Frequently Asked Questions //
Q: Who will answer my phone call or email message?
A: I will personally respond to all phone calls and emails as soon as possible during the business week.
Q: What will my first appointment consist of?
A: Your first appointment will be a consultation visit lasting approximately 60 minutes. You and I will discuss the difficulties you are experiencing. At the end of the consultation I will summarize what we have discussed and propose treatment options for you.
Q: How long are subsequent sessions?
A: Each following session is 50-60 minutes long. Most patients attend sessions on a weekly basis, but others opt to attend sessions twice a month. Frequency of visits is determined by necessity and/or the request of the client.
Q: How long does my child or I stay in therapy?
A: The length of your treatment depends on the issues that you need to address. After our first meeting, I will assess and offer a suggested length for your therapy. It is worth noting that some patients report feeling better after a few sessions. As you make progress you and I can discuss the option of maintenance sessions. These can be conducted monthly or even every other month and are designed to monitor the changes and continue the growth and progress you will have made.
Q: How will I know if I'm getting better?
A: After our first session together, we will identify the goals that you would like to accomplish during therapy. We will continue to check your progress by evaluating these goals periodically. Sometimes, I may use measurements such as mood inventories that produce a score so that progress is actually measured. These are helpful when, for instance, depression is being treated and the improvement is incremental and less noticeable. Clients are then amazed at how much they have improved by looking at their answers to an inventory weeks ago, for example. When I am treating children, I will ask the parents each session in mood or behaviors, and ask them about any feedback on these areas they have received from school. Grades and Citizenship comments from teachers are tools to measure progress along with the parents’ report.
Q: Is what I share with my therapist confidential?
A: Your confidentiality is protected by the ethics of my profession and by State and Federal laws; see:www.dmh.ca.gov/Admin/regulations/confidentiality.asp All information concerning patients is held confidential and is released only through procedures consistent with the law and professional ethics. With regard to disclosures to insurance carriers, the amount of information I am required to disclose for treatment authorization and continuing care varies greatly. I strongly encourage my clients to know these details about their insurance coverage and in what health care database their records may be stored. Although I am bound by and abide the legal and ethical guidelines about confidentiality, I cannot guarantee how your insurance carrier handles that information. For more on this, see the page "Psychotherapy and Insurance"
Q: What if I think I need to be evaluated for medications or I am already prescribed medications?
A: I am licensed and trained to practice psychology, not medicine. However, I also consult with psychiatrists who prescribe medications to provide you with a medication consultation and/or continued medication management if that is indicated and desired by the client. We would discuss the reasons why I would recommend a referral for a medication evaluation and I would answer any questions or concerns you might have.
Q: I have heard that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy emphasizes homework. Can you describe what might be assigned?
A: Therapy is a process that takes place beyond our time together. It is important that you transition what you learn in therapy to your everyday life. Therefore, we will decide on homework assignments that you can work on between sessions. Homework consists of activities such as reading, keeping a structured journal of your moods, thoughts, behaviors, which results in improvement in your mood and in your relationships.
Q: Where can I go to learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or PCIT?
A: For more information on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, visit the Beck Institute’s website. For Parent Child Interaction Therapy, visit: www.pcit.phhp.ufl.edu
Q: Do you take insurance?
A: I am currently on provider panels with some insurance carriers, and, if you will be using your insurance carrier, but you should verify your coverage and co-pays before our first appointment. I can also work with insurance companies as an out-of-network provider. It is a simple process and I will be happy to help you with it. First, contact your insurance company and inquire about your mental health out-of-network benefits. Generally, insurance companies can reimburse anywhere from 50% to 100% depending on your plan and deductible. You will pay my fee upfront. Then, I will provide you with a receipt to submit to your provider for reimbursement. Please be aware that as of December 31, 2017, I will no longer be contracting with insurance carriers. Please see tab on this website "Insurance and Psychotherapy" for more information on this.