Common Questions

 
 

 What benefits can I expect from working with a certified CBT psychologist?

There are an enormous number of empirically demonstrated benefits from working with certified providers of CBT. Unfortunately, many therapists describe themselves as providing CBT, however, they have not been fully trained and achieved Certification. In fact studies have found that there are many non-credentialed providers of CBT whom do not show the typically expected levels of efficacy. Credentialed  CBT providers listen compassionately to understand as well as provide a fresh perspective. Credentialed CBT providers have demonstrated providing relief from life interfering difficulties and/or problems as well as developing long lasting coping strategies. CBT is one of the most evidenced based treatment strategies used today. Many people find therapy to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, as well as the unexpected problems or hassles which life often brings.

Why do people seek therapy?

People come to therapy for a variety of reasons.  Some individuals are seeking to learn how to better cope with unexpected changes (internal as well as external) in their life, while others are seeking self-exploration and personal positive growth.  When one’s coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, shame, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy has been shown to be helpful and/or beneficial. Also there is evidence showing that therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills and enhance coping strategies for issues such as various manifestations of depression, various forms of anxiety, OCD, lack of confidence, stress management, body image issues, anger issues and creative blocks.

What one can expect in CBT?

 In the treatment section of this site under Typical Session I try to lay out a thorough description of the therapy process as well as some forms which I developed to support the process.

What if I do not know what are my goals in therapy?

The standard initial process in CBT is for the therapist and the individual to work together to delineate goals and collaboratively develop a treatment plan. During the course of therapy your goals may change.  Nevertheless, establishing a direction for therapy will help you to get the most out of the experience.

What about medication versus psychotherapy?

Psychiatric medication may be quite helpful at times.  Research, however, also often shows higher relapse rates with medications alone. It appears that the long term solution to emotional and behavioral problems, as well as the pain they cause, is not just medication.  Instead of just trying to treat symptoms, therapy addresses predisposing factors as well as maintaining factors of our distress.  As previously stated, my approach is multidimensional, holistic and integrated. Because of the complex issues surrounding psychiatric medications, I suggest you consult with a Licensed Psychiatrist or a Certified Psychopharmacologist before beginning any psychotropic medication.

Do you take insurance and how does that work?

I no longer accept insurance primarily as it often does not fully protect confidentiality of the psychotherapy visits. Insurance as well as other third- party payment programs require a diagnosis and they have the right to access therapy notes as well as other sensitive and privileged information. I will of course provide you with a receipt for therapy and therapy related matters.  If you do choose, nevertheless, to submit receipts to insurance or any other third-party program, I will not be able to protect your confidentiality as stated above.

Given the complexities of third-party payers and insurance programs, I strongly suggest that before you elect this option, you carefully find out whether your particular insurance plan will provide you with some level of reimbursement for services rendered by out-of-network providers. Unfortunately, very recently, a young professional was told by HR that she will be reimbursed a percentage of the standard fee. She released all the personal information requested by the insurance company only to be denied reimbursement without reasonable cause. I then, with her written consent, further provided all of the usually required data to justify the medical necessity of services rendered. We are still trying to appeal the decision, however, unknown insurance personnel now possess her sensitive diagnostic information.

I can and do see individuals who are on Medicare, however, at this point I am completely outside of the Medicare payment system. If you are on Medicare, there is a form you must sign prior to us working together, which states that you realize I am no longer a Medicare provider.  Medicare regulations permit me to see such individuals, given that I clarify these limitations.

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of the therapeutic relationship. Successful therapy requires a high level of trust due to the discussion of highly sensitive concerns. 

In the treatment section of this website, I try to clearly state the limitations of confidentiality in my private practice consent form as well as in a brief summary of HIPPA laws. By law, a therapist cannot release any of your therapy material without obtaining your written permission except in the rare exceptions explained earlier as well as below.

  • If suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults and elders based on information provided by the client or collateral sources. The law requires a therapist to report such behavior to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement.

  • If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming themselves or has threatened to harm another person(s).

  • Some lawsuits and legal or court proceedings if court ordered.

  • We may be required to disclose personal data to the military, if court ordered by their authority.

  • We may be required to disclose personal and sensitive information to correctional institutions or legal enforcement authorities for purposes of obtaining healthcare services for the incarcerated and/or to protect their health and safety and/or the health and safety of other individuals.

  • If you are receiving Workers Compensation to provide treatment or if you are receiving treatment reimbursement by insurance or third party payers.

What if I have further questions?

For our treatment to be effective, I encourage feedback throughout our working together in the spirit of helping to you learn to be your own therapist. If you have questions before committing to the Consultation, please ask them during the brief screening telephone call.