frequently asked questions
The Frequently Asked Questions below cover many of the questions clients ask me before starting therapy. If you have additional questions, please send me a message.
What is your approach?
I work from the perspective that all of the attachments and losses you’ve experienced throughout your life —especially with the people with whom your stories entwine— are the heart of who you are. We explore the stories you tell yourself and how those stories affect your relationships. Everything from your own birth and childhood, through your emerging awareness of your own sexual self, your exploration of parenthood, mating and life partnership…
I am passionate about supporting people who are struggling in relationships. I’ll help you slow down and sense the dis-ease in your life and relationships. First, you learn to tolerate sensing these uncomfortable aspects of how you show up to the world, your relationships and within your self. Then, you begin to nurture your own innate abilities to gently and compassionately hold and soothe your self. Deep growth begins when you compassionately observe your pain as information and tend to these parts of your self and your relationships with loving attention. It’s a heart-centered intuitive practice of re-learning to sense, birth, and hold your self and all that is dear to you.
You’ll learn to regulate the overwhelm and vulnerability that keeps you and your relationships stuck in a loop. You’ll find your way back to your relationships —with yourself and your dear ones— by learning how to infuse more meaning, playfulness, and intimacy into your relationship, family and daily life.
You can watch this video to learn more about me and my approach.
Who do you work with?
I work with adults and couples throughout all stages of life. I have a sweet spot for helping couples and individuals explore trust and make space for deeper intimacy in relationships.
Where do sessions take place?
Sessions generally take place in my private therapy office (located on the edge of New Paltz and Highland NY) though occasional phone or secure video conferencing sessions are available upon request at https://doxy.me/connectfulness. On occasion we may move our sessions to a local equine center for an animal assisted learning experience (additional fee may be associated).
How do we decipher session length & frequency?
As we enter into our work together we will outline session length, frequency specific to our work together.
Individual sessions are generally 45-minutes in length.
For Couples, I generally suggest 90-minute sessions, either weekly or every other week, or longer intensives.
What are your session fees?
15-minute phone consult, FREE
45-minute session, $175
90-minute (couples) session*, $295
*couples sessions are generally recommended every other week
weekly couples sessions/intensives also available upon request/as needed
Add on services such as phone consults over 10-minutes and lengthier sessions are pro-rated off the 45-minute session fee
When is payment due?
The full fee for your session is collected at or before the time of service via cash, credit card, debit card or check. We can also securely record a debit or credit card so you will not have to take time for payment during your session. I do not bill for services, or carry account balances.
What are the payment options?
I accept cash, check, debit, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express. I can also accept FSA/HSA cards for in-office therapy sessions.
Do you work with insurance?
I am an out-of-network provider. If you have mental health insurance benefits you may be eligible to submit a claim for reimbursement of out-of-network services. While insurance may reimburse for psychotherapy sessions conducted in my office, please note that sessions via phone/video conferencing will likely not be eligible for reimbursement.
You pay me in full at time of service and upon your request I will provide you with a special statement —referred to as a superbill or CMS-1500 form— for you to submit for reimbursement to your insurance provider. I make no guarantees about the level of reimbursement you will receive from your insurance company.
I suggest you contact your insurance company, either online or via the member services number located on the back of your insurance card, to ask questions about out of network coverage as they pertain to your plan so that you can make an informed decision before beginning therapy.
What questions should I ask my insurance company about Out-Of-Network benefits?
- Do I have out-of-network mental health benefits?
- Are services rendered by a licensed clinical social worker covered? My license in the state of NY is R076600
- Is any pre-approval required before obtaining out-of-network mental health services in order to be reimbursed?
- If I have out-of-network benefits, will I be reimbursed the full amount I paid or a portion?
- Do I have a deductible and if so, what is it?
- For relationship therapy, ask if they cover the procedural code 90847 AND the relational Z-Code 63.0 [see why below]
Why might relationship therapy not be covered by insurance?
Relationship conflict itself is not considered to be a problem that therapy is “medically necessary” to treat. This means that in order to use your benefits, either you or your partner will need to meet criteria for a mental health diagnosis.
Your insurance may cover a procedural code 90847 for your spouse to be present in therapy. But treatment not only includes the procedural code, but also the diagnostic code. The diagnostic code tells the insurance company what mental illness the patient is being treated for. This is what they base medical necessity on. The diagnostic code for relationship therapy is Z-Code 63.0, problems in relationship with spouse or partner. This code is often rejected by insurance companies for not being medically necessary.
What are the pros and cons to giving one of us a mental health diagnosis for relationship therapy?
If the Z-Code is not covered, then in order to use health insurance to cover relationship therapy, one of you would have to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder. One partner may have a diagnosed disorder, but that alone is not the focus of the treatment. The focus is on the relationship, and what is happening there. The partner with the diagnosis will forever have a “mental illness” in their permanent medical record. This may have consequences, as this information will be examined when you apply for life or health insurance, and it may be considered when you apply for employment, life insurance, credit or loans, a security clearance, or other things in the future.
There is also the real risk that labeling one person as the “patient” will unbalance the treatment and pathologize the partner. Couples issues are best seen as something that the pair of you are addressing together, and even subtle notions that someone’s diagnosis can be blamed for all of the issues can create difficulties in therapy.
Insurance companies often request therapists divulge detailed information about what is being discussed in therapy sessions and they also often limit the number of sessions they'll approve — unfortunately, such insurance-coverage-led endings to therapy can lead to problems resuming and couples mistakenly concluding that “relationship therapy didn’t work.”
As an out-of-network provider there are no limits on the number of sessions you can have with me and I don’t have to provide any detailed information about your sessions..
Your investment in a relationship therapy is something that is highly personal. My clients want the best, and are willing to invest in their marriage just as they would invest in their futures in other ways.