How do you recommend I choose a therapist?
First, ensure that you choose a licensed mental health practitioner. You can obtain information about my license through the Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Getting a referral is often very helpful in finding a therapist. Most of my clients are referred to me through a past client or through someone else I know personally or professionally. However, many times we do not have someone to ask for a referral. In these cases, I recommend you trust your gut. Do internet searches in your area for licensed therapists. Read websites. When you find a website that you feel comfortable with and it feels right for you, then verify they are licensed and write the person’s name and information down. Once you find about 3-4 licensed clinicians that you feel comfortable with, call them or email them. Ask a few questions about their training, education, and experience. Pay attention to your feelings and thoughts when on the phone with them. Do you feel comfortable? Does he/she sound like someone who could be helpful? Research shows time and time gain that the therapeutic relationship is the most important agent for change. So, find a clinician that feels right to you.
What happens in the first session?
Prior to our first meeting, you will need to complete some basic paperwork. You can either download this paperwork or fill it out in my office waiting room. When we meet for our first session, be prepared for me to ask you a lot of questions. I will direct and take charge of the first session, so there is nothing to worry about. All that is required is that you come and try to be as open and honest as possible. The reason I direct this first appointment and ask a lot of questions is that I start my assessment on this first session. By the time you leave the first appointment, you will most likely feel much more comfortable with me and the therapy process.
What are your office hours?
I work morning, day, and evenings Monday through Friday. I can work on weekends, but my rate increases.
What kind of therapy do you do? What is your theoretical orientation?
I provide treatment that best suits my clients. I am well-versed in many theoretical orientations and interventions and believe that it is best to use treatment that best suits the client and the issues that bring a client to my office. I do not believe it is helpful to take a theoretical orientation and a few interventions and use them in every situation. I truly value the uniqueness of all of us and consider it my duty to find what will work best for my client, and not what will work best for me.
I most often work with insight therapies (psychodynamic), cognitive behavioral therapy, and many family systems therapies. I also provide outside resources to compliment therapy whenever it is clinically appropriate. I truly believe that it is important to use whatever tools and knowledge we have as mental health professionals to help our clients.
How much does therapy cost?
My rates are based upon a 50-minute session. For individual adults, my fee is $140 per session. For couples, families, and minors, as well as EMDR Sessions, my rate is $160 per session.
I also offer low fee group counseling for $60 per 90-120 minute session.
Can you bill my insurance company?
I do not provide any direct billing; however, I can provide a “superbill” upon your request, which you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement after you have paid me my fee. I recommend everyone research their mental health benefits prior to attending your first session. You will want to ask questions such as:
- Does my plan cover mental health services?
- Can I be reimbursed for services with a provider out of network?
- What is the reimbursement rate?
- Do I have a deductible that needs to be met?
- How many sessions does my plan cover?
What do I do if I want to have couples counseling, but my partner is not willing to come in?
Often both parts of a couple are not comfortable starting therapy at the same time. I always recommend if you are ready to start, but your partner is not, then come without him or her. We can always work on our relationships even when he/she is not in the therapy room. Do not stop your health and the health of your relationship just because your partner is not ready. Not to mention, I have experienced that they soon follow once he/she sees the progress and benefits you are receiving from attending sessions.
Can therapy be completely confidential, even from my family members?
The answer is yes, except for some limits of confidentiality (see “Outpatient Services Contract“). However, these are rare circumstances and I will support and respect your need for privacy.
What is EMDR?
EMDR is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy. EMDR was developed over 25 years ago by Francine Shapiro and has reliable and valid research behind it to treat many varying degrees of trauma that leaves many of us stuck. EMDR allows the therapist to assist the client in self healing. I am EMDR trained and utilize this therapy with other treatment models, as well as alone to assist many of my clients in reaching their goals.