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FAQs

  • What are Counseling and Psychotherapy? Counseling and Psychotherapy are terms that are used interchangeably today. Individuals, couples, and families meet together with a therapist in a respectful atmosphere to discuss difficulties, problems, and issues the client is concerned about. Any question that is of concern can be brought to a therapist to discuss. Often people know something is wrong but aren't sure what it is. While there are some exceptions, (see the question what is confidential, and from whom?) therapists are bound by confidentiality and cannot give information about the client without a signed release. The outcome of psychotherapy varies widely depending on what the client is looking for. Some people seek therapy for a specific problem, while some want to change and understand a more general personal feeling.
  • How do I know if I need to see a therapist? People often wonder if the trouble they are having needs professional help especially when their problems seem to be those of ordinary living. When you find that talking things over with usually helpful friends, spouse, pastor, rabbi,etc. does not help and the problem persists, or when reading self-help books seems to give you great ideas but none work, or when everything you try works only temporarily or not at all, it can often be useful to get a professional consultation and then decide whether therapy might offer a new way to understand and tackle the trouble you face. Treat your first meeting or two as a consultation and let the therapist know that you are trying to figure out whether to pursue therapy.

  •  How do I pay for theray? Do you take Insurance? I do accept credit cards, but check or cash is preferred. I am also on a few insurance panels. However, medical insurance coverage for mental health and substance abuse is often different from the coverage you are familiar with for general medical problems. You will need to check whether your policy covers mental health, and whether your policy allows you to see a clinician of your choosing, or whether you are required to see someone on your insurance company's panel of providers. Call your insurance company to clarify your policies requirements, limitations, deductibles, and co-payments. For further information call me.

  • I've never done this, how does it work? When you call sometimes you may get my voicemail when I am in session or unavailable to take a call.  Please leave your name and number and I will give you a call within 24hours if not on the same business day. In a brief phone discussion, I will ask you what you are looking for, what time of day you are available for an appointment, and determine whether I am covered by your insurance.

  • How does it work with children? Generally, for children up to about 12 years of age,  I will meet with the parents first, and then the child.  After 13 years of age, I may meet with the child first. After the initial meeting we will talk with you about the next steps for treatment and what we hope to accomplish in our time together, so that both you and your child know what to expect.

  • What is play therapy? How can it help my child? Play therapy is a means by which therapists help children to express and address emotional issues. Since children behave and think differently from adults, therapy must be approached with these differences in mind. Play therapy uses the "language" of children's play to assist them in communicating thoughts and feelings. Typical tools of the child therapist may include board games, puppets, art materials, clay and miniature people or animal figures. As the child and therapist work with these materials, an understanding of the child's emotional needs develops. Play therapy can help relieve a child's anxieties, tantrums or conflictual feelings; it may also address possible impediments to the child's continuing development so that prospects for the child's future growth may be enhanced.

  • Marital Counseling: How does it work? I recommend that couples seeking marriage counseling see a therapist specifically experienced in working with couples. Usually couples are seen together for the first meeting. After the initial appointment a treatment plan is worked out that suits the needs of the couple. Often both partners continue to see the therapist together, but there are occasions when either or both members of the couple will have separate meetings with the therapist, but this is rare. As in any treatment, if the plan the therapist recommends does not feel right, be sure to ask for clarification.

  • What is confidential? and from whom? In general, if you are being seen individually, what you tell your therpaist is kept confidential and cannot be released without written permission. There are some important exceptions that you will discuss with your therapist. For example, we are required by law to report suspicion of child abuse and possible homicide. Also, if you are involved in a court proceeding about custody or divorce, the family court Judge can subpoena our records, and we cannot refuse to release the records. If you are concerned about any of these, you should discuss this in detail with your therapist so that you are fully informed.

    Parents have specific questions about confidentiality out of their concern for their children's welfare. On the one hand, they know that the therapist must maintain confidentiality so that their child can trust the therapist. On the other hand, they are responsible for their child's well being. This is particularly tricky when the child is a teenager. We have worked with children and teenagers extensively and are happy to discuss the details of what information is shared and how to balance these two concerns.

    Finally, when a couple or family is being seen, sometimes a member wants to share information with the therapist but not with the other family members. Please discuss this with whomever you are seeing. The issues are complicated and important.

  • How long will therapy take? While people want to be able to plan ahead, this question cannot be answered in general. It is better addressed after a consultation. The answer depends on what you are looking for help with.