacy Policy on the Privacy page.  Download a PDF copy from either the Privacy page or the Forms page.


Dr. Karen Muehl
910 East Blvd
Suite 204
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 980-202-2033
Fax: 844-415-3304

verified by Psychology Today


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Mon: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Telehealth Only) 
Tue: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM 
Wed: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM 
Thu: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM 
Fri: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM