Therapy differs for each individual. Typically, I meet with clients one hour per week, though in time we may choose to decrease the frequency of treatment once you start feeling better. The first few sessions will allow me to gather information that will give me a better sense of your needs, and will give you an opportunity to see whether you feel my approach is the right fit for your needs. The length of treatment is decided by you and will depend on your therapeutic goals and how challenging those goals are. As such, therapy ends whenever you decide your needs have been met.
Finding the right “fit” in a therapist is very important. While most of my clients will find that we are an excellent fit, presumably some will not. In such cases, I will gladly help you find a therapist who better fits your therapeutic needs and your personality, taking into account practical considerations as well (e.g., someone who accepts your insurance or whose office is close to where your live or work).
When trying to find a therapist, a common mistake people make is trying to find someone who is “like you.” It is human nature to seek out a therapist who is the same gender, race, age, religion, etc., and to believe that this person will be best able to understand you because they have had similar experiences. However, a therapist whose understanding of you is based on their own experiences really doesn’t understand you or your struggles at all; they just understand themselves and their struggles. A good therapist understands, appreciates, and values a client’s background, experiences, feelings, and struggles by listening closely to that person, seeing their humanity, and understanding their unique experiences.
Some therapists have an allegiance to a particular style of therapy that they utilize with all of their clients; I do not. There is a saying that if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. But every problem isn’t a nail, so it makes little sense for me to limit myself to only one tool. My approach to therapy is first listen to your personal history, your struggles, and your needs before I determine which approach to therapy will be optimal for you.
Some people will tell you that a specific modality of therapy (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy) is best. This simply is not the case, though it may well be the case that certain therapeutic modalities are better matches for certain individuals or certain problems or disorders. A gifted therapist is one who can skillfully tailor therapy to the needs of each individual client. Research indicates that commonly accepted therapeutic modalities tend, on average, to work about as well as the others (psychologists refer to this phenomenon as the “dodo bird effect”). In other words, the specific style of therapy is not what matters most; instead it is the therapist’s degree of skill in their approach to therapy that matters, as well as a trusting, unconditionally supportive therapeutic relationship that creates the safety needed to be vulnerable and to explore painful areas of our lives.
Most clients feel nervous about starting therapy with a new therapist. Why wouldn’t they? You don’t know me and you have no reason to trust me with your care or with your story. The first appointment gives you the opportunity to get a sense of your level of comfort with me before we get deep into the therapy process and is designed to be low-pressure. You will be asked to arrive early to complete paperwork if you have not done so in advance (new client paperwork will be emailed to you and can be completed online). We will first address any questions or concerns you might have and discuss your goals for therapy. My goal for the first appointment is to learn more about you, since I approach therapy differently with every person based on who they are and what their needs are. At the end of that appointment, I will offer my conceptualization of your presenting concerns and will suggest how I think I may (or may not) be able to help you toward achieving you goals. You will then be able to decide whether you would like to schedule another appointment with me.
I provide an array of psychological services that differ in cost from one another. In addition, different insurance plans have varying deductibles, copays, and coinsurance amounts, meaning that the cost of treatment will vary for different people. In accordance with the No Surprises Act, healthcare providers are required to notify clients of their federal rights and protections against “surprise billing” from an out-of-network provider. Click here for more information.
I am an in-network provider for Medicare and Meritain/Gulf Coast Provider Network (Sarasota Memorial Hospital employee plan). However, individuals who have PPO plans with other insurance companies are typically eligible for (partial) reimbursement through their out-of-network (OON) benefits. No matter what insurance you have, I will be glad to help you find out the cost of therapy to you whether you plan to use health insurance or not.
Payment is accepted in the form of cash, check, or most major credit/debit cards. For those who prefer telehealth appointments, payment is processed through a secure online payment site using a credit/debit card or bank account. Payment is due at the time of service.
I hate the idea of fees for late cancellations or missed appointments, but they remain necessary. Here’s why: when you schedule an appointment with a therapist, you are securing not only their professional services but also their professional time. I typically offer only six appointments per day, so failure to keep a scheduled appointment profoundly impacts my ability to care for my other clients and to provide for myself. As such, if one of those precious few appointments is reserved for you, you are financially responsible for the time you reserve whether you keep the appointment or not, unless you provide at least 48-hour advance notice of cancellation. Please be advised that if you are using health insurance benefits to pay for psychotherapy or evaluation services, your insurance company will not pay for a missed appointment or late cancellation, so fees for missed appointments and late cancellations apply to both self-pay and insurance clients.
No. Psychologists are doctors who provide psychotherapy (“talk therapy”) and evaluation services, but are not licensed to prescribe medications in the state of Florida. If you are seeking medications, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or a psychiatrist. If you are interested in both psychotherapy and psychotropic medication, I will be glad to be your therapy provider and offer you a referral to a psychiatrist for medication.
I am an adult psychologist, and do not work with children. At times I will work with older adolescents on a case by case basis. If you are a parent and think that I may be a good fit for your adolescent , I encourage you to call my office so that we can discuss your child’s needs. In the case that a minor child’s parents are divorced and have joint custody, written consent for treatment will be required from both custodial parents.
No. I do not provide evaluations or endorsement statements for the purpose of securing special benefits, services, or accommodation, including but not limited to emotional support animals, educational/work accommodations, Social Security disability, disability insurance policies, and service animals. If you are seeking or anticipate needing endorsement for special benefits, services, or accommodations, please discuss this with me prior to scheduling an appointment.
Yes. I maintain a strict confidentiality policy. No information is released without your written consent except when disclosure is required or allowed by law. Examples of situations in which disclosure is required or allowed by law include when there is believed to be an immediate or imminent risk or threat of harm to you or to others; when there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child, elder adult, or vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected, abandoned, endangered, or exploited; allegations made by a patient of sexual misconduct committed by a licensed healthcare professional; if I am a party defendant to a civil, criminal, or disciplinary action arising from a complaint filed by a patient; and when the release of records or information is authorized by a signed court order. In addition, individuals who use health insurance to pay for psychological services agree that their full treatment file will also be available to the insurance carrier as indicated in the insurance contract. Because of this, many individuals who have health insurance prefer to pay for services on their own in order to avoid the involvement of their health insurance provider and to retain the privacy and confidentiality of their personal health information.
You can read more about confidentiality and patients’ rights under HIPAA by clicking here.
I am not directly reachable outside of designated work hours and am not reachable while in session with other clients. In the event of a crisis or emergency, do one of the following immediately:
Call or text 988 to connect with the free and confidential Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, or chat at 988lifeline.org. For TTY, use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988. En Español, 1-888-628-9454
Contact the 24-hour Crisis Stabilization & Behavioral Health Mobile Response Team at First Step of Sarasota (941-364-9355)
Visit your nearest emergency room
Take a chance on yourself.
Call or email today.