Person on bench

 

Where is your office?

5050-A Thoroughbred Lane is a tree-lined private street on the Davidson County edge of Maryland Farms in Brentwood (37027). Parallel to Old Hickory Blvd, it’s 5 min from the Berry Hill area. [Fear not Williamson-wary Nashvilians. It is Brentwood, but you’ll never leave Davidson]

My office is also virtually available, virtually anywhere, via HIPAA Compliant Secure Video “Teletherapy.” (Contact me to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this modality if interested).

Directions: 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?

FREE 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

 

How long does therapy last?

Therapy generally lasts as long as you feel you need it, and/or as long as you’re benefiting. I’m able and willing to work on a short (consultation or brief therapy) or long term (in-depth) basis. When to stop 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. Psychotherapy is a free will enterprise (if not, it’s something other than psychotherapy!) and you have self determination, always.

 

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.).

 

How does a session with you even start?

Therapy sessions start with your thoughts and feelings, just about every time. Rather than begin with an agenda of my own, I strive to meet you right where you are with an open-hearted, intentionally receptive “Zen mind-beginners mind” type of presence. I consider myself a proactively interactive therapist. This means not deciding for you what to work on, what you “should do”, “should” feel, etc, nor passively sitting there saying “um hmm” over and over and offering little else. It means an intentionally engaged, cooperative and invested interest in what you need to address while staying attuned to where the process itself seems to want us to go. All the while doing my best to bring relief, connect dots, teach skills, and foster greater self-understanding, self-acceptance, self-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?

Yes and no. I’m not a marriage and family therapist, so, no, not in the *traditional sense. Spouses/partners (as well as family members and close friends) are always welcome to join a session upon client request, and I sometimes ask to include spouses/partners when I need a partner’s perspective, or to explore a specific issue/impasse that would be best addressed all together. (And doing so frequently renders couples therapy unnecessary). But my focus is primarily individual therapy, both because it’s what I’m trained in and do best, and because I feel it’s the most effective way to address problematic patterns in living; to heal, grow and change– and that includes those that occur within intimate bonds. 

*IF YOU’RE NEEDING HELP WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP, HERE’S WHY YOU MAY WANT TO WORK WITH ME ON IT INDIVIDUALLY:  In general, conjoint couples/marital therapy has notoriously low success rates. It appears to be most effective for the rather rare couple that 1) are both equally and highly motivated to work hard on the relationship, 2) present early in the stage of difficulties for help, 3) both have high emotional intelligence, and 4) whose problems are not deeply rooted in early childhood wounding/dysfunctional patterning. It also appears to be more effective when one or especially both partners have or are engaged in depth-oriented individual therapy. For everyone else, not so much.

The good news is, one person {the more motivated half, probably you} can absolutely improve, change, save– or, alternately, find the courage to leave– a relationship on their own. I see it happen all the time. I repeat: You can change your relationship on your own. Oftentimes, in the wake of a partner or spouse’s ambivalence/resistance to change, the only way anything will change is by one person daring to seek it for themselves. By thoroughly understanding our own feelings, triggers, perceptions, responses, boundaries and true needs– and developing the emotional intelligence, esteem, language and posture to appropriately assert them, a new skill set rooted in increased clarity and self-regard often emerges. Such changes can significantly alter the functioning and fate of even the most derailed partnership. Further, getting down to business on our own conscious and unconscious contribution to the unwanted patterns leads to adjustments (both conscious and unconscious) in our part of the equation. One then begins effecting change in the dynamic with consistent application (which I can help you achieve). This establishes a new norm. Then, let’s face it, something has to give, one way or another. In the best case, your change and all you’ve accomplished inspires your partner to seek healing themselves. The relationship then begins to reflect the new energy of two healthier, healing individuals. If you’re interested in working with me individually alone, or while also doing couples, I would be glad to see you and provide you a referral for adjunct couples work, if desired.

 

What about degree, training, experience, style/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).

I’ve been working with children, adults and older adults, in individual, group and family formats, since 1998. I spent several 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 solutions.

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 therapy, narrative therapy, Jungian psychology, solution-focused 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 real heart of therapy. As I evolve my approach evolves, but the person of the therapist and the unique relationship formed are the primary instruments. Research-based evidence is also clear that the therapeutic relationship predicts therapy outcomes. Thus, I draw heavily on what I gain from my own personal relational therapeutic evolution, which is a lifelong commitment to myself and you. Overall, my style works best with those who are ready to take responsibility for their feelings, healing, and personal and professional growth; who aspire to become their own best friends and advocates; who appreciate open, respectful, and honest communication; who take risks within the boundaries of a trusting relationship; and who are comfortable with my integrative, largely relational and intuitive approach– one that sees triggers and symptoms not as pathology, but sign posts for deeper self exploration.

 

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? Can I pay by credit card? Do you offer sliding scale?

My current fee for individual therapy (and clinical consultation) is $140. (The longer initial intake is billed at $165). For those committed to keeping weekly sessions I may amend this fee, such as in cases of no out-of-network benefits. For twice weekly commitments the fee may be modified further. I do offer limited low fee slots, though they are frequently booked, so there’s often a wait for an opening. There are several low cost, reduced fee and privately subsidized mental health treatment options in the greater Nashville area. I am happy to point you to them if this is what your circumstances necessitate.

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 coverage.

Here is what to ask your insurer:

-Does my plan cover Out of Network LCSW providers of outpatient 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