Q: What can I expect from the therapy process?
A: As you can expect from all therapists, I will keep what you say to me confidential, I strive to make you feel validated and understood, and I take time during the first few sessions getting to know you and the issues that you would like to work on.
Unlike most traditional talk-based therapists, I mix creative approaches with talking during sessions. This may include role play, storytelling, exploration with masks, drawing, painting, other art, poetry, or creative writing. I may introduce creative techniques when I feel that you may be stuck on an issue and may benefit from doing an activity that helps give new perspective on the issue. I may also introduce creative techniques when such activities may help you feel less intense painful emotions or to help you feel more pleasurable emotions.
Although I personally and professionally know the healing powers of the arts, I honor that not everyone likes to be creative or are only comfortable doing certain types of art. I am happy to use creative techniques as much or as little as my clients are comfortable with.
One more thing I would like you to know about what to expect from therapy is that studies show that you should ideally be feeling at least a little better within the first few sessions. If this is not the case for you, it could be that we are not a good fit for each other. Like friendships, therapists and clients usually either connect or don’t connect. If you feel that we don’t connect, please let me know this. I will not take offense and will do my best to help you find someone that you will connect with. It is important to note, however, that sometimes you might feel worse before feeling better when participating in therapy due to dealing with feelings that you may not have dealt with for a long time, if ever. Because of this, I suggest giving yourself 5-10 sessions to determine if therapy is working for you, whether with me or another therapist.
Q: How long will I need to do therapy?
A: There is no easy answer to this, as each individual has their own path to healing. Based on my 10+ years as a therapist, I have noticed that clients tend to successfully terminate therapy after 10-30 sessions.
Please note that it is common for people to participate in therapy at various points in their lives as changes, milestones, etc. trigger difficult feelings at different times. So, while you may feel that you successfully complete therapy at one time, you may find yourself feeling the need to return at another time.
Q: How frequently do we meet?
A: I typically meet with clients once per week. If you feel the need to be seen more or less frequently, we can discuss options.
Q: Do you accept insurance?
A: No, but you may be able to be fully or partially reimbursed by your insurance through out-of-network coverage. Here are some questions that you may want to ask your insurance:
- Do I have out-of-network mental health benefits?
- For which diagnoses do you reimburse?
- Do I have a deductible? If so, how much is it and has it been met?
- What percentage of the therapy fee is covered?
- How long will it take for you to reimburse me?
- How many sessions are covered per year? Is there a yearly or lifetime limit?
If you choose to use out-of-network benefits, you pay me in full for sessions and then I provide you with a monthly receipt (called a superbill) that you submit to your insurance.
There is a company, www.getbetter.co, that helps people submit superbills to their insurance for a minimal fee. You may wish to consider using their services. I am not affiliated with them in any way.
I would like to point out that there are some disadvantages to using insurance for therapy, such as:
- In order to qualify for benefits, a therapist may have to share certain information with your insurance company that would otherwise remain between you and the therapist.
- In order for insurance to reimburse your treatment, you have to be given a mental health diagnosis that then goes in your medical record.
- Insurance policies sometimes limit the number of sessions you can attend each year and the type of therapy that you can receive. They may or may not authorize more sessions based on what they define as a medical necessity.
Q: What is your fee?
A: Sessions are $125 per 50 minutes. I offer a limited number of sliding scale fees based on financial need.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: I accept cash, checks, and credit cards (including FSA/HSA cards).
Q: Do you provide prescriptions or medications?
A: No, it is not in my educational background to be able to do so. I am happy to refer you to a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner while we work together if this is something that you and I feel is helpful for your healing process.
Q: What is drama therapy? How does it help people?
A: Drama therapy is defined by the North American Drama Therapy Association as “an active, experiential approach to facilitating change. Through storytelling, projective play, purposeful improvisation, and performance, participants are invited to rehearse desired behaviors, practice being in relationship, expand and find flexibility between life roles, and perform the change they wish to be and see in the world.”
I discovered how healing theatre is when I took a drama class in high school. At that point, I had already planned to be a therapist due to enjoying helping people, and I knew I had to pursue drama therapy when I learned about it while writing an essay for drama class. I thought, “Wow! I can combine my love of theatre with my love of helping people!”. I studied it during both undergrad and grad school, so drama therapy has been a huge part of my life since I was 15 years old. I have participated in drama therapy myself so know its healing powers. I even overcame my fear of spiders through drama therapy!
Although music was actually my artistic medium of choice as a child, drama therapy appealed to me because we all play roles in our everyday lives. To learn more about this and about drama therapy in general, please see my drama therapy page and blog posts.
Q: Do you use any particular theories in your work?
A: I consider myself to be an eclectic therapist who uses a variety of theories in my work, such as the following: psychoanalysis, psychodynamic psychology, analytical psychology, CBT, DBT, mindfulness, existentialism, and role theory. Because I specialize in trauma, I use a trauma-informed approach to therapy, which you can learn more about here.