Frequently Asked Questions

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Your first session is all about us getting to know each other.

In addition to filling out all the necessary paperwork, I will listen carefully to your story, talk with you about the challenges that brought you in, and work with you to decide what we want to work on.

You’re also encouraged to ask questions of me. This first session is also about you evaluating whether you think I’m a good fit for you and your family.

I believe that most problems can be handled without the use of medications, and my approach reflects a fundamental belief in our capacity as humans to overcome challenges. There are times, however, when medication may be an appropriate course of action. If I think this is an avenue we should explore, I’ll discuss it with you in detail.

As a marriage and family therapist, I am not equipped or authorized to prescribe medication or to handle medication management issues for you. Should you ever need such services, I can refer you to a qualified psychiatrist.

Some parents get nervous about sending their teen to a therapist. You want to know that I have not only your child’s best interests in mind, but your whole family’s as well.

I’m trained to work with families. As such, I work very hard to maintain a view of any problem that takes into account all the members in the family. Even if I’m seeing your teen one-on-one, my goal will be to work to enhance your relationship with him or her — not to drive a wedge between you.

Divorce is never beyond the realm of possibility in couples therapy. But I find that couples who come to me with

  • a real desire to work on their difficulties,
  • enough humility to admit their part in the conflict, and
  • a commitment to finding solutions that work
  • typically have excellent success in changing their relationship for the better.

    A lot of clients who seek couples therapy wait until they have been experiencing problems for a very long time. By the time they decide to come in, they have built up a lot of ill will and resentment, and it can be hard for either partner to step back and make room for forgiveness in the relationship. That’s why it’s always better to seek help sooner rather than later.

    I charge $125.00 for a 45-50 minute session.

    Most of my sessions are offered in this format, however, I do occasionally offer longer 90 minute sessions for couples and families who wish to have more concentrated session. My 90-minute sessions cost $175.00.

    I do reserve a limited number of slots for clients who need a lower fee. If you’d like to discuss this option, please raise it when you call.

    I don’t currently take insurance, but I do provide the necessary documentation for you to submit claims directly to your insurance company to treat me as an “out-of-network” provider.

    Many insurance companies do not cover couples therapy at all.

    For complete details, including questions to ask your insurance provider, please see my Insurance page.

    There are several areas of current insurance coverage that remain controversial and troubling for the consumer:

  • When you use insurance, they require that I give you a formal mental health diagnosis — something that is not necessarily helpful to your treatment, but nevertheless something I must do satisfy their requirements. As such, any diagnosis I provide will become a permanent part of your health record, and this diagnosis could potentially become a hindrance to you in the future. For example, many life insurance companies will decline to cover someone with a formal mental health diagnosis.
  • Insurance companies have the right to dictate how long you can attend therapy. This gives them the right to stop covering your services regardless of whether I, as your therapist, or you, as my client, feel that you have resolved your challenges and are ready to move on. It’s like they get to sit in on every session with us — except, that they aren’t in every session, and they don’t necessarily know what’s best for our work together.
  • Insurance companies have the right to all of your mental health records. By remaining a private-pay client, you may still use FSA/HSA funds to pay for services, but you remain completely in control of your care, and the records of your teatment remain entirely confidential up to the limits of confidentiality established by state and federal law.
  • The choice to use insurance or to forgo it is a personal one. My goal in providing this information is to make sure that you, the consumer, are aware of possible disadvantages that come with using insurance when working with a mental health professional.

    I am a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate licensed by the state of Texas. My license number is 202612. To obtain this credential, I completed a rigorous 3-year graduate program in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Houston – Clear Lake — one of only four nationally accredited programs in Texas. This training included more than 400 hours in direct, face-to-face, therapy services to individuals, couples, and families. In addition, I passed a comprehensive national exam demonstrating my proficiency in the various domain areas of Marriage and Family Therapy, including Ethics, Theory and Practice, Case Conceptualization, and Treatment Planning.

    At present, I am in the “Associate” licensure phase. This means that I work regularly with a State-approved Supervisor in Marriage and Family Therapy. This Supervisor is someone who has passed rigorous standards to be approved to act as a consultant and mentor to my practice and casework.

    I am a Pre-Clinical Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Member of the American Counseling Association, a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and a member of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association.

    Cancelled appointments delay our work. I consider our meetings very important, and I ask you to do the same. Please try not to miss sessions if you can possibly help it.

    I understand that some cancellations are unavoidable. If you must cancel, I require a minimum of 24 hours’ notice. Your session time is reserved for you. I am rarely able to fill a cancelled session unless I have advance notice. If you cancel within the 24 hour window (for other than the most serious reasons) or miss a session without notifying me or my office (a “no-show”), you will be billed the full cost of your session. Missed session fees are not reimbursable by insurance.

    Internet and phone therapy can be employed as a part of a traditional therapeutic relationship.

    Distance therapy can be used to guide clients through challenges, detect distorted thinking, and provide assignments via voice or text over the phone and via chat, video, or email online. In some cases, people prefer phone or Internet therapy because it means that they can conduct therapy sessions with the therapist from the comfort of their own homes or even at times when they are traveling.

    I generally will not offer remote forms of therapy if I have not seen you at least once in a face-to-face session.

    I will treat with great care all the information you share with me. It is your legal right that our sessions and my records about you be kept private. That is why I ask you to sign a “release-of-records” form before I can talk about you or send my records about you to anyone else. In general, I will tell no one what you tell me. I will not even reveal that you are receiving treatment from me. In all but a few rare situations, your confidentiality (that is, our privacy) is protected by federal and state laws and by the rules of my profession.

    It’s easy. Call me directly at (713) 470-9878, ext. 720. If I don’t answer, please leave me a message with your contact information, and I will return your call within 24 hours.