Frequently Asked Questions
What are your fees?
- 45 minute (standard) session - $190 for new clients
- 75 minute intake appointment - $300
- Counseling & consultation sessions of other lengths - a prorated fee based on the standard session fee
- Cancellations and missed appointments with less than 24 hours notice - regular fee
- Payment accepted by check or credit card
- Health Savings Account (HSA)/Flexible Savings Account (FSA) cards can be used for therapy
- Further details on fees are available in my office policies
- If cost is an issue, let me know. I am sometimes able to offer a reduced fee slot during off hours
How does insurance reimbursement work?
Many families I work with reimbursed through their out-of-network insurance coverage. If you decide to seek insurance reimbursement for your child's therapy, I will provide you with a monthly statement to submit to your provider. The extent of reimbursement varies, so you will want to find out your specifics. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
- Do I have out-of-network mental health benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- What is the amount I would be reimbursed for an out-of-network therapy session?
- Do I need pre-authorization before I start therapy?
Insurance companies require a diagnosis in order to process your request for reimbursement. They do not cover all of the concerns that may bring a person to therapy or all of the services psychologists typically provide. For example, phone consults and teacher/school consults are a common part of child psychology services and are not typically covered.
How do you work with parents?
I meet regularly with a parent or parents to discuss their child's progress and their concerns. For example, I typically meet monthly with a parent or parents of children who are in elementary school. Speaking with a parent or parents between sessions is common. Sometimes a parent or parents may join in a child's therapy session or part of a session.
For young children, counseling usually involves a lot of collaboration with parents - checking in with one another, comparing notes, sharing ideas and progress updates. The amount and form of the parent consultation piece of counseling changes as children develop. It is individualized for each client.
As children leave elementary school and enter middle school and beyond, issues of privacy change developmentally. The parent consultation part of my work adapts accordingly. If your child is in middle school or older we will speak about how developmental considerations, including children's evolving sense of privacy and autonomy, impact the parent role in counseling.
Therapy with teens usually involves less parental involvement, although parents are still kept informed about their child's progress and are welcome to share feedback and concerns.
It is my goal to establish a safe therapeutic environment for my young clients while also developing collaborative relationships with their parents. As a parent, you can expect that you will be informed of the treatment plan, progress toward goals, and situations regarding risk or harm. I will speak with your child about this (as age and developmentally appropriate) and encourage you to discuss it with him or her as well.
If there are books or articles related to parenting, child development and/or the concern at hand that you like or have found helpful, please let me know about them.
If you have scheduling constraints that impact your availability such as frequent work travel, a long commute or extensive work hours, please raise this with me. We can try our best to try figure how to structure and time our conversations in a way that works for both of us. For example, we may decide to have some parent meetings over the phone. Ultimately, it will be important for me to have access to you. Effectiveness of treatment can be compromised without adequate access to parents.
How do you work with schools or child care programs?
If your child is having issues at school or child care, I will want to try to understand what is going on there. Links between social/emotional or behavioral concerns and learning/school-related issues are common.
As appropriate, with your written permission and depending upon the age of your child, I may ask to:
- View your child's report card/school records/test results
- Speak with your child's teacher(s), school counselor, school psychologist and/or principal
- Observe in your child's classroom or child care program (with younger kids)
I regularly consult with child care program and school staff in a range of roles including teachers, program directors, after school program staff, counselors, school psychologists and principals.
Do you do play therapy?
I do not consider the therapy I provide to be play therapy per se. But, my approach with young children certainly does involve play.
Play is an important, healthy and natural part of life for children. When I set up the therapy experience to include play, it is my attempt to offer a respectful and developmentally sensitive experience for a child.
Each child is unique, but up until age 12 or so child therapy often takes place while involved in some kind of activity, whether it be play, a board game, an art project, a writing project or something else.
What is the purpose of play in therapy?
Child therapy looks different than adult therapy. As children are still developing cognitively, emotionally, socially and in their use of language, therapy techniques are adapted to suit their needs. Young children often learn best by doing, engaging in hands-on activities and experiences.
The child therapy I provide often includes the use of activities, play, children's books, workbooks, games, art or writing projects. When we meet, I will ask you about your child's interests to get ideas on how to set up the therapy environment to be comfortable and engaging for him or her.
Play serves a number of functions in child therapy. I am not just playing with your child. Play can help a child feel more comfortable in the unfamiliar therapy setting. Through play, I demonstrate respect for a child and his or her interests.
Young children have not yet developed the verbal skills to express themselves completely through words. Their play can serve as a window to their experience and an opportunity to understand them better. Often, children feel more comfortable talking while doing something.
Play also allows me to do a kind of informal clinical assessment. Through play, I can typically get a rough idea of a child's social skills, cognitive level/strengths/challenges, interests, attention, problem-solving skills, developmental level and mood. If you are confused or have questions about the play component of your child's therapy, just let me know.