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Common Questions

How do I get an evaluation for court or other purposes?

Each evaluation is customized for the individual or attorney requesting it.  I like to spend whatever time it takes to be sure I understand the questions being
asked and answered, and the scope of the evaluation.  I then give specific estimates of cost and date for completion, and explain the process I will follow
in enough detail so that you are fully informed.  In the rare event that unexpected changes require a revision of those estimates we discuss these together.

Why do people seek therapy?

People come into therapy for many reasons. Some need to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self exploration and personal growth. Therapy can often help when coping skills are overwhelmed by past traumas, depression, helplessness, hopelessness, or compulsive unwanted behavior patterns. Therapy provides support, problem solving skills, and enhanced coping for those experiencing lack of confidence, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, spiritual conflicts, stress that seems too tough to manage, body image issues, and creative blocks. People successful in psychotherapy take responsibility for their actions, work toward self change, and create greater awareness in their lives.

What can I expect in a therapy session?

During sessions you have an opportunity to discuss your concerns and issues in life. A session lasts 50 minutes, but some people request longer sessions. At first most clients choose to have weekly sessions and then reduce the number of sessions as they are doing better. During the time between sessions it helps to think about and process what we discussed. Between treatment sessions you may have recommendations to read a relevant book, see a relevant movie, or make journal notes about your dreams, behavior patterns, or other experiences. People who participate actively in treament achieve their goals most fully and quickly.

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

* Understanding yourself better incl. what you really want in various life areas. 
* Developing skills for improving your relationships.
* Resolving the challenges that led you to seek therapy.
* Finding new ways to cope with stress and anxiety and preventing excess stress. 
* Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures.
* Improving communications skills:  how to listen to others & have them listen to you.
* Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns:
      breaking old behavior patterns and developing new ones.

* Developing a stable sense of self that fosters stable self esteem.
* Discovering new ways to find solutions.

What if I don't know what my goals are for therapy?

If you aren't sure what your goals are for therapy, we will work together to develop goals that work for you.  Many clients have problems even allowing themselves to want what they dream about and desire most deeply. Also, during treatment, these wants and goals are likely to change. Your goals will evolve as you evolve and will move toward what your true life's purpose is as you discover it, step by step. DIscovering what you want and pursuing specific goals will help you get the most out of therapy.

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

I do not participate in any insurance panels (preferred provider organizations) and I  do not submit claims directly.  I provide detailed receipts with all the information that most insurance companies require. 
Over 95% of the time these receipts are sufficient and the company pays according to whatever the benefits schedule permits. 

It is the client's responsibility to know the benefits and procedures and to submit the claims. 

I do help if there are clinical questions the insurance company needs answered from the service provider. I communicate directly to the company in that event.

Carefully check your coverage with your carrier. The vast array of insurance arrangements out there can be quite confusing so it's best to put some time and effort into finding out answers.

Ask your carrier questions like these: 

  • Do I have mental health benefits?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
  • How much do you pay for an out-of-net provider?
  • Is there a limitation on how much you will pay per session?
  • Is primary care physician approval required?

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission.
However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule, including:

* If client is suspected of abusing a child, dependent adult, or elder, the therapist must immediately report this to the appropriate authorities.
*If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to someone else, the therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
*If a client intends to harm self,  the therapist will make every effort help them stay safe. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without permission to ensure their safety.
*If a judge orders the information for the court, I am obligated to comply.


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