Starting therapy can come with a lot of different questions. Check out all the info below to learn more about starting therapy and the basics of my practice. If there’s a question not answered here, please reach out!
General Therapy Questions
Why do people go to therapy?
Because they’ve been a CHILD. Kidding, but also not kidding. I believe everyone can benefit from therapy because it challenges you to develop insight and express yourself in ways you’ve likely never been asked. Therapy increases empathy and leads to better relationships- who doesn’t need that?
What happens in therapy sessions?
We will start with an intake session where I gather information to see you more holistically. You’ll tell me about your personal history, current issues, family and social relationships, and anything else I might need to know. Often the “intake” will happen over 1-2 sessions.
After the intake, you will clarify any specific goals you have for therapy, or just decide where you want to start.
Regular sessions include reviewing topics from past sessions, connecting sessions together through reflecting on homework assignments (journaling, assessments, behavior goals, etc), and processing feelings and experiences through talk therapy. My job during sessions is to listen without judgment, reflect, challenge, and help guide you to decisions and new behaviors. I do NOT tell clients what to do or give advice- you get enough of that in your regular life. Therapy with me is about insight and personal growth!
How will I know I’m done with therapy?
This varies! I’ve personally been in and out of my own therapy for 15 years- and plan to participate in some sort of therapy for the rest of my life! Some people may have more short term goals or come to personal solutions in a matter of months, and others may take much longer to unpack years of trauma, denial, and emotional suppression (woof).
Usually, we will slowly taper off sessions as you start to feel better and more confident about how you are coping with things and making decisions. I encourage clients to move from weekly to biweekly to monthly. After a couple monthly sessions, you can decide if you’d like to continue with sessions as needed, or end therapy all together.
Why is therapy so expensive?
There are so many factors that contribute to the cost of therapy! Most therapists take home about 50-60% of their fees after they pay for taxes, expenses of running a practice, trainings, books, office rent, licensing fees, professional organization membership and more. Masters level therapists have 7 or more years of university-level schooling under their belt as well.
How do I find a therapist who is right for me?
Being comfortable with, and feeling like you can trust your therapist, is the number 1 most important thing about therapy (literally research says this). 40% of your success in therapy comes from having a good connection with your therapist.
Ask yourself: What are the characteristics of a safe person for me?
Use this guide to find a step by step way to seek out a therapist as well as questions you should be asking.
Live Better Austin Questions
What is your background?
Check out my About page to learn more about who I am, what I believe, and what my experience is.
What’s a sliding scale?
Also called an anti-oppression scale, a sliding scale allows those who have means and privilege to afford mental health services to offset the costs of services for those who do not. I encourage my clients to carefully consider their ability to pay and help support those in need as well.
Check out my Fees page to see what sliding scale options are available.
How long are therapy sessions?
45-50 minutes long
How much do therapy sessions cost?
$125 per 45-50 minute session
Sliding scale fees may be available based on need. Check out the Fees page to see what options are open.
Insurance Reimbursement Questions
Why don’t you accept insurance?
At this time, insurance companies do not allow therapists with my type of license (LPC-Associates) to be paneled with them. I do my best to offer affordable services to those who cannot afford the full fee when I can.
Insurance companies require a lot of personal information be shared about clients in order to cover session fees. They require that all clients receive a diagnosis from the DSM and they will occasionally request session notes or summaries. They also have the right to determine how many sessions they will cover, as well as if your diagnosis is a valid reason for therapy.
What “Out of Network” benefits?
You may have Out of Network mental health coverage through your insurance- meaning you can get reimbursed if you see a provider outside of your plan’s network. If this is the case, I can provide you with a superbill that will list a diagnosis, what services were provided, and how much you paid. You will then submit this to your insurance company. This is dependent on your insurance company and you will need to contact them for more information about your specific plan.
Why is my deductible important?
CHECK ON YOUR DEDUCTIBLE! If you have a deductible thats in the thousands, it may actually be better to just pay out of pocket for therapy (unless you know you will be meeting that deductible quickly). I’d be happy to help you do some math to determine if it might be better for you to pay a sliding scale rate rather than go through you insurance.
Example: a year of biweekly therapy at $100 a session will cost less than $2500. If you have a $3000+ deductible, your insurance wouldn’t cover any costs until you hit that $3000.