Is therapy right for me?
There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with longstanding anxiety or depression, or general unhappiness. Other times it is in response to sudden changes in one's life, such as a divorce, the death
of a loved one or the loss of a job. Many seek experience with a therapist in order to delve into and better understand their mental life and relationships, and to embark on personal growth. Working with a therapist can provide a
context for developing insight, receiving support, and learning new strategies for all kinds of life challenges.
Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of his or her life by becoming more self-aware, learning to take responsibility and using these abilities to work towards change in relation to oneself and others.
What is the structure of therapy?
Therapy can be open-ended or short-term. It is difficult to predict at the outset how long the process will last. It also takes awhile to learn whether the match between therapist and patient can be fruitful. Sessions usually occur on a weekly basis, lasting 45 -50 minutes. Couple and family sessions are longer. Sometimes patients who are going through a particularly challenging time may request a longer session or more than one session per week. Multiple weekly sessions are very useful when the presenting problems have been longstanding and center on one's way of being in the world. Because it is hard to reach the micro level of thoughts and feelings, having therapy more than once a week can support motivation and also maintain access to this elusive level of awareness.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
Therapy can provide insight and new perspectives into life's challenges and can help generate solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a therapist can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics, and ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful, because of feeling supported and understood. And sometimes a patient also can hear him- or herself more clearly through talking with a therapist. Overall, people in therapy tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict, and improved quality of life.
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
- Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
- Attaining insight into personal patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving
- Increasing confidence, vitality, and sense of well-being
- Improving ways to manage reactivity, including anger, depression and moodiness
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
- Improving listening and communication skills
- Enhancing the overall quality of life
Do you accept insurance?
No. however, unless you are a member of an HMO, most insurance companies reimburse some portion of the cost of services rendered by "out-of- network" providers. I give patients a statement at the beginning of the next calendar month, summarizing services from the previous month, which can be submitted for reimbursement of out-of-network services.
The exception is Medicare. Because I am not a Medicare provider, patients who are Medicare recipients must sign a "private contract" with me, stipulating that they will not submit claims for my services to Medicare. However, when Medicare patients have a secondary insurance policy, they may be eligible for some reimbursement through the secondary plan. We can discuss this in further detail when we meet.
How does insurance work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- Do I need pre-authorization for psychotherapy to be covered?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a patient and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a patient is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a patient intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist her/his cooperation in insuring safety. If s/he does not cooperate, further measures may be taken without his/her permission in order to ensure safety.