Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is psychotherapy?

The less aware we are of our thoughts, feelings, motives and behaviors, the more they control us. Psychotherapy helps clients understand their “stories”; the experiences that shaped them, the defenses that have helped protect them and the patterns or habits that are now preventing them from living a satisfying life. Psychotherapy is a dialogue. The client presents data, the therapist offers ideas about it’s meaning, the client responds with his/her interpretation, and so on. It is important that psychotherapy progresses at a pace that is comfortable and safe for the client. Change can feel frightening or overwhelming, and may not occur quickly.


What can I expect from my first appointment with a therapist?

Many people feel nervous before their first appointment, wondering what their therapist will ask, or what they should tell their therapist. Your therapist will primarily want to hear the reasons you made the appointment, what you have already done to try and solve the problem, and what you hope to accomplish in therapy. To better understand you, your therapist will likely want to know how things are going in the important parts of your life (relationships, work, school, etc.) as well as information about your background. If you and your therapist decide to continue working together, you will begin developing goals for therapy. If you do not feel comfortable with your therapist for any reason, please say so, and your therapist will be happy to provide you with a referral to another therapist.


Do you accept insurance?

We accept many types of insurance, but each contracted therapist chooses which insurance panels they are on. You should contact your insurance company to see whether they will cover your costs and how much they will pay. While there may be certain advantages to accepting services only from a provider who is in your network, often the savings do not justify the loss of the ability to choose your provider.

Many companies require the insured to call and pre-certify the first session. Our clinic also collects co-pays at each visit. Thus, it is always best to contact your insurance company before coming in for your first visit.


What if I do not wish to use insurance?

Although we take insurance if that makes sense for your situation, we have a number of clients who choose not to use insurance. Some clients have concerns about the degree of privacy that can be maintained once a claim makes it’s way to a huge managed care company. Others do not wish to be given the mental illness diagnosis that all providers must assign them if they are filing an insurance claim.


Do you accept credit cards?

Yes. we do accept Visa and Mastercard.


Do you have evening hours?

Most of our therapists have evening hours. Be sure to state any scheduling requirements you may have up front so we can direct you to a therapist who can meet your needs.


How will I know when I’ve been in treatment long enough?

Often, a person enters therapy with some specific goals in mind. One of the things you will do with your therapist is periodically review, clarify and, if desired, adjust your goals. When your goals are met to your satisfaction, you can decide to discontinue treatment, remain in treatment to make sure you maintain your progress, or set new goals. Remaining in therapy is always your choice.


What if my therapist thinks I may need medication?

Although our training is to treat you using sound therapeutic skills, there are times when a medication referral is warranted. If one of our therapists thinks that medication might be helpful, he/she will discuss a referral to a health professional who is trained in working with emotional and behavioral issues – most often, a psychiatrist. At other times, there may be medical issues your therapist believes should be addressed, since feeling good requires being physically as well as emotionally healthy. As with other aspects of treatment, whether or not you choose to accept your therapist’s recommendation is ultimately your decision.