What is your approach to psychotherapy?
Therapy is a place where you can talk openly, so you can feel listened to and understood. I will actively work with you to develop creative solutions. I want to hear about your goals and strengths, as well as any areas of difficulty. Unlike traditional therapy which focuses on the past, I usually find it more helpful to look at what you can do to improve the situation now. I frequently utilize solution-focused and cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches.
We can also explore ways to work towards your goals between sessions: for example, I can recommend self-help books to read or support groups to join, or you could practice techniques we've discussed in sessions. While I may offer techniques to try or new ideas to consider, I believe it's important for you to be in charge of your own life and make your own choices. To learn about my approach in more detail (for example, how I would work with you on your specific situation), contact me by email or by phone. I will be happy to answer your questions at no charge.
How long do counseling sessions last?
Sessions are generally fifty minutes, once a week or less often, depending on your needs. If your reason for seeking therapy involves family members or loved ones, it may be helpful to include them in some of the sessions.
How long will I need to be in therapy?
I find that many people can achieve their goals in just a few sessions, while others require longer. We can figure out what's best for you by reviewing your progress regularly.
Can I use health insurance?
At this time, I do accept some insurance plans. Please inquire with me by phone or email for this information. However, if your plan happens to not be one of my accepted plans, I have found that my fees are comparable with most co-payments given that they are based on a sliding scale. I can also give you an invoice so that you may submit it to your insurance carrier.
What are your fees?
The fee generally ranges from $60-$100 per session depending on your household income. Payment may be in the form of cash, credit/debit card, or check.
What if I need to cancel a session?
Please give 24 hours notice if you are unable to keep an appointment; otherwise, the $25 fee will be charged for the time reserved.
Is therapy confidential?
Therapeutic confidentiality means that communications between therapists and their patients are protected by law. No information acquired in the course of psychotherapy can be revealed to an outside party. Information about these communications can be released only with the patient's written permission.
In specific emergency situations a psychologist is required by law to breach confidentiality without a patient's permission. These situations include the following:
1. When the counselor in his or her professional judgment, determines that a clear and present danger exists for the patient or another person. Necessary actions to prevent harm to the patient or other person may include notifying the police, notifying the family, alerting the other person, or seeking hospitalization.
2. When the counselor determines that a child, elderly person, or handicapped person is being abused.
3. When the counselor is called to testify in legal proceedings in which the patient's emotional state is judged to be crucial (such as custody cases).
4. When the counselor is called to testify in proceedings pertaining to psychiatric hospitalization, malpractice proceedings brought against the counselor, court-ordered evaluations, and in some instances when the patient has died. In most other legal proceedings, the patient can prevent the counselor from testifying.
It is required by law that appropriate treatment records be kept. Patients have a right to receive a copy of a summary of these records, unless such an occurrence would be emotionally damaging, in which case the summary would be given to an appropriate designee. A fee will be charged for this preparation.
Consultation about cases with other professionals may occur. Such consults are also legally bound by confidentiality. Information may also be shared with other professionals for purposes of backup and vacation coverage.
When the provider is seeking payment, only the date of treatment, the nature of the treatment, the amount due for services and other relevant financial information may be released, unless otherwise stipulated by the third-party payer (e.g., insurance company).
How are emergencies handled?
You may phone me between appointments as needed in emergency situations. If you need immediate assistance in person, you should go to the emergency room at the nearest hospital, call the Tennessee Crisis Line at 615-244-2444 anytime. You can call 911 if the situation is life-threatening. If you anticipate frequent need of crisis services, we can discuss this and come up with an ongoing plan. I will arrange coverage by other professionals during my vacations.