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?
Beginning Therapy

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.  This will be increasing to $235 per session effective 1/1/18.

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.

Insurance

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?
Trust is a critical factor in successful therapy.  You will likely be sharing very personal things with me in session, perhaps things you have never told anyone or even admitted to yourself.  For clients over 18, everything that we discuss in therapy remains confidential, with a few exceptions.  By law, therapists are required to break confidentiality if what you share indicates that there is a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or elder abuse by you or someone you speak about in session, or that you pose a threat of harm to an identifiable individual.  We may also do so if you pose a danger to yourself unless protective measures are taken.  If you submit a claim to your insurance company, records of your treatment may be requested by the company.  Therapists may also be compelled to testify in a case by court order.  When subpoenaed, the therapist first invokes client-therapist privilege, which you may choose to waive.  If not waived, the judge may choose to order the therapist to testify, despite your invocation of privilege.
How discreet is your setting?

My office is located in a high-rise historic building in the heart of the Financial District.  The building is mixed use, and there are many different types of professionals working in the building, many of whom receive visitors.  As such, there is great anonymity for those coming into the building and this is a more discreet venue than suites of offices dedicated exclusively to psychotherapy services.

How often will I attend therapy?
Therapy works most effectively when there is consistent attendance.  I typically see clients once a week.  In some cases, I may suggest that you come in more than once a week if you are in crisis or your particular concerns are best addressed through more intensive treatment.
How long are sessions?
Sessions run 45 minutes.  A punctual start to the session is very important to me out of respect for the time and money you are committing to the process.
How long does therapy take?
The length of treatment depends on what brings you to therapy.  Early on, we will work together to clearly articulate your main concerns and identify goals for treatment.  This will allow us to get a sense of how long treatment may take.  Sometimes, clients find that in the course of treatment they deepen their understanding of themselves and uncover areas they feel motivated to continue exploring.  In this case, we may revise the treatment goals and extend treatment.  I have expertise in brief psychotherapy to address a very focused concern in the course of about 10 sessions.  Depending on your needs, this may be an appropriate option, which we can discuss in your free phone consultation.  I believe strongly that therapy should empower you to feel confident in being able to maintain the progress you make in treatment so that you can continue on your own.
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.