Frequently Asked Questions
How do I schedule a free consultation?
You may email or call me to schedule a free 15-minute consultation. I will ask you about what is bringing you to therapy and if you will be using insurance. You can ask me questions as well. After the consultation, we will schedule your first therapy session and I will send you a link to complete the intake paperwork. This takes about 15-20 minutes to complete and includes the intake questionnaire, consent forms, and credit card information. I use SimplePractice and your information will be kept in a secure portal.
How do I make an appointment?
After your initial consultation, I will schedule your first appointment, and at each subsequent appointment, we will schedule your next appointment before we finish. If you like, we may schedule 3-4 weeks’ worth of appointments to secure your time. However, if you no-show an appointment without calling or emailing, your following appointment will be canceled.
How long is a counseling session?
Counseling sessions are 50 minutes long. They are scheduled weekly, as research has found that people who attend their sessions weekly get more bang for their buck. They get better faster and don’t need to be in therapy as long. We will complete a treatment plan on your first or second visit with your goals and we will review this periodically to make sure we are using your time wisely and that you are making progress on your goals. I will frequently ask for your feedback on your progress.
What methods of payment are accepted?
You may pay by cash, check, debit, credit, PayPal, Square, or IvyPay (an app specifically for therapists). You may use your EAP benefits or insurance as well.
Can I pay for another person to go to therapy?
This can be a little tricky. Under HIPAA guidelines, I cannot speak to another person without my client’s written consent. If I bill your card, you will have information that your friend/relative is still in therapy. If my client signs a written consent, then yes, they can use your billing information. If they withdraw consent, then I will no longer bill you.
How does insurance work?
Currently, I am active with five insurance plans in Florida: Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare, Oxford, and Oscar. If you have one of these insurance plans, let me know during our consultation call. I will send your information to Headway.co who bills the insurance on my behalf. If your insurance is accepted, all billing will be handled through Headway.co. If not, you will be considered out-of-network and I will provide you with a superbill which you can file with your insurance for reimbursement. Unfortunately, I am only credentialed to accept insurance in Florida, but I can provide the superbill for you to submit to your insurance provider.
Important: If you choose to use your insurance (and this includes superbills I give you to file with your insurance provider), I must follow all policies the insurance company requires. One of those is giving you a mental health diagnosis. This diagnosis will likely follow you around for several years. If you do not use your insurance, I will not be required to give you a diagnosis. Also, insurance companies often audit the chart records and will read all the case notes. Your chart will be seen by numerous individuals.
What is your cancellation policy?
Life happens, I understand that. But I do require a 24-hour notice on all cancellations (with the exception of severe weather or other unavoidable events, such as when a state of emergency is declared) and you will be charged a $75 cancellation fee.
What is your discharge policy?
If you miss an appointment and do not immediately reschedule, I will send you an email (or letter, if that is your preference). If you reschedule and you do not attend your next appointment, your file will be closed. If you do not respond to the email or letter within 10 days, your file will be closed.
What are your fees?
The fee for service is $125 per 50-minute individual therapy session. The fee for group therapy (when offered) is $ 45 per person, per 90-minute group therapy session. The fee for service is $180 per 80-minute individual session. Phone sessions and emergency contacts over 10 minutes are billed at the same rate as an individual therapy session. If you need a letter or report to be written for your doctor or attorney, my fee is $75.00. No-show fee: $75 for sessions canceled with less than a 24-hour notice. Court Appearances: $200 per hour, with a 2-hour minimum.
What kind of evaluation do you do?
When you choose therapy, I will first need to do a biopsychosocial assessment and I may request records from past therapists and doctors if needed. This assessment will collect the information you tell me about your health, your childhood upbringing, and your sociocultural factors. We will look at your strengths and weaknesses. I may also have you complete short (1-2 page) questionnaires (as indicated) to assess for depression, anxiety, traumatic stress, substance abuse, and more. I do not want to give you treatment without first knowing your medical history and your story.
I do not do stand-alone evaluations. If you continue therapy, I will be happy to release your evaluation when you sign a release.
Often, people will ask me for a “Mental Health Evaluation”. If you are being asked for this, return to the requestor and ask for clarification. Many times, they mean a Psychological Evaluation that is completed by a Licensed Psychologist, not a mental health counselor.
Also, I am sometimes asked to do Service Animal evaluations, but this is not a service that I provide.
In which states do you practice?
I am fully licensed in the States of Florida (where I live) and Maine (telehealth-only). If you are visiting/traveling in any other state, I am not permitted to practice in that state, and that includes Telehealth. If you are staying for an extended period of time, I can contact the state board and request permission to see you. This process may take several weeks to initiate. There is a Counseling Compact bill that is in progress that will allow for a much easier process, but it has not been passed or implemented.
Can I contact you on social media?
Social media is not HIPAA-secure and cannot be used for correspondence. You are welcome to follow me there, but if you like/comment, others will see and your identity as a client could be compromised. I will not respond to any likes, comments, or shares for this reason.
Who do I talk to if I have an emergency?
Often, when a person is in the beginning stages of treatment, they will have many urgent concerns. If you are facing a life-threatening emergency, such as detoxing from substances or threatening harm to yourself or someone else or your behaviors have become unmanageable (such as decompensation, losing touch with reality, etc.), please go directly to the emergency room or call 911. If your situation is less severe, you can call 9-8-8 (the new crisis hotline number), or 2-1-1 for local resources. During our telehealth (video) intake process, if you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, I may call for a wellness check (if needed, and with your consent and knowledge) because I want you to be safe. We may also do a safety plan which is a plan and contract to keep you safe when you begin to have these thoughts.
Do therapists prescribe medication?
Medications are prescribed by medical doctors or nurse practitioners, not therapists. I will ask about your medications at intake and may monitor your compliance with medications as a part of your mental health treatment.
What are your available hours?
Monday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (in-office) and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (in-office during summer/daylight hours, or telehealth)
Tuesday: 9:00 am- 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (Telehealth only)
Wednesday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (Telehealth only)
Thursday: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm (Telehealth only)
Friday: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm (Telehealth only)
Saturday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (Telehealth only)
To schedule a free 15-minute consultation, please text or call (813) 578-0775 or message me at the secure contact form on my contact page.