Why do people seek therapy?
People come to therapy for many reasons, such as a recent life change or on-going emotional concerns, such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, relationship issues, unresolved childhood issues, grief and loss, stress management, body image issues, or work challenges. Others come to therapy for self-exploration and personal growth.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
Therapy can be a supportive space where an individual or couple can discuss their concerns, develop ways to best manage different aspects of their lives, develop different perspectives and resolutions to their concerns and learn effective problem-solving and coping skills. They can also increase their understanding of themselves, improve their communication skills and relationships, and create healthy patterns and behaviors, while improving self-esteem.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
The initial evaluative session is one hour in duration and all on-going sessions will last 50 minutes. Clients have the option to request longer sessions. Weekly or bi-weekly sessions are typical. Some clients may benefit from more frequent visits, depending on the goals and concerns.
Between sessions it is beneficial for the client to use the time to reflect on and process what was discussed in therapy. At times, the client may be asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as suggested reading or exercises or journaling. For therapy to be the most effective the client needs to be responsible for their participation in the process, both in and outside of the therapy sessions.
How long is a therapy session?
The initial intake session is one hour in duration. This session involves completion of intake documentation and questionnaires, gathering of information regarding current and past issues and discussing potential goals. After the initial session(s), the “on-going” sessions are 50 minutes in duration. Extended sessions are available and can often be beneficial, dependent on the concern or goal.
How often will we meet?
The frequency of sessions is based on specific goals, the severity of the concerns to address and nature of the clients concerns. Weekly or bi-weekly sessions are typical. The frequency will be discussed between the therapist and client after the completion of the evaluation session.
What if I do not know what my goals are for therapy?
After initial evaluation session, the therapist and client will discuss areas of primary focus and discuss potential goals together. This process may take several sessions. It is meant to be a supportive and collaborative process, which entails determining the goals to focus on and the potential order of priority. The therapist will also share recommended treatment during this time. Throughout the therapy process we will assess goals and treatment progress.
How to choose a sex therapist:
Sex therapy is a complex and specialized field of counseling and it is essential to ascertain whether a sex therapist has appropriate credentials. In many states, someone can call himself or herself a sex therapist, but they have in fact not met the certification requirements to be a skilled sex therapist. It is important to refer to an established sex therapy organization, such as the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) or the American Academy of Sexologists. For example, the AASECT’s requirements for certification as a sex therapist include a master’s degree plus three years (1,000 hours a year) of clinical experience as a psychotherapist or a doctorate plus two years of clinical experience as a psychotherapist. The AASECT also requires a state regulator license or certificate in psychology, medicine, nursing, social work, or marriage and family therapy. Therapists thus certified must also complete at least 90 hours of training in gender-related issues, marital dynamics, psychosexual disorders, and medical factors influencing sexuality and then yearly continuation training in sex therapy. Complete requirements can be found on the AASECT website: www.aasect.org
I have never seen a counselor before, what can I expect?
The therapy setting is one of comfort, safety and privacy, with the therapist and the individual client or couple only. No others will have access to this space during the therapy session.
Therapy begins with one or two, one hour sessions, of evaluation and assessment. During the assessment sessions, we will complete intake questionnaires, gathering detailed information regarding your presenting concerns, your family history, health and medical history, relationship status, work status and discuss your concerns. We will also discuss potential goals for therapy and treatment planning at the evaluation and assessment period. Following the evaluation and assessment sessions, sessions will then be 50 minutes and will entails, discussing and exploring your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. These sessions are a place to review and practice communication skills, problem solve concerns and learn new perspectives. The frequency and duration of therapy will also be discussed. Typical session duration and frequency is one session per week for 12 sessions. However, some people seek longer term therapy.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
I am not a provider for insurance companies and I am considered an “out-of-network” provider. If you have a health insurance policy, it may provide some coverage for mental health services. However, you, not your insurance company are responsible for full payment of your counseling fees. Upon request, I will provide you with a documentation of services, called a “superbill”, which you will need to provide to your insurance company if you are seeking reimbursement. Most insurance companies will require that mental health care providers provide information to the insurance company relevant to requested appointment reimbursement, such as a clinical diagnosis, treatment plans and clinical records. While insurance companies state that information is kept confidential, I have no control over what they do with this information once it is with the insurance company. It is important for a client to understand that by going through insurance companies for financial coverage, the insurance company will then have the right to obtain information regarding the client, such as the quantity of therapy sessions, the length of session, any testing or assessment results and the nature and topic of the therapy sessions.
Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
Do I have mental health benefits?
What is my deductible and has it been met?
How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
How much do you pay for an out-of-net provider?
Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
Is primary care physician approval required?
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of the client.
However, there are number of exceptions to this rule.
Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission to ensure their safety.
How do you protect my privacy?
Confidentially is protected by state laws and includes the content of therapy and that the client is attending therapy.
Examples of ways in which therapists protect the confidentiality of their clients include:
All communications between a client and a psychotherapist will not be disclosed without written permission from the client.
The psychotherapist will receive permission form clients before leaving any information on voicemail, emails and text messages.
The psychotherapist will not acknowledge to outside parties that a client is attending therapy and when or if the client has an appointment.
The psychotherapist will not discuss the contents of therapy with a third party without the explicit permission from the client.
What if I am a high-profile person?
Although the confidentially of every client is of greatest importance and protected, some individuals feel more vulnerable to being recognized when coming to therapy. These individuals may include seen in the public eye, such as politicians, performers, doctors, etc. If this is a concern of a client, we will discuss and create processes to allow for additional privacy, such as alternative office entrance and waiting locations, as well as awareness of scheduling measures.
Do you provide sessions over the phone or via Skype?
I offer phone and Skype sessions. Phone and Skype Sessions follow the 50-minute session fee rate and scheduling processes.
What are your session fees?
$175 for Initial Assessment Session
$150 for On-going Sessions
$225 for Initial Assessment Session
$200 for On-going Couple Sessions
Documentation preparation and Assessments may require additional fees. Any fees will be discussed and confirmed before completion.
A 15-minute phone consultation available upon request at no cost
Reduced fee services are available and are based on need.
What are your hours of operation?
Monday through Friday 9 AM – 6 PM
Alternative hours and weekend appointments are based on special arrangement
What payment options are available?
Cash, check and all major credit cards accepted for payment. Payment for all sessions are due at the time of service, unless prior arrangements have been made.
What is your cancellation policy?
48-hour notice is required for canceling a scheduled appointment. You will be required to pay the full cost of the session, when notice is not provided. Emergencies are understood and certainly taken in to consideration. You may call or email the office to notify of cancelation or need for rescheduling of a booked session.
What if I see someone I know in your waiting room?
Your comfort and privacy is of top priority. My office waiting area is shared by several other companies in the building. While waiting in the lobby, there is little way of someone knowing what office another individual is waiting for. However, if there is a concern, we will discuss the concerns and make alternative arrangements to allow for additional privacy for future appointments.
Can I bring my children to a session?
Therapy sessions are a time for you and a form of self-care through time focused on you. For some, this time is the only time that feels truly dedicated to themselves. Although it is not uncommon for a client to bring their infant or toddler to a session, please evaluate if you feel comfortable and able to focus on yourself while the child is present. Check in with yourself to confirm if you are comfortable with the child having access to what is being discussed and if their attendance will be a distraction to you, interferring with your progress. Remember that therapy is a time for your self-care and self-betterment and when we take care of and better ourselves we are better for those we love. Older children (able to be responsible for themselves during the duration of the session, are welcome to come to the office and wait in the lobby area.
Do I come alone or with my partner to the first session?
For couple’s therapy, if possible, it is best for both partners to attend the first session together. The initial evaluative session is a time of gathering of information regarding current and past issues from both partners and discussing potential goals as a couple.
What if my partner refuses to come to therapy?
If a partner refuses to come to therapy, the first step may be to try talking to your partner, sharing your feelings and asking them to explain their hesitation or concerns about going to therapy together. Once you understand their concerns discuss possible resolutions. You may feel let down by your partner, but pressuring a partner to attend couple’s therapy may make things even more difficult. If your partner still refuses to come to therapy after discussing, the individual partner can still attend and benefit from individual therapy. It is important to understand that when we work on ourselves, even without our partner, and talk through our life concerns, including our relationship concerns, it can be a powerful step towards growth and well-being. As you begin to make changes and experience improvements, your partner may also change and may be curious about therapy for themselves.
What makes therapy successful?
A positive therapeutic relationship between the client and therapist is of the utmost importance for therapy to be successful. The client must be willing to consistently attend scheduled sessions and actively participate in the counseling processes. It is beneficial for the client to openly share their concerns and complete any requested treatment processes.