Frequently Asked Questions
Is therapy right for me?
The choice to engage in therapy is a personal one. People pursue counseling for a large variety of reasons - some use counseling to address deep-rooted emotional or psychological distress, to better understand one’s barriers to happiness, to get support during big life changes or transitions, to work on a relationship, or to maintain an ongoing practice of personal growth and exploration. Working with a therapist promotes emotional support, self-acceptance, insight, new perspectives, feedback, and accountability. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in taking responsibility for their lives, learning about themselves, working towards desired changes and goals, and realizing their true potential. For therapy to be effective, clients must be willing to be active participants both during and in between sessions.
How long does therapy last?
You are in charge of how long therapy lasts. While I prefer to work with clients for a minimum of three months, and recommend beginning with weekly appointments, I am always open to arrangements that work best for the client. Therapy can be short-term and focused on a specific goal or problem, or it can be long-term with goals of exploring more complex personal issues, promoting personal growth, or maintaining a sense of wellness.
Are our sessions confidential?
All communication between a client and therapist is confidential and protected by law. No information, not even the fact that you are a client, is disclosed to any other party without prior written permission from the client. A client’s privacy is of the utmost importance. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule based on safety and emergencies:
1) A therapist is mandated to report any known or suspected abuse/neglect of a child or vulnerable adult.
2) A therapist will notify the police and/or the targeted person if a client discloses that they plan to physically harm another person.
3) A therapist will take all necessary precautions to keep a client safe if they report that they intend to harm themselves. This may include disclosing information to a loved one, a doctor, or another necessary party.
4) If a therapist is court ordered to disclose any information, the proper protocol may include releasing records or sharing information.
5) If there is a medical emergency in the middle of a session, it is likely some identifying information and confidentiality would be breached.
What is your fee for a 60-minute individual therapy appointment?
I charge $135 for a 60 minute session. I meet with clients for a full 60 minutes, and use the last 5 minutes for wrapping up, scheduling, and payment.
I set my prices based on business and living expenses, my level of training and experience, and an ability to offer extra-discounted services to those who need it. When you pay my full rate for a session, you are not only supporting my small business, but you are also helping someone else receive services who otherwise would not be able to get them.
While it is infrequent (about once every two years), I occasionally may raise my rates by a small margin ($5-$10). I do this based on my growing qualifications, and the general trajectory of the standard of business maintenance and living in Portland. If my rates will be going up, I do my best to give clients at least 2 month's notice, 1 month's notice at a minimum.
How do I pay for sessions?
I accept cash, checks, major credit cards, and HSA/FSA cards. I ask for payment of my fee at the time of appointment. I keep a credit card on file for each client and can charge this card automatically after our sessions, if that is preferred. Otherwise, I accept payment at the beginning or end of sessions, depending on what is most comfortable for you.
Do you accept insurance?
I do not accept insurance at this time. I can provide a “super bill” and receipts for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement out of network; however, this is based on your insurance plan and out of network benefits for mental health services. I cannot guarantee that you will be reimbursed.
Do you offer a sliding scale?
I offer a limited number of sliding scale slots (between $70-$80) for those who are dedicated to long-term counseling, but financially could not access my services at the full rate. If this sounds like you, please inquire.
*Please note: I currently have a waiting list for sliding scale appointments.
What kind of paperwork is involved to get started?
I use a secure, online EHR (Electronic Health Records) system. When we set up an appointment, you will get an email from my EHR with a link to some “paperwork” to read, fill out, and sign electronically. This includes my professional disclosure statement and your informed consent, as well as some helpful background questions. This typically takes 10-15 minutes to complete. It is secure, confidential, and HIPAA compliant.
When are you available for sessions?
I am in the office Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and some Fridays. I offer sessions as early as 9am and as late as 7:30pm, depending on the day. I do my best to be available between sessions for brief phone check ins in the case of emergency, however, this is not always possible. I also take vacation time, and give my clients 2-3 weeks’ notice before I am out of the office. During this time, my goal is to be available by email daily, though this is not always an option. I always provide emergency contact information for crisis services and another trusted, available colleague.
What is your cancellation policy?
I ask for at least 24 hours’ notice for cancellations or rescheduling, otherwise I bill the full fee for the appointment. This is pretty firm across the board and I honor the 24 hour mark to the hour. The earlier you can let me know you can’t make it, the better. I reserve your appointment time just for you, which means that I don’t offer it to others who might want or need that time. Also, the sustainability of my business relies on my clients coming to their appointments. If there is an emergency, I use my discretion regarding enforcing my cancellation policy. No matter what, it is very helpful for me to know as early as possible if you are canceling or rescheduling. If you cancel late but can reschedule within the same business week, I will not bill you for the cancellation. If you miss an appointment without getting in touch or canceling ahead of time, you will be responsible for the full fee of the appointment, and I will charge the card I have on file at the time of session.