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Frequently Asked Questions

Will my insurance cover your fees?

Insurance coverage tends to reimburse for “medically necessary” conditions.  Typically, this will involve assessing that you meet criteria for diagnosis of a mental disorder.  Insurance companies can vary in terms of which diagnoses and modes of treatment they will cover.  If your insurance plan includes mental health benefits, you meet the criteria of your insurance plan’s “medical necessity”, and I am on their authorized provider list it is likely that my services will be covered. You will need to check with your specific insurance company regarding the limitations of your mental health benefit. Please see the fees and insurance page for more information. It is important to note that if you do not want to have a mental disorder diagnosis in your health data base you can choose to not use your health insurance for your treatment.

Important note about couples/marital counseling. Many insurance companies will not reimburse for this service. In addition, I do not diagnose mental disorders for people seeking couples counseling as I focus treatment on the relationship problems, not on treating an individual’s psychiatric disorder.

How long will counseling take?

I conduct both long and short term therapies. Many clients find their goals can be met in 12-20 visits. Short term therapies can be completed in a matter of two or three months; long term therapies can range from 6 to 18 months, or longer.

The length of your treatment will depend in part upon the complexity and number of problems as well as the severity of your symptoms. Solely focusing on symptom relief can be a shorter process than focusing on more deeply rooted personal and interpersonal changes.

Often it is best to begin by meeting on a weekly basis in order to establish a relationship and build some momentum for change.Weekly sessions also provide the potential for a more rapid relief of symptoms. As your situation stabilizes, and you learn new skills and experience some symptom relief, we can begin to meet less frequently, but still frequently enough to solidify and maintain positive changes.

Can you prescribe medication?

No, but I can make a referral to a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, or to your primary care physician for a medication consultation. With your permission, I can then work with your prescriber to coordinate psychotherapy with medication management.

What’s the difference between a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a counselor, and a social worker?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) with special training in prescribing medications to help with psychiatric disorders and mental illness, such as anxiety or depression. A psychiatrist will also receive training in diagnosis and talk therapy and must be licensed by the state.

A psychologist has completed a doctor of philosophy or doctor of psychology degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) which are typically five year post-graduate programs that focus on diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, talk therapy skills, and psychological testing, as well as teaching and research. The five year degree program includes a one year internship of full time clinical training. Additional hours of supervised residency clinical training are also required to meet state license requirements. Some psychologists with additional specific training now prescribe medication.

A counselor usually completes a master’s degree program (two years post-graduate) in counseling skills as well as supervised clinical training to meet state licensing requirements. Counselors are not typically trained to diagnose psychiatric disorders, conduct psychological testing, and cannot prescribe medication.

A social worker completes a social work degree (MSW) in 2-3 years time with a focus on counseling and case management skills. A social worker may also complete further supervised clinical practice for state licensing. Social workers also do not conduct psychological testing and cannot prescribe medication.