Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect from therapy?
Therapy starts with an “intake” session. In this first meeting you will be asked what brought you in and your goals for therapy. The limits of confidentiality and office policies will be discussed, and the therapist will invite you to ask questions related to experience, working style, and general background. The next several sessions will be exploring the events and emotions that are causing you to feel stuck, distressed, or traumatized. During this time you may be asked to complete rating scales or participate in other less structured assessments. This may be story-telling, art exploration, sand tray or other expressive assessments (yes, even adults can play!). As we move forward in therapy sessions will be driven by you, what you bring into the room is what we will work on. As a client-centered therapist I don’t adhere to one specific theory or schedule of interventions. You are the leader and I am the guide.
How long does therapy take?
The length of therapy is not as important to its success as the client-clinician bond. More than any other the therapeutic relationship requires open and honest exploration of ideas and emotions. Behavior change takes time, but without a strong therapeutic bond therapy won’t be effective.
How often do we meet?
Most clients will come to therapy once a week, on the same day and at the same time each week. As the client begins to feel more confident sessions may be reduced to once every other week, or even once a month.
How do I know therapy is working?
As you just read, therapy takes time. Often it starts by feeling worse. Uncovering and confronting emotions and experiences can create discomfort, distress, and with kids more intense outbursts. This is completely normal. This means the therapy is working. You won’t feel this discomfort forever! Change begins slow. It starts by identifying a better response after the problem has occurred – “it would have been better if I had…” As new thoughts and emotions begin to develop you will start to realize in the moment that there are alternate responses to the emotional experience. One day you realize, perhaps in an “aha” way, that your behavior has changed and you are responding in a healthy manner without even thinking about it.
Why is therapy so expensive?
Therapy can be a necessary expense for many people. When examining the expense it is important to understand that a therapists’ work goes beyond the time the client and clinician share together. For each 45-minute session there is an additional 30 – 90 minutes a week spent planning for sessions, developing and updating treatment plans, and collaborating with other providers; even more so when working with school age clients. The most effective treatment for kids requires regular updates with parents and collaboration with school personal, pediatricians, and other relevant adults. Additionally, play therapy sessions involve significantly more time and expense to prepare, provide and process.
What about insurance?
Insurance can decrease the out of pocket expense of therapy and most people will choose to use their insurance if it’s an option. Having recently moved from California to Texas the insurance companies have not quite caught up with my move. I expect to be in-network with Aetna, Cigna and Tricare East within the next 30 – 90 days. For those with out-of-network (OON) benefits I can provide you with statements that you can submit to insurance for reimbursement. We can review your insurance options before or at the first session.
Why would someone choose not to use insurance?
Insurance companies will only provide payment for “medically necessary treatment.” Medically necessary is defined as a diagnosaeble condition. Therefore, clients using their insurance will be given a mental health diagnosis such as anxiety, depression, mood dysregulation disorder, adjustment disorder, or similar. Although HIPPA protects your medical record there are some occasions where your records can be legally requested. And while there should be no stigma associated with a mental health diagnosis many are still uncomfortable with it. In these cases, those that can afford the cost of therapy without using insurance may choose to do so to ensure their privacy.
What if I need to cancel?
I maintain a liberal cancellation policy. I appreciate as much advanced notice as possible. However, I understand parents are busy, traffic can be awful, and kids have unexpected events –last minute homework, championship sports games, or sudden illness. I request only that you let me know two hours prior to your session that you will not be able to make it. If you do not allow this notice then you will be charged a full session fee that cannot be billed to insurance. In exchange for the minimal time required for cancellation I request that you be flexible when asked to reschedule. Because I do work with so many kids, and they so often need to reschedule due to conflicts with sports or school, you may be asked to change your regular appointment to a different day or time. While I try to limit the amount of times you will be asked to do so, please understand that I wouldn’t be requesting a change if it wasn’t important.
Cost per Session
First Session $160
55-minute talk session $145
45-minute talk session: $120
45-minute play therapy session: $135
30-minute play therapy session $95
75-minute family session $185
Your payment will be automatically processed the same day as your visit
In-Network Insurance: co-pay only
Out-of-Network: full payment; you will be provided documentation to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement
Self-Pay: full payment