What should I expect during the first session?
The initial intake generally lasts about 75-90 minutes. During the intake, I conduct a thorough clinical interview in order to gather more detailed information about presenting concerns and background information. The initial intake is not a typical representation of follow up weekly therapy sessions. If you are seeking therapy for your child, depending on the age of the child, I may prefer to meet with the parent(s) alone for the intake appointment. This will allow us the opportunity to discuss your concerns privately. For adolescents, I may offer the opportunity for the adolescent to participate in a portion of the intake in order to begin to establish rapport. This is typically discussed with the parent, prior to meeting for the intake.
How long are therapy sessions?
The first session is typically an intake session, which is used to gather the necessary information regarding your reasons for starting therapy for you/your child and relevant background information. The intake session is generally longer than a therapy session, ranging from 75-90 minutes. Weekly sessions can either be 45 minutes or 60 minutes in length. This can be decided together during the first phone consultation or initial intake.
What can I expect during therapy sessions?
Each therapy session is unique to individual and specified treatment goals are outlined by the individual/parent(s) and therapist. The content of sessions may vary based on your individual needs, yet I will continue to work on helping you reach your treatment goals.
How frequently are therapy sessions held?
Sessions are usually held once per week. However, frequency of sessions may vary based on each case. The frequency of sessions can be determined after further discussion during the initial intake session.
How long does therapy take?
Because each individual has different concerns and goals, there is no set time frame for therapy. The length of treatment varies based on a number of factors, including presenting problem(s), commitment and motivation to practice skills, and the nature of the treatment methods being implemented. You and I will continuously work together to best decide the length of treatment for you/your child. Therapy is a process with gradual progress that allows you to take the skills that you learn in session and apply them to your everyday life.
Does what we discuss in session remain confidential?
Confidentiality is an essential aspect of the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist. The content discussed in each session remains confidential. If you’d like me to share information or provide necessary updates (i.e. other health care providers or schools), I will ask you to provide your written informed consent, authorizing contact with you/your child’s healthcare and/or academic team. Although, as your therapist I am not authorized to share information without your consent, there are state laws and professional ethics regulations that require a therapist to breach confidentiality. These circumstances include disclosed reports of suspected or actual abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders, and if the therapist has reason to suspect that the client is at serious risk of harming self or others. You can feel free to ask more specific questions about confidentiality at any time during your therapy services.
Payment & Insurance Questions
How do I pay for sessions?
Payment is expected at the time services are rendered. I accept cash, check, or credit card. I do not currently offer a sliding scale for services.
What insurance providers are you working with?
I do not participate on any insurance panels; therefore, I am considered to be an out-of network provider. I recommend contacting your insurance provider to obtain information about your out-of-network benefits and rate of reimbursement. If you choose to use your out-of-network coverage, you will have access to your session invoices (billing statements), which you can submit to your insurance for reimbursement.
Treatment Approach Questions
What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidenced-based psychotherapy approach that utilizes a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based approaches to treat a range of psychological issues, including depression, anxiety, trauma and more. DBT focuses on using the biosocial theory to inform treatment intervention. The biosocial theory states that some people have a higher sensitivity to their emotions, are prone to have heightened intensity in their emotional reactions, and experience a slower return to baseline. DBT is a skills-based approach that allows a person to manage difficult emotions, improve impulsive behaviors, and increase positive interpersonal experiences through the use of cognitive behavioral (change-based) strategies and mindfulness (acceptance-based) strategies.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy approach that is utilized to treat a range of psychological issues, including symptoms related to depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, substance use disorders, relationship issues, and more. The effectiveness of CBT is supported by numerous research studies, indicating that CBT leads to significant improvement in emotional, behavioral, and social functioning and overall quality of life. CBT stems from the basis that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected. It highlights the notion that a person’s perceptions/thoughts influence their emotional and behavioral reactions; therefore,by modifying negative, unhealthy thinking patterns, we effectively change our feelings and behaviors.
What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is a theoretically-based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children (Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002; O’Connor & Schaefer, 1983). Play therapy allows children to use their natural method of communication and self-expression to explore their inner world, process thoughts and feelings, and build mastery and self-esteem. Play therapy helps children use a healthy way to express feelings, problem solve, and learn adaptive coping mechanisms.
What is Mindfulness?
Jon Kabbat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” In other words, mindfulness means maintaining awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, bodily and physiological sensations, and environment in the moment with a nurturing, kind, and curious manner. Research has demonstrated that mindfulness is particularly helpful with stress management and reduction, coping with anxiety, depression and behavioral challenges, increasing focus and attention, showing compassion to ourselves and others, separating thoughts from emotions, and bringing awareness to our experiences and surrounding environment, as well as improving our overall quality of life.
What is Teletherapy?
Teletherapy consists of therapy services being offered through technological modalities, such as phone or video (internet). Confidentiality guidelines are maintained through the use of a HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing platform, and you must provide your informed consent to participate in telepsychology sessions. Teletherapy provides access to effective treatment services with the convenience of remaining where the individual feels most comfortable. Teletherapy is appropriate for most people and in many cases; however, there may be circumstances when in-person therapy is preferable and recommended.