HOW LONG IS A TYPICAL COUNSELING SESSION?
Individual counseling sessions are typically 50 minutes. Some insurance companies limit sessions to a shorter length or regulate the frequency of your visits. Most sessions are scheduled once a week or every couple weeks. As time goes on, the frequency may vary depending on your need.
HOW LONG WILL I BE IN COUNSELING?
The length of time a client is in counseling depends on the nature of the problem and the goals of your counseling. Some clients have a very specific problem that can be worked through in a set course of counseling. For others, counseling is an on-going learning process, and they choose to participate in counseling for a longer period.
WHAT IF I WANT COUPLES COUNSELING?
Unfortunately, I do not provide couples counseling. Sometimes I see an individual person who might benefit from couples counseling with a partner, and I offer referrals to other psychologists or counselors in the area who specialize in couples or family work.
DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?
I do participate with some but not all insurance plans. Check with your insurance provider network or contact me to discuss participation details. Your insurance plan might cover out-of-network providers, so check with them about that. If I don't participate with your network, I can provide you will receipts or statements reflecting your fees paid, and your insurance plan might reimburse you. I collect payment of all fees due at each appointment unless I am contracted with your insurance to bill them.
DO I NEED TO TAKE MEDICATIONS?
Only medical doctors, including psychiatrists, prescribe medications. As a psychologist, that is not something I do. However, based on a joint assessment of problems you are facing, it might be advisable to consult with a psychiatrist or primary care doctor to determine whether medication is warranted. I can refer you to a psychiatrist if necessary.
IS EVERYTHING I SHARE IN COUNSELING CONFIDENTIAL?
This is a somewhat complicated question to answer. In general, most of the information you share will be kept confidential unless you give permission for me to share information with someone else. There are some situations where I am required to share information about you with others. For example, if I file insurance claims on your behalf, I am required to share information about you, your diagnosis, and treatment with your insurance company. There might be other situations where I am required to report and/or share information with other health care providers, law enforcement, the Department of Children and Families, or your friends or family if I believe you are in danger of harming yourself or others OR if I suspect an instance of the abuse or neglect of a child, elderly person, or dependent adult. It will be important to discuss questions or concerns you might have about privacy and confidentiality before beginning counseling.
THE FIRST APPOINTMENT & BEGINNING COUNSELING
After you set up an initial appointment. I will ask you to complete some basic paperwork that will assist me in getting a general sense of you and your history. During our first appointment, I will gather more in-depth information on key areas and get a sense of your concerns, history, and goals for counseling. Once we have identified your core concerns and what may be contributing to them, we will then discuss how to best approach their resolution.
Counseling will focus on helping you achieve goals you set and exploring barriers to those goals along the way. The process of counseling varies depending on the personalities of the psychologist and client and the particular problems you are experiencing. There are many different methods I may suggest to deal with the problems you hope to address. Psychotherapy is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be the most successful, you will have to work on things we talk about both during the sessions and at home.
WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW
I am committed to helping people with challenges and difficulties they face in life. I seek to involve clients in a collaborative way in their treatment. I approach counseling in a manner that is respectful of cultural differences and demonstrates concern for your values, beliefs, and goals. I might work closely with your physician or other health care professionals to promote healthy functioning from a holistic perspective.