I can usually handle my problems but how could I benefit from therapy?
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 the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
What can I expect at my first appointment and how can I best prepare for it?
We recognize that it is normal to have some anxiety about your first appointment. We hope that providing you with some information will help you feel a little more at ease. For your first appointment, we request that you arrive 10-15 minutes early to complete paperwork. The appointment will last approximately 80 minutes. This will be an opportunity for you and your psychologist to get to know each other and to determine if the psychologist can help you. This appointment will be more structured than a typical therapy session because your psychologist will be asking you questions to gain background information to better understand your concerns. We will also take time to review with you the policies of this practice and the ethical and legal parameters of confidentiality. We believe your understanding and informed consent is critical to facilitating honest disclosures as well as your overall comfort and trust in the therapy process. At the end of the intake, the psychologist will have a better idea if your concerns are within the psychologist’s competence area or a referral to another specialist is more appropriate. In some situations, additional sessions may be required to further assess the details of your concerns to determine if the psychologist can help you or to formulate a treatment plan that will best help you to achieve your desired goals. A treatment plan involves your input and will be used as a map to guide the course of therapy.

In preparation for your first appointment, we recommend you spend some time thinking about your responses to the following questions: What has been happening in your life that leads you seek therapy now? How long has this been happening and to what extent does it disrupt your life? How have you been feeling today, in the past week, in the past month, in the past year? Are you experiencing guilt, anger, anxiety, sadness, shame, hurt or other emotions that are troubling? What have you done to try to feel better? What has made you feel better in the past? What do you hope to accomplish by going to therapy? How would you like things to be different at the end of therapy? If you are taking any medications, we recommend that you bring a list of all medications, including dosage and frequency, as well as the name(s) and contact information for the prescribing physician(s). Bring copies of any documents you think might be helpful. These may include, names and contact information for other medical providers you have seen in the recent past, previous psychological testing, hospital discharge summaries, or recent laboratory results. If you are seeking an ADHD assessment, please bring copies of any previous testing that have been completed, as well as relevant academic records.
What are my payment options?
We are considered an out-of-network provider. A majority of our clients prefer to pay out of pocket because they do not want a documented diagnosis on file with their insurance company. Upon your request, we can provide an invoice that you can forward to your insurance company for possible reimbursement at out of network rates. However, we cannot guarantee you will be reimbursed by your insurance company and you will be responsible for payment to us at the time services are rendered. Some questions you may need to explore with your insurance provider include:

  • Do I have out of network mental health insurance benefits?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • What information do you need from my out of network provider to process my reimbursement?

We prefer payment by cash or check (made out to M&N Psychological). We also accept all major credit cards (plus a 2.75 % convenience fee), as well as Health Savings Account cards.

What if I need to cancel/reschedule my appointment?
We understand that things can come up and that you may need to reschedule/cancel your appointment. Because this is valuable time reserved for you, we kindly request that you provide us with at least 24 hours notice of your need to reschedule/cancel. If you provide less than 24 hours notice, you will be charged for the full session rate.
How do I know I am ready for therapy?
Answering “yes” to any of these questions may suggest you are ready for therapy.

  • Are you ready to dedicate time to focus on yourself on a regular basis?
  • Are you ready to be honest with yourself and others?
  • Do you feel ready for change and want to identify specific behaviors that will help you to make that change?
  • Are you willing to consistently complete homework in between your appointments?
  • The decision to start therapy is your choice and you want to identify ways to improve your personal and professional life, your emotional and physical well-being, and/or your relationship with others.
How can I get the most out of therapy?
We will recommend a course of treatment that is specific to your needs, while remaining very responsive to any feedback that you might have. Please let us know if something does not seem to fit for you and we will work with you to make adjustments. The power of therapy rests on the trust and communication that takes place between the client and therapist. Keep in mind that psychologists are highly trained professionals that have a lot of experience in their field. By trusting that your psychologist has your best intention in mind, you will benefit more from the therapy. With this in mind, here are additional tips on how you can get the most out of therapy.

  • Be an active participant.

You will get the most out of counseling if you are open and honest about your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. If you are feeling embarrassed or concerned about sharing something important, start by telling your psychologist how you are feeling about disclosing that information. Together, we can help you to gradually work toward what is difficult to say by taking one step at a time. You should also keep in mind that the period in between appointments is important. It is recommended that you follow through with any suggestions or “homework” from your psychologist, as this will provide useful information to discuss at your next session. Clients who report more progress have practiced applying what they have learned between appointments.

  • Be committed to your treatment and maintain regular appointments.

Research suggests that session frequency appears to affect both the amount of recovery and the speed of recovery in psychological treatment. Clients attending weekly sessions demonstrated more clinically significant gains and tended to recover more quickly. In addition, weekly sessions allow for a thorough assessment of the history of the presenting issue, the development of the therapeutic (client and therapist) relationship, and time to integrate the effects of the previous session (which is recent enough that it will offer continuity with your next session). Waiting more than a week in between each appointment can result in having to spend the next session “catching up” and less time to directly address the reason you came into therapy in the first place. Resist the urge to avoid your appointment when things get tough. It is during these moments that it is even more critical that you attend therapy and when you will benefit the most from it.

  • Be empowered by what you can do.

This is your counseling. Your psychologist is a guide, a resource and an ally in the process but only you can make the changes you desire in your life. Therapy works best when you put some thought into what you want to discuss each session and work on the areas discussed in between your appointments.

  • Be open and willing.

Therapy isn’t easy. People commonly experience a wide range of emotions during the course of therapy, which can at times be difficult and/or upsetting. Sometimes, you may feel little worse before you feel better. That said, if you are uncomfortable, feeling stuck, or not benefitting from therapy, do bring up your concerns about your treatment with your psychologist. Open communication can facilitate any necessary adjustments that need to be made to increase the potential for change.

  • Be patient.

Counseling is not a magic pill, it is a process. The way you see yourself, your behavioral patterns and coping strategies have been learned and reinforced over time; it may take time to untangle them and make the changes you desire.

  • Be as specific about your goals as possible.

You know your goals and priorities best. Think about what changes are most meaningful to you and focus your energy on defining counseling goals and working towards those goals both in and out of session.

How often will I meet with my therapist?
The frequency and duration of sessions will be based on the assessment of your needs and will be discussed with you to ensure that the treatment plan makes sense to you. We offer 50 minute or 80 minute appointments. Typically, at the outset of therapy, weekly sessions are recommended to build rapport, establish a better understanding of the problem, and promote consistency and momentum toward accomplishing the intended goals. Depending on your presenting concerns, available schedule, issues that may arise during treatment (e.g. crisis situation), or stage of treatment, the specific frequency and duration will be determined as appropriate. Regardless of the length of treatment, it is highly recommended that the final session be planned to allow for a conversation about the progress that has been made, and to officially provide closure or say “good-bye”.
Do you offer therapy in other languages besides English?
Yes, we can offer therapy in Vietnamese on a limited basis .
Is there a charge for parking?
There is no charge for parking and there are ample spaces in front of and around the building.