FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT COUNSELING AND THERAPY
Here are answers to some frequently-asked questions about counseling and therapy. I hope this is helpful to you!
Are counseling and therapy the same?
Counseling is a brief treatment that is focused on personal and professional goals. Therapy is a deeper, longer-term treatment approach that deals with the issues underneath your problems, the things that interfere with satisfaction and and get in the way of achieving what’s important to you.
Which do you offer?
Both! The choice depends on your issues and goals. At the end of the first session, I will recommend a treatment plan, and will make changes over time, depending on how your treatment develops, what issues are resolved or revealed, and whether your goals change.
Do you Skype or do phone sessions?
Yes, I do sessions by Skype and by phone, as well as in-person sessions in my Upper West Side office.
What services do you offer?
I offer individual counseling and individual psychotherapy for adults and adolescents (middle school on up). In individual treatment, I provide anxiety treatment, depression treatment, job and work support, support for women in business, and substance use disorder treatment. I also offer marriage and couples counseling, and parenting counseling for parents of younger children and teens (which can be for an individual parent or for parents together).
Do you write prescriptions?
I’m a clinical social worker, and we can’t prescribe medication. Many people don’t want to be on medication or don’t need to be on it. If I believe a patient will benefit from medication, I’ll refer you to a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner I collaborate with to be evaluated for possible medication. The medical professional and I will work closely as a team. The medical professional monitors the medication and I do the “talk therapy.” If someone is on medication when they come to see me and they want to get off of it, their medical professional and I will work together to accomplish that, if the medical professional deems that safe. It’s an individual process.
Does insurance pay for my treatment?
I’m an out-of-network provider, so treatment may be partially reimbursed by your insurance company. Call the phone number on your insurance card and ask if you have “out-of-network outpatient mental health treatment” coverage. If they say yes, ask what your annual deductible is and what percentage of how many sessions per year the insurance will cover. These numbers vary greatly from policy to policy. I’ll give you a monthly receipt that you can submit with your claims for whatever reimbursement your policy allows.
You may have a flexible spending account or health savings account through your employer that may be used for reimbursement. These accounts allow you to pay for your treatment with pretax dollars. Your accountant will be able to tell you if this works for you.
You may be able to use your transportation costs to and from sessions and your treatment as tax deductions. Your accountant or the IRS can tell you if that’s a good option for you.
Are my sessions confidential?
Yes. Because I’ve opted out of managed health-care networks, I can protect your confidentiality. This arrangement allows you to develop the trust that is so important for success in your treatment. In extremely rare circumstances therapists are legally required to divulge information. I’ve been in practice since 1985 and have only had to do that ______ times.
What can I expect in therapy?
A warm conversation with a compassionate, interested person. It’s interactive, with both of us listening and talking.
It’s friendly and collaborative. It’s not the television version where the therapist is out of sight and silent, with an occasional “How did that make you feel?” If it’s just you talking and me silent, you could do that at home with a mirror! This is useful exploration with plenty of feedback, insight, and help.
I focus on reality. I’ll help you look at whether your goals and your ideas of yourself and others are realistic. If they are, we’ll work together on how to reach your goals and with what gets in the way. If they’re not realistic, we’ll deal with the problematic thought process, so we can set realistic goals and make plans to get there.
Do I have to talk about my childhood?
I believe that history repeats itself unless it’s understood. So in therapy, we’ll look at the positive and negative experiences of your past and see how they shape your ideas of life today, so you can build on what works and change what doesn’t.
I’m sure you probably have more questions about counseling and therapy, and I’m happy to help. To schedule an appointment, give me a call at 212-749-0694 or contact me here. I look forward to hearing from you and starting the process of helping you make a satisfying life.