How will I know if you’re the right therapist for me?
Having been on both sides of the therapist/client dynamic, I can tell you first hand that it is so important to find the right fit. There are so many different ways of approaching therapy and it is not a one size fits all kind of deal.
It may take a few sessions for us to get to know each other. Sometimes this might feel strange, especially if you’re new to therapy. My priority in these first few sessions is to establish a sense of safety and trust between us. We're building a relationship and just like any other relationship, it takes intentionality and time.
If for any reason, in the first few sessions, something doesn’t feel quite right, trust your gut! Let’s talk about it. You have the wisdom to know what you need and half the battle is just giving voice to it. I encourage open and honest conversations about how therapy is going in order to make sure that you are feeling supported and safe to do this work together.
Is there anyone you don’t see?
In the case that there is a specific issue for which you are seeking treatment and for which I do not have clinical expertise, I will provide you with referrals to other skilled clinicians who can better assist you. I’m interested in doing what is best for your care. Some of these situations include treatment for substance abuse, treatment for psychotic symptoms and treatment for eating disorders.
Sometimes there are practical constraints to seeing a therapist in private practice given that some clients might need 24/7 access to a therapist in an inpatient setting. If you are feeling actively suicidal or are experiencing any sort of psychiatric emergency please call 1-800-273-8255 for immediate support. Alameda County residents may also call 510-420-2460.
How often should I come to therapy?
Therapy is most effective when attended once per week. Sessions are typically 50 minutes and take place during a regularly scheduled appointment time. There are certain instances where seeing a therapist more than once per week can be helpful during a crisis. In other cases, it may be appropriate to see a therapist every other week as therapy comes to a close.
How much does therapy cost?
My full fee is $180.00 for a 50 minute individual therapy session and $220.00 for a 75 minute couples therapy session. I do offer a limited number of sliding scale spaces for clients with financial constraints. These spots are typically reserved for individuals experiencing marginalization/oppression related to identity, for current students, and for individuals in community service professions (community mental health workers, educators and community activists). Please inquire further if you would like to learn more.
What about cancellations?
Therapy is a commitment and once we have committed to a weekly therapy time, the most important thing is for us both to show up! If for any reason, you need to cancel a scheduled appointment I require at least 48 hours notice. You will be charged for this time if you miss your appointment without proper notice. Obviously, emergency situations do arise and I will work with you to reschedule or provide tele-therapy if possible. Similarly, if I ever need to cancel an appointment per illness/injury or emergency situation, I will do my best to provide rescheduling options as well.
Do you have an attendance policy?
I can accommodate up to 4 cancellations per 6 months of treatment. In some cases, further cancellations may be unavoidable. Should cancellations become an issue, we will work together to address barriers and come up with a plan for how to move forward.
Can I use my insurance plan to pay for therapy?
I am an out of network provider which means that I do not take insurance. However, I will work with you to submit claims to your provider. My practice is registered with Better, a company that submits claims directly to insurance on your behalf. I will provide you with superbills that you can upload through their easy to use app and track the progress of your claim. If you have an HSA or FSA plan it may also be possible to utilize it to cover the cost of therapy, but you may need to clarify this with your employer
It is important to know your plan before betting on reimbursement. Not all insurance plans are created equal and reimbursement varies significantly by plan.
You may want to call your insurance provider and ask the following questions so that you can budget accordingly:
Do I have out of network mental health benefits?
If so, what is my deductible?
How much will I be reimbursed per therapy session?
Is pre-approval required from my primary care physician?
Where will we meet?
My office is located in downtown Oakland at 1904 Franklin street at the corner of 19th street. I am conveniently located one block from 19th street Bart. Should you choose to drive to our appointment, there is plenty of street and garage parking in the area.