Investing in your most important relationship.
INITIAL SESSION FOR COUPLES & FAMILIES
The first meeting is a 90 minutes in order to allow sufficient time to set initial goals and begin your growth process.
75-minute session, access to family tools and at-home exercises.
SINGLE SESSIONS (Individuals, Children & Couples)
50-minute session, access to tools, and at-home exercises.
Full payment is due at each session. Fees may be payable by credit & debit cards, checks, cash and Paypal.
Payments are preferred through the auto-pay Client Portal system, your credit card will be automatically charged following your session.
* A sliding scale is available to assist those who are unable to afford regular rates. Please contact me for more details.
Insurance: I do not accept any type of insurance as I am an "out-of-network" provider. For more information on possible reimbursement please read the FAQs section "insurance" below.
Why do people go to therapy and how can it help me?
People of all walks of life go through challenging situations at different points in life. While you may have been able to overcome previous challenges you may now feel like you need some extra support and are ready to make a change in your life. People have different motivations to come to therapy such as marital conflicts, premarital support or parenting challenges. Some people are facing major life transitions such as divorce, separation, death in a family, cultural differences in families, new job/housing..etc. Some teens may be struggling with confidence, anxiety, are facing challenges with peers or may be feeling overwhelmed with academic pressures. Regardless of the reason therapy provides long-lasting benefits and can help you gain a new perspective on your life needed to overcome difficult situations.
Therapists are outsiders that can provide a different view point on a difficult problem. Therapy can help you in many ways such as by managing strong emotions to improving your communication, however, it is a process that often requires patience and practice.
What's the first step to start therapy?
Reaching out is a courageous first step to therapy. I want to honor this first step by scheduling a phone conversation at no charge to briefly discuss your situation so that I can understand your counseling and scheduling needs. If we are a "fit" for each other, we will set up an initial appointment where we will talk in person.
What is therapy like and how frequent are sessions?
The very first session for couples is a double session meaning that we will meet for 1 hour and 40 minutes. After that, regular 50 minute sessions will typically remain at a regular time weekly. Setting a consistent time slot can be a challenge and I will do my best to find something that works for you, however, it will also take real commitment on your part.
When you feel ready, sessions will shift to every other week, monthly and then on an as-needed basis.
Therapy is a unique experience because each person has different needs and goals for therapy. Generally, you can expect to share about situations that may be causing distress in your life and personal history relevant to those issues. You will see notable differences in your life if you actively participate in the therapy process; therefore I may encourage you to engage in activities outside of sessions to support your continued growth such as - reading, journaling, active movement. The goal is to transfer what you learn in sessions back into your daily life.
What if I am late?
I work hard to begin each session promptly at the appointed time so you don't have to wait. In order to make this system work, if you arrive late, your session will end at the scheduled time.
On rare occasions, there are unavoidable emergencies on my end. If I begin a session late for such a situation, your session will be extended to provide the full 50-minute session.
Neither you or I are expected to wait longer than 15 minutes past the scheduled time for the start of the session unless there has been previous notice. If you know you're going to be late, please send me a text/email to let me know.
What is your cancellation policy?
Your appointment time is reserved exclusively for you and I have a 48 hour cancellation policy. Thus, if you cancel an appointment less than 48 hours prior to your appointment or fail to show for your appointment without notice, you will be charged the full cost of your scheduled appointment. If one person in a couple/family is unable to attend a joint session, attending solo may be an option (please check with me first). Please be aware that insurance companies do not reimburse for missed sessions.
EMERGENCY EXCEPTION: The only exception to this cancellation policy is a "true emergency". Some examples of true emergencies are car accidents, a death in the family, or illness. Although frustrating and painful, work issues and cancelled babysitters, do not constitute "true emergencies" in the context of this policy. If one person is sick, a child is sick, a babysitter becomes unavailable, or one partner is out-of-town, I can offer a video session or to meet individually (couples or families).
All emergency exceptions require a notification within 24hrs of the scheduled session otherwise you can expect to be charged.
May I bring my infant or child to therapy?
You may bring your child to the waiting room if your child is 12 years old or older and is capable of remaining in the waiting area, without disruption, for the parent's full session time. Please know that responsibility for all aspects of the child's behavior rests solely with the parent, as does responsibility for the safety of the child. There will not be any staff or supervision available to assist your child if he or she is in distress or to prevent him or her from harm.
Due to the risk of injury and possibility of disruption to the care of other patients, all children under 12 years old in the waiting room must be under the direct supervision of an accompanying adult at all times.
Couples therapy is generally not a place for your baby or toddler. Rather, it's a place free of distractions where a couple can focus on each other and learn how to get their needs met. Over the long term, this will better equipped the couple to meet the needs of their child. I do make exceptions if the couples session is focused on how to interact with the child; however, this should be discussed well in advance.
How does communication work in between sessions?
VOICEMAILS: If you need to contact me between sessions, please call 408 768 5300 and leave a message on my voice mail. I am often not immediately available; however, I will attempt to return your call within 24 hours. Please do not include clinical and/or personal content in voicemails.
EMAILS & TEXTS: It is fine use email and texts for administrative items such as changing appointments. You can also use the secure messaging in the client portal. If you are in couples counseling, please ALWAYS copy your partner in all communications. This helps us maintain trust.
Even though I deeply care about you and your situation, I kindly request that you do not send emails with thoughts about what happened in therapy, background on your personal lives, or other matters related to our clinical work together. I generally recommend that you journal or write an email to yourself and then, when in session, read it out loud in session. This is a great way to prepare your thoughts. If you need to discuss or resolve an issue before our next scheduled session because it is time sensitive, it is best to schedule an extra appointment. It is difficult for me to turn away from your heartfelt communications because I really do care. Please know that my policy is aimed at healthy boundaries and setting up a safe place where you can both feel fully heard.
PRIVACY: Lastly, please know that electronic communications, even ones just sent for administrative purposes, can never be guaranteed to be 100% secure. If you send an email, please do so knowing that you are willing to accept the risk of a breach of confidentiality.
I do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc).
What about data security and confidentiality of what we talk about in session?
I use an established software platform called Simple Practice for session notes, billing, your contact information and scheduling. Simple Practice follows industry best practices to ensure that your personal health information is kept secure. You can read more about their practices here.
I take confidentiality extremely serious! I believe that it is the utmost important aspect of psychotherapy; sharing highly sensitive matters requires a lot of trust. Please understand that confidentiality refers to protection of information shared with a therapist (me) from being shared with third parties without express consent. The session content and all relevant materials to the client’s treatment will be held confidential unless the client requests in writing to have all or portions of such content released to a specifically named person/persons such as physicians, psychiatrists or other medical professionals.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.
You can expect to receive documents that provide details regarding confidentiality/informed consent and its limitations at our first session. I am happy to discuss any questions or concerns with you.
Occasionally I may need to consult with other professionals in their areas of expertise in order to provide the best treatment for you. Information about you may be shared in this context without using your name or any other identifiable information.
If we see each other accidentally outside of the therapy office, I will not acknowledge you first - I do not wish to jeopardize your privacy. However, if you acknowledge me first, I will be more than happy to speak briefly with you about non therapy matters, but I feel it's appropriate not to engage in any lengthy discussions in public or outside of the therapy office.
Do you accept insurance?
I am an out-of- network provider, which means that full payment is due from you at the beginning of each therapy session.
It is your choice whether you would like to apply for insurance reimbursement or not. Although I do not accept direct payment from insurance companies, I provide a “super-bill” to you which includes the standard information (such as diagnosis and treatment codes) that most insurance companies require. You then submit the super-bill to your insurance company for reimbursement. Please note that I do NOT fill out any forms that are created by your insurance company and do NOT correspond directly with them in any way.
I highly encourage you to contact your insurance company directly to find out your coverage prior to starting therapy. These are a few questions you can ask your insurance provider:
Do I have mental health insurance benefits?
Does it cover out-of-network providers for mental health services?
What is my deductible and has it been met?
How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
What diagnoses are covered if not all?
Is all psychotherapy covered? Individual? Couple? Family? Child/Teen?
Is approval required from my primary care physician?