FAQs About Starting Therapy, Investment, & Policies
What happens during the free 15-minute phone Clarity Consult with you?
The initial phone consult gives you an opportunity to ask me questions and decide if you’d like to work with me in the privacy of my Coral Gables office in Miami, FL. It also helps me get a sense of what you’re looking for help with in therapy. If we’re good a fit, then I’ll schedule your first session and take your personal information. You’ll get an e-mail with a link with all the paperwork to complete before your first session. Don’t worry – your information will be protected by a state-of-the-art bank-grade encryption system.
What happens in the first session?
I prepare for your first session by reviewing your answers to the initial paperwork you completed online. I’ll have questions to jumpstart our conversation, and we’ll get deeper into your story and your goals for counseling. All the while, we’re getting to know each other, and you’re getting a clearer sense of whether I’m the psychologist you’d like to continue exploring difficult and vulnerable topics with me in counseling.
How often will we meet?
We always meet weekly in the beginning (first month or so) in the comfort of my centrally-located Miami office, and then we’ll decide together the frequency that makes sense to help you achieve your goals for psychotherapy.
How long will counseling take?
There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to this. It entirely depends on what brought you to psychotherapy, your goals, and your effort to practice what you’re working on in your daily life. Each person takes a different path. Once you reach your goals, together we’ll decide whether to start the process of saying goodbye or focus on new goals. I promise to support you as long as you need, but no more than necessary. In some cases, clients prefer to check-in with me as needed or for monthly maintenance sessions after our initial work together ends.
I’ve been to therapy before, but it didn’t work. What makes you different from other therapists I’ve been to?
I’m glad you asked. I feel that the intangible thing that heals in therapy is a good fit between the client and the therapist. It’s that spark of connection that only happens with certain people (and is so awesome when it does). As a person, I’m equal parts sensitive, practical, down-to-earth, and accessible. I tell-it-like-it-is in a tactful way so you can hear the message and get the insight you need. Depending on what brings you to counseling, I can be collaborative and help you arrive at your own conclusions or I can be prescriptive – just let me know if you want a solution to your problems. Whatever works best for you and your situation.
As a licensed psychologist, I’ve got several years of additional education and specialized training than other types of counselors in Miami, FL. That specialized training included knowledge of and interpretation of psychological assessments. Whenever I start working with a new client, I combine your initial session with some basic psychological tests to get a deeper understanding of you in a shorter period of time. While we’ll spend time digging into your past and how it relates to your present situation, I also help you explore how those big AHA moments relate to your future goals, which helps you translate these abstract insights into everyday actionable terms. That translates to less time in therapy, saved money, and faster and longer lasting results for you.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
Yes. I ask for a minimum of 24 hours notice if you need to cancel a session. A cancellation fee will be charged to the credit card on file if you fail to attend a scheduled session or give less than 24 hours notice of cancellation.
Can someone else pay for my therapy?
Sure, but if you’re age 18 or older, I’ll need to get: their written authorization to charge their credit card; and their signed acknowledgment of understanding that they will not have written or verbal access to any of the content of your therapy without your written consent.
How much does therapy with you cost?
The cost of psychotherapy varies depending on the provider’s level of education, licensure status, additional certifications, and area(s) of expertise.
My basic initial 60-minute session is $175, and $150 for follow-up 60-minute sessions. Full payment is due at the time of service. I do not allow my clients to carry account balances as doing so can muddy the waters of our work together. I accept cash, check, debit, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express at this time.
That’s expensive! Do you offer sliding scale or reduced fees for counseling?
No, I don’t. Here’s why: I see psychotherapy as an investment, like buying real estate or saving money in a 401K. And just like those forms of investment, counseling can yield a great return on investment, so I charge accordingly. That said, I realize that not everyone can afford to work with me. I’m happy to refer you to other providers, agencies, and centers that can financially accommodate individuals that need sliding scale or reduced fee services.
How much does a psychological evaluation cost?
The cost of psychological evaluations varies based on the reason for the evaluation, the time and number of instruments used, and costs of instrument administration. Click here to set up a free consult during which I’ll be able to give you an estimate based on your needs.
Do you take insurance?
No, I don’t accept insurance.
Omg, but I want to work with you! Why don’t you take insurance?!
Lol, that’s a short question with a long answer! (Read about it here.) In short, I initially accepted insurance when I started Envision Wellness. But as my specialty in people’s relationships with others and the self evolved, I realized accepting insurance no longer made sense for the work I do. Ultimately, my decision came down acting with integrity and practicing what I preached to clients.
OK, but I still want to work with YOU. Is there another way???
Absolutely! Your insurance plan may have out-of-network coverage. If it does, you may be able to work with me using it. Trust me – it’s super easy! Here’s how it works:
You pay me directly and I provide you with a monthly statement of services (called a superbill). Then, you submit (e-mail, fax, or snail mail) it to your insurance company if you decide to seek reimbursement through your insurance company’s out-of-network coverage. The Better app is awesome for this! Just to be clear, I make no guarantees that you’ll receive reimbursement from your insurance company.
What if I don’t know if my insurance plan has out-of-network coverage?
You have one of 2 options. #1 Download the Better app and set it up. Then, tell them that you’re interested in working with an out-of-network (OON) psychologist and need help verifying whether your insurance plan will reimburse you for this OON service. Better will find out and help you understand your OON coverage. #2 You can DIY. Call the customer service phone number on the back of your insurance card so you can ask questions about your coverage and make an informed decision before getting started with counseling. Here are some helpful questions to ask the representative:
- Do I have out-of-network mental health benefits?
- What is my out-of-network deductible? Does that include medical? Have I met it?
- Are out-of-network services by a licensed clinical psychologist covered?
- What is my co-insurance for out-of-network care?
- Is any pre-approval required under any circumstances before obtaining out-of-network mental health services to be reimbursed?
- For psychotherapy, ask: Do you cover procedural codes 90834 and/or 90837? For psychological testing, ask: Do you cover procedural codes 96101 and/or 96118?
- For psychotherapy, ask: What is the maximum allowed amount for procedural codes 90834 and/or 90837? For psychological testing, ask: What is the maximum allowed amount for procedural codes 96101 and/or 96118? ***FYI Sometimes the representative will say they can’t tell you. This is illegal. You have a right to this information and they must tell you. If they still won’t tell you, then ask them to begin recording the call and request to speak with a supervisor.***
- If I have out-of-network benefits, will I be reimbursed the full amount I paid or a percentage? What percentage?