Does meeting with a psychologist mean I have a mental illness?

No. Participating in psychotherapy does not mean that you have a mental illness or that you will be diagnosed with a mental illness.

Sometimes we just need another person to listen in a nonjudgmental way, or to have someone offer a different perspective. Other times, individuals may simply need to learn new ways to cope with unexpected, difficult, and/or stressful life situations.

However, if you plan to utilize your insurance benefits, please be aware that insurance companies require that I provide a diagnosis in order to bill for services. If you prefer to not have a diagnosis on your medical record, then I encourage you to use the self-pay option.

Can you see people in other states?

Yes, I am registered with Psypact (ASPPB E.passport/APIT number: 9439). This allows me to conduct teletherapy with individuals in any of the 26 psypact states: AL, AZ, AR, CO, DE, DC, GA, ID IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MD, MN, MO, NE, NV, NH, NC, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI.

Do you see children?

No, I only see adults ages 18+.

Do you see couples?

No, at this time I am not providing couples therapy.

Do you have evening or weekend availability?

I no longer am accepting new clients that need appointments after 2:00 pm MST. I do not offer any weekend appointments.

What if I’m in crisis?

Please call the Maricopa county crisis line at: (602) 222-9444, the National Suicide Prevention line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or dial 911.

If you prefer texting, just text “Hello” to 741741.

Also, check out the website: nowmattersnow.org for additional coping skills to get through difficult moments.

If you feel you are in danger of hurting yourself, please reach out through one of the crisis numbers or have a friend or family member take you to any hospital emergency room or urgent care psychiatry for immediate assistance.

What Insurance plans do you accept?

I accept Aetna, Optum, and United Healthcare insurance plans. I will also continue to accept self-pay clients.

Please be aware that insurance companies require a diagnosis, which becomes a part of your medical record permanently. Not everyone wants a diagnosis to become a part of their record. When using insurance benefits, insurance companies can obtain personal information that client’s may wish to keep private. I encourage you to always check your coverage before scheduling appointments.

If I do not accept your insurance, you may choose to submit documentation to your insurance company to get reimbursed for out-of-network benefits. To better understand what your insurance carrier might reimburse for out-of-network psychotherapy services, call your insurance company before scheduling an appointment or consultation.

What is the difference between a psychologist – PhD/PsyD, LPC, LCSW?

A psychologist is someone who received a doctorate (PsyD or PhD) versus a master’s degree (LCSW). Psychologists typically attend graduate school for 5-6 years versus 2-3 years, for a master’s degree, and thus, have longer years of supervised training. Additionally, the state of Arizona requires psychologists to have an additional post-doctoral year (at least 1500 hours) of supervised experience even after they are awarded their doctorate.  

A PsyD is a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, while a PhD is a doctorate in philosophy. Both require the same amount of clinical supervision and can provide the same services.

Do you prescribe medication?

No, I do not prescribe medication. Only a psychiatrist or primary care medical provider would prescribe any medication for mental health concerns.

Do you conduct ADHD evaluations?

No, I do not conduct these types of evaluations.

What If I do not want my medical record to have a mental illness diagnosis?

Not everyone who comes to therapy will receive a diagnosis. Some individuals may be experiencing situational problems or life changes and symptoms will subside as soon as the situation resolves or one learns how to better cope with the situation. However, in order to utilize your insurance to pay for sessions, insurance companies require that I provide a diagnosis. If one cannot be established or you prefer to not have a diagnosis on your medical record, then consider self-pay option instead of using your insurance.

How long will therapy last?

The length of treatment is different for everyone and depends on one’s goals. Some individuals have very specific target goals and only need 8-12 sessions. For example, some individuals’ goals are to learn coping skills for anxiety and may only need a few skills based sessions. Whereas others, may want to focus on identifying and changing relationship patterns through more in-depth psychotherapy, which focuses on how previous experiences in life have shaped beliefs, behaviors, and patterns of interacting with others. Thus, the length of therapy is adjusted depending on the needs of the individual.

How do I schedule an appointment?

You can use the schedule an appointment link, email, or call me to book a free consultation or to schedule your therapy sessions.

What should I expect?

Before your first appointment, called an “intake,” I will email you forms to complete to provide me with general information about you and your concerns as well as some additional information about the process.

Typically, people start with more frequent sessions (once per week or once every two weeks) in the beginning, and spread out time between appointments as they feel they are making progress. You can also choose how long you would like your appointments to be (30 minutes or 50 minutes), depending on your comfort level and needs.

Is what I say confidential?

All therapist-client conversations are private and confidential. There are rare exceptions, such as in cases where the safety of a client or another person requires that therapists contact appropriate authorities/agencies to maintain safety. Even in these cases, therapist release as little information about the client as possible to appropriately address the situation.

Can I email you?

As email is not the most secure form of communication, please do not discuss sensitive information if you choose to email me. We can use email to schedule appointments or cancel/reschedule if need be, but do not discuss any other personal information via email. I encourage you to use the secure messaging through the patient portal or a phone call for communication.

When will my file be closed?

You may discontinue therapy due to meeting your goals or other reasons. Your file will be closed at that time and you will be welcome to return to therapy in the future, if needed.

Other reasons your file may be closed includes: Outstanding payment, Lack of contact, or Inconsistent attendance.

Outstanding Payment
If I have not received payment for a session, I may close a client’s file and discontinue services. This file can be re-opened and services can continue upon receipt of payment.

Lack of Contact
As I often have a waitlist, I want to ensure that clients are able to access services in a timely fashion. Therefore, if I have not heard from you in three weeks I will close your file. You are welcome to reconnect and request services again; however, I cannot guarantee availability and you may be placed on a waitlist.

Inconsistent Attendance
Therapy is a commitment to both yourself and your therapist. This means that consistency is important to achieving the goals that you are working towards. Therefore, if there are frequent cancellations or “no shows,” it may be an indicator that it is not the right time to pursue therapy.