How do I choose a therapist?
Finding the right therapist is critical to having a positive experience in therapy. When choosing a therapist consider the following issues:
- Goodness of Fit – Is the therapist easy to talk to? Do you feel heard and understood? Research has proven the fit between the therapist and the client is the single most important contributor to a successful outcome.
- General Philosophy – Is the therapist’s philosophy one that makes sense to you? Can they explain how they believe change occurs for clients and how they approach the client relationship?
- Define How They Will Help You – Can the therapist explain what you can expect from them and the counseling process? Are they able to provide a roadmap for therapy?
- Adhere to Ethical Practices – Every therapist has a Code of Ethics to which they must comply. Does the therapist adhere to the restrictions on issues such as dual relationships, boundaries and confidentiality?
- Experience With Your Issue – Therapists should not treat clients who are outside of their scope of practice and experience. Has the therapist worked with other clients with issues similar to yours?
- Licensure – Is the therapist appropriately licensed? In Texas all therapists/social workers/psychologists/psychiatrists must have a current license with the appropriate licensing board.
- Complaints – Is the therapist competent and ethical? Do they have any complaints with their licensing board?
What kind of therapeutic approaches do you use?
I deeply believe that that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to helping human beings- we are just too diverse and brilliant for that. I use an eclectic approach including EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, motivational interviewing, mindfulness and the Gottman method for couples, among others. My work is further informed by interpersonal neurobiology, internal family systems and trauma-informed approaches.
What is the difference between Psychotherapy, EMDR and Coaching?
In a traditional talk therapy approach we may talk about both current issues and struggles while also exploring the connection to past hurts and concerns. A therapy approach may go deeper into exploring the cause and effect of past events by examining the thoughts, feelings and beliefs related to them.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) is a different therapeutic approach to resolving past pain, hurt, trauma and other distressing experiences. EMDR focuses on helping the brain to resume its natural healing process without having to reveal in-depth details of past events and often in a more time-efficient process. EMDR can be used to treat PTSD, anxiety, depression and other issues causing distress by taking a whole human approach targeting the core components of personhood- thoughts, feelings and somatic (body) symptoms. You can learn more about EMDR here. Together, we can discuss the best approach to use in our work.
A coaching model focuses on specific life and work goals and take a solution-oriented “here and now” approach. I often use a coaching model with parents to help them develop strategies and solutions to specific challenges they are facing within their family.
Regardless of approach I will provide support and guidance while acting as a resource along the way.
Do you take insurance?
I have made the decision to not accept insurance, as doing so limits the kind of care I can provide, how often and for how long you can receive care, demands you meet the criteria for a major mental health disorder, allows non-clinicians to determine major decisions about your care and gives them access to your private information.
Insurance companies use your health data to make access decisions on what kind of care they will pay for you to receive. This managed access does not allow for decision making by the client-therapist partnership and is based on utilization reviews and predictive algorithms. Therapy is a relational framework that requires humans, not algorithms, to determine the next best step.
My practice accepts a limited number of EAP plans. Receiving care through your EAP benefit is different than using insurance. EAPs generally provide short-term services for a variety of behavioral wellness issues, but they are not meant to provide long term services. Often EAPs view their services as health and wellness services, so you normally do not have to have a diagnosis to use these benefits.
- U.T. Health EAP
- First Responders Mental Health Program through the City of Austin
Should you wish to file a claim with your insurance company, I am happy to provide you with the necessary paperwork and you can then work with your benefits provider on reimbursement. I issue receipts for services at the end of every month upon request.
You may use your HSA or FSA card to pay for therapy services if your employer provides this benefit. Please check with your HSA or FSA provider for details.
How much does therapy cost/ What are your fees?
- Initial 15 Minute Telephonic Consultation – No Fee
- 50 Minute Individual or Couples Session – $175
- 90 Minute Extended Session- $275
No Surprises Act 2022
As of 1/1/2022 the Federal government has enacted the No Surprises Act 2022 to help consumers understand their healthcare costs when accessing care with a provider. While intended primarily to avoid surprise out of network billing from hospitals and other large healthcare centers, all self-pay including uninsured consumers must now be provided with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) reflecting the maximum anticipated costs of their healthcare services from a provider. In psychotherapy, a variety of factors contribute to length of treatment and therefore cost. If you are paying out of pocket for therapy I will provide you a GFE detailing possible costs of treatment based on duration and frequency of services. All costs and fees for services are also provided to all clients in the Informed Consent form completed as part of your intake process. You can read about your rights and protections of the No Surprise Act 2022 here: DHH Client Disclosure
For questions not addressed here, please feel free to send me an email.
- Austin/Travis County Mental Health Services – http://www.integralcare.org and the 24-hour Crisis Hotline 512.472.HELP (4357)
- GoodTherapy Website for general consumer information on therapy – http://www.goodtherapy.org/explore-therapy
- National Institute of Health – http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index
- National Alliance on Mental Illness –http://www.nami.org
- No Surprises Act 2022 – https://www.cms.gov/nosurprises