Does therapy work?
Yes, therapy can be the impetus for tremendous personal growth and healing, and the research is clear on this.
How long does therapy take?
It depends on many factors, but research indicates that the benefits of therapy are more permanent as the length of treatment increases. However, the number of sessions often depends on the individual and their presenting issues. As such I recognize and appreciate the real-world limitations that often exist, and together we can create a plan that works best for you.
Are you a certified mental health counselor?
Yes, I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) in the state of North Carolina, a designation only given to individuals who have completed rigorous Master’s level training, completed at least 3000 hours of supervised clinical work, passed the required examinations, and completed the ongoing training required by the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors. I am also a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), and I have completed many more hours of training in modern psychoanalysis, play therapy, grief counseling, and other training.
In which areas of mental health do you have expertise?
The most important predictor of positive outcomes in therapy is a feeling of connection with the therapist. I work from a holistic perspective, and as such, I see clients from across the developmental spectrum struggling with a wide variety of issues, including men’s issues, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, family of origin issues, and addiction. However, I do have extensive training and experience in grief and loss, as well as child/teen therapy.
What can I talk about during sessions?
The therapeutic relationship is a special and sacred one in that you can discuss even the most private and difficult topics, in a safe and confidential environment.
Are sessions private?
Absolutely. I am bound to maintain your confidentiality, and no information is released without your consent, unless you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, report elder or child abuse, or sign a written release of information.
How long are sessions?
All sessions are 50 minutes long.
Are you LGBTQIA-friendly?
Absolutely. I happily work with clients of all sexual identities and orientations, and I strongly advocate your fundamental right to embrace and express your individuality.
Do you have a sliding scale fee?
Yes. A limited number of sliding scale fee slots are available for those experiencing financial strain. Payment details can be discussed in person.
What kind of payment do you accept?
I currently accept cash, paypal, Visa, MasterCard, and personal checks; all payments are due at the end of each session.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes, I currently accept Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Aetna, and Cigna. However, if you choose, paying out of pocket frees us from the shackles of diagnosis, which insurance companies require, and which becomes a permanent part of your health records. In addition, many patients feel that mental health diagnoses, like other labels, can be misleading, stigmatizing, and dehumanizing.
If you have health insurance through another insurance company, I am happy to provide the necessary documentation for you to file for reimbursement. In either case, getting the necessary help is the most important thing, so please contact me to discuss a payment scenario that works.
What questions should I ask my insurance company about out-of-network benefits?
- Do I have out-of-network mental health benefits?
- Are services delivered by a licensed professional counselor associate covered?
- Is pre-approval required before obtaining out-of-network mental health services in order to be reimbursed?
- If I have out-of-network benefits, will I be reimbursed for the full amount?
- Do I have a deductible and if so, what is it?
- For couples therapy, do you cover the procedural code 90847?
Why might couples therapy not be covered by insurance?
Relationship conflict itself is not considered “medically necessary” to treat. This means that in order to use your benefits, either you or your partner will need to meet criteria for a mental health diagnosis.
Your insurance may cover a procedural code 90847 for your spouse to be present in therapy. However, treatment not only includes the procedural code, but also the diagnostic code. The diagnostic code tells the insurance company the mental illness for which the patient is being treated, and on what they base medical necessity. The diagnostic code for relationship therapy is Z-Code 63.0, “problems in relationship with spouse or partner”. This code is often rejected by insurance companies for not being medically necessary.There are other advantages to not using your insurance company:
- Neither person is labeled the “patient”, which can lead to imbalance and pathologizing.
- No detailed information about your relationship is divulged to the insurance company.
- There are no limits to the number of therapy sessions.
What happens if I have to cancel?
If you need to cancel, please provide at least 48 hours notice. If you do not show up for an appointment, or fail to give at least 48 hours notice, you will be charged the full amount for the session (not just the copay).
How can I get started?
Call or email to arrange an appointment. See the Contact page for details.