"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
— M. Scott Peck
What to Expect During Your First Session
If you are visiting this website, you are likely feeling very strongly that there is something that you could use some help with. Whatever the issue is, seeking out support is one of the first steps you can take to help resolve that problem or issue. That is why people seek my services. They have something about their lives that they want to change.
Psychotherapy will provide you with a more balanced view of what is causing you concern or pain, allowing you to be heard and feel supported. It will help you recognize and utilize your strengths, and teach you tools to make changes and achieve your goals.
During the initial phone call, prospective clients provide a brief overview of what is bringing them in for services. This allows me to ensure that my training and experience is well matched to the caller's presenting issues.
In the first meeting we begin a comprehensive evaluation so that I can get a clear picture of your unique history, life experiences, and current concerns. This can take from one to three sessions. With this information, we will create a plan together to achieve your goals. During this initial evaluation I will take a lot of notes to help me remember details, but as we continue to meet this will lessen.
I realize that many people have never attended a therapy appointment before. You may be nervous, and have many questions about your treatment. This is a typical reaction, and you are not alone in these feelings. In the first few minutes of the session we will discuss policies so you know what to expect. Once these logistics are out of the way, I want to really learn what you are experiencing, and what may be troubling you. This is your time to voice your concerns, fears, and ask questions.
For clients with children, be advised that babies in arms are welcome in sessions. Please make reliable childcare arrangements for toddlers and older children, unless they are a part of a prearranged family therapy session. This allows clients the opportunity to make the most out of their time with their therapist, and also prevents children, including little ones, from being exposed to the personal and sensitive information that is often a part of the therapeutic dialogue. Your understanding and cooperation is very much appreciated.
Fee Schedule and Session Options
Counseling fees are as follows:
- $240.00 for initial evaluation appointment
- $125.00 for 45 minute therapy session
- $165.00 for 60 minute therapy session
- $210.00 for 75 minute therapy session
Sessions can be tailored to best meet a client's individual needs and preferences. Rather than the more typical 45 minute weekly session, some clients prefer a 75 minute session weekly or every other week. Others may prefer two 45 minute sessions each week. Feel free to request different scheduling options, and together we can determine what will work best. In the event that you are using insurance to pay for treatment, it should be noted that insurance companies typically only cover standard 45 minute sessions.
Other services may be available for clients, as are professional training opportunities focusing on perinatal and postpartum issues. A comprehensive list of fees for all services will be provided during the evaluation session, or at any time upon request.
Insurance Coverage (in-network and out-of-network)
I am a contracted provider with Premera Blue Cross, LifeWise, Regence, First Choice Health, and select plans from the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington PPO Network (Access, Options, and Omni). My counseling fees are also covered by many of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO plans. As exceptions do occasionally occur, please make certain to contact your insurance company directly to verify coverage. A Pre-Visit Insurance Worksheet can be downloaded, if desired, to assist you in this process.
My office will bill all of the above primary insurance companies as a courtesy to clients. Please note that we bill primary insurance plans only. Secondary claim submittal is the responsibility of the client and should be handled per the instruction of their individual insurance company. A superbill will be provided to the client for use in submitting secondary insurance claims upon request. Your co-pay or co-insurance, and any deductible fees owing, are due at each visit. Please note that cash or check is the preferred method of payment.
As I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington State, oftentimes other insurance companies will reimburse clients for my services as an out-of-network provider. This typically ranges somewhere between 50-80% of their determined reimbursable fees for counseling services. If this is the option you choose, I will provide a receipt for your session, which you may submit to your insurance company directly for possible reimbursement at their out-of-network rates. In these cases it is the client's responsibility to pay for the session in full at the time of service, and to contact their insurance company to assess the level and conditions of coverage, as individual plans vary.
Out of Pocket Sessions (choosing not to use insurance)
For a variety of reasons, such as the desire for an increased degree of privacy, some people make the decision not to submit claims to their insurance company, and decide to pay for sessions out of pocket instead. There are many benefits to hiring me privately and leaving the insurance industry out of our work entirely.
In all cases, payment is due at the time of service. Cash or check is the preferred method of payment for co-pays, co-insurance, and other fees. If necessary, upon request, full session fees for out of pocket sessions can be processed by debit or credit.
Please note that sliding scale sessions are not available at this time.
You may be interested to read the article Why Wouldn't I Use My Insurance
Benefits to Pay for My Therapy? by Judy C. Roberts, former Ethics Consultant for the Washington Mental Health Counselors Association. This is a brief and informative overview of things that should be considered when making the decision to use insurance benefits to pay for therapy.
Please note that I do my best to run my practice on time and do not intentionally double-book clients or run over the allotted session time. You can therefore expect your appointment to start and end at the time we have scheduled. In the event that you arrive late for your appointment, that slot will be held for you for up to 20 minutes before the session is considered to have been missed. If you arrive within that 20 minute window, you will be seen for any time that is remaining, but lost time cannot be made up at that visit. If you expect to be late, please let me know as soon as possible.
Each appointment time is reserved exclusively for a specific client. Due to the time commitment made to you in reserving an appointment, I ask that you kindly provide at least a 24 hour notice if you need to cancel your appointment, in order to avoid being charged for the missed session. Insurance companies will not pay for missed sessions, and payment in full is the responsibility of the client. Voice mail is available 24 hours a day in the event that an appointment needs to be rescheduled.
How Will You Know When Therapy is Over?
There are several things we will look for to decide when we are ready to conclude our work together in therapy. First, we want to know if the goals you established have been met. Did you accomplish the goals you expected to? Did we accomplish goals that you did not initially expect, but that are now benefiting your life? If so, we will begin to work toward the end of your therapy. I will provide you with many opportunities to practice the "what-ifs," and to demonstrate how much you have learned and gained from treatment. Together we will process the end of therapy, with the awareness that my door is open to you should you find the need arises to return for additional work in the future.