Frequently asked questions
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.
There is no single answer for this question, because it depends on each person's situation. However, I would recommend at least meeting once a week, particularly at first. It is really important for us to develop a relationship in which you can feel safe, heard, and seen. That cannot happen if we don't see each other regularly. Later on we can talk about whether it makes sense to see each other more or less often.
Sessions for individual therapy and couples counseling are typically around 55 minutes. We can discuss whether shorter or longer sessions are needed or possible. Process group sessions last 90 minutes.
This will depend on whether you have insurance or not. If you do, it will depend on whether our services are covered. If they are, it will depend on whether you have met your insurance deductible and on your copay amount. If you don't have insurance, the cost will depend on whether you are looking to do individual, couples, or group work. Please contact me and let's talk.
Wellington Counseling Group, the practice where I work, takes Blue Cross Blue Choice PPO. We are considered out-of-network for other insurance plans. Some plans have out-of-network benefits, meaning that they might cover part of the cost of the sessions. After you contact me, I will ask you to send me your insurance information, so that our billing specialist can contact your insurance company and confirm your benefits for therapy prior to our initial session.
No. As a licensed clinical social worker, I am not authorized to prescribe medication. We can talk about it and, if needed, I can refer you to a mental health professional who can.
I believe that sometimes there are good reasons to take medication, but only in very specific situations. I definitely don't believe it is the first line of defense. Unfortunately, many people rush to taking medications or recommend it to others. I understand the desire of a quick solution, but just relieving symptoms, without really understanding what's behind them, rarely helps in the long term.
If you are interested in taking medication, we can definitely talk about it. I would be curious about why you want to do it, what it means to you, what do you expect from it, etc. If you are already taking medication, I will be curious to hear about your experience. I wholeheartedly believe that medication is not a replacement for therapy.
I take confidentiality very seriously, because I think it is essential to create a safe space and a trusting relationship. Anything that you share with me during our sessions will not be shared with anyone without your consent. There are few, but important, exceptions to this. I am legally mandated to report child or elder abuse or neglect. I may also need to contact someone if I believe you are in imminent risk of physically harming yourself or others.
Not as a regular or exclusive way to conduct sessions, but we can talk about whether it would be necessary or appropriate. You should know that Skype and FaceTime are not secure platforms.
Many people feel anxiety the first time 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 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.
Yes. Once we agree on a date for our first appointment, I will email you a number of documents you will need to print, complete, and bring to our first meeting. If you prefer not to print them yourself, I can give you a hard copy for you to complete and sign during our session.