Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
A. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the term used for a group of psychological treatments that are based on scientific evidence. These treatments have been proven to be effective in treating many psychological problems including depression, anxiety, anger, loneliness, panic, fears, obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobia, personality issues, couples conflict, eating disorders, post- traumatic stress disorder, and other psychiatric conditions.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a relatively short-term psychotherapy (8-20 sessions), that focuses on teaching clients specific skills. CBT is different from many other therapy approaches by focusing on the ways that a person’s cognitions (i.e., thoughts), emotions, and behaviors are connected and affect one another. During CBT the therapist seeks to produce change in the client’s thinking and belief system in order to bring about enduring emotional and behavioral change. Because emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are all linked, CBT approaches allow for therapists to intervene at different points in the cycle.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy emphasizes collaboration and active participation between the therapist and client. The therapist assists the client in identifying specific distortions (cognitive assessment) and biases in thinking, and provides guidance on how to change this thinking. Therapy is goal and action oriented, practical, rational, and helps the client gain independence and effectiveness in dealing with real-life issues. Ideally, CBT treatment teaches the client self-counseling skills that can assist in improving daily functioning and quality of life.
Q. What is dialectical behavioral therapy (dbt)?
A. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is an evidenced based treatment that utilizes a cognitive behavioral approach. DBT has been used to treat clients with mood disorders as well as those who need to change patterns of behavior that are not helpful such as substance abuse. It is designed to empower clients to establish mindfulness, learn frustration tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Q. What is mindfulness based stress reduction?
A. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a method of using meditation and yoga to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. It is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up, being fully alive, and being present for the richness of each moment of our lives. Within this awakening, we gain access to our deepest inner resources for living, healing, and coping with stress.
Clients can learn to practice present moment awareness, deep relaxation, and gentle movement. Through the use of these techniques, a person learns to discover and observe his or her reactions to life’s stressors and to choose how to respond. With practice, one can apply these skills to everyday situations and connect more fully with one’s self, loved ones, and the life one is living.
MBSR can help people who are coping with medical problems, job or family-related stress, and anxiety and depression. The majority of participants report lasting decreases in both physical and psychological symptoms. Pain levels improve and people learn to better cope with pain that may not go away. Most people also report an increased ability to relax, greater enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations.
Q. If I bring my children in for an appointment, will I be in the counseling session with them?
A. Children's and adolescents' individual counseling sessions are conducted one-on-one with me. These sessions are confidential sessions between the client and me, just as if the client were an adult and the same limitations to confidentiality apply. Certainly, I will consult with you periodically to inform them of how your child is doing or what your child is working on; however, general terms are often used in order to maintain the trust between the client and therapist. I will either ask you to join in the session for a few minutes periodically or may ask you to schedule a separate parent consultation to discuss your child's progress. How parent consults are handled is very dependent upon the child's issues, the relationship between the child and the therapist as well as between the child and his or her parents. We ask that you do not leave your children at the counseling center without consulting with me prior to leaving the premises. Should you have any concerns about your child's progress, you are strongly encouraged to consult with me. Please take comfort in knowing that I will keep you informed on a level appropriate for you, the parent, and the client.
Q. How long do counseling sessions last?
A. Most counseling sessions last approximately 50 minutes for adolescents and adults and approximately 45 minutes for young children. The length of the first session may be longer depending on you therapist. Occasionally, I may schedule additional time for sessions if I feel it would be in the best interest of the client(s).
Q. What should I expect on my first visit?
A. The document attached here outlines what will happen during your first counseling session.
Q. Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
A. If you have medical insurance with mental health benefits, then some or all of your fees may be covered. As a courtesy, we will contact your insurance company to determine whether you have benefits and if we are “in-network”. If so, you will be responsible for your co-pay at the time of your appointment. If you are not in network, your insurance provider will likely pay a percentage of the fees at an “out of network” rate. In that case, you will be responsible to pay for services at the time of your appointment and your insurance company will reimburse you a percentage of the cost.
While we take insurance, many people, insured or not, choose to pay out-of-pocket to avoid releasing sensitive information to their insurance company. Most often, this is due to concerns about the privacy of protected health information, and the sharing of this information with health insurance companies and their affiliated entities.
The following insurance plan is accepted by the Psychotherapy, Training, and Education Center:
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or need more information.