Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: I know I need help, but I’m anxious. What should I expect?
First of all, that anxiety (and fear!) is 100% expected and normal. Change is hard, and dealing with serious topics is scary. Please know this comes with the territory of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders, which is often why you are seeking help in the first place. I do my best to inform you of each and every step along the way so there are no surprises. We first will talk by phone, for your free fifteen-minute consultation. Then we will schedule your initial intake appointment. This is a lengthy appointment because I like to get a thorough understanding of who you are, where you are, and where you want to be. I will give you feedback of any clinical findings, and explain what the heck that means. We will go through treatment options and answer any questions you may have. We will get a game plan together and you’ll leave knowing the best therapies for you, what to expect during your specific course of therapy, approximately how many sessions, and an approximate financial investment. This way, you can make an informed decision about your treatment.
Q: I’ve had therapy before but it didn’t really do anything. How is this any different?
I’m sorry to hear that. I’m happy that you’re considering treatment again, despite a negative experience. That tells me you realize something isn't right and want to know how to fix it. With that said, please know that all therapies are not created equally. We will discuss previous treatments (or lack thereof) during your Intake to see what worked and what didn't work for you.
PTSD is a highly treatable condition if you use treatments with proven effectiveness. No amount of just sitting and talking to someone will fix PTSD. Instead, I’d highly suggest an evidence-based treatment as opposed to something more broad-based and open-ended. I have specialized in this field since 2007, and have been trained in the most effective treatments to date.
Q: I’ve had a lot of trauma in my life, is there hope for me?
Great question! And yes, there is so much hope for you. The majority of the patients I serve have had multiple exposures to trauma.
Q: Several of your treatments talk about assignments; what’s involved?
I know, I know - the thought of homework makes everyone cringe. I’m not going to send you off to do a 25-page paper with citations. Nope. Think of it this way: there are 168 hours in a week. You're only spending 1 hour with me. How do you maximize gains in a time-limited treatment? PRACTICE. I will “assign” you things to work on between sessions to help you learn new skills to gain control over your symptoms. You cannot learn anything - whether it be a sport, instrument, language, hobby - without practice. This helps you to get the most out of your treatment in a limited number of sessions. I promise, I’ll make it feel the least homework-y as possible.
Q: Will my insurance cover these sessions? How does that work?
I am not in network with any insurance companies. You are responsible for 100% of the fee at the time of service. With that said, I encourage you to contact your insurance company to see if you have any out-of-network benefits available to you for mental health. If you do, I can provide you a form called a “Superbill” to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
I encourage you to investigate all options regarding insurance and arrive at an informed decision regarding your mental health care. There are many advantages to not using insurance for mental healthcare including confidentiality, the ability to work with a specialist, and more control over your treatment in general just to name a few.
Q: Do you prescribe medications?
No, I do not. Medications can only be prescribed by those authorized to do so, including MDs, PAs, and NPs. If you are interested in medications for PTSD, depression, and/or anxiety, I am happy to offer you referrals.
Q: What is cognitive-behavioral therapy?
CBTs focus on the relationship between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. During a course of treatment, you will focus on how your cognitions (thoughts) directly impact your emotional reactions and subsequent behaviors. We work to modify the cognitions causing you problems through our process.
Under the umbrella of CBT, there are many different types of CBTs (for depression, for panic, for social anxiety, and so on). The therapies I offer (e.g. CPT and PE) are CBTs for PTSD. They are well researched and shown to be effective.
Q: What kind of therapist do I need?
Great question. First of all, make sure whoever you are going to see is licensed and has the proper credentials. Psychologists, social workers, and clinical counselors are all trained to provide therapy, but please make sure they are legit.
Secondly, make sure they specialize in what you need. Don’t see someone who focuses on grief and loss if what you are really focused on is something totally unrelated. It will be a waste of your time and money. As a general rule, I suggest seeing someone who specializes in your problem area rather than a generalist.
Finally, your therapist should be someone you can feel connected to, have trust in, and that you believe you can work with to meet your treatment goals. You should have confidence in their abilities as your mental health professional. You should be looking for a partner with whom you can do great work.
Q: What if I change my mind and want a different therapist?
You are 100% in charge of your treatment! This is a big step and a commitment. If you decide to work with someone else I fully support you. Please let me know if this is the case. The inverse of this also holds true: if I do not believe I am the best provider to meet your needs, I will discuss this with you and refer you to someone who is a better fit. I want to make sure you receive the most appropriate clinical care for your identified treatment goals.
Q: I work, do you have early or late appointments?
Absolutely. I have both early and late appointments available.
Q: Will there be any written record of what I say?
Yes, secure HIPAA-compliant electronic health records are maintained for each patient after each session. My therapy notes will be a summary of what was covered in that session.
Q: I’m really scared to work on my traumas and of being judged. Will you think I’m crazy?
Working on traumas can be very scary, especially when you are worried what therapy will entail. PTSD has a great way of convincing you to continue avoiding the issue, and anxiety will try convincing you it’ll be too hard or that you won’t be able to handle it. Guess what? All those symptoms you’re dealing with now on a daily basis? I can help with that. I always tell my patients: NOTHING you go through during therapy will be nearly as bad as what you’ve 1) already been through and 2) what you’re living with now. What we’ll be doing is effective and meant to help you to get better. You’re not crazy; change is just overwhelming. You got this, I promise. I’m in your corner.