1. Does being in therapy mean there is something wrong with me or that I have a mental illness?
Psychotherapy is a choice and an investment. People seek out therapy for a range of reasons and the reasons are as diverse as the people are. Usually it’s to understand yourself or others, solve some problems or simply to improve upon your lifestyle or outlook. Being in therapy never means that something is wrong with you. I believe people who seek therapy have the strength to work on living life to the fullest. They are often taking life difficulties as opportunities. It takes courage to face challenges.
2. How often will we meet?
Therapy is most effective when it’s at least once a week. In special circumstances, we might decide to meet less often. I will always make sure we discuss our schedule clearly in the beginning and encourage communication as needed.
3. How long will it last?
4. What if I can’t afford your fee?
I recognize that some people may be unable to pay my full fee for office based psychotherapy. For people facing severe financial hardship, I’m willing to discuss your personal financial situation and possible alternative financial arrangements on a case-by-case basis.
5. Will you accept my insurance?
As a LCSW-R, I am reimbursable for all insurance companies, as both an in network and an out-of-network provider. If I’m not on your insurance as an in network provider, you may be eligible for reimbursement depending on your carrier’s out-of-network benefits. If you wish to use your in-network insurance when seeking my office based psychotherapy, inquire upon initial contact. If you do not carry the insurance that I am a provider for, I can provide you with a monthly statement of your payments for our sessions so that you can seek reimbursement.
6. What about confidentiality?
Therapy is confidential. By law and ethically by practice I cannot and will not disclose any information from our sessions to anyone else without written consent. There are a few important exceptions related to disclosure in regards to your personal safety and overall professional responsibility, which will be reviewed in our initial sessions.
7. What is your training and qualifications as a clinical social worker and how is does it compare to other mental health professionals?
I am licensed as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) -R in New York State. LCSWs provide the most rounded services to clients seeking psychotherapy. As a social worker, you are trained to see the person in the context of environment, and not use just the psychological approach with an individual. People often feel more comfortable with a clinical social worker than other mental health professionals because we tend to focus less on the old medical model of diagnosis and treatment and give more credence to culture, society, resources, and opportunity. LCSWs can refer clients to a psychiatrist for medication evaluation needs. In New York State LCSWs in private psychotherapy practice have at least 3 years of experience as professional psychotherapists. LCSW-Rs have at least 6 years post graduate clinical experience in providing psychotherapy with ongoing training.