Do you offer in-person therapy sessions?
During the pandemic, I have been especially careful to not expose my clients to the COVID virus and to decrease my own risk of exposure. My office colleagues and I are committed to following all state and local orders for healthcare settings regarding COVID precautions. Our county currently requires masks in all healthcare settings for in-person appointments or recommends that healthcare services be delivered remotely (via video).
Currently, I am not offering in-person therapy sessions. I use a secure telehealth platform, called Doxy.me, that is secure confidential, and HIPAA-compliant. It does not require a client to download an application to their computer. I send a link to each client that allows them to log-in to the secure platform. Most clients find it comfortable and easy to use.
I also offer phone sessions for any clients who prefer that or do not have access to internet services or a computer.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Psychologists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that help from a psychologist can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. A psychologist can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn.
What benefits can I expect to get from therapy?
Since each person is different and likely has unique goals for therapy, the benefits will vary from person to person. However, many people gain one or more of the following from therapy:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and your values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- A decrease in stress and/or anxiety through interruption of the anxiety response
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new, healthier ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in relationships
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, you may be at a point where you would like extra support or would like to get beyond "just coping". I respect those who have the awareness to realize they could use a helping hand, and I see seeking therapeutic support as a sign of strength. When you seek therapy, you are taking responsibility to recognize where you are in life, and are making a commitment to change the situation for the better. Psychotherapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct unhealthy or damaging patterns, and overcome the challenges you face.
I’ve never seen a therapist or psychologist before. What can I expect?
My initial goal is to get to know you and to help you feel comfortable. Some people are ready talk about what’s been going on and what’s been bothering them right away. Others want to see what the therapist is like and then decide what they feel comfortable talking about. Either option is just fine. What is most important is that you feel comfortable and safe, and discuss things when you are ready.
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, the therapy experience and focus of therapy will be different for each person. My job is to get to know you, to listen and understand how you are feeling, and work with you to identify what you would like help with and/or what you want to be different in your life. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to work on more difficult patterns or more chronic problems. Typically, I suggest we meet weekly at first and then we can decide what frequency of meetings will be best for you.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the therapy process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session to your everyday life, and to help you move toward the life and lifestyle that you want. To help with this process, I sometimes suggest "homework" (things to watch for or things to try) in-between sessions.
Can I meet you first before I begin therapy?
Yes. I offer a 15-minute, complementary meeting for new clients to meet me and ask questions. There is no charge for this meeting and is an opportunity to ask me questions and get to know me. There is no obligation to begin therapy with me. It is very important that you feel that there is a good match between you and your therapist or psychologist. I support you choosing a therapist with whom you feel comfortable. This meeting can be help via video/telehealth or by phone.
How long do therapy sessions last?
Therapy sessions are generally 60 minutes in length. Some insurance companies will only cover a 45-minute session. In that case, a client can request a 60 minute session and will be billed for the additional 15 minutes ($30 charge). Please ask me if you are interested in a longer session.
What about medication? Do you prescribe medication?
Medication can be a helpful part of your treatment and your path towards more stability and happiness in life. Licensed Psychologists are not authorized to prescribe medication in Colorado, so the decision of whether to include medication as part of your treatment is one that is made between you and your physician or other healthcare provider. He or she can help you decide what will be best for you. It is important to keep in mind, however, that longer-term changes usually involve gaining better self-understanding and changing patterns in your life to support positive choices or healthier lifestyle, in addition to any medication your healthcare provider may prescribe. Psychotherapy can help with these types of changes.
Will my insurance cover the cost of therapy?
I am an “In-Network Provider” for many insurance companies (see the list under the “Rates and Insurance” tab). If I am a Provider for your insurance company, then my services will likely be covered according to the terms of your particular policy. Some policies have limits on the number of sessions, require an authorization before therapy can start, and/or require a co-pay or co-insurance to be paid by you for each therapy session. Please call your insurance company to check your benefits and the provisions of your particular policy.
If I am not "In-Network" with you insurance company, my services are still likely to be covered by your insurance company at "out-of-network" rates. You can call your insurance company to get more information about this. We also have a billing staff in our office who can check for you. Good questions to ask your insurance company are:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- Is my mental health provider (Psychologist) in-network with your company? If so, do I have a copay or co-insurance?
- If my mental health provider (Psychologist) is "out-of-network" with your company, how much of the cost will my insurance cover?
- Is an authorization from my insurance company needed before I begin therapy?
- Do I have a deductible that must be met before my insurance starts to pay? If so, how much is the deductible?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Do you accept Medicare or Medicaid?
I am a Medicare provider, so my services are covered by Medicare. I am not a Medicaid provider and my services are not covered by Medicaid or CHP+.
Do you offer evening appointments?
I offer late afternoon appointments several days per week to accommodate those who needs an appointment after school or after work. Please check with me to see if we can find a time that will work for you.
Do you work with children and teens?
No-- I do not work with children or teens. There are many good therapists in northern Colorado who do. I suggest checking with your child's pediatrician or primary care provider for a referral or call CAYAC (Connections) at 970-221-5551. They offer guidance and free referrals for mental health services in northern Colorado.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of the therapeutic relationship between a client and a Psychologist. Colorado law requires that a Psychologist keep confidential records about what is discussed in therapy. In addition, a Licensed Psychologist is forbidden by law to disclose any protected information to others, unless specific permission has been given by the patient. I will provide you with a written copy of my confidential disclosure agreement. You can expect that what you discuss in session with me will not be shared with anyone, with a few exceptions outlined below. If you give me written permission to share confidential information with someone else, such as, your doctor, I will share the designated information as you instruct me. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust regarding highly sensitive subject matter, and I take my responsibility to protect patient confidentiality very seriously.
According to state law and professional ethics, a psychologist must maintain confidentiatlity except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders. In such cases, I am legally required to report any concerns to state authorities, including Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If a psychologist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person. In such cases, a Psychologist is required to take appropriate steps to maintain safety and protect against harm.