We take confidentiality very seriously. Confidentiality is essential to develop a trusting relationship, which we think is essential for growth and healing. Anything that you share during our sessions will remain confidential, and will not be shared with anyone without your consent. There are a few but important exceptions to this, including if you put yourself or someone else in imminent physical danger. we am also a mandated reporter for child or elder abuse or neglect. We will talk about it in more detail during our first session, but please feel free to ask if you have a question about this at any time.
I am only in network for Blue Cross Blue Choice PPO and Blue Choice PPO (not BCBS HMO). If you are a member of these plans, I will ask you to send me your insurance information to contact BCBS and confirm your benefits for therapy prior to our initial session. I will let you know what I find out before we meet. I will submit insurance claims on your behalf.
If you have a different insurance plan, I will be considered out-of-network. This means that you are responsible for paying the full fee each time we meet. I will give you an invoice at the end of the month so you can submit a claim to your insurance company. I strongly encourage you to call your insurance plan and check if your plan has any out-of-network benefits. I can give you some guidance about what to ask when you call them, but you are responsible for dealing with them directly.
I believe that sometimes there are good reasons to take medication, but it is not the first line of defense. Many people rush to taking medications or suggesting them to others. I understand the desire for a quick solution, but just relieving symptoms rarely helps in the long term. I wholeheartedly believe that medication is not a replacement for therapy.
As a licensed clinical social worker, I am not authorized to prescribe medication. If you are interested in taking medication, we can definitely talk about it and I can refer you to a mental health professional who can prescribe them. Taking medications is not a sign of weakness but can be another way to take care of yourself.
Duration of therapy
How long therapy takes depends on each person, but most of the work that I do is long term. Most of the people I see are dealing with issues that have been part of their lives for a very long time and are very complex. Some people come to therapy to address one very specific issue, which might take fewer sessions, but that is rare. Often times people discover that what they thought was a "simple" issue has many deep ramifications.
At the beginning we will be meeting at least once a week. It is really important for us to develop a relationship in which you can feel safe, heard, and seen, and that cannot happen if we don't see each other regularly. Down the line we can always talk about whether it makes sense to see each other more or less frequently.
Sessions for individual therapy are 45 or 55 minutes. Couples counseling sessions are typically 55 minutes and process groups 90 minutes.
To make an appointment, just contact me. If you let me know what days/times work for you, that would help. I will get back to you as soon as possible and we will find a time to meet. I will most likely send you some paperwork so that you can complete it and bring it to our initial session.
Many people feel anxiety the first time they meet with a therapist for a number of reasons, and they deal with it in different ways. Some people are very distraught and feel in turmoil. Some people have been thinking quite a bit about what to say. Some people are expecting me to tell them what I want to know. While I can provide some guidance, therapy is about you and what you need, not about what I want to know.
Some people talk about what brought them to my office. Some others talk about the nervousness they are feeling in the moment. Some make a summary of their history or past experience with therapy. There is no right or wrong way to start a session, let alone to start therapy. You can expect me to be curious about what you want to share with me, and to listen openly and without judgement.
There is no single answer for this question, because it depends on each person. Some people come to therapy to address one specific issue, which might take fewer sessions. That is rare, though, because often times people discover that what they thought was a "simple" issue, has many deep ramifications. Most of the work that I do with individuals is long term.