Frequently Asked Questions
DO YOU OFFER SLIDING SCALE RATES?
Yes, for those who qualify I offer a sliding scale fee at a reduced rate to try to make my services more affordable for everyone. If you feel you meet the criteria for financial hardship, let me know and we can talk about my reduced rate bundles.
DO YOU WORK WITH PEOPLE WITHOUT SUBSTANCE ABUSE ISSUES OR FAMILY MEMBERS OF ADDICTS?
Yes! I am a licensed clinical psychologist and a therapist first and foremost.
I have expertise in treating symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and panic disorder. You do not have to have a dual-diagnosis or any addiction or alcohol abuse issues whatsoever for me to take you on as a new patient.
Also, family members and loved ones of people suffering from the symptoms of substance abuse or alcoholism often benefit from meeting with me in order to gather information, collect their thoughts and come up with an appropriate plan of action to help their loved one in the throes of addiction.
HOW LONG DOES EACH THERAPY SESSION USUALLY TAKE?
This is entirely up to you. I offer 25, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minute sessions depending on what your individual needs are based on your treatment plan, which we will develop together during our first few sessions.
WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE ME AS YOUR THERAPIST?
In addition to my extensive training and background in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationships, a unique aspect of my practice is the personal one-on-one attention I provide. I take an individualized approach to therapy, adapting evidence-based strategies specifically tailored to you. I also work closely with patients to help them manage day-to-day life outside of the therapy setting. For example, over the years patients often complain that they spent months or even years with therapists who "didn't really do anything" or that the sessions just felt like "talking to a friend." Recently I met with a client with intense anxiety who stated that he stopped coming to see his psychologist because he "refused" to give direct feedback and would throw the questions back to him which created more anxiety. Here is my stance on these concerns. I look at the therapy process as a time for the patient and doctor to collaborate in making a realistic treatment plan. Your plan will include clinical aspects such as how to reduce symptoms of depression or cravings to drink too much alcohol. But it will also include time for DIRECT FEEDBACK, in which I will tell you what I really think and what my recommendation is to help you proceed in the best way possible. You will not leave my sessions wondering what was accomplished or how to measure if you are getting better. Yes its long-term process, of which you are in charge and know whats going on every step of the way.
HOW LONG DOES TREATMENT TAKE?
That depends on you and what you want. Each session is 45 minutes but longer sessions are available. Although treatment results cannot be guaranteed, most patients who work hard in therapy, for example, talking openly, reflecting and doing homework assignments see clinically significant improvement in 6-12 sessions. Sessions are goal-oriented and your treatment plan will be designed individually to help you achieve the best results in the shortest time period with longevity of symptoms relief always a priority. However, the length of treatment will be flexible based on the pace that is comfortable for each individual patient. Once progress is achieved, many patients elect to continue treatment on a less frequent basis to check-in and ensure that gains are maintained.
DO YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?
Yes...I accept Medicare, however, I do not participate directly with other insurance plans, and therefore am considered an out-of-network provider for most insurance. However, many patients with insurance coverage are entitled to get some reimbursement for psychology or mental health services. Many of my patients submit directly to their insurance carrier with appropriate documentation which I am happy to provide weekly or monthly. Please consult with your insurance company if you have questions regarding what your out of network mental health benefits are.
WHY DON'T YOU TAKE INSURANCE?
Many psychologists at the doctoral level of training, struggle with the fact that health insurance companies do not provide adequate compensation for the services provided. By not working directly with insurance companies, treatment planning is determined based on clinical recommendations and patient preferences, rather than managed care agencies who often pressure psychologists to regurgitate generic and damaging diagnosis as well as cute treatment short. Also, many patients choose not to submit to insurance anyway in order to maintain confidentiality. Fortunately, because I do not spend endless hours dealing directly with insurance companies, I am able to focus more on patient care.
HOW ARE YOUR RATES?
My rates are comparable to other Ph.D. and Psy.D. level psychologists who offer expert services in a specialty area. Most people find my rates to be a great value compared to less experienced mental health practitioners. Given my use of evidence-based treatment methods (meaning interventions stand up to statistical data) many patients experience improvements much more quickly compared to working with less experienced providers from unaccredited programs that result in a masters or doctorate but no actual training in clinical psychology. Rightly so, most patients find the cost of treatment reasonable and cost-effective because they are looking for a specialist.
COULD YOU FIND LESS EXPENSIVE SERVICES?
Psychologists are the highest trained mental health professionals. You could find an in-network provider who conducts therapy for small co-pays and long waiting times. There are many providers who have less training or say they treat "everything" without the same level of specialization. At the end of the day, we are talking about your mind, quality of life and future. Now is not a time for bargain shopping.
If you have any further questions, please call me directly to discuss how you can start feeling better now. Or just fill out the contact form below: