Frequently Asked Questions
Why see a psychologist when I can just talk to a friend?
The simple answer is that with a friendship, there is an expected give and take, where you are expected to be there and hold your friend’s pain if you expect them to be there for you in a similar manner. With your psychologist, the time we spend together is all about you. You will never be expected to sit with me in my emotions, listen to how your problems relate to mine, or “return the favor”.
The obvious addendum to this is that psychologists have years of specialized training, giving us the ability to conceptualize your problems from multiple perspectives and provide an endless list of skills and insights for getting well again. We assess and diagnose, and work collaboratively with health care providers to include options such as adding medication or specialized treatment if necessary.
Why see a psychologist when I can just take medication?
Medication can only treat your brain chemistry for as long as you are taking it. Therapy, on the other hand, has the power to make long lasting changes in your brain that will remain long after you have terminated therapy. Whether working in conjunction with medication or on its own, therapy can help you: address problematic patterns in thinking, change your behaviors in relationships, help you make changes in your environment, identify what has been getting in the way of you achieving your goals, learn to cope with your emotions, learn skills for improved communication, and much more.
How can I trust that you will keep my information private?
Psychologists are bound by state and national licensing ethics codes which prevent us from sharing, selling or otherwise disclosing any information about the clients we see with anyone you have not specifically given written permission for us to share with. The law protects the relationship between a client and therapist, with the following exceptions:
- If a client intends to seriously harm him/herself or commit suicide, I will make every effort to enlist your cooperation in ensuring your safety. However, if I am unable to keep you safe, I am legally and ethically bound to take further measures to ensure your safety, without your permission.
- A client threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The police and intended victim must be notified immediately.
- Suspected abuse of a child, elderly or disabled person, for which I am required by law to report to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If my records are ever subpoenaed by a judge, I will be required by law to release them.
- If I consult with my colleagues, no identifying client information will be used.
What can I expect at my first therapy visit?
Upon entering the waiting room, I will greet you personally and take a copy of your insurance card, if you are using insurance. You will be expected to pay for your session up front in the form of cash, check, credit card or Venmo. I will make photocopies of some of your initial paperwork and return some of it to you. We will meet for 50-55 minutes while you share with me why you are seeking help and what your goals for therapy are. I will gather a brief history of the problem you are presenting and if applicable will determine a diagnosis, which I will share with you. We will make a plan for regularity of future appointments and if we decide that a referral is necessary, I will provide one at that time.
How often will you see me?
I like to begin therapy by seeing clients once a week at a minimum. Eventually when we have made some initial headway, we may decide together to move to an every other week schedule, or something with less frequency.
How long will therapy take?
Sessions are 50-55 minutes, which is the industry standard. Most people find that in order to find therapy useful, coming for at least 8-10 sessions is necessary. Some people come to therapy for a year or two or longer, while others come for a few months, and return as needed for follow-up visits at different points in their life.
Will my insurance cover therapy?
I do not accept insurance directly, but I am happy to help you look into out-of-network benefits through your insurance provider. Many companies will reimburse you a percentage of the cost of therapy when you submit a receipt.
What is your cancellation policy?
Appointments must be cancelled within 24 hours prior to the scheduled appointment time. The fee for a late cancellation or no-show is the same cost as one session of therapy. Insurance companies do not reimburse for missed appointments.