Frequently asked questions

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

• Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
• Developing skills for improving your relationships
• Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
• Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
• Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
• Improving communications and listening skills
• Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
• Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Do I really need therapy? I usually handle my problems.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

Why do people go to therapy and how do I know it's right for me?

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.

What is therapy like?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.
Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.

It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:

* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.

What are your rates?

Individual Session - $150 for 50 minutes Individual EMDR Session $175/50 minutes or $200/90 minutes Couples Session - $200/60 minutes or $250/90 minutes Out of network benefit plans accepted (please inquire for more information)

I want to use my out-of-network benefits. What do I need to ask my insurance company?

Do I have out-of-network benefits? Is there an annual deductible that needs to be met and when does that deductible amount reset? (This is the amount that you have to pay out of pocket before insurance starts paying) What is my coinsurance after my deductible is met? (This is the percentage of the full session fee that you are responsible for per session) What is the allowed amount per session? This is the maximum amount your insurance company will cover per session. For example, if the allowed amount is $130 then you are responsible for the coinsurance (%) and the amount that is not covered ($150 - $130 = $20) Is there a limit on how many sessions I'm allowed a year? Example: $500 deductible - pay this amount out of pocket first 30% coinsurance - after deductible is paid, you will pay 30% of the full session cost Allowed amount - if insurance only covers a max of $130 per session you need to pay the difference ($150 - $130 = $20) in addition to your coinsurance (30% x $150 = $45). Your total will be $65 per session

What do I need to know about using insurance?

You would be given a diagnosis Insurance companies only pay for things that are “medically necessary.” This means that you would be diagnosed with a mental health disorder AND prove that it is impacting your health on a day-to-day basis. Many of life’s problems are not mental health disorders. Examples of diagnoses: Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, etc. What having a diagnosis means If you get diagnosed with something, you should be able to decide who gets access to that info and why. You lose control of that information when it is in your file being faxed to anyone in the health care industry who ever requires access to it. A diagnosis says nothing about how you cope, what your strengths are, and which of the many symptoms you actually have. But a diagnosis will speak for you and may negatively impact your eligibility for things. This diagnosis can follow you around in school, on to college, and be a barrier to doing certain things such as working with the Air Force or military, landing federal jobs, security clearances, aviation, and any other jobs requiring health-care related checks (many schools and healthcare institutions are now instigating these policies to screen out employees who may be unstable or cost too much money in mental health care and lost work days). Confidentiality is not guaranteed Using your insurance as payment would mean that your therapist would have to pass over your file to the insurance company whenever they want to see it so technically there is no confidentiality. When a bill is submitted to the insurance company, many people have access to all the information provided on that bill: the processor, case managers, peer reviewers and customer service representatives. This may not affect you in the short-run; however, if you ever decide to apply for life insurance, all medical records can be requested and this include mental health records.

What is your cancellation policy?

We require 24-hour advanced notification on all cancellations. Clients who do not meet this criteria when canceling will be responsible for paying the full session fee. This is still the case even if you normally use insurance. Please do not come in if you have had a fever within the last 24 hours, have been vomiting and/or contagious.

What insurance plans do you take?

I am in network with Cigna, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield (Empire, Highmark, Capital).