What do I need to know before going to therapy?
Think about your reasons for coming to therapy so that you and your therapist can be clear about your goals. Sometimes we don’t even know why we are coming to counseling and that is ok too, you and your therapist can explore this together. Participating in therapy requires a commitment to yourself regarding the time, money, and effort you will be expending, so be prepared to commit this time and energy to yourself and your relationships. Attending counseling on a weekly basis is highly recommended. Studies show that weekly attendance in counseling is the most effective way to create change in your life. I like to think of it in this way; it has taken you as many years as you have been alive to develop the habits and behaviors (positive and negative) in your life. Therefore, one hour every week, really is an important commitment to yourself in order to create the change you are looking for, and thus a more peaceful, and happy life. This commitment is a way of showing yourself that you are worthy of the time and commitment, it is reflective of a high sense of self worth.
How do I know if a therapist is right for me? And Is it okay to interview therapists?
Having a good relationship with your therapist is one of the most important aspects of therapy. It is important to pay attention to how comfortable you are on the phone or in the first session with any potential therapist, trust your instincts. Do you feel you can be open and honest? Do you feel that there is a natural flow of communication? Sometimes trusting your instincts or “gut” is the best way to know if you and your therapist are a good fit. Give yourself a 2-3 sessions to feel safe with your therapist before you throw in the towel. The most important quality in picking out a therapist is whether that person has done their own “work” or therapy. Hopefully any therapist that chooses this line of work has worked out their own issues before they go dabbling in yours, or things could get quite messy. Do shop around for therapists, it is important to feel like you can be yourself with your therapist and thus be honest and open. However, be cautious of getting caught up in the interviewing of therapists, as this can sometimes become a nice defense mechanism in its own right. As I keep looking for the “perfect” therapist, I may be missing out on valuable insight into my own process. Feel free to ask a potential therapist questions that concern you. If a counselor refuses to answer your questions, be very cautious. You are entitled to ask questions after all, this is your life and/or relationship we are talking about.
What if I have tried therapy before and it did not work for me?
Therapy may have not solved the problem you were intending to, yet just seeking out therapy requires a level of growth and therefore, something has been gained by that act alone. Sometimes a therapist and client are just not a good fit. Or it is possible that the timing was not right in your life, we are at different stages of commitment to ourselves and the therapeutic process or sometimes we are not ready to take a look at different aspects of our behavior when we are still sorting out our profession, education, etc., I believe it is a matter of priorities. Any experience in therapy will set you up to be that much farther along when you seek it out again.
What if my husband, wife, or teen will not come to therapy?
Relationships are a system like everything else in the world, and they are in equilibrium whether they are dysfunctional or not. And the wonderful quality of any system is that when you change any part of the system the entire system must change to find a new equilibrium. Of course it may be a little chaotic at first while the system or relationship finds its new equilibrium. In other words, if you work on your communication and your part in the relationship, the relationship has a greater chance of changing than it would if nothing were done. Sometimes, your husband, wife or teen will start to notice the change in you and want to come to therapy to see what it is all about.
Is therapy confidential?
All information discussed in therapy sessions and telephone contacts are confidential unless:
- You provide written permission to release information about your treatment
- You present a physical danger to yourself or to others
- Child abuse, elder abuse or dependent abuse is suspected
- When information is ordered by a judge in a court order pursuant to a legal proceeding
How much does therapy cost?
Fees are $150.00 per 50 minute session. For some economic situations a sliding scale is available, please inquire.
What type of payment is accepted?
I accept payment by cash, check, credit (Visa, MasterCard, Amex, and Discover) and debit cards.
What are your office hours?
My office hours are Monday through Thursday, 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Do I accept insurance?
I do not accept Health insurance for the following reason: Diagnosis and Confidentiality: If I accept insurance than I am forced to give each person in therapy a “mental disorder diagnosis” that is serious enough to justify therapy. Also, I will be writing a report every 6-8 weeks to justify your treatment, by means of explaining all of the symptoms and reasons why you are still “sick”, and are in need of continued treatment. In some cases, I may have to talk on the phone with a clerk who is not credentialed in diagnosis and treatment and they may recommend medication or additional interventions and/or treatment. Essentially this clerk may become involved in your treatment plan, even though you have never met this person. These diagnosis’ are placed in your health insurance file, and can be reviewed when applying for future insurance plans, life insurance or security clearances. I prefer not to be involved in this kind of diagnosis and treatment. Once I give you a mental disorder diagnosis than the insurance company has this on file and various employees of this company are given access to your file, and not bound by the same professional confidentiality requirements as myself. The concept of confidentiality is taken very seriously in the Counseling profession, so much so that not even a subpoena can force us to testify, we need a court order from a judge to divulge important information, however, when the insurance company is involved confidentiality is severely compromised.
With all of this being said, I am considered an out of network provider and may be covered by most PPO insurance plans. If this is something you are interested in I accept payment up front and will provide a statement for you to submit with your claim form to your insurance plan for reimbursement. I am happy to walk you through the process of submitting claims.