Answers to Common Questions
Here is a listing of common questions my clients have asked and answers to them. If you have questions that are not addressed here, please feel free to call me so we can discuss them.
Psychotherapy can be a difficult process to understand if you have never been in it before. I’m here to answer your questions so you can start from a well-informed place.
Inform yourself and also trust your gut! Read over my site if you are uncertain as to whether my approach is right for you, and feel free to contact me with further questions if you’re uncertain. Usually when people speak with me, they can get a sense of whether my background and style are a good fit for them or not. I will do a brief assessment before we meet, usually by phone, in which I will determine whether the issue(s) you wish to address in therapy are within my domain of practice, and will answer any questions that you may have about how I work or what therapy will be like, especially if you’ve never been in therapy before. If I determine that your needs would be better addressed elsewhere, I will give you a sense of how to proceed from there.
Additionally, we can meet for a consultation session if you remain undecided but interested- there’s no further commitment if you decide that it’s not for you.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is oriented towards being time-limited and yet flexible. That means that some treatments are as brief as one session, many last for a half dozen to twenty or so, and sometimes due to need or preference, people come for a considerably longer span of time. Many clinical trials lasting from 10 to 20 sessions have been shown effective for problems such as anxiety and mood disorders if individuals are willing to work on skills outside of sessions, though I never demand it- it’s your choice.
You’ll come for the length of time you decide to participate in it; I will not make that decision for you, though of course I’m willing to offer my perspective if you want it. No one else but you can determine how much improvement you want to see from therapy, or whether you’re still getting what you want out of it, and so it’s entirely up to you.
As a cognitive-behavioral therapist I emphasize treatment flexibility, and that includes scheduling. Although most individuals begin with sessions once per week, my approach is flexible and can accommodate you if you have a busy schedule or other difficulties doing so. Over time, many people find a different frequency or pattern that works for them; it’s up to you. If my schedule permits, I can also fit you in at a different time of day or a different day of the week when necessary. Meeting at a regular or semi-regular time helps to protect your therapy time and contributes to a working rhythm, but given our busy lives and multiple commitments, that’s not always possible. I understand this and within reason will do what I can to accommodate your needs and preferences.
The short answer is no, it’s totally your choice- but it is recommended if you want to get better faster. A great deal of clinical research and experience suggest that when people learn and practice new coping skills outside of therapy sessions, they
- make quicker progress toward their goals
- are more likely to reach them
- are more likely to make further progress after therapy is over, and
- are more likely to maintain their gains from treatment.
Efforts outside of sessions typically include reading material targeted to problems, ‘cognitive interventions,’ and learning and practicing new behavioral skills. However, how often, how much or even whether you want to do ‘therapy homework’ at all is ultimately up to you. You are in control! I appreciate that busy lives, personal preference, or other issues can affect a person’s response. While I’ve found that therapy homework is almost always useful for individuals, I wouldn’t want to attend a therapy in which I might be anxious about ‘being ready’ for sessions, and so I will not make yours dependent upon what you’ve done since our last meeting. It’s up to you.
Typically, as people improve in therapy they experience more clarity about their lives, more confidence in their ability to cope with it, and more hope for their future. They report greater calm or peace, improvements in mood, and more connection with themselves and others around them.
I trust the people with whom I work to decide how much therapy they want and when they’re ready to stop. I’m not of the opinion that the therapist knows best- I believe that for yourself, you do. I’m here to serve you, not to make your choices for you. If you are uncertain or in doubt as to when you’re ready to leave, we’ll discuss the matter so that you can make an informed choice. Also, the door is not closed for future sessions, so that if you decide there’s some more work to be done, you’re always welcome to return and complete it.
Absolutely. Often, individuals who work with me and depart therapy upon feeling satisfied with their progress will return at a future date to get a ‘tune-up’ if they feel that it’s needed, or to address a new problem if one emerges. Having seen the power of CBT to help them in a flexible manner, they’re eager to benefit from the approach again.
SESSION FEES AND INSURANCE
My session fee is $200. Payment is required at the time of service.
Yes. I accept multiple forms of payment, including most credit cards. If you intend to pay by credit card, please inform me before we begin so that I can verify that my processor will allow me to accept that card.
At this time I am an in-network Medicare provider, but not in any other insurance networks. If your plan (such as a Preferred Provider Option, or PPO) allows you to get reimbursement for services provided outside of your network, then you should be able to get coverage for our sessions, but please contact your insurance company if you have any uncertainty regarding the conditions for that reimbursement or the amount of coverage you may get. I provide itemized statements to those who request them for insurance purposes, and can often help individuals to resolve simple reimbursement issues.
In many cases, individuals will see me out-of-pocket because they are interested in my particular experience and approach, frustrated by their in-network options, or concerned about confidentiality in regards to their employment. Often a short-term treatment or less-frequently scheduled sessions can help you to address the expense of out-of-pocket payment for therapy. Please feel free to call me to discuss your options if you are uncertain about them.
Due to multiple factors, including the preparation that I do for our sessions, and the fact that when one is scheduled it may prevent someone else from meeting with me at that time, sessions cancelled fewer than 24 hours or one business day before our scheduled meeting will be charged the full fee for them. Occasionally, instances will arise in which a missed session is unpreventable, due to illness, severe weather, or other factors. I understand this and at my discretion can make accommodations at these times. If you have any uncertainties or questions about this policy, please feel free to discuss them with me.
Do you need to take action but are not sure how?
I invite you to contact me for a free phone consultation to see if CBT would be a good fit for you.