What happens in therapy? What can I expect?
The process starts with you reaching out. I would encourage each individual to first read about my experience and see if based on that you think it will be a good fit. Matching with your therapist is essential! The process of therapy is a sacred one of trust. Therefore, in order to feel comfortable doing the work, you must feel confident in your therapist, their competency and ethics. It is a journey of exploration, change and growth. That is led by you and supported by your therapist. As each person's experience is unique, the intake (first session) is important. It is the beginning of building that relationship.
Generally, therapy sessions are weekly for about 45-50 minutes. I encourage people to start this way as it helps build the relationship and fosters an environment for change. At these meetings, you will discuss your concerns, events over the week or practice/role play strategies that align with your treatment goals. Counseling is a collaborative effort between the therapist and client. You learn effective ways to deal with your problems by building upon your personal strengths. It is not unusual for individuals to feel nervous or uncomfortable before starting, but this addressed in the beginning (see question about first session) where the treatment goals are decided and the format for how to proceed is agreed upon.
What insurance do you take and how much does therapy cost?
I take Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Highmark Health Options and Self Pay. The billing rate is $150 an hour. During the first session I discuss your particular finances and the costs associated with working with me. I feel transparency in this area helps to foster a more therapeutic environment. We can't do the work that needs to be done if there is worry or confusion about the costs.
Is what we talk about confidential?
In the first session we discuss all the parameters of confidentiality. Generally, what people talk about is protected by law. I am not allowed to disclose anything about our session beyond what you agree to (release of confidentially). However, there are certain situations as a mandated reporter I am required to disclose. I discuss this process and what you can expect from me if those situations arise.
What can I expect in the first session?
The first session is an opportunity to gather information. I ask that prior to the first appointment all intake forms be completed electronically. My practice utilizes secure electronic medical records for ease and convenience. When we meet there is an opportunity to talk about the issues that are bringing you in. The conversation will often include a discussion about your history, previous treatment experiences and thoughts around the ways in which I may be able to help. Its a great time to ask questions about me, my training and my philosophy. It is important that you feel comfortable and confident that what you want to work on has been addressed and you feel heard. Before scheduling the next session, we talk about treatment goals and make sure that the purpose of therapy is clear and collaborative.
What is your cancellation policy?
Like most health care providers, if we don't work we do not get paid. Therefore, I ask for a 24 hour notice of cancellation. There is a fee for cancelling in less than that time frame. However, we are all human and life happens. Communication is key to building healthy relationships so I encourage that most. I believe the people I work with would agree that I am very responsive to them and when they have to cancel I do my best to accommodate. I would say that people that know me and have worked with me know that I feel time, and what we do with our time, is important. Therefore, I show up on time ready to work and encourage my clients to do the same. It fosters change and growth.
What age range do you see?
Over the years, this has changed. But currently, I focus my work with adolescents. I see people ages 12-26. That being said, my training allows me to see adults as well. I have worked with younger children and will but right now this is on a case by case basis. I usually meet with the parent/guardian first to ensure that the type of work I do will be beneficial to their little one.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, and a therapist? What is a Post Doc?
A psychiatrist attended medical school and therefore holds an M.D. Psychiatrists focus on the use of medication for psychological treatment.
Psychologists, on the other hand, may have their Ph.D. or Psy.D. Psychologists' training focuses on assessment and therapy. They may provide one or both of these services. While we cannot prescribe medication, we can provide therapy as a supplement to those who are already on medications.
A therapist can hold various different degrees and licenses, such as an LMFT, LSW or LPCMH. A therapist's training focuses primarily around therapy.
I am a bit of a hybrid. I have my LPCMH and have been practicing under that license since 2012. Prior to that I was a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CSC-AD) and began that practice in 2001. Currently, I am in the Post Doc phase of my doctoral pursuit. That means, I graduated with my PysD (FINALLY!) and am practicing under supervision until I have completed the required supervised hours to apply for licensure as a psychologist. As a Post Doc I do complete psychological assessments please see the tab above or contact me directly for more information about that.
I am a huge believer that treatment is a collaborative process. Therefore, I prefer to collaborate with any and all providers that are working with my clients. I wholeheartedly believe that wellness takes a village.
Where are you located?
The practice is located at 5360 Summit Bridge Road Unit #6 Middletown, DE 19709.
I am in the Cricklewood Shopping Center. The building is located all the way in the back. If you turn into the center, you would following the main building on the right all the way around to the back of the parking lot. You would be facing the front on my building. We are the end unit (#6) located next to the playground.