Frequently asked questions about my practice, or about therapy in general
1. I have good insurance. Why should I pay extra to work with someone who doesn’t take any insurance?
Maybe you shouldn’t. But first you might want to consider it for a moment. Here are some possible reasons:
- You want to see me for a specific reason. It may be better for you to have the specific therapist you want, one you connect with or who has a specialty in working with your issue, or for other reasons. For example, I specialize in trauma and PTSD therapy (which means that I don’t specialize in lots of other things). Having a therapist you don’t connect with or who doesn’t focus on your main issues can be very unproductive, and might lengthen the time you need to spend in therapy, or not achieve the results that might be available. Having the therapist who is right for you, even if you have to pay a bit more for each session, may even be more cost-effective in the long run.
- Availability. I still have room for new clients and I can work into the evenings when that’s helpful.
- You want me to be free to work with you using all my professional knowledge and skills. Once you’re “diagnosed”, the company/institution that’s paying may limit what kind of work we can do and how many sessions they will pay for, or have a policy that I should only use certain methods of therapy with you. That may keep us from addressing your concerns in the most productive ways. I prefer to work with you in whatever way is most helpful to you, focusing directly on the issues you want to address.
- You have a high deductible or a high co-pay. If you think you’re not going to meet your deductible, or if your co-pay is fairly high, it might not make as much difference as you think. I do have a sliding scale, so you might be able to afford it after all. (My rates)
- You don’t want a diagnosis in your medical records. Insurance companies almost always require a therapist to make a diagnosis of a specific mental illness before you are treated. Then that diagnosis becomes part of your medical records with them. When you pay for your own therapy, I’m not allowed to share your information with anyone.
2. What do you offer that some other therapists might not? Well, you’ve seen my specialties (not many therapists have a specialty in video game addiction, for example). The biggest focus of my practice involves working to resolve symptoms of PTSD and childhood trauma. Rather than trying to do everything, I focus. Additionally, I engage in a research-based activity known as deliberate practice. What that means is that I spend significant time reviewing my work with you and planning for sessions, rather than filling all my days with back-to-back clients. This includes time spent each week reviewing notes, delving into research that might help, consulting with other therapists, and constantly upgrading my skills. Research shows that this makes for much more successful therapy. In short, when you pay for an hour of therapy, you’re getting more than an hour of my attention.
3. Other people have told me I need therapy, but I’m not sure it will really help. How can just talking to someone fix my problems? First, 40 years of research shows that, overall, the vast majority of people who go are significantly helped by therapy. Second, therapy doesn’t fix problems–it helps you fix your own problems. There’s a big difference between just having a “paid friend” to talk to (although that does help sometimes) and actually developing the knowledge, capacities and tools that you need to move forward. I work with you to help you develop tools that work for you. Lastly, therapy with me is much more than just talk. It’s work. Of course, it’s work that’s done partly through talking. But I also teach you how to pay attention to your own bodily responses, support you in managing challenges in your life, and help yourself heal from past distress.
4. Do you really have the experience and qualifications to help me? Only you can decide that, by coming to see me and judging for yourself. I have an MA in Counseling, experience addressing a wide variety of issues with clients, advanced training in EMDR, Trauma Dynamics and clinical hypnosis, many hours of supervised practice, and I am constantly upgrading my knowledge and skills. Research has shown that being good at medical and mental health care is largely about the commitment to constantly get better. Come to a few sessions and see if we connect and if it’s helpful. If it isn’t, I’m happy to help you find someone who might be a better fit. Having the right therapist is very important.
Have a question you want to see on the “frequently asked questions” page? Leave a comment, or, if you live in Colorado Springs, call me at 719-377-4577.