Listed below are some of the most commonly asked questions.
Something else you wanted to ask? Please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours with an answer.
What type of clients do you see?
I work with individuals, couples, and families. I specialize in working with clients to overcome anxiety, depression, relationship issues, trauma, grief and loss, and addiction. I help couples who are struggling in their relationships, and families who want to restore balance and harmony among members.
The main criteria I look for in a client is a willingness to try, and the desire to improve one’s life.
What ages of clients do you see?
I work with teens through elderly clients. I will accept pre-adolescent clients on a case-by-case basis.
How often does therapy last, and how often do I need to come?
The length of time therapy takes varies for each client and is influenced by the presenting issues and the goals of the counseling process. I typically see clients on a weekly basis for a one hour session. For some therapy modalities, such as EMDR and DBT informed therapy, that will differ slightly. Once we feel that progress has been made or your symptoms have greatly improved, we can reduce frequency of treatment to biweekly, monthly, or as needed.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, the process will be different depending on the individual. The first session will consist of getting to know each other and some history taking. We must know where we’ve been before we can best decide where we’re going. We will decide goals for therapy based on the presenting needs and issues. I don’t offer cookie-cutter solutions to my clients and I strive to meet you where you’re at.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
While medication can be very helpful in some situations, medication alone cannot solve all issues. Psychiatrists often recommend that their patients seek regular therapy in conjunction with taking the prescribed medication. For some clients, the combination of medication and psychotherapy yields the best results.
Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
Liking your attitude! Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you start to see witness personal growth and development at an accelerated rate.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.
Do you accept my insurance?
I am a self-pay practice, meaning I do not directly accept insurance. (I’m not in a contract with any insurance companies.) If your insurance plan offers out-of-network benefits, my license, training, and education will allow you to be qualified for reimbursement if this is part of your policy. Out-of-network benefits allow you to see the provider of your choosing and you will be reimbursed a percentage of the fee–typically between 50-90%. You are responsible for payment at the time of service. I will give you an invoice (called a superbill) that you then submit to the insurance company (typically electronically) for reimbursement.
If you don’t have the time or interest in submitting the superbill to your insurance company, there are services available that handle the process for you. Better is one of these services that simplifies the process for you for a fee of 10% of the amount collected.
Why aren’t you in-network?
I don’t believe that a third-party — whose job is to minimize costs for the insurance company — should be the one dictating the mental health care of my clients.
There are also a number of privacy issues that come into play when accessing in-network mental health benefits that the general public is unaware of. One of the major pitfalls with going in-network is that a great deal of sensitive information becomes part of your file. That information can negatively impact you in areas like life or health insurance, security clearance, and even employment.
I strongly believe that both the client and the therapist should be able to choose who they wish to work with. I specialize in certain areas and want to work with clients whom I truly believe I can help. By contracting with the insurance company, I sacrifice this freedom. By choosing a therapist solely because they’re an in-network provider, you do too.
What’s the difference between and in-network and out-of-network provider?
An in-network provider is a provider who is contracted with the insurance company. The provider agrees to a negotiated rate for services and then must submit a claim to the insurance company for reimbursement. For a claim to be considered for reimbursement, the client must meet the clinical criteria for a mental disorder as listed in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). This diagnosis becomes a permanent part of the client’s record.The company also has access to a client’s progress notes and may use them to determine whether to continue to authorize treatment.
An out-of-network provider is not contracted by the insurance company. The insured may select to work with any therapist so long as the provider meets the criteria specified by the insurance company. The insured pays the therapist directly and then seeks reimbursement from the insurance company.
What are the benefits of out-of-network/ private pay?
Being out-of-network or choosing to pay privately (without insurance) helps to ensure your utmost confidentiality and privacy when working together. I do not need to release your records to any third party without your consent. However, there are differences between Out-of-Network and Private Pay. It is important to consider which option you prefer and are most comfortable with prior to beginning treatment.
If you choose to pay privately, information about the nature of your treatment and the issues discussed in sessions will remain solely between you and I.
While out of network providers do not have to submit claims to the insurance company, I am required to provide a diagnosis code on the invoice. Please note that the diagnosed mental health condition will become part of your medical record. Your file, including all sessions notes, will not be released to any third party without your consent.
Therapy seems expensive — is it worth it?
All things considered, the research on the cost-benefit analysis of psychotherapy consistently shows the costs to be quite low compared with high level of recovery rates and the larger scale costs of not seeking psychotherapy.
If the client/therapist dynamic is right, and you are willing to put in the work, the return on investment can be tremendous. I still feel so much joy and satisfaction when my clients tell me that they can’t believe changes they’ve made in such a short amount of time.
My private pay rates are competitive with the area served and the services provided. Rates take into consideration my education, training, and experience.
A licensed therapist in the state of Florida must pursue a minimum of six years of education at the college level, a one year unpaid internship, and a post-graduate internship that lasts a minimum of 2 years. Each area of specialization requires an additional investment of time and money.