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 Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your consultation.

Clear your schedule. Do your best to avoid interruptions during your session time. Let others know you will be unavailable for the duration of your session time. Turn off unused devices or put them on Do Not Disturb.

Find a quiet, private location where you will not be interrupted. If you are sheltering at home with others and unable to find a private room, consider sitting in your vehicle or a secluded porch or outdoor area. Please make sure your chosen location is safe, and such that the potentially private nature of your meeting will not be easily overheard.

Never drive during your session. If you are in a vehicle make sure you are parked in a safe location.

Please do not indulge in drinking alcohol or using nonprescription mood altering drugs before your session. It's important that you are alert and focused during your session. If you are nervous, relaxation techniques can be used to help put you at ease.

Make sure your device is properly charged. If you are using a phone, tablet, or laptop computer for your session, please charge it in advance and check your internet connection if necessary. 

Gather any equipment/items you need. This could include a noise-cancelling headset, a journal/notepad and writing utensil to take notes, and water to drink. If you are using a mobile device it's helpful to have a stand so you can be hands free. An effective stand can cost as little as $1.

Eliminate distractions. Please turn off the TV, music, and other background sounds.

Set the mood. Make sure you have adequate, comfortable lighting. If you have an aromatherapy diffuser, use it with your favorite essential oils. Or use a relaxing candle or incense, but as always practice safety first. Clear your area of clutter and use a comfortable supportive chair. If you are in your vehicle adjust the seat for maximum comfort prior to the start of your session.

Be prepared. If you have questions jot them down beforehand. If you had homework assignments please be prepared with the results. The session is for you; to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life, so do what you can to get the most of of your time.


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Joanne Johnson is an independent contractor who provides services to agencies, groups and individuals seeking consultation. Specialties include Stress Management, Relocation Stress, Life Coaching, Aromatherapy, and Relaxation Training. Joanne is available to conduct groups, workshops, and provide coaching.


PRIVACY Using a coach means no paperwork has to be filed through an employer. When using insurance, clients typically have to go through an Employee Assistance Program or a school for students. If the patient has government/public insurance then you can be sure there will be records regarding services rendered. Many people prefer that their employer, school, or government not know that they are receiving mental healthcare. Using a private coach means private records that no one other than the coach and client have access to. CLIENT CENTERED VS. SYSTEM DIRECTED Insurance companies want to save money. They are not going to pay more money than they have to; consequentially they have guidelines about what they will cover. Insurance companies can direct the number of sessions, and even the content and nature of services. For example, an insurance company may say they will only pay for 7 sessions of individual therapy for clinical depression; and stipulate that the treatment moda

Why Consult Joanne

I'm qualified.    I'm a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP), with a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology. I was a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the state of Illinois from 2001 to 2009. I have been a  National Certified Counselor (NCC) since 2008. I have several years of experience counseling a variety of people in various settings including mental health clinics, hospitals, schools, health clinics, private offices, by telephone, and online. I am a certified Stress Management Specialist, and have received training as a life coach. To maintain my certification I receive ongoing education on relevant topics. I aim to do no harm. I promote natural, noninvasive methods. I'm an advocate of safe, natural, scientific,  effective treatments. Psychotropic medications have side effects, and there are safe, natural alternatives that are just as effective if not more so. Talk therapy, relaxation training, meditation, fresh air, and exercise have all been