What happens in therapy?
When you begin therapy, the first few sessions will largely focus on gathering information and working with you to develop a plan for our time together. After that point, the content and structure of our appointments will depend on the current plan and approach. If at any point, you feel that your needs are not being adequately addressed during the standard appointment time, please do not hesitate to bring these concerns to me.
If this is your first time seeking therapy, you may be wondering what it is like to attend a therapy appointment. Many people worry about whether it will be difficult to find things to say or whether they will feel comfortable with talking to the therapist. The media is filled with images and stereotypes about therapy, from TV shows like In Treatment or Necessary Roughness to movies like Analyze This or What About Bob, that may affect your expectations about therapy.
Most often, therapy involves sitting in a room and talking with the therapist either one-on-one, with your partner, or with other family members. In my practice, I balance between allowing you time to talk about things of importance to you and guiding discussions in ways that are helpful for reaching your goals.
For therapy to be effective, it is important to find a therapist that you are able to connect with and trust. During the course of therapy, you may be asked questions about sensitive topics or you may wish to talk about sensitive information yourself. It is up to you how much to share with your therapist, and therapists are bound by strict confidentiality laws (which will be discussed at the beginning of the first session). However, it is important to note that failing to divulge important information can have an impact on the effectiveness of therapy.
How much does therapy cost?
Currently, I operate a strictly fee-for-service practice. I am not on any insurance panels, and I do not directly bill insurance companies for reimbursement for services. All fees are due at the time of service.
Certain PPO insurance plans may provide reimbursement for part or all of the fees paid to out-of-network providers, such as myself. Before starting therapy, you may wish to contact your insurance company to inquire about the procedure for submitting documentation for reimbursement. I am happy to assist you in providing proper receipts and documentation to help you secure reimbursements from your insurance company, if this is a benefit that is provided to you.
While many people prefer to take advantage of their insurance benefits when seeking therapy, there are distinct advantages to choosing to pay out-of-pocket.
• Insurance companies generally require a psychiatric diagnosis to be made before paying out for mental health services. This may lead to unnecessary labeling, which then becomes part of your insurance record. Paying for therapy yourself allows you to maintain confidentiality about your struggles and may reduce the likelihood of being given a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes.
• Insurance companies may impose arbitrary limits on the amount of services you receive. For some individuals, this is not a problem, but for other individuals who prefer more consistent or more long-term therapy, this may be a significant limiting factor.
• Using your insurance policy to pay for therapy may restrict your choice in who you are able to see for therapy, depending on which providers participate in your specific plan. Paying out-of-pocket allows you more flexibility in choosing the therapist you work with best.
I currently accept a variety of alternatives for payment including cash, personal checks, and most major credit and debit cards. Detailed receipts are provided as needed. If a personal check is returned marked insufficient funds, you will be responsible for paying the returned check penalty and will be asked to use an alternate form of payment for future transactions.
Payments are due at the time service is rendered unless alternate arrangements are made in advance.
Cancellation Policy: A 48-hour notice is required for all appointment cancellations. Cancellations made during the 48 hours prior to the scheduled appointment time will be billed at the regular hourly rate.
How long do I need to be in therapy?
Many people also wonder about how long therapy lasts. There is no one correct answer to this question. The duration of therapy depends on the needs of the individual, couple, or family. In my practice, I believe therapy is a support to help people learn new strategies to get back on track. My approach is more short-term therapy. The overall goal is to get you back on track so you no longer need therapy.
Can you guarantee that I will feel better after therapy?
I believe in making relationships stronger and I want you to get along better with your loved ones.
Studies show that people who attend counseling are 6 times more likely to feel better than those who try to solve their problems on their own. That said, like anything, you get out of therapy what you put into it. While I can’t guarantee you will end up happier, I can say that my clients who stay the course and who show up committed to the process achieve results that make them significantly happier in their lives and relationships. And I promise to do my best to help and support you on your journey. As part of that promise, I want your feedback along the way. I will actively seek out your opinion on how you see the therapy is progressing so that I can be of the most and best service to you.
Do you work with other issues besides relationships?
Yes! I am here to help anyone who is struggling – whether that is with stress, anxiety, depression, grief, illness or other life stressors. My goal is simple: I want you to feel better.
How do I get started?
Excellent. I have made the scheduling process easy. You can either click here to schedule an appointment via my online calendar or you can call me at 661-259-8200 x2.
I look forward to meeting you.
How do I pick a Marriage and Family Therapist?
With all the choices of therapists on the market today, it can be a bit overwhelming. As with any service, it is important to find a professional you feel you can trust. Your therapist should be someone with whom you feel comfortable talking to about your personal and private information. Other factors such as education, experience, and treatment approaches may also be a part of making a decision.