Frequently Asked Questions

Scroll down below to find the answers to commonly asked questions. 

If you have any other questions, e-mail or call (808) 859-2017

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
Yes! I accept most major health insurance plans. Please contact me to ensure that I am currently participating with your insurance carrier. Most insurance companies now cover mental health services. You may want to check with your insurance carrier and find the answers to the following questions:
  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is a referral required from my primary care physician, or do I need a pre-authorization?
For other insurance plans: You may, according to the terms of your policy provider, submit a request for reimbursement of payments for an out-of-network provider. Some companies will reimburse 50 to 100% of your therapy services. If you would like to pursue this option, you will pay the full fee at the time of service, and I will provide you with a receipt to submit to your insurance company. I am happy to assist you with any paperwork required, but you are responsible for knowing the limits and procedures required by your insurance provider.
* Please note that insurance does not pay for forensic (court-related) psychological services. 

Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as divorce or work transition. Even the life changes we consider to be positive can result in anxiety or confusion. The struggles we go through are immeasurable, and there are times when we could all benefit from help in managing life. Many seek the advice of a counselor as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems. 
 Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. 

How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Does therapy work?
Numerous studies show that most people who have at least a few sessions of psychotherapy are far better off than untreated individuals with emotional difficulties. One major study showed that 50 percent of clients noticed improvement after eight sessions of therapy, with 75 percent of clients improved by the end of six months.  Therapy is not only effective for emotional difficulties. Mounting research supports the idea that emotional and physical health are very closely linked, and psychotherapy has been shown to improve a person's overall health status. For example, following cardiac surgery, patients who received some form of psychotherapy had better recovery rates than those who did not. (visit the APA website for more) 

When available, I use "empirically supported treatments," which are techniques and protocols that are based on research. I also stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of psychology, and adjust my practices according to what has been show to be the most effective. 

The most important determination of "what works," though, is your own experience. What works for some people doesn't work for others. Therefore, we will review your treatment goals and progress toward these goals regularly to ensure the work we are doing is helping you. 

What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and is catered to each individual and his/her specific goals. It is standard for therapist to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to incorporate what was discussed in session and to integrate it into your life between sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance

What happens at our first appointment?
Your initial session is considered a consultation. It will last approximately 60 minutes and will consist of a review of the information packet, a brief discussion of what brings you to therapy, and identification of your treatment needs and goals. I will also discuss with you my model of treatment and how it can be applied to your situation. By the end of the session, we will determine if working together is the best option for you. If so, we will schedule our next session.  (in some cases, the initial consultation may continue 2-3 additional sessions)

Sometimes, however, we decide that another treatment provider or service would be more effective for you. This may be for a number of reasons, such as another provider with an expertise in your area of need, scheduling conflicts, or simply our "fit." Research indicates a significant component in effective therapy is derived from the "fit" between the client and the therapist. Furthermore, therapy involves a large commitment of time, money, and energy, so you should be very careful about the therapist you select. Therefore, it is very important to me, if we are to work together, that you feel comfortable and confident in our working relationship. 

If it is determined for any of the above reasons that I am not the best option for you, I will provide you with contact information for other providers in the area. 

How long do sessions last?
The initial consultation session lasts for 60 minutes. Individual therapy sessions last for 45-60 minutes. 

What is biofeedback?
See the page on biofeedback to learn more about the services I provide. 

What if I'm late or can't come?
Your scheduled appointment is time that has been set aside for you. If you are going to be late for session, please call to let me know and I will wait for you to complete the remainder of your session. You will be charged for a full session. 

If you are unable to attend a scheduled session, please call to cancel at least 24 hours in advance. You will be charged the "no-show" fee of $100 for a missed session without such notification. I understand that there are some extenuating circumstances; therefore, we will discuss if a cancellation is due to an emergency or something that would have allowed you to give proper notice. Please review the therapy agreement for more on the cancellation policy.