Friends and family can be excellent people to talk with; however, because they are involved in your life, they may have strong reactions to what you talk about or be personally invested in the outcome of some of your decisions. My primary concern, as a therapist, is to help you clarify what you are thinking and feeling so that you can make informed choices about your life. Because we do not have a relationship outside of the therapy room, you may find it easier to talk with me about issues that feel “off-limits” or too hard to discuss in other contexts.
Absolutely not. Many people feel “crazy” or overwhelmed at certain times in their lives and the awareness that you need help working through something is a sign of strength. While asking for assistance may not be easy, or perhaps culturally sanctioned, it’s important to remember that everyone struggles in some aspects of their life.
The “fit” between client and therapist is the most important and therapeutic part of the relationship. It is vital that your therapist “get” you and that you feel comfortable sharing what you think and feel. It takes time to build a therapy relationship and the trust level between client and clinician should deepen over time.
In our first session, you will have the opportunity to talk about the issues you are struggling with and what your goals are for treatment. If you are unclear on both or either of these, that is fine—part of our work would be to learn what you would like to change. I will ask you questions to clarify my understanding of your problems, strengths, and current life circumstances. At the end of the meeting, we will come to a consensus on the next steps for our work together and decide whether or not we should proceed.
What you talk about in therapy will not be disclosed to anyone, unless you request that I do so. There are, however, a few additional exceptions to this rule, including: if you are at imminent risk for harming yourself or someone else, if you are unable to care for yourself, if I need to report child or elder abuse or neglect, or if I am responding to a subpoena. Other than these relatively rare exceptions, even if someone close to you contacts me to discuss our work, I will refuse to do so without your permission. The other caveat is that if I am a participant on your insurance panel, after each time we meet, I will need to submit a diagnosis to the insurance company so that I will be paid. I am happy to discuss the diagnosis that I will provide them. It is also possible that your insurance company will request clinical information in order to authorize additional sessions.
It depends. Every person and situation is unique and change usually takes time. As a general rule, the more complex the issues are, the longer it will take to “feel better”. At our initial meeting, I will tell you the frequency of meetings that will be optimal to reach your goals. If any therapist tells you that they can guarantee “results” in a given amount of time, I’d recommend leaving their office.
I am an in-network provider for United Healthcare, Oscar, and Oxford. I am not a provider for any United Medicare or Medicaid plans. For all other insurance plans, I will be an out-of-network provider. Prior to our first meeting, please call the number on the back of your insurance card (or look on the insurance carrier’s website) to find out what your benefits are.
Am I required to see an in-network provider or will I be reimbursed for seeing an out-of network provider?
What process do I follow to utilize my out-of-network benefits?
What is my co-payment (dollar amount) or co-insurance (percentage owed) per session?
Do I have an in-network or out-of-network deductible that I must meet before my benefit begins? The deductible is the amount of money that a person must spend, out-of-pocket, before the insurance company will pay for services.
Am I covered only for individual therapy or also for Couples/Family therapy?
The benefit of seeing an in-network provider is that you will likely minimize your costs. Copayments for working with a network clinician are lower than the out-of-pocket costs for treatment with an out-of-network clinician. While costs are higher when you see someone out-of-network, you are able to choose the therapist who is the best fit for you. In addition, an out-of-network therapist is less likely to have to reveal your personal information to your insurance company. When working with an in-network therapist, your insurance company may request a “clinical review” to decide whether or not you require additional treatment. At that time, I (or any other in-network clinician) would need to reveal some information about our work together so that an insurance carrier can determine the necessity of further treatment.