Why choose a psychologist over someone from another discipline?

As a licensed clinical psychologist, I have extensive training in psychotherapy and evidence-based approaches to mental health treatment. There are significant differences between a clinical psychologist and other psychotherapists or master’s prepared clinicians such as LCSW’s, LPC’s, LMFT’s, etc. While there are many fabulous psychotherapists and master’s prepared clinicians, there are some things that set a psychologist apart. In order to become a licensed clinical psychologist, a person must first obtain a bachelor’s degree and then go on to graduate school for at least an additional 4 years of coursework and training, which includes at least 3200 hours of supervised direct psychotherapy. Following graduation from a doctoral program, an additional year of supervised training called a “postdoctoral” year is required. Clinical contact hours and coursework are carefully monitored and recorded to submit as evidence of competency to licensing boards. Then, in order to obtain licensure to practice as a clinical psychologist in any state, you are required to pass a national certification exam called the EPPP (Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology). Finally, after submitting scores on the EPPP along with documentation of coursework and clinical training hours, a local, state-specific exam called the Juris Prudence is taken. Finally, after successful completion of all of these requirements, a state licensing board approves assignment of license and person may officially call themselves a psychologist.

Seem like a lot? It is! But this also means that by choosing a psychologist as your treating provider you are getting someone with extensive training and education delivering your care.

I want someone to prescribe me or my child medications. Can you do that?

Nope. Think of a psychologist as a “feelings doctor”. We do have doctoral degrees but we are not medical doctors. We don’t attend medical school and don’t have prescriptive privileges. I am happy to refer you to a med provider if an evaluation for medication seems warranted, and will work in tandem with your treatment team if you request it.

Do you take insurance?

No. I am considered an “out-of-network” provider, which means that I am not contracted with insurance plans. I recommend that you contact the number for your behavioral health manager (usually on the back of your insurance card) and ask about your mental health benefits. For example, ask about number of covered sessions per year, your deductible, co-insurance, co-pay, etc. You should also feel empowered to ask your plan to send you a list of therapists in the area with whom they do contract. If you make the decision to seek services with me I am happy to provide you with a superbill for documentation of your costs and services rendered. Some plans will reimburse you at the out-of-network rates with this type of documentation.

How often do clients see you/ how long do people come to therapy?

Therapy works best when it is consistent. I prefer to see my clients once a week in order to ensure that we can build rapport with one another and address the issues bringing the person to therapy without interruption. If there are safety concerns I sometimes recommend twice a week therapy after consultation with the client and family. Since I don’t take insurance, I am not bound to the limits on sessions that many plans place. That being said, my goal is always to get a client to a better place and have them get on with their lives. No one wants to be in therapy forever! Titrating or tapering frequency of sessions is something we will always have clear communication about.

After Hours?

I do not offer after-hours or emergency services. If you feel you are unsafe or in crisis, please call 9-1-1 or present yourself to the nearest emergency room.

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