Have a question?
I've never been to therapy before, what's it like?
Not going to lie, at first therapy feels like a strange situation. When else do you sit down with a complete stranger and vulnerably share your worries, fears and desires? I am aware our first session or two may feel a little strange for you, and I am invested in helping you move into this unique relationship as comfortably as possible.
A first session typically starts with some casual get to know you conversation so we can get a sense of our rhythm and energy together. Then, once we've settled in, I will ask you some questions about what's going on in your life and why you wanted to come to therapy. As you might expect I am interested in your feelings, so while you tell me stories of your life I might pause you to ask what emotion arises with the story or direct you to notice how your body feels as you remember something. Together we will come up with goals for our work together and I can give you a sense of what will be helpful/important for you to pay attention to in the week between sessions. At the end of the session I will collect payment and confirm the day and time of our next appointment. Feel free to ask questions and give feedback at any point during the session!
How long does therapy take to work?
Oh man what a question! That's a hard one to give a definitive answer to as it will be different for each person. I have some clients who come in with a specific situation they need support in and we complete therapy within a few months. Other clients will come to therapy for 3-6 months, then pause on sessions when life feels calmer, then start sessions up again when they feel they need it. Many of my clients enjoy the regular support and space to process and have continued to work with me for years, however often the frequency of their sessions will fluctate from weekly, to every other-week, to once a month or even just a random one-off session when life gets intense!
Will I get a diagnosis?
A diagnosis is a label that describes a specific cluster of symptoms and the intensity of their occurrence. Diagnoses can be useful tools in determining a treatment plan and giving people a name for what they have been experiencing. In addition, identifying with a diagnosis can help create a sense of understanding and connection with others that have a similar experience. However diagnoses also have their limitations; I find that my clients' experiences rarely fit so neatly into a predetermined category. In addition I believe understanding your difficulties through a diagnosis alone leaves out a LOT of important context and can limit self exploration.
Insurance companies require a diagnosis before they will pay for services, so if you are using insurance to pay for your treatment I will need to assign a diagnosis. If you like I can include you in this process and we can look at the diagnoses, symptom descriptions and treatment plans together.
Can I pay for therapy sessions with my insurance? What does "out-of-network" mean?
I am a private pay clinician, which means that I have not signed any contracts with insurance companies to make me an "in-network" provider (Check out this article to learn about why). However many of my client still use their insurance to pay for a portion of their sessions through their "out-of-network" benefits.
If you log in to your insurance company's website you will see a tab/page that has a name like "My Benefits". On that page there will be a column or an option to select "Out of Network". Scroll down to "Mental health, outpatient" and that's where your out-of-network benefits for therapy will be listed.
Out of Network billing works like this: You pay me for the full cost of the session ($150) and I provide you with a "superbill", which is basically a receipt of service including several specific insurance codes. You then submit the superbill to your insurance (which can usually be done through their online portal, it's pretty quick and easy) and insurance will send you a check reimbursing you for whatever portion of the session cost is covered by your out of network benefit.
Please feel free to ask me any questions you have about this process or billing in general!
I have more questions!
Shoot me a message, I'm happy to help!