Frequently asked questions

All questions are important. Some commonly asked questions are addressed below.

What is teletherapy?

Teletherapy consists of counseling sessions held via a HIPAA-compliant, secure videoconferencing platform. Teletherapy is as effective as face-to-face therapy services for most mental health concerns. (Learn more here, here, and here.) 

A primary advantage of teletherapy is Increased accessibility, and the busy individuals I work with benefit from the flexibility to have a session anywhere they have a private, confidential space without having to commute. It’s not for everyone, however. Some people want to be only in-person and some mental health concerns are not appropriate for teletherapy.

How do I start therapy and what can I expect?

  • We’ll begin with a 15-minute phone conversation to talk about why you are seeking therapy and to see whether scheduling an intake session with me is a good next step.
  • If we agree to move forward, there will be some digital paperwork to complete prior to your intake session via the secure client portal, including securing your payment information.
  • During the 50-minute intake session, we will make sure you are comfortable with the limits to your confidentiality and my policies, talk in more depth about your concerns, make sure my skills are a fit for your needs, collaborate on goals for treatment and your treatment plan, and schedule your first set of follow up sessions. 
  • As our work together continues, we will check in regularly on your progress, discuss changes to your treatment plan, and modify goals as needed. In general, I meet with clients weekly or biweekly until you see progress you feel good about. How long that takes varies from person to person according to their unique needs. 
  • As you begin to reach your goals, we discuss the maintenance stage of therapy, which means shifting to less frequent scheduling or simply checking in for a session on an as-needed basis. 
  • “Termination” is the clinical term for our plan to end our client-therapist relationship. My goal is always to work myself out of a job with you at your pace.

Does what I say really stay confidential?

Yes, absolutely. Counseling usually includes sharing with your therapist highly private, deeply emotional information you may not have ever talked about before. Our work will not be effective if you do not feel confident that your story and feelings will remain safe with me. The only exceptions to your confidentiality are: 

  • I am mandated to report to Child or Adult Protective Services the suspicion or knowledge of abuse or neglect of a minor under 18, a person who is elderly, or someone with a disability. 
  • I will contact emergency personnel if I am concerned about your ability to keep yourself safe, or have knowledge that you are a threat to someone else. 
  • If you want me to communicate with another person (a family member, a medical professional, your lawyer, etc.), I will only do so with your permission.
  • Of note is your increased responsibility for your own confidentiality given you will have your sessions in a location of your choosing. I encourage you to take the steps you need to maximize your privacy. I have had many clients decide their car or closet is their best location in a pinch. 

How can I get the most out of teletherapy?

To maximize the benefit of your sessions, please: 

  • Make sure your lighting, surroundings, and technology allow me to fully see your face without disruption or movement. 
  • Do your best to limit interruptions that may interfere with your ability to focus on yourself and talk freely. 
  • Since you won’t have a commute, I encourage you to allow yourself some time before and after sessions just for you. 
    • Prior to counseling, think about what you want to talk about, your goals, reflect on any “homework” we may have agreed you will do, grab some tissues if you like those handy, and make sure your technology is working. 
    • After the session, try to give yourself some space prior to jumping back into your day. That can be taking some notes on what we talked about, closing your eyes for a few minutes of rest and reflection, or taking a walk. 
    • Some clients benefit from simple beginning and ending rituals, such as lighting a candle before they log on and blowing it out the end of session. These kinds of practices help make our time together intentional and can also help you transition into and out of any difficult emotions so you can resume your day as effectively as possible.

How do I know a therapist is a good fit for me?

I like to use the metaphor of finding the right pair of shoes for the terrain to explain therapist-client fit. 

  • First and foremost, you should feel comfortable. There may be a break-in period as you adjust to the kind of self-focus and vulnerability counseling requires, but you should feel firmly supported, including feeling heard, respected, and having confidence in your provider. 
  • Much of therapy’s effectiveness takes place through the connection you form with your therapist, so if that connection feels off, let your provider know and expect them to want to work on that with you. 
  • It is also possible that you will need different kinds of therapists or at different stages of your growth. You may start with a comfy, soft, warm pair of slippers that feels great. But after a while, you may realize you are outgrowing the slippers and need to go hiking into some rougher terrain to get you where you really want to go. Talk with your therapist about this. It may mean you need to be challenged more, be held accountable for taking action outside of your sessions, hear some direct feedback about your patterns, or switch to a different kind of therapy. 
  • Always keep in mind a good counselor will want to get you exactly what you need, even if it’s not something they can provide. 

How do fees, billing, and payment work?

Payment is an important part of entering into any professional relationship. I accept debit, credit, FSA, and HSA cards via my secure client portal. Payment is billed automatically the day of your session.

As a lengthy period of time of your choosing is reserved for you in advance, I charge the full session rate ($200 for initial evaluations, $185 for individual sessions, $225 for couples’ sessions) if you do not cancel 48 hours in advance or if you do not show for your session.

You will receive automated reminders 72 hours before your appointment if you opt into this complimentary service for your convenience.

I accept Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO insurance. If Blue Cross Blue Shield is not your insurance provider or the PPO is not your plan, I will gladly provide you with a superbill as an out-of-network provider that contains all the information you need for reimbursement.

Do you accept insurance?

I accept Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO insurance. If Blue Cross Blue Shield is not your insurance provider or the PPO is not your plan, I will gladly provide you with a superbill as an out-of-network provider that contains all the information you need for reimbursement.

What is the No Surprises Act?

As of January 1, 2022, health care providers need to provide their consumers with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of expected costs. When we meet for the first time, we will talk about how frequently we will plan on meeting and what my session fee is for each visit.

As each individual is unique, life events can be unpredictable, and progress towards your goals can vary due to a variety of factors, estimating the number of sessions you will need is an imperfect science. However, we will check in on your progress regularly as part of treatment planning and collaborating on your goals. You will always be in full control of session scheduling.

Do you offer crisis appointments?

Given the nature of my limitations as an individual in a solo private practice, I do not offer crisis services. If you feel you will need more support than one session a week, struggle to manage your emotions without someone immediately available to you, are experiencing suicidality, or have significant difficulty completing daily life tasks, you will need a higher level of care than I can provide.