Regular Office Hours:
When are you closed for holidays?
My office is closed on all federal holidays, Christmas Eve, Easter Monday and one Monday each month (if no Monday federal holiday).
Spring break is usually one week in March.
Summer sabbatical is usually around July 16 – August 15.
Fall break is generally the week of Labor Day.
Winter break is around Dec 23 – Jan 16.
How long does treatment take?
Your individual treatment plan will be tailored to your specific needs, but generally the longer the duration of the problem, the longer it takes to completely work through it. Psychotherapy patients might be seen in weekly sessions over 6 – 12 months, longer term therapies might require 2 – 4 sessions per week for 18 months to 3 years. Stable patients not in psychotherapy are usually seen every three months.
What is the fee?
The fee is $275 for 40 – 45 minute psychotherapy (with or without medication).
Medication follow up sessions (25 minutes) for patients not in regular psychotherapy is $220.
I accept CIGNA insurance – CIGNA patients are only responsible for deductibles and copays.
Do you do tele-medicine?
Yes, but it’s not my preferred way of working. I don’t find telemedicine to be effective for long term psychotherapy. Patients who began via telemedicine during the pandemic may continue in that modality, of course, and existing patients who find themselves in a situation that precludes an in-office visit may elect a telemedicine session rather than just cancelling. All telemedicine patients must attest that they are within the boundaries of the state of Texas at the time of the visit. No controlled drugs can be prescribed unless the patient has been seen in person at least once.
Do I have to lay on a couch?
No, it is not required. Freud started using the couch, in part, because he didn’t like people looking at him! But he soon discovered that, for some patients, it loosened up the process of talking freely.
What’s the difference between counseling and psychotherapy?
Counseling is generally geared to shorter term treatment for less severe problems. If you’ve tried a counselor a few times and your issues persist, it may be time to pursue a more in depth treatment with lasting, deep psychological change as the goal. Nadia Khan has written a helpful article about this topic. This is their summary:
You may decide to see a counselor when:
- You consider your issues as short-term.
- You need to learn coping skills for stress and relationship problems.
- You are finding it difficult to make adjustments to changes in your lifestyle.
- You have substance use issues.
You may decide to see a psychotherapist when:
- You are coping with traumas that happened in your past.
- You have a chronic medical problem that is causing emotional stress.
- You have been diagnosed as having a mental health condition (bipolar, manic-depressive, schizophrenia, OCD, anxiety disorder).
- You have seen a counselor and they suggested further more in-depth treatment.
Is what I say confidential?
Absolutely! Communication between a psychiatrist and the patient is privileged, meaning no one can demand access to your records. There are exceptions, of course, but they are very rare.
If for any reason you need absolute protection and security, I can maintain your records so that no identifying information is kept in any way. Your identity will be encrypted with a pseudonym and there will be no traceable record of your visits. Most people don’t need this level of security, but certain sensitive positions and subjects may require it. Call me with a “burner phone” or an email from an anonymous computer if you need to stay “black.”
Do you prescribe medication?
Yes – for most conditions, medications are more effective when combined with psychotherapy, so my patients on medications are usually also in some form of regular psychotherapy. Although long term treatment with medication is sometimes needed, we will work toward the gradual elimination of psychiatric medications and help you learn to live a full, joyful and medication free life.
Is there a private waiting area?
The waiting area is private but small. In order to maintain privacy, family and friends are not permitted in the waiting area at any time. There is a separate exit, so you should never cross paths with anyone else.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes, I’ll take (some of) the hassle out of using your insurance. I can electronically file your claim to most insurance plans for you and bill you only for your portion. I’m out of network for insurance plans (except CIGNA), so check your out of network deductible to see how much you’ll owe out of pocket before insurance kicks in. If you have an FSA or HSA, you can set up an autopay for your balances due.
Can I come every week at the same time?
Yes – in fact, that’s the best way to make progress in psychotherapy. A “standing appointment” is a regular, reserved time for a psychotherapy appointment that is held for the patient throughout the course of treatment. That is, the time is reserved until the treatment is discontinued and the patient gives notice that the time is no longer to be reserved. (See the FAQ for standing appointments.)
Will I be seeing a PA or Nurse Practitioner?
You will always only be seeing me. I am in solo private practice and I will personally handle every aspect of your care.
Do you do disability evaluations?
Do you do fitness for duty evaluations?
Do you do (other legal or workplace) evaluations?
Do you do (fill in the blank) evaluations?
Other than aviation medical exams, I’m afraid not. My practice is limited to clinical treatment only, so I don’t produce disability or other legal reports. The records I produce are quite limited in order to protect your confidentiality, and would not support an application for disability or other legal requirements.
How do I get started?
Navigate to the Contact and Scheduling page and follow the simple steps to get registered. I’ll want to have a brief telephone chat with you to be sure your treatment goals align with my practice.