frequently asked questions
Why don't you accept insurance?
Generally speaking, insurance companies are more focused on saving money rather than the quality of care you receive. Insurance companies require a diagnosis for you to receive services. While a diagnosis can be helpful in some cases, it isn't always necessary. I don't support giving you a diagnosis that will be attached to your medical history forever simply to be paid. Insurance companies also attempt to dictate treatment by limiting sessions and by requiring a time consuming, lengthy process in order for additional sessions to be approved. This can interrupt your progress and it shifts the focus away from you and our work together. Lastly, your insurance company has the right to ask about why you are in therapy and specifics regarding your progress. This type of information is typically obtained by your insurance company to approve initial sessions and authorize ongoing sessions. It's structured so that providing more information about you increases the chance of initial approval and ongoing authorization of sessions.
Bottom line: I don't rely on insurance because your confidentiality is important to me and I want to make sure that you and I remain in the driver's seat when it comes to your treatment and healing.
What does MCAP stand for?
MCAP is the abbreviation for Masters Level Certified Addiction Professional. This certification is earned through the Florida Certification Board. In order to receive this credential, one has to have their Master's Degree, be licensed in the state of Florida, complete at least 350 hours of formal training in understanding and treating addiction, document at least 4,000 hours of direct experience treating addiction and lastly, receive at least 200 hours of direct supervision. In simplest terms, this credential is a way for you to have confidence that I am a specialist in treating addictions and substance use disorders.
I haven't been to inpatient treatment for my addiction. Can you still help me?
In order for us to know if working with me individually on an outpatient basis is the best treatment option for you, we would need to meet for an in-person initial assessment. I'll make a level of care recommendation based on the information I gather during our meeting. There are five levels of care for addiction treatment: Inpatient Detoxification, Residential/Inpatient, Partial Hospitalization (PHP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and Outpatient. I provide treatment at the lowest level of care and typically this level of care is most appropriate as part of an aftercare plan following discharge from one of the higher levels of care. If I recommend a higher level of care and you accept the recommendation, I'll assist you in making an appointment at a reputable treatment center. Since I have been treating addiction and substance use disorders for over 7 years, I have extensive knowledge of and relationships with quality treatment centers in and outside of the Jacksonville area.
What can I expect during the first session?
I understand that you may feel some anxiety leading up to your first session. It's totally normal and it means that you care. Let me take some of the mystery out of your first session by outlining what it will be like.
Your first session is a space for me to gain an understanding of where you are currently and where you want to be after therapy. If you're seeking individual therapy, the first session will give you the opportunity to share more information about why you're starting (or perhaps resuming) therapy, explore in more detail the changes you want to make and finally, ask any questions you have about me, my practice or how we will work together. If you're seeking couples therapy, the goals of your first session remain the same; however, the process is extended just a bit because there are two of you. I will meet with you and your partner together for the initial session (90 minute session recommended) and then I will meet with you and your partner separately (45 minute session each). This process allows for a thorough assessment of your needs as a couple so we can jump right in with laser focus.
How often will I see you and how long will therapy take?
At the conclusion of your initial session, I'll provide a recommendation that includes frequency of sessions (i.e. once a week) as well as an estimated duration (i.e. 3 months). There are many factors that contribute to how often you see me and how long it will take for you to achieve your goals. Once I complete your assessment and we determine what goals you wish to accomplish through therapy, I will provide you with a thorough explanation of my recommendation and you'll have the opportunity to ask questions.
What exactly is tele-therapy and do you offer it?
Tele-therapy, also referred to as distance counseling, allows you to engage in therapy with me when you can't be in my office. If you've ever used Skype or FaceTime, the experience is similar; however, I use a secure, HIPPA compliant program called doxy.me. I believe there is a great deal of therapeutic value in a client and therapist being in the same room so I do not offer tele-therapy or distance counseling as a sole way of providing services. I do however, offer this service to current clients who prefer some additional support while out of town or if unable to leave their home for their scheduled appointment (i.e. weather conditions or primary caregivers).
Do you work with children?
I don't specialize in working with children. I work with adults 18 years old and older. I'm happy to provide you with referrals to therapists who work with children.