Frequently Asked Questions
How long before I can get my first appointment?
When someone first calls, I do my best to fit in an appointment within two weeks.
How can I know if someone is the right therapist for me?
Even after the first telephone call, having a session is probably the best way for people to assess whether a therapist is right for them. Research suggests that more important than type of therapy is the quality of the relationship between the client and therapist.
How long does treatment take?
Treatment time varies for each person. Depending on a person’s goals, I may suggest that we agree to a limited number of sessions. When the goal or number of sessions are completed, we then decide whether it makes sense to continue to meet. Sometimes, people work for a period of time and then come back months or even years later. I work with people short and long term.
Do I need a referral?
No. Physicians, other professionals, and current clients make referrals but you can call on your own.
Do you take my insurance?
Most people who see me pay privately, and the only major insurance panel I have remained on is Aetna. I work for clients not for insurance companies, and have resigned from panels that I found intrusive in issues of treatment, patients’ privacy, or that have required too much time interacting with bureaucracies on my part. Although it has become standard for people to look “in network,” this may be penny- wise and pound-foolish.
Finding the best therapist for yourself is most cost beneficial long-term.
In the behavioral and mental health fields, many professionals who could have opted out of networks. Insurance companies promote less individualized and more diagnosis-driven treatments. The rationale given for insurance companies is to keep health costs down but this does not seem to have happened. What has happened instead is that people who have never met clients make decisions about their treatments, and require that time be spent by clients and therapists on bureaucratic telephone calls and paper work. I prefer to devote my time to my clients and to improving my skills as a therapist.
Decisions about treatment length and kind should be made by me and my clients, sometimes with input from other doctors.
If clients want, I give them receipts with a diagnosis and all of the information needed so they can submit to their insurance company for out of network benefits.
Part of most therapy is helping people to make educated choices, including about choosing a therapist. I am willing to discuss my policy and fee with any client or potential client; I am also willing to discuss fee reductions for people who need that.
Not everyone who comes for treatment has an illness; many people struggle with normal life difficulties and with finding ways to use more of their potential. Insurance companies do not recognize the need for this kind of work.
Do you work with my psychiatrist and other doctors?
Clients need to sign a release to allow this communication. I think it is in clients interest that treating professionals speak to each other.
Are the articles you write on your blog meant as therapeutic advice?
No. Therapy is individualized and is a process. Please see the disclaimer.