Person on bench

 

Where is your office?

5050-A Thoroughbred Lane is on the Davidson Co/Oak Hill edge of Maryland Farms in Brentwood (37027). Parallel to Old Hickory Blvd, 5 min from Armory Dr. [Fear not Williamson-wary Nashvilians, yes, it’s technically Brentwood, but you’ll never leave Davidson]. 

From Nash, I-65 S to the Old Hickory Blvd/Brentwood exit (74B). Cross over Franklin Pike. Just past O’Charley’s, left on East Park Drive, then first right on Thoroughbred Lane. The 5th building down from Sun Trust is 5050. (Tip: The buildings look similar and aren’t clearly numbered, so count!). Entrance is through the courtyard, ground level. Suite A is the middle of three doors.

{Note: GPS may take you to the wrong part of Thoroughbred Lane (other side of East Park Drive}

 

 

How do I make an appt?  How long are sessions?  What should I expect on my first visit?  What are your hours?

FREE 30-40 MIN CONSULTS (as well as initial intake appointments) are made by calling me @ 615-915-3892. (Land line office phone– does not receive texts). I’ll return your call personally as quickly as possible if I miss it.

The initial (intake) visit runs 75-80 minutes. Follow up therapy sessions are 50-55 minutes. The first few visits are your opportunity to experience how I work and whether my approach feels right. My aim in the beginning is to establish a connection, explore your reasons for seeking therapy now, and clarify your hopes and expectations. If you’re new to therapy we’ll spend some time talking about the process. I’ll usually gather as much history as possible in the first meeting, as well.

My hours are vary but currently they are:

Mondays: 11-5

Tuesdays: 9-5:00

Wednesdays: 10-7

Thursdays: 9-5/6

Fridays: 12-4

 

How long does therapy last?

Therapy length generally lasts as long as you feel you’re benefiting. I am equally able and willing to work with people on a short or long term (in-depth) basis. Some can get what they feel they need in a few sessions. For others, it’s a longer process. When to stop therapy is largely about knowing and trusting yourself, honoring what the work brings up, and the value you place on the work and relationship. Ideally, as therapist and client, we carefully explore your thoughts and feelings about ending together. It’s normal to feel impulses or even strong desires to stop when difficult themes or emotions arise. An experienced therapist can help you look at where the desire to stop might be coming from, and what it would mean to continue or not. But in the end it’s always your decision.

 

What specifically can therapy help me with?

Among other things, therapy can help you:

  • Bolster resiliency and the capacity to navigate unexpected events and life transitions with trust, grit, grace.
  • Quiet worries, fears, anxieties and inner critical voices.
  • Reduce and heal shame, guilt, sadness, self-loathing, inadequacy, powerlessness, worthlessness, perfectionism, etc.
  • Mindfully let go of what keeps you stuck in the past, projecting into future and stealing your present. 
  • Grieve appropriately, honoring and releasing pain born of loss, separation, divorce, neglect, abuse, abandonment, etc.
  • Understand healthy boundaries w/self and other, learn to maintain and communicate them effectively with the world.
  • Learn to parent consciously from a place of wholeheartedness, playfulness, healthy vulnerability, wisdom  & authenticity.
  • Transform how you perceive yourself, others & the world, allowing for choices aligned with your own true needs.
  • Discern what you can and cannot control; learning to appreciate, accept, even celebrate the differences.
  • Exchange passivity for assertiveness, and (fear of) confrontation for skillful care-frontation.
  • Replace dysfunctional relational patterns with intimate, open-hearted communication and contact skills.
  • Increase your emotional literacy (“EQ with a heart”) and apply it to everyday living and loving challenges.
  • Identify wounded “parts” of yourself carrying childhood burdens; learn to understand, unburden and transform them.
  • Restore secure attachment and the capacity for healthier, more fulfilling intimate relationships.
  • Reconnect with the innate wisdom of your mind-body and begin living from a place of embodied essence.
  • Cultivate the core capacities of SELF (calmness, curiosity, clarity, compassion, confidence, creativity, courage, and connectedness i.e. Richard Schwartz’ “8 C’s of SELF-Leadership”).
  • Recover from the effects of fear/shame-based dogma and discover a more personal, intuitive, expansive sense of Spirituality/Creator/Source/God/Consciousness/Absolute/Higher Power/Universal Mind/Truth…etc
  • Integrate the effects of all varieties of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (STEs) and learn to harness and appropriate the gifts that often flow from such experiences (for more information click here: S.E.E.).

 

I’ve never done this before, how does a therapy session with you even start?

Therapy starts with your thoughts and feelings– with your “point of urgency” nearly every time. Rather than begin with an agenda of my own, I strive for a consistently open-hearted, intentionally receptive presence to meet you right you where you are [and who you are] at each encounter. I consider myself to be a flexible and interactive therapist, which is to say not overly directive (deciding for you what to talk about, what to work on, what you “should do”, “should” feel, etc) nor passive (sitting there saying “um hmm” over and over) but rather present, engaged, creative, and interested in what you want to process each step of the way. All the while doing my best to help usher in relief, connect the dots, and foster deeper self-understanding, self-acceptance, knowledge and growth. Like anyone, I fall short sometimes. When I do, I aim for a balance of self-accountability and self-compassion so that, by example, you may find it ever-easier to extend the same to yourself.

 

Do you do couples/marital counseling?

Not in the conventional sense. I see spouses/partners along with my clients when I can really use a partner’s perspective on something, or around a specific, targeted, present-based issue or impasse that may be best addressed all together. But my practice focus is primarily individual psychotherapy. I believe this is the most effective modality to address and resolve problematic patterns in living, including those that manifest within intimate bonds.

Couples therapy (alone, as a primary treatment) has historically low success rates. There are numerous reasons. It appears to be much more effective as a compliment to when partners are working through their own core issues, such as through depth-oriented individual therapy. For many (if not most) couples, one partner is usually much more motivated for change than the other. Rather than dragging the less motivated half into couples therapy (against their wishes, thereby adding to the statistics) the more motivated half is usually better off working on making changes within themselves that may also effect a change in the relationship dynamics, potentially inspiring their partner to seek their own healing. If this is you and you’re interested in working with me individually, or individually while pursuing couples, I would be glad to see you and provide you a referral for couples, if needed.

 

What about degree, training, clinical experience, approach?

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with a Masters of Social Work (MSW) from New York University. Licensed by the State of Tennessee (# 4504) in good standing, I practice within the ethical guidelines and standards governed by my profession and the Tennessee Health Related Boards. I’m also a verified provider for the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care (FEMHC), the Spiritual Emergence Network (SEN-USA) and am in process of becoming certified by the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE).

As for clinical experience, I’ve been working with children, adults and older adults, in one form or another, since 1997. I worked for years in psychiatry, community mental health, and addictions settings. My approach is professional but laid back, conversational, exploratory, interactive, and person-centered. This essentially means I’m interested in the individuality of people and developing a unique, emotionally-resonant partnership in the service of growth and change. In this way, the connection itself becomes the pathway to understanding the true meaning of one’s experience– as opposed to fitting people into theories and diagnostic categories, or resorting to scripted, one-size-all treatments.

My training is rooted in the theory and practice of clinical social work, family systems, contemporary psychodynamic and relational psychotherapy. I incorporate existential, attachment theory, transactional analysis (TA)/ego-state, internal family systems therapy (IFS), humanistic/transpersonal, narrative therapy, and various mind-body-soul, spiritual/recovery and mindfulness/interpersonal neurobiology-based perspectives. I realize this is Greek to most people, but I’m often I’m asked, so there it is!

Ultimately, psychotherapy is both art and science. The science provides an array of therapeutic techniques, but I believe the human connection itself is the heart of therapy. As I evolve my approach evolves, but the person of the therapist and the unique relationship formed are the primary instruments. Thus, I draw heavily on what I gain from my own personal evolution, which is a lifelong commitment to myself and you.

Do you welcome people of any ethnicity, background, and faith? Will you browbeat me with the Bible? Will you try to convince me there is (or isn’t) a God?

People from all backgrounds, cultures, and religious or spiritual persuasions are welcomed and affirmed. I aspire always toward greater competency in these areas. I don’t operate from any one faith-based perspective per se, but the common core of many of the world’s spiritual and wisdom traditions informs my view of the human experience; of suffering and the healing process in particular.

I view psychological and spiritual growth as not dissimilar, but facets that constitute the whole of who we are. Religious or spiritual problems {ex’s: loss or questioning or faith, changes in spiritual values, intensification of belief, or difficulties in extricating oneself from a religious framework or community} are all welcome in my practice.

Of particular interest to me are potentially Spiritually Transformative Experiences (STEs) and helping people through the psycho-emotional crisis/chaos states that often precede and sometimes interrupt them– states also frequently misunderstood and pathologized (labeled as mental disease) by the mainstream religious and psychiatric community. This would include problems discerning and integrating all sorts of inexplicable, anomalous or non-ordinary phenomena.

For more about this visit: SEE.

Otherwise, if you’re concerned with being bible-thumped, you’ve probably taken enough lumps already. Likewise, I’m not in the business of invalidating anyone’s faith, or lack thereof. I consider the will to question and doubt to be as sacred as anything, and often part of an evolving spiritual perspective. Whether secularist, atheist, SBNR (spiritual but not religious), devout adherent to any one tradition, or just plain confused, I aim always to understand how an individual’s worldview fits in the context of problems in living and loving. If I can help harness what serves, reconcile what doesn’t and embrace what may, I’ll do so without judgment and to the best of my ability.

 

Are you LGBTQIA… aware and affirming?

YES! The diversity of sexual orientations, identifications and lifestyles (traditional to outside the box) have always been and will always be affirmed in my practice. I don’t consider myself an authority in this area, but I’m experienced and always learning about the issues that arise from living as a sexual/relational minority in our culture. I’d be considered a “sex-positive” clinician. (Sex positivity is a philosophy which regards all consensual expressions of sexuality as healthy, encourages sexual pleasure, places an emphasis on informed consent, and advocates sex education and risk-awareness. Sex-positivity makes no moral distinctions among types of sexual expression, orientation or identification, regarding these choices as matters of personal preference. Sex positivity is affirming of the various ways sex can be pleasurable, intimate, nurturing, and adventurous between consenting individuals). 

 

What are your fees? Do you have a sliding scale? Can I pay by credit card?

The current fee for individual therapy (and consultation) is $140. (The longer initial intake is billed at $165). For those committed to keeping weekly sessions I may amend this fee, especially in cases of no insurance or out-of-network benefits. For twice weekly commitments the fee may be modified further. The group therapy fee is $50 per session, paid at the start of each month.

I offer a limited amount of pro-bono and significantly reduced fee appts. (There is sometimes a wait for these slots). Specific reduced fee arrangements are made in the course of the initial face to face evaluation only, and determining factors are 1) openings, 2) demonstrable need (financial hardship), and 3) frequency of visits. If I cannot accommodate your needs, I will help you locate a resource that can. There are several public and private income-based counseling options available in the area.

Payment is required by check or cash at the time of service. I can process credit or debit cards and can accept Pay Pal payments under certain circumstances.

 

Do you take insurance?

I am an out of network provider. You can utilize your insurance if your plan covers out of network providers. Most plans provide this coverage, after (usually a separate) deductible has been met. I can provide monthly receipts with the coding your insurance company requires for you to receive partial reimbursement (usually somewhere b/w 30% – 70%) that in most cases goes directly to you. Contact your insurer (# on the back of your card) for specific details about your out of network coverage.

Here is what to ask your insurer:

-Does my plan pay for out of network LCSW providers of behavioral health?

-How much will I be reimbursed? (What percentage?).

-Do I have a separate/additional out of network deductible to be met first? How much?

Please consider carefully the fact that insurance companies require mental health professionals to assign a psychiatric diagnosis that becomes a part of your permanent health record. There are potential risks involved. People have been denied employment, military entrance, life insurance policies and future health coverage due to having a psychiatric diagnosis and record of treatment. If your insurance is provided by your employer, they may be informed of your participation in treatment, a technical breach of confidentialityMany opt not to utilize insurance for psychotherapy for these and other reasons.

To learn more or get started now, call (615) 915-3892 or fill out the following contact form and I will be in touch with you soon:

CHRIS HANCOCK, LCSW

(615) 915-3892

5050-A Thoroughbred Ln.
Brentwood, TN 37027

Contact Me