frequently asked questions

Is therapy going to help me?


I'm willing to try if you are. Decades of research and studies show that therapy can be helpful for people experiencing a variety of issues. The people that do best in therapy are those that understand that it is a process and not a "quick fix". It takes a little time to develop a trusting relationship with your therapist and develop a specialized plan that will work for you. Not everyone is ready to do "the work" that is required for therapy to be successful. If you are serious about making changes in your life, then I believe it is worth taking that first step and making an appointment.




Do you take insurance?


I currently am enrolled with United Healthcare (Optum), Anthem BlueCross/BlueShield, Cigna Aetna and Medicaid (straight Title-19). I have new contracts pending with a few others insurers. I also see many patients on a self-pay basis. I understand that the cost of services be a barrier for some people, but believe everyone should have access to mental healthcare. I do see a specific number of uninsured patients on a sliding scale basis. Please contact me directly to ask about these rates. I am able to be billed as an out of network provider, if I am not in your insurance network, and can provide you with documentation needed to submit a claim. While I will contact your insurance carrier to verify coverage for services, it is your responsibility as a client to be aware of how your insurer covers therapy and what your financial responsibility may be.




How do I schedule an appointment?


You can contact me directly through the website to set up your initial appointment. I will get back to you within 48 hours. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please do not leave me a message because I will not be able to respond immediately. For new patients, please leave me your full name and the best phone number to be reached at. I am happy to announce I am offering in person sessions again at my new location. Due to the Covid-19 public health emergency, precautions will followed to ensure the safety of clients and myself. Masks are required in the reception area and will be required during session until further notice. Please do not schedule an appointment if you have recently been exposed to Covid-19, have recently tested positive or have any symptoms that could be Covid-19 related (cough, cold, fever, flu symptoms, loss of smell, etc.)




What is your availability?


I offer sessions weekday evenings, all day on Fridays and have select hours available during the weekend. For patients receiving services via telehealth, I am able to be more flexible with scheduling.




How does teletherapy work? Is it effective?


I currently offer services through a secure, HIPAA approved web provider, TherapyNotes. Any patient with access to an internet connection and a device with a camera and microphone (most tablets, laptops and smartphones) can easily access this site. Sessions are scheduled the same as an in-person appointment and will be the same duration. For new patients, I can assist in walking you through the sign-up process after scheduling your first session. Most patients that I have seen exclusively in-person say that they like the convenience of doing sessions virtually. Studies show a high-satisfaction rate for patients using teletherapy and show that outcomes are similar to or equal to treatment outcomes for most patients seeing their therapists in person. Teletherapy is not for everyone. I do review limitations with new patients to clarify if theletherapy may not be right for you. Teletherapy sessions should be treated the same as any appointment made with a provider.
I do ask that you be in a private location and prepared to focus on our session when we meet. I will review expectations for participating in therapy sessions when we discuss scheduling.




What happens in therapy?


What happens in ongoing sessions can vary greatly because everyone's needs are so different. The initial session is an opportunity for us to get to know each other and see if we seem like a good match to work together. I will review all required paperwork at your first seession, review your personal history, assess general goals and make a general recommendation for what sort of approach will be best for you. This session is generally 60 minutes. Follow up sessions are generally 45 minutes. Usually we start with a check-in and then start processing and discussing issues related to your goals. A number of things can happen in sessions. Often we spend time exploring where a client feels the most "stuck" and determining what barriers exist in achieving their goals. In addition to discussing aspects of current issues, I provide education on psychological issues, teach useful skills and guide clients towards identifying solutions. Therapy can be a great time to vent to a neutral third party, but I also want to make sure we are also spending time focusing on creating change and moving towards our goals I recognize that it can be scary or uncomfortable confronting issues and concerns that you may have been struggling with for a while. My first priority is ensuring that you feel safe during sessions. We will work together to decide when is the right time to discuss more difficult or sensitive issues. At the end of each session, you will be given feedback and recommendations. Most of the change that happens during therapy treatment occurs in-between sessions, so it is important that you always feel you have a good idea what you should be focusing on in between sessions.




Is what I tell you private?


Of course! Licensed therapists are required by law to follow the federal healthcare privacy guidelines (HIPAA) that state how your information may be used. I review this privacy policy with all new clients. I cannot contact anyone regarding information you share with me, without obtaining a signed release of information. There are limits to confidentialty that all therapists are required to discuss with clients. We are required by law to notify authorities in cases where minors are being abused or when a client states they have a plan to harm themelves or someone else. Other than that, it is all between you and me. Teletherapy falls under these guidelines, too. The service I use is secure and meets HIPAA requirements for privacy. In order to protect your privacy, I ask that clients do not discuss treatment issues with me in voicemails, texts or e-mails, as these forms of communication are not 100% secure.




Do you prescribe medication?


No. Only psychiatrists and doctors are able to prescribe medication related to mental health issues. I have a lot of experience coordinating care with psychiatrists and doctors that are prescribing. While I cannot make any recommendations about medication, I can help you communicate any concerns you are having and provide general education about medication. It is always your choice to decide if you want to consider medication as part of your treatment.




Can you help me with a letter or form I need filled out?


If you are being referred to me for an immigration-related issue, I am happy to talk to you about how I may help in writing a report for you. I do not do disability determinations or write letters for people wanting emotional support animals.