FAQ

What types of therapy are available?

We offer Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Exposure, Psychodynamic therapies, Supportive therapy, Exposure and Response Prevention, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Couples/Marital Therapy and Family Therapy. Most sessions are in the office but we also offer web-based sessions, phone sessions, and in-home sessions. Please call for more information and to discuss your specific needs.

 

What can I expect to get out of therapy?

Goals for therapy are personally determined between you and your psychologist. You can, however, expect to have decreased symptoms and to learn skills/ techniques to cope with difficulties as they arise.  You will gain a better understanding of yourself and patterns that may play a role in your life and in your relationships

How long will I be in therapy? Will I be going forever?

The length of time in therapy varies widely.  It depends on your diagnosis, intensity of symptoms, frequency of treatment, and interest level. Some people choose to come briefly to address an issue and feel comfortable stopping after just a few sessions. Other people really enjoy the process of therapy and it becomes a lifestyle choice and a time for self-care and focus. Expectations for the length of treatment is typically discussed within the first two appointments and is subject to change. It is important to know, however, that how long you stay is ultimately up to you. Your psychologist will give recommendations but it will always be in your control to determine whether to continue or to stop treatment.

How long are sessions and how frequently will I be coming in?

Therapy sessions are 45-50 min. When someone is first starting therapy it is typically preferable to start with weekly appointments. They are usually scheduled at the same time every week for consistency but we will work with your needs if you do not have a regular schedule.  Some people prefer every other week based on scheduling or financial needs. Please speak directly with your therapist to discuss the best plan for your treatment.

Who will be involved in my care?

You will work with one psychologist and have direct communication with that person. If you wanted anyone else involved in your care (other doctors, prescribers, family members) that would be done at your discretion.  Your information is kept strictly confidential unless you provide written consent for your therapist to speak with others. It is often helpful to allow communication with other people who you are currently in treatment with and family members if relevant.

What are the limits to confidentiality?

Confidentiality is extremely important to us. Your information is kept confidential (unless you request information to be shared) with a few important exclusions. If you are an immediate safety threat to yourself or someone else or if child abuse (or suspected child abuse is present) confidentiality may be broken to ensure safety. Information is not released without discussing it with you first. Additionally, if you are using your insurance, basic information including a diagnosis and dates of service are routinely shared.

What can I expect when I call?

All calls are returned within one business day by one of our psychologists. This phone call will usually be brief to obtain basic information but you may request a free phone screening. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. You will be set up with a psychologist that is the best match for you based on your current symptoms and schedule. You will be scheduled for an intake, which will be mostly information gathering so your psychologist can determine an appropriate treatment plan for you. Within the first 2 or 3 sessions you should have a clear picture of treatment goals and the plan in place to reach those goals. It is very important that you feel comfortable expressing your thoughts and concerns to make your therapy experience someone that is meaningful and as helpful as possible.

Doesn’t everyone get anxious? When is anxiety considered a "disorder”?       

                                                                                 

Yes, nervousness and anxiety is a natural response and sometimes even a helpful in some situations. For example, some anxiety about performance on a test might lead to taking more time to study or prepare.  Anxiety disorders however, involve more than a temporary concern or fear. A person suffering with anxiety has difficulty letting go of their worry and it often gets worse over time. Anxiety may lead to avoidance of certain situations and can interfere with someone’s ability to function at school, work, or in their relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders including; generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder.

Please see our mental health assessments page for more information.

I am worried about asking for help and people thinking that I am crazy or mental?

The stigma of mental health is sadly a real obstacle to getting the help that could improve the lives of many. While there has been much progress in the last several years in reducing stigma, it is still very real. Many people say they feel like they “should be able to deal with it on my own” and when they cannot, people feel weak, discouraged, and sometimes feel shame. The idea that someone “should” just be able to control their mental health without guidance or skills is analogous to telling that person they should be able to use their willpower to control their allergies or diabetes.  Your brain is a probably the most important organ in your body. You should care for it like you would any other part of your body. People who attend therapy are not “crazy”, they are brave! It takes a lot of courage to be willing to directly deal with your struggles and be willing to make changes to improve your live.

Do you charge cancellation fees?

A cancellation fee is charged when appointments are missed or cancelled without 24 hours’ notice. It is at your therapist’s discretion to offer a makeup session in the same calendar week. In the event of bad weather or other difficulties getting to the office, you may request a web-session.

What is the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist?

Psychologists and psychiatrists are both doctors in the mental health field but have different areas of focus and training.  Psychiatrists attended medical school and are experts in treating psychological problems with medication.  Psychologists, on the other hand, focused their doctoral studies on providing therapy and psychological processes. Typically, appointments with psychiatrists are scheduled every few weeks to months and are usually shorter for the purposes of focusing on medication. Appointment with psychologists usually last around 45-50 min typically on a weekly or every other week basis. Psychologists provide therapy and evidence based treatment to help you learn skills to cope with anxiety, low mood, other psychological disorders, or other life stressors. Psychologists may help you identify patterns in your life, improve communication, improve important relationships in your life, and manage stress in a more productive way. Psychologists and psychiatrists serve different functions but often work together to optimize treatment. It is usually a good idea to give permission to allow all your providers to openly communicate with each other to provide the best treatment.

 

What is the difference between a social worker, mental health counselor and a psychologist?

 

Social workers and mental health counselors may also provide therapy like a psychologist. They typically attend graduate school for 2 years and have more focus on counseling skills. Psychologists spend 5-7 years in training and are experts in research, diagnosis, clinical disorders, assessment, and evidence based therapies.

What is the benefit paying our pocket vs going through my insurance?

The world of insurance is changing fast and furiously. This creates problems on many levels but as providers it is often difficult to work with insurance companies as they frequently dictate your treatment. Insurance companies often limit the number of sessions you can have and even the time duration that they will cover.  Additionally, once information if released to your insurance company it becomes part of your health record. As psychologists we strongly adhere to HIPAA regulations but once information is released to insurance companies we are no longer in control of that information. Insurance companies routinely ask for diagnoses, symptoms presentation, and progress. Currently, another growing concern is what this information is used for in the future. It is a concern that it could be used as a “preexisting” condition and limit insurance policies in the future. On the other hand, financial considerations are important and most of the time using your insurance is more cost effective. If you have more questions about insurance and how we may be able to utilize your benefits, please call us at 516-382-4567.

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