Practical Information to Get Started With Therapy
Choosing A Therapist
For many people, finding the right fit with a psychotherapist involves considering the answers to several questions:
- Do I feel comfortable and have an easy connection with the therapist that will allow me to feel safe opening up?
- Does the therapist have expertise with the particular concerns I want to work on?
- How does the therapist see their role in the therapy process? Does this align with the kind of therapeutic relationship I would feel comfortable with?
- What are the therapist’s beliefs about how change occurs as a result of psychotherapy? Do I find this convincing?
- What approaches does the therapist use? Does that feel like something that would work for me?
- What distinguishes this therapist from others?
It is very important to find a great fit with your therapist so that you feel safe exploring things that may be difficult to talk about. I hope the information on this site has been helpful for you in assessing whether I might be a good choice for you. I’ve also suggested some questions that you can ask yourself as you consider your choice. If you’re ready to take the next step, then I encourage you to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with me.
On this call, we’ll talk briefly about what brings you to seek therapy and discuss any questions you have about how we would work together. If you feel comfortable proceeding after that, then we would schedule your first appointment. Prior to coming to my office for the first time, I will direct you to a couple of forms to fill out to provide some background about you to help me get to know you, and to explain important aspects of treatment.
You may feel anxious or nervous about meeting me or beginning therapy. From the very start of our work, I will work to create a welcoming, compassionate, and nonjudgmental environment for you to share what’s troubling you. We’ll begin in the first couple of sessions with me asking questions to learn more about what brings you in and to help me get to know you. It will also be important to make sure that your questions about the therapy process are answered. At the end of that time, we’ll agree on your goals for treatment and how we will assess progress in meeting them. After that, we’ll work on your goals. I will likely talk less, and your experience in and out of the therapy room will be the focus of our sessions.
Fees and Insurance
Your initial 15 minute phone consultation is free of charge.
Following that, my fee is $225 for a 45-50 minute session.
There is no charge for sessions canceled with at least 24 hours’ notice. Late cancellations (less than 24 hours’ notice) are subject to payment in full.
Payment is expected at the time of service and is accepted in the form of cash, check, or credit card.
I do not participate in any health insurance networks, however I am happy to provide you with a superbill statement which you can submit to your insurer for out-of-network coverage. You may also use Health Savings Account dollars to pay for therapy. I advise you to research the nature of your benefits for out-of-network coverage before commencing therapy so as to understand what kind of reimbursement you may expect. Insurers will require an official psychiatric diagnosis before determining coverage of your therapy, which will then become part of your record, and they may also request and review your file, including the progress notes from your therapy sessions. Not all diagnoses are covered. Insurers may also limit the number of sessions and the nature of treatment, which may adversely affect the optimal course of therapy. Some clients choose not to use mental health insurance benefits to avoid these issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are conversations in therapy confidential?
How discreet is your setting?
How often will I attend therapy?
How long are sessions?
How long does therapy take?
How will I know if therapy is working?
We will jointly establish your goals for therapy early on in our work together and determine how to assess progress against these. We will revisit these periodically. Often, clients spontaneously share progress they have noticed from week to week, such as reductions in symptoms (e.g. less depressed or anxious) or behaving in new ways that are having positive effects in their lives (e.g. more harmonious relationships, less fear about asserting themselves at work). In addition, I encourage you to discuss any concerns you may be having with the therapy in session so that we can understand what may be impeding our work.
I’ve had a bad experience with therapy in the past. Why would this be any different?
You may have tried psychotherapy in the past and felt dissatisfied with the experience for a number of reasons. Most commonly, clients report a poor fit with the therapist, and not feeling a sense of forward motion or seeing change. I have worked with many individuals in this situation and have been gratified to find that we were able to work effectively together, address what didn’t work in the past, and establish a relationship and process that allowed for progress and change. There are many different approaches to psychotherapy, and therapists with doctoral credentials (PhD, PsyD) may offer different approaches to those with Master’s level credentials. Some styles and approaches may not resonate with you so it is important to assess that in choosing a therapist. I would encourage you to review my suggestions regarding how to consider your fit with a therapist, and to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with me to discuss any concerns about past therapy or my way of working. I feel strongly that psychotherapy can be a very important process for healing and growth and would like you to experience that, particularly if you have been disappointed in the past.
What facilitates good therapy outcomes?
- Creating a trusting relationship between us, so that you can feel safe exploring vulnerable areas.
- Understanding that the time needed to heal and grow is variable and will depend on the nature of the challenges you bring to therapy.
- Establishing a shared view of the main concerns and goals for treatment and then assessing progress against those goals.
- Being willing to share freely in session, particularly the experience you are having with me in the moment.
- Attending therapy consistently and talking in session about things that may be making it difficult to come to therapy.
- Giving yourself the gift of using your therapy time to focus on yourself.