For your convenience, our most common customer questions are answered right here.
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Q: When are appointments available?
A: I have morning, afternoon, and evening hours throughout the week (Monday–Friday).
In addition, I do have weekend appointments depending on availability.
Q: How do I make an appointment?
A: Very simple! Just call my office at 631-681-6872 and we can talk about scheduling a day and time to meet.
Q: What is the first session like?
A: The first session is generally called an intake or evaluation session. There is some paperwork that I will need you to fill out prior to us meeting to gather information about you. This first session is about an hour and is a “getting to know you” session. We talk about why you are seeking therapy at this time and I go over your paperwork so that I have a better understanding of what brings you to therapy. I ask you questions about symptoms, strengths and personal history as it relates to the issues that you are presenting. I share a little bit more about me and how I work with clients. The therapeutic relationship is a mutually agreed upon contract between a client and a therapist so sometimes a decision is made at the first session (or after) not to proceed with therapy. It is important for me to assess whether my skills are an appropriate fit for you and for what you are looking for. It is equally important that you to feel comfortable working with me and feel in charge of making the decision to proceed with therapy.
Q: When and how long are appointments after that?
A: Appointments after the initial evaluation are approximately 45 minutes. These sessions are generally on a weekly basis; however the sessions can be scheduled on a bi-weekly basis to accommodate your work schedule, financial situation, and family. Weekly sessions are beneficial because it provides more time to address concerns and issues and build consistency and momentum in the counseling process. In situations of crisis I am always willing to meet more often to provide the extra support that you need. After a period of time, you may want to begin to come in less often once you reach your goals and reduce your sessions to once a month.
Q: How long do you think I will have to be in therapy?
A: The length of therapy depends on a variety of factors (nature, duration, intensity, and frequency of symptoms or problems). Success also depends on the work you do in and out of session. I will often assign “homework” that you can work on during the week to enhance the progress that you make. Think of it like piano lessons…if you don’t practice during the week it’s harder to advance during the next “lesson”. I typically recommend that clients come once per week at least until we get to know one another. Some clients will only need to come to a few sessions and others may come for a year or more. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind that will help you make progress quicker in therapy:
- come for each scheduled session
- be as open and honest as you can
- be willing to be curious
- be willing to receive support
- do the out-of-session practices you agree to do
- discuss any conflicts or hurts with me
Q: Is what we talk about in session confidential?
A: Everything that you discuss with a licensed mental health counselor is kept confidential and private. There are laws and ethics requirements that we must abide by in order to practice psychology. Therapy wouldn’t be very effective if clients didn’t feel safe to share whatever they wanted, and this trust is absolutely essential in any important relationship. You can trust that what you say to your therapist remains confidential, with certain specific exceptions (e.g., disclosing suicidal or homicidal plans, child or elder abuse).
Q: How do I reach you if I have a problem?
A: I have a voicemail system that is always set up for you to leave a message at any time. I make every effort to return calls as soon as possible and address any questions or issues that have arisen. In case of a serious emergency I direct you to call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Q: Do you take my insurance?
A: I am currently an in-network provider with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield. I am also an out-of-network provider for many other insurance companies. I can contact your insurance company to determine if you have out of network mental health benefits. I can provide you with a receipt for each session that you can provide to your insurance company or help you fill out the required forms to be reimbursed. If you are unsure if you have out of network benefits I would be happy to call your insurance company to find out what type of coverage you have.
If I am not on with your insurance company and you do not have out of network benefits, the cost of my services is often comparable to the “out of pocket” expenses incurred with an in-network provider. In special circumstances, I am willing to work on a sliding fee scale to accommodate financial hardships so don’t be afraid to ask.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: Consistent attendance at therapy appointments is an important contributor to the success of your treatment. I understand that occasionally situations arise that require a cancellation. However, when clients frequently cancel or fail to come to appointments it interrupts and/or interferes with the treatment process and it takes away treatment opportunities for other clients. If you have to cancel an appointment, I require that you give us 24-hr notice, so that the reserved time can be used for emergencies or other clients.