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). The work of therapy is infinitely rewarding but can also be painful and challenging at times. 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, empathic, and warm...but I will not talk much about myself. This is your time...the space and time during the week when you do not need to take care of someone else or meet their expectations.
What should I expect in our first session?
Individual sessions are 45 minutes. The first session usually differs from later sessions. In the beginning I will want to hear what has brought you to the office, what troubles you have been experiencing, and how you have been coping so far. If it is your child or adolescent who is in need of treatment, I will ask you questions about their history and current difficulties. I will take some time to get to know you so we can develop an idea of how to proceed.
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 me 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). Therapy with adults focuses mainly on talking together. When I work with children we often play in the office while we talk. Play is the primary language of childhood and most children and adolescents find it easier to connect with a therapist while playing.
Do you prescribe medication?
I am a licensed psychologist. I am not a psychiatrist so I do not prescribe medication. I work with several psychiatrists whom I can refer you to if needed. Many people who seek therapy do not need medication; they find that talking and working through their problems is helpful enough. And others benefit from a combination of therapy and medication. We can discuss these options when we meet.
Is my information kept confidential?
Yes, your information is kept in the strictest confidence. Your information will not be disclosed 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?
I accept Empire BCBS insurance. I do not participate in any other insurance networks, but your insurance company likely provides out-of-network coverage. Fees range from $150-250 depending on your financial situation and level of coverage. Call your insurance company to learn more about your out-of-network mental health coverage. 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. I will give you an invoice each month containing all the information that insurance companies require to process your claim.
Payment is expected at each session. You may pay by Venmo, cash, personal check, or credit card ($5 fee for CC).
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