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  • Frequently Asked Questions

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    Where do I start with looking into therapy and what should I do?

    You’re making a pretty great step just by being here! I know that navigating finding a therapist who is a good fit for you can be a daunting task. The best thing you can do is start by thinking about the kind of work you want to do and find a therapist who is knowledgeable in those areas, such as anxiety, depression and mood disorders, relationships, trauma, or addictions.

    The next step is reaching out. I like to schedule a 15 minute phone call to learn a bit about what is bringing someone into therapy at this time, to provide some information about myself, as well as to give prospective clients a chance to ask me any questions. The most important thing is finding someone whose therapeutic style matches you and with whom you feel comfortable and affirmed. There’s no wrong way to begin.

    What are therapy sessions like?

    Therapy will be personalized to your goals and so it’s difficult to give an exact answer here, but overall, sessions will be focused on your individual goals. The first few sessions may feel more directive, as I learn about you, your history, and you intentions, but as we progress together, you will find my style tends to be more open and non-directive. I don’t want to force the treatment, but rather hold space for you to guide where we work.

    How long is a session and how often would I have an appointment?

    Sessions are typically anywhere from 45 to 55 minutes, depending upon the work being done in session that day. With most of my clients, I see them either weekly or every other week, depending on a number of factors, such as the intensity of work being done, how long they have been in therapy with me, or for some, what feels most comfortable financially.

    How long will I be in therapy for?

    I swear my answer to every question in this section won’t be “It depends on you,” but my answer to this question definitely is. I have had clients who see me for a few weeks or months and find that they’re feeling better, so they discontinue therapy. I have also worked with some clients for years as they find regular therapy to be helpful and supportive to them. There’s no wrong answer and that’s something we can plan for and discuss during your consultation.

    What will therapy do for me?

    Therapy will help you to gain insight and understanding into the feelings or behaviors that are bringing you to session. Therapy will normalize your experience so that you know that you are not alone. Therapy will help you build skills that you can use to feel less overwhelmed or out of control when feelings like trauma or anxiety present for you. Most importantly, therapy is a place for you to come, without judgement, and talk to someone who can validate, understand, and help you feel better sooner.

    I know what I say is confidential, but what does that really mean?

    This a really important question because confidentiality is a big part of therapy. So part of my commitment to the services I provide is that you can feel safe with sharing and telling me things in therapy and knowing that I won’t share them with anyone. If you want me to talk to someone, such as another doctor or family member, you would need to sign a consent that states exactly what I’m allowed to say. All of this is in place so that you can feel safe coming into therapy.

    There are some limitations to confidentiality, which are also really good to talk about. If you tell me that you have intentions of hurting yourself or someone else or if you tell me about any abuse or neglect of someone who is vulnerable (such as children, the elderly, or someone who is disabled), then confidentiality may be broken for safety reasons. In these rare situations, however, I usually encourage someone to reach out to appropriate resources and report for themselves. These situations are very rare and if you have questions about this, please reach out to me. I have worked with a number of clients who have experienced thoughts about suicide and I don’t want you to fear that you will be hospitalized as soon as it is mentioned.

    What happens if I have thoughts about suicide or talk about it with you?

    I know it can be scary to talk about suicide or thoughts about hurting yourself to someone else. I want to be able to give you one answer for how we address it, but it’s not that simple. I’ve worked with many clients who have experienced thoughts about suicide and together we were able to develop a safety plan around those thoughts while we treated the underlying cause of them. I think it’s really important to have a space where you know you can talk about it and the first response won’t be hospitalization.

    If someone tells me that they think they are a risk to themselves and they’re not able to identify any safety plan that they believe will help them, then we discuss how to make sure they are safe and not a harm to themselves. However, I encourage clients to have agency in that decision if more support may be necessary. If you have questions about what these situations would look like and how we would navigate it, I encourage you to reach out to me.

    Will you prescribe me medication? Shouldn’t I just take medication rather than doing therapy?

    I cannot prescribe you medication and in the state of Pennsylvania, only a physician, a psychiatrist, or a nurse practitioner would be able to do so. I don’t believe that medication is an “either/or” situation where therapy is concerned and often the combination of therapy and medication has proven to be the most helpful for people. If you believe that you would benefit from medication and don’t know where to start, I can offer referrals to prescribing professionals in the area. I can also collaborate with a prescriber in order to best support your care.

    Do you take insurance?

    I don’t accept insurance, but your insurance may accept me. What I mean by that is I am not paneled with any insurance providers, which means that my services can not be billed as “in network” for any healthcare insurance. Many of the clients who I work with can still use health insurance benefits on an out-of-network basis. This means that clients who receive therapy from me will pay my rates and at the end of the month, will receive a document called a superbill, which they can submit to their insurance and be reimbursed for the services (for most insurance companies it can be anywhere from 40% to 80%).

    Out-of-network benefits will depend upon your policy coverage. There may be a deductible that you have to meet prior to reimbursement, the same as in-network benefits. The best way to get this information is to call the number on the back of your insurance card and ask about your mental health benefits.

    What are your rates?

    My fee is $175 per session and my rate is the same for an initial evaluation, individual, or couples session. I offer sliding scale to for a limited number of cases, which is determined based on income. The number of sliding scale slots available is based on how many clients I have who have need of them, but I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions.

    I ask that payment be made at the time of services and further details can be found at the link here: Rates & Insurance

    I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

    What I can recommend is to commit yourself to the process and to healing. This means that you have regularly scheduled appointments, we develop a plan that you follow through with between sessions, and you genuinely explore in session how the work is impacting you. I point out to clients that therapy is one hour every week or every two weeks, the real change will be applying what you learn in the time between sessions. I also encourage you to give me feedback on what you find helpful, or even not helpful so that I can best help you. You will find that you are feeling better quicker than you thought you would!