Whether this is your first time in therapy, or you’ve been through these initial steps before, you probably have a lot of questions. I’m sure these won’t answer them all, so please feel free to give me a call with any others.
What happens after my first call or email to you?
I offer a free phone consultation to talk about your specific counseling needs and to see if we’re a good fit. You may decide during that phone call to set up your first session, or you might want to think about it. Sometimes I'm one of several therapists you've contacted to find the right one, and you may want to talk to all of us before making a decision. I also may have ideas for referrals that could be a good match for you. Once we both agree to work together, we will set up your first session, where I will ask you more questions to learn about your history and current issues, and collaborate on your goals for therapy. Sessions are typically 50 minutes long, and are generally held once a week. I have hours available on Saturdays and evenings to accommodate busy schedules.
Is everything confidential?
Things that are said in session are confidential with a few exceptions. If it becomes evident that you are in danger of harming yourself or another person, it is my responsibility to keep people safe, and I may need to break confidentiality for that purpose. I’m also a mandated reporter which means if I suspect child, dependent adult or elder abuse, I am required to make a report to the appropriate organizations so that they can do their investigations. Depending on your unique circumstances, there may be additional exceptions to confidentiality that we can discuss in more detail. I understand that confidentiality and privacy is very important in the therapeutic process, and I am happy to provide any information about the exceptions to confidentiality that will make the space feel as safe as possible for you.
Do you offer teletherapy?
I am able to provide teletherapy throughout the states of California, Idaho, Illinois, and Missouri. There may be instances where I think in-person therapy may be the most appropriate, and we can discuss the reasons for that if it is applicable. I use Google Meet for video therapy, which is a secure platform to maintain confidentiality and privacy from my end. We can also speak by phone. If you are opting for a superbill, your insurance may or may not cover teletherapy; every insurance plan has its own rules around that type of therapy, so you will need to find out if you are able to utilize your insurance for teletherapy. If you are interested in teletherapy, please let me know, and we can discuss in more detail.
UPDATE JANUARY 2023: I am teletherapy-only for now. I hope to return to in-person sessions for my LA-based clients at some point in the future, but I don't have a predicted date at this time. For superbill clients, some insurers who previously did not allow teletherapy may have made changes to that policy due to this health care crisis, so it could be worth checking on your policy.
What if I need to cancel a session?
I have a 24-hour cancellation policy, though I encourage you to let me know as soon as possible if you will not be able to make it to your appointment. If you are interested in rescheduling your appointment, I will attempt to find a mutually agreeable time for us to meet. If you cancel an appointment within 24 hours, or are a no-show for the session, you will be responsible for the full fee. If you would like to schedule a makeup session before your next scheduled session, I will attempt to find a mutually agreeable time, but there will be a $15 charge added to the session fee for the late reschedule.
How much does therapy cost?
My fee is $175/50 min. session. For couples or families, the first session is longer, and the fee is $260. There are some protocols for trauma that I am trained in that require a 60-min. session, so if we decide to use those treatment options, the sessions are prorated for the additional time. If you have concerns about the fee for therapy, we can discuss your options, including sliding scale when spots are available, or community mental health referrals in your area.
Can I use insurance to pay for therapy?
I am not an in-network provider on any health insurance plans. If you are able to go out-of-network for mental health care, I can provide you with a superbill that you may be able to turn into your insurance company for possible reimbursement. If you are interested in utilizing this option, we can discuss the process and relevant information in more detail.
How long will I be in therapy?
Therapy is an incredibly personal and unique experience, and it is impossible to predict how long therapy will last. Sometimes goals can be met in a short amount of time, and others find it is helpful to continue therapy to have a space for processing their experiences beyond their initial goals and concerns. It is also completely voluntary, and you always have the option to stop if therapy is no longer meeting your needs. In the early sessions, we will talk about what is bringing you in to counseling, which will give both of us a better idea of what you hope to accomplish here and what a reasonable timeline might be.
How does the new “No Surprises” law affect therapy?
You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical and mental health care will cost.
Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the bill for medical items and services, including psychotherapy services.
- You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency healthcare services, including psychotherapy services.
- You can ask your mental health care provider, and any other health care provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or service.
- If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill.
- Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate.
For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises/consumers or call 1-800-985-3059.