Please print all the forms, fill them out completely, and bring them with you to your first session. Do call or email me if you have any questions.
Please note that I am on the Aetna and Medicare insurance panels only. If you have different insurance your obligation will be different.
The fee for a 90-minute intake session is $300. Subsequent 55-minute sessions are $175. Longer or shorter times can be scheduled as necessary.
Aetna and Medicare policy holders will pay only their normal co-pay amount, if required, after the yearly deductible is met.
Private Pay Advantages
Paying out of pocket allows you to maintain control of your treatment and protects your privacy. In nearly all cases, insurance companies pay only for medically necessary treatment, and require a diagnosis of mental illness. These diagnoses become part of your medical record and can possibly affect hiring decisions or employment advances, raise the cost or preclude the purchase of life or disability insurance, or prevent security clearances and the like. I have no knowledge of who might have access to this information, or how it is protected once it leaves my office.
Additionally, insurance companies can make decisions about whether treatment or evaluations will be paid for and if so, for how long it is to continue. Some types of therapy, marital therapy, e.g., are routinely disallowed.
For insurance policies other than Aetna I recommend you check with your broker or the company directly to find out about out-of-network coverage. Other insureds will pay the full fee, and will receive all the information necessary to file a claim for reimbursement.
Please be aware that with any health plan, there may be deductibles and copayments for which you could be responsible, and they can change the rules when they choose.
What billing or insurance information will I receive?
You will receive a copy of the services provided and the fee for each. Depending on what specific arrangements we make you might also receive a monthly statement of your account.
How long will it take to get things settled with the insurance company?
Generally, it takes from 15 to 30 days to obtain payment from an insurance carrier. Times vary according to plans and circumstances.
What will I be billed for?
I bill for psychotherapy at $175/hour after an initial intake session for $300. Longer sessions are possible, up to 90 minutes, with advance notice, though longer sessions are usually not covered by insurance. I will also charge for my time to complete forms or prepare reports depending on the complexity and time required.
I received a notice that my insurance company has paid on my bill -- but I can't understand how they calculated their payment amount. Do you know?
If I receive such information from your insurance company, I'll be glad to share it with you. I can also explain what some of the information means. However, for the best answers to any questions about insurance payments, deductibles, or co-payments, you generally need to check with your insurance company.
Questions People Ask
What happens in a session?
During a session I ask questions about you and you answer. The goal is for you to listen to the answers to these questions that you might never have considered before. This new data helps you see yourself differently.
I do have a couch, and you may certainly lay down if you like. Just be careful to not spill your tea.
Will I feel better right away? how long does it take?
Often, just telling someone else about what is concerning you can reduce the distress. Sometimes facing what you have been ignoring hurts at the beginning. It can be a “good pain,” similar to sore muscles after a good day of gardening.I will not let it get out of hand.
Why can’t I figure this out on my own?
It’s a matter of perspective. You are in the middle of the storm, unable to appreciate the forces involved. I am outside the storm, and can see what is happening. I can help you shift your frame of reference, acquire new information, and develop the skills to use this knowledge to your best advantage.
Is it foolish to feel this way?
It is absolutely not foolish to feel anything. Our emotions do not always make sense to us. Feelings are personal, and are a reflection of what is troubling you. Together, you and I can sort through what is going on and make sense of it. Once we know what is in the way we can work on getting rid of it.
Will you be judging me?
I do not judge you. My job is to help you figure out what you can do to create the life you want. To be able to do that, I need to know you. I will ask many questions in order to be sure I understand what you are telling me. It is not judgment that drives me but a desire to know you and to help you.
Tips for Healthy Living
Be productive in some way. By staying connected to friends and colleagues you keep your mind active and your brain stimulated. It helps to provide yourself with as much positivity as you can. Watching a funny movie is not curative but it can help grease the wheels of health.
Be physically active most days. A walk in the morning or after dinner, getting up and vacuuming, or even straightening the kitchen can make you feel a bit better. No, it isn’t easy. It is possible, and you are worth the effort.
Do not use alcohol or marijuana in excess or take any medication that is not prescribed by your treating physician. Alcohol is a depressive, and while it may cause a temporary positive feeling, it can actually do harm. Plus, it interferes with your sleep cycle. Marijuana also is not benign.
You would forgive your best friend for being less capable for a time. Find a way to forgive yourself for not being at your best.
If you are prescribed medication, take your medication. Take it as indicated and report back to the prescribing doctor about how it affects you. Do not wait for the doctor to ask. You are the one who feels horrible. You are the one who can be the most helpful in feeling better.
Talk therapy can be very helpful. The obstacles that have been in your way can be identified and encouraged to move. It can take time and effort. You are worth it.