Q: Are therapy sessions confidential?
A: Absolutely! Your right to privacy and confidentiality is of the utmost importance to me, and is also protected by federal law, state law, and my professional ethics code. With certain exceptions, nothing we talk about is shared with anyone without your written consent.
Q: What are the exceptions to confidentiality?
A: As a mental health professional, I am legally required to report suspicion of child abuse, elder and dependent adult abuse, intentions to commit suicide, or threats to do physical harm to yourself or another person. I also may be required to share information during certain legal proceedings.
Q: What can I expect in the first few sessions?
A: We will talk about your reasons for seeking therapy and what you hope to get out of our work together. I’ll ask you questions about your history that are relevant to understanding your current situation. At that time I will be able to offer initial impressions and recommend a plan for therapy.
From there, we will usually schedule one 50-minute session per week. We can also decide whether we will meet in-person or if you'd prefer to meet for teletherapy via secure videochat. If we determine I’m not the best person to help you, I will help you find another provider who can meet your needs.
Q: Why do some people prefer to pay "out-of- pocket" rather than using insurance?
A: Many clients choose not to involve insurance companies in their mental health care because paying privately provides the highest degree of privacy, flexibility and control.
- Insurance companies require the therapist to identify a diagnosis and there are some diagnoses they won’t reimburse if not considered "medically necessary" - Many of my clients don't have a mental health diagnosis - they are just dealing with adjusting to everyday life challenges.
- If you do have a mental health diagnosis, this becomes a part of your permanent health record and can affect future eligibility to obtain quality health or life insurance.
- The insurance company can request to review all of your records at their discretion, which contains certain risks to your privacy and confidentiality.
Q: What if I can't make it to your Orange County based office?
A: For your convenience, I offer online therapy. We can connect for a session while you're in the comfort of your own home or office. All you need is an internet connection, a webcam, and a private space to chat.