I have never done therapy before, what should I expect?
It is commendable that you are willing to try something new and different to help you address important aspects of your health. It’s not easy to ask for help – I greatly value and respect the trust placed in me as a provider. I have a deep respect for any person who is willing to come to therapy and address issues from a proactive and curious stance. In our first session, we’ll talk about what’s bringing you in and what you hope to change through therapy. Many people feel very good after their first session. They feel they have taken an important first step toward improving their emotional health and wellbeing and the way they function in relationships.
You can expect a welcoming, nonjudgmental environment and you can expect that while we will talk about what’s on your mind, you will not feel pressure to discuss anything you are not ready or willing to share yet. As an experienced therapist who has been practicing for many years, you can expect to sit with a professional who has a deep commitment to helping others make meaningful and positive shifts in their lives.
In developing an atmosphere of safety and trust, we’ll work together to help you create meaningful growth and development. I strive to provide high quality, collaborative, and holistic psychotherapy services.
There is likely nothing you will say that will shock me or make me feel uncomfortable as I have treated a wide variety of presenting problems over the years, and I have trained in many different hospital and outpatient settings with diverse populations. I love what I do and look forward to helping you!
A little side note about the therapy profession: I believe that the profession of therapy is important because it provides a basic standard of care that protects the public and ensures that all licensed practitioners have undergone rigorous clinical training and graduate level education to be able to offer this unique type of service. The therapy profession is carefully regulated with ethical and legal standards in place.
What can I expect in the first phone call?
The first phone call involves a brief conversation about what’s bringing you in and what you’d like to work on or see change through therapy. I personally talk with each client before we meet to make sure that it’s a good fit. If it makes sense to move forward, we’ll schedule a time and day to meet for our first meeting. For couples, it is not necessary that I speak with each partner involved (over the phone). I typically have the initial call with one person and schedule our initial couples counseling session from there. At this time, all sessions are held virtually.
I am afraid of being judged.
I see lots of couples/ individuals everyday seeking help for the same reasons you are looking for support and guidance right now. It should be celebrated that you care so much about your intimate relationships and well-being that you are willing to get a little uncomfortable for the sake of growth and more loving connection. You’re taking the necessary steps to improve your life and relationships and that’s something to be proud of. Everyone needs support at some point because, let’s face it, relationships and life can be hard! For couples in a long-term committed relationship, sustaining a loving and connected partnership as you evolve as individuals is a challenging experience and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. Life’s diverse challenges can be overwhelming. Know that it’s okay to seek guidance when it comes to the health of your relationships, your family, and your general emotional well-being, whether it’s from a parent, a friend or a therapist. Ultimately, it’s better to get help and risk being judged than it is to leave your relationship issues unresolved to potentially worsen and fester into the future.
(For Partners) We are worried about finding the time.
It’s true that therapy does require time and effort. It might currently feel difficult to imagine where it can fit in when you already have a demanding schedule. Unfortunately, there is no way around this – it will take time to address the concerns and reach a better place. The good news is that couples therapy is not a lifetime commitment. It can be helpful to talk with your partner about couples therapy before making the first call since you may have to agree to make some temporary scheduling shifts in order to accommodate your treatment goals.
Modern MFT offers ongoing relationship therapy, individual therapy, and also brief accelerated programs to accommodate a variety of different needs. Fortunately, couples therapy is not a life-long commitment. While it’s relatively brief in duration, the results are designed to be long lasting. Whether I am providing individual therapy or couples therapy, I focus on both the practical + the underlying dynamic shifts in order to help my clients experience greater satisfaction and joy in their lives over the long-term.
We are nervous about the whole process and worried about what might come up.
It’s true, the unknown can be anxiety-producing and a bit scary. However, I have found in my work that my clients most typically feel a sense of relief and increased well-being by coming to therapy. While it can bring up uncomfortable feelings as we begin to address problematic areas, therapy has also been shown to provide a sense of calm and relief as these areas get worked through and addressed. It might be helpful to think about a few of the following questions: how much time each week is currently spent being worried about the relationship or in conflict? Or, in general – how much time are you currently spending not really enjoying your precious time together? What would it be like to have more clarity and know-how when it comes to relationship concerns? What would it be like to really feel seen and heard and appreciated by your partner? What would it be like to feel more secure in the relationship? What would it be like to have more satisfying affection and intimacy?
We’re pretty self-sufficient people and we’ve never done this before, can couples therapy really help us?
In my experience, being self-sufficient, confident, competent, and successful in many aspects of life is not necessarily correlated with intimate relationship satisfaction. Further, life is stressful and hard at times, transitions can throw us for a loop, couples counseling (and therapy in general) provides a safe space to deal with the concerns in a constructive way.
In general, I operate with the belief that “the goal of therapy is to end therapy.” Meaning, I aim to help you develop an improved sense of well-being along with the skills, knowledge, and enhanced ability to handle distressing issues, life transitions, and relationship challenges more effectively.
Time in therapy is difficult to predict due to the highly individualized nature of the service; it really varies depending on each individual person and their particular circumstances and goals for the work. As an experienced licensed professional, I can make recommendations based on my understanding of the issues and how best to treat them. You can rest assured that I will always make it a point to ask you how you feel your progress is going. I believe transparency and collaboration are critical to the success of this work.
Time in therapy also depends on what you are hoping to achieve and which service is the best fit for you at this particular time. The Modern MFT accelerated programs offer more targeted support and guidance and therefore do not require the same level of time commitment as traditional weekly psychotherapy services.
In thinking about and discussing your goals and reasons for seeking therapy –both in the intake call and with your loved ones involved, you will develop a better understanding of what you might need to focus on at this time. I want you to be successful in achieving the goals you set for yourself. Our initial call is an important first step in helping you to determine the best way to proceed.
The majority of my clients (for ongoing psychotherapy) are seen anywhere from 6-36 months on a weekly basis. Keep in mind that there will be several weeks throughout a given year where we will not be able to meet – whether due to holidays or vacation time. We will always have the chance to discuss any upcoming conflicts regarding dates well in advance so you’ll be able to count on your sessions as planned.
It is disappointing to feel you and your partner are not on the same page with getting help and support. Unfortunately, this does happen from time to time. Sometimes, it just takes the first step of coming in for one appointment for the uncertain partner to warm up to the process and discover it’s not so scary or uncomfortable after all.
You might start with reading through my website together to get a feel for how my approach might be a good fit for the issues you are both facing at this time. Our initial phone call will help point you in the right direction if you are unsure which service might be most helpful.
It’s a good idea to share with your partner the reasons you think couples counseling might be beneficial at this time. While you can’t force someone to come to therapy, you can express how you feel and share your intentions about why you think the services might be helpful and timely for you both. The Modern Accelerated Program for Couples (MAP 90-minute consult) might be a great option to explore so that you can gain clarity and guidance on how best to proceed. Sometimes partners find that a one time session feels a little less intimidating overall than starting couples therapy for more long-term, in-depth work.
I view therapy as a powerful, life enhancing experience and an important investment – whether pursued individually or as a couple. Therapy is a unique type of service in that it requires a serious commitment and an active effort on your part.
I want to help you achieve lasting results – not temporary ones, so our sessions will focus both on practical skill-building as well as on deep interpersonal shifts and relationship dynamics so you get the most benefit.
My goal is to be a trusted guide in facilitating the change process. I offer a range of services including ongoing weekly therapy and accelerated programs to target particular areas in need of growth or attention–both for individuals and for couples.
A client’s confidentiality is of primary importance.
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all client/ therapist communications. However, there are a few exceptions when confidentiality must be broken:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
I do not accept insurance on an in-network basis. Some clients may be curious about why I decided not to contract with the insurance companies on an in-network basis. There are several reasons for this. If I were to contract with insurance on an in-network basis, I would essentially be working for the insurance company. The insurance company would determine course of treatment, number of sessions, and fees. Accepting insurance on an out-of-network basis allows me to provide creative, personalized, client-centered care. In addition, some clients prefer the privacy of seeking services without the oversight from their insurance company.
In addition to weekly therapy services, my unique accelerated programs for both individuals and couples offer a more targeted type of support on a time-limited basis — which offers additional accessibility of services to those with limited or no insurance coverage.
For weekly services, I provide a monthly statement with the necessary codes if you’d like to submit your receipts for reimbursement. In my experience, insurances typically reimburse clients between 50%-80% of the fee. To find out about your particular coverage, you can call the number on the back of your insurance card and ask to speak with a mental health representative.
Ask what your out-of-network coverage is for the following codes:
90791 (Initial session)
90834 (Individual session)
90847 (Couple/family session)
If you have a deductible, that means that you are responsible for the amount of the deductible first before receiving the percentage of the fee covered by your insurance plan. In the cases where there is no deductible and you have out-of-network benefits, clients typically begin receiving reimbursement checks from the insurance company within two weeks of submitting their receipt.
To get started, please contact me at 917.708.7088
I speak briefly to all prospective clients prior to scheduling the initial consultation appointment to make sure it feels like a good fit.
The initial consultation appointment is 45 minutes. This meeting provides us with an opportunity to discuss your interest in coming to therapy at this time, and to take some time to evaluate your specific needs.
I provide a tailored approach to relationship health and wellness. As part of the personal nature of the work between client and therapist, it’s important to make sure the professional relationship is a good fit for both parties. If we decide to proceed, we will typically meet on a weekly basis for 45-minutes per session. However, I also provide short-term accelerated programs as well. The frequency and length of the sessions will be tailored to meet the needs of the client and the treatment. I look forward to hearing from you!
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