Frequently asked questions
For your convenience, here are some frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
I am licensed by the State of Washington as a mental health counselor, so many of my clients are able to receive reimbursement from their insurance company or employee health spending accounts for my services as an out-of-network provider.
Because I do not bill insurance directly, I am able to provide my clients with several benefits:
- Increased privacy of your personal health information
- Greater flexibility of scheduling
- The assurance that all the decisions about the duration, quality and content of your care are made only by you and me, based on what is working for you.
After an initial consultation and we determine if we’re a good fit as client and therapist, we’ll schedule a first appointment. Appointments generally happen on a routine basis, typically weekly or bi-weekly, on the same day of the week and at the same time of day. Scheduled times are not automatically held for you, and it is your responsibility to schedule sessions via the client portal or upcoming session dates while in your therapy session.
Therapy sessions may be held via a computer rather than in-person at an office. Saga Life Counseling uses the HIPAA compliant platform Simple Practice. Please make sure you are in a private and safe place, with a strong Wi-Fi connection, for your therapy session. You will receive a unique link and you will need to enter your name before joining the video call.
A number of benefits are possible from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
I do not prescribe any medications as a therapist. Psychotropic medication is prescribed by Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, the designations are MD and ARNP respectively. I am familiar with medications but am not able to give guidance or tell another practitioner what to prescribe to you. I will communicate with medication prescribers if you request to do so to help them better help you.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you tools to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts, and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much-needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
Knowing if therapy is right for you can take some time and some self-reflection. You can talk to your therapist if you have any concerns about your reaction to therapy. It is important to be open with your therapist and give honest feedback on your experience so that your therapist is aware and can help make things right or even refer you to different therapist who can give you the experience you are looking for
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn and/or discover in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives, and are ready take responsibility for their lives.
The USA Federal Government passed a law called “The No Surprise Act.” It requires all licensed health care providers and entities to provide a “Good Faith Estimate” of the cost of treatment prior to a patient’s medical appointment.
You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical care will cost.
Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the bill for medical items and services.
- You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost for any non-emergency items or service. This includes related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment, and hospital fees.
- Make sure your healthcare provider gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing at least one business day before your medical service or item. You can also ask your healthcare provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or a service.
- If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill.
- Make sure to save a copy or take a picture of your Good Faith Estimate.
- For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises