We have to care for this suffering with extreme reverence so that, in our fear and anger at the beast, we do not overlook the star.
— Thomas Moore
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How do I choose a therapist? How do I know you are the right therapist for me?

Choosing the therapist that is right for you is very important. Research has shown that the primary predictor of success in therapy is the alliance between the therapist and client (Horvath & Bedi, 2001; Martin, Garske, & Davis, 2000). It is important that you find a therapist with whom you feel safe and comfortable sharing your private thoughts and feelings.  This type of trust takes time to build but often clients report having a "gut feeling" that they will be able to work with the therapist.  My approach is collaborative and empathic.  The work of therapy is infinitely rewarding but can also be painful and challenging at times.  It is essential that you feel comfortable working with me.  I encourage you to ask questions in our first session about what to expect and how I will approach to our work together.

What should I expect in our first session?

We will meet for 45 minutes.  The first session usually differs from later sessions.  I will want to hear what brought you to the office, what troubles you have been experiencing, and how you have been coping so far.  We will take some time to get to know one another and come up with an idea of how to proceed.  This initial evaluation process may take one or more sessions before we move into the actual therapy.

What will therapy be like?  

Psychotherapy is a different experience for each individual.  That said, there are some common processes and themes that arise.  Usually you will talk about yourself while I listen and facilitate the talking.  In the course of this self-exploration certain thoughts, feelings, and experiences in your past and present will come to light. This information will help us better understand the nature of the problems you are experiencing and their origins.  With this knowledge we can collaborate to expand your awareness of yourself and your relationships and identify strategies for change and transformation (Weiner & Bornstein, 2009).

Do you prescribe medication?  How do you feel about medication? 

I am a psychologist (not a psychiatrist) so I do not prescribe medication. I work with several psychiatrists whom I can refer you to if we determine that you are in need of medication.  Many people who seek therapy do not need medication; they find that talking and working through their problems is very helpful.  That said, some people experience symptoms of anxiety or depression that are driven by neurochemistry that cannot be changed with psychotherapy alone.  I am always willing to discuss all options available to you in order to alleviate your distress.

What are your hours?

I see clients Mondays and Fridays between the hours of 8 am and 3 pm.

Is my information kept confidential?

Yes, your information is kept in the strictest confidence. I will not disclose your information to anyone unless I have your written permission.  There are some exceptions to this, which are detailed in the Confidentiality section. 

How much do you charge? Do you take insurance?

Fees vary based on each person's financial situation.  I am not currently an in-network provider for any insurance companies.  Your insurance company likely provides out-of-network coverage and I am happy to complete the necessary forms so that you can be reimbursed.  Call your insurance company to learn more about your out-of-network mental health coverage.  I am happy to help you with the process of getting the reimbursement you deserve from your insurer.

Insurance
If you have out-of-network benefits, your insurance company will likely reimburse you for psychotherapy. This typically ranges from 50% to 90% after a deductible is met.  You should check with your insurer for the details of your particular policy and to see if pre-certification is required. I can provide you with an invoice containing the necessary information that insurance companies require to process your claim.  

Payment 

I accept cash, personal checks, credit cards, and PayPal. Payment is expected at the time of your appointment.