Frequently Asked Questions
HOW MUCH DO SESSIONS COST, AND WHAT KIND OF PAYMENT METHODS DO YOU ACCEPT?
My fee is $150 per hour. Your very first session, as an individual or couple will last two hours ($300) and follow-up sessions are typically one-hour long ($150). Follow up sessions are scheduled once per week or biweekly, depending on my clinical recommendations which will be based on the assessment I make during our first session.
DO YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?
I no longer accept insurance. However, I am able to provide a detailed receipt (that will include your diagnosis) acceptable by insurance companies for an out-of-network reimbursement. The percentage of the reimbursement depends on each individual plan.
You need to first meet your deductible before your insurance pays for any portion of the service provided. This is true for any other medical service billed to your insurance.
Additionally, some individual plans have a separate deductible for mental health services.
Things to keep in mind when using your insurance:
- You must have a diagnosis for your insurance to pay for your treatment. This includes billing insurance for out of network services.
- Billing your insurance company for mental health services creates increased limitations in confidentiality. This means that your insurance company has access to your confidential records, such as your diagnosis, issues addressed in therapy sessions, and your therapeutic progress.
- Self-paid clients have greater assurance of confidentiality.
WHAT WILL MY FIRST SESSION BE LIKE?
As a new individual or a couple coming to see me, your first appointment will last 2 hours. This time is mostly spent taking history, to learn about you and your world including your past and present. I will gather information about your family, current and past relationships, work, health history, hobbies, accomplishments and perceived failures, and your symptoms, to name a few. I would then make recommendations based on my clinical judgment for your unique situation. This includes deciding whether we should meet again, and at what frequency our follow-up sessions will be, for example, whether we will meet once weekly or once bi-weekly.
I AM INTERESTED IN SEX THERAPY, BUT WHAT IF I FEEL ASHAMED TO TALK ABOUT MY PROBLEM?
It is not as hard to talk about sex with a therapist as you may think. We have extensive knowledge and training in this area, and there is not much out there that we have not heard before.
I am skilled in working with a variety of sexual issues and I subscribe to a sex-positive perspective, which enables me to provide my clients with a safe and non-judgmental setting where they can explore their issues without having to experience shame.
If you have any sexual concerns, you are encouraged to seek the opinion of a professional and you are discouraged from waiting for things to get better on their own, as unfortunately, that is not typical.
Frequently, sexual problems can be reversed, especially when early intervention is employed. This will also prevent the problem from impacting other settings of the person’s life, such as relationships and the person’s over all psychological function.
IN WHAT LANGUAGES ARE SESSIONS OFFERED?
I can provide sessions in English, Portuguese or Spanish*.
*Please note, however, that I am not a native Spanish speaker.
HOW LONG AND HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK IS A TYPICAL SESSION?
Sessions are 60 minutes and are typically scheduled once per week depending on my clinical recommendations. At times, sessions are scheduled on a biweekly basis from the very beginning of treatment.
Over the course of treatment, the frequency of sessions is decreased until the patient is discharged from treatment. For example, you might begin seeing me once-per week, then see me biweekly, to eventually see me only once per month until we conclude your treatment.
HOW LONG WILL I BE IN COUNSELING?
The length of time you are in counseling depends on the nature of the problem and the goals of the counseling. Some clients have a very specific problem that can be worked through in a set course of sessions. For others, counseling is an on-going learning process and they choose to receive counseling for a longer period.
The types of therapeutic modalities that I use tend to be short term, where individuals are able to resolve their internal issues and learn new tools they can implement in their lives. The range of length of time people have stayed in therapy is 3 months to two years with the average length being about 6 months.
6 months has also been the average for couples in therapy together. This average includes some couples that have benefited from only 3 months of weekly therapy (approximately 12 sessions), to some who required a full year receiving weekly sessions. Couples whose issues consist of pathological matters which require interventions to address deeper and confounding contributors to problems in their relationships, tend to require more time in therapy.
It is typical for patients to return for 'refreshers' once in a while.
WILL THE THERAPIST KEEP CONFIDENTIAL FROM MY PARTNERS THINGS THAT I TELL HER IN CONFIDENCE?
Transparency is encouraged in healthy relationships, however, there are specific aspects of a person’s life that only belong to that person and should only be shared if he or she wants or feels safe to share. During the course of couples’ treatment, I split the partners into a few individual sessions. During these sessions, the individual is provided with a safe environment to share whatever he or she wants. I will then provide feedback to the individual which may include recommendations to disclose certain aspects of the individual session with the absent partner. However, regardless of my recommendation, any disclosures that I am asked not to share with the absent partner, will not be shared. This opportunity for safety and confidentiality is extend to both partners equally. This allows for a save space for each person to work out the contributions they are making to the problem in the relationships by feeling safe to explore underlying individual issues.
WILL I BE PRESCRIBED MEDICATION?
As a counselor and therapist, I am not legally allowed to prescribe medications. However, based on a joint assessment of problems you are facing, it may be advisable to consult with a psychiatrist to determine whether medication is warranted. Typically, clients see someone under their health insurance coverage or I can refer you to a psychiatrist if I determine that it is necessary.
IS ON-LINE COUNSELING AVAILABLE?
I provide on-line counseling via Skype for individuals who do not have ready access to a counselor due to geographic limitations or for those who feel I would be a good fit. However, this service is only available for Florida residents at this time.