Frequently Asked Questions
Is it true that I may feel worse before I start to feel better?
Unfortunately, yes that is possible. Think of it like pouring disinfectant into a wound. Initially the sting of the disinfectant is worse than the pain of the wound. However, you need to go through that initial sting in order for the wound to be properly cleaned out so it can appropriately heal. Without the disinfectant, it may still heal but it will eventually become infected, leaving the wound to fester.
The same can be said of a deep cut on your hand. The cut hurts, but getting stitches hurts even worse. It is a temporary pain that is necessary for the cut to heal quickly and correctly. Without stitches, the chance for the cut to re-open increases, thus slowing the healing process.
What can I expect in our first session?
Prior to your first online session, you will log onto the client portal and complete your intake paperwork. This will include filling out a form about your personal history and current issues you would like to address.
I will review your answers before we meet. You will get a chance to get deeper into your story, discuss your goals for therapy and determine whether I am the best fit to help you achieve them.
Before logging on to our first video session, I encourage you to relax and surround yourself with creature comforts, like a soft blanket, mug of tea and your pet if you have one. I will go over your answers from your intake paperwork with you and what you are hoping to get from counseling.
It is important that you get a clear sense of whether or not you feel safe and comfortable with me and that I am someone with whom you can be vulnerable. We both have to feel we are a good fit. If that is not the case, I am more than happy to provide you with referrals.
In order to make sure neither of us are making a hasty decision as to whether we are a good fit, I do not pressure to schedule a follow-up session. I don't want you to feel pressured to decide right then if you want to work with me.
Instead, I encourage you to take a few days, perhaps even meet with other therapists. If, after that time you would like to work together, you will contact me and we will set up your next appointment.
Going forward, we may do EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing), CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or other talk therapies. Regardless of the type of therapy, every session will likely have plenty of laughs, possibly some tears, and "aha" moments.
How often will we meet?
We will typically meet once per week for at least the first few months. After that, together we will re-access to see if we will continue to meet weekly or step down to every other week or even monthly.
How long will I be in counseling?
It depends. I know you were probably hoping for a hard, fast number of sessions but everyone is different. What I can tell you is that I work with amazing women, most of whom have had a less-than-ideal childhood. Usually, when issues stem from our family-of-origin it can take months to years to undo the damage and re-train our brains.
When working with HSPs, I focus on long-term therapy and not quick fixes. I believe if we can identify where some of our negative messages came from, we can begin to change the way we see the world and ourselves. This takes time but can have positive, permanent results.
Are there any topics that are off limits?
Only if you decide there are. I will never pressure you to talk about anything you are not ready or willing to address.
However, you are free to discuss any topics you wish; no matter how embarrassing or shaming they may feel to you. After many years in this field I’m pretty much unshockable. :)
My job is never to judge you; rather it is to help you remember you are not alone. If I haven’t thought it, imagined it or done it myself, I have probably counseled someone who has. So let’s get it all out, there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of!
I’ve tried counseling before but it didn’t work. What makes you different?
Good question! I am definitely not the therapist for everyone. Sometimes counseling does not work for us because the therapist wasn’t the right fit. Having a genuine connection with the therapist and feeling safe enough to open up, be vulnerable and present your true self is important.
If we detect the slightest chance of being judged, we tend to shut down. It is super important to me that my clients know that no matter what they tell me, my positive opinion about them will never waiver. I have made many, many, many mistakes in my past (and even today), so who am I to judge?
In addition, most of my clients have had some success with previous therapists. What seems to be the missing piece is that their therapist was not Highly Sensitive or was not familiar with the trait.
Here are a few blog posts from GoodTherapy.com that may help when it comes to choosing a counselor:
How to find a therapist - https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/how-to-find-a-therapist/
50 Signs of Good Therapy - https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/50-signs-good-therapy-0110119/
Warning Signs of Bad Therapy - https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/warning-signs-of-bad-therapy/
How much does an online therapy session cost?
A 60-minute session is $160 and a 90-minute session is $240.
Do you offer sliding scale or reduced fees?
Unfortunately, I do not offer those options. I understand that therapy can be a significant budgetary commitment for many, but I believe it is a worthwhile investment for something that can impact the quality of your life and relationships. Counseling is an investment in your future, like buying real estate or saving money in a 401K. And just like those forms of investment, counseling can yield a great return on investment, so I charge accordingly.
With that said, I realize that not everyone can afford to work with me. Below are links to directories with providers that can financially accommodate individuals that need sliding scale or reduced fee services.
Two good resources for finding low cost therapy options are:
Open Path Collective - https://openpathcollective.org/
Therapy Den – www.therapyden.com – you can enter in the amount you are able to pay in the
Do you accept insurance?
At this time, I only accept United HealthCare (UHC) and Hawaii's HMSA. I can offer you a receipt (also referred to by insurance companies as a "Superbill") to submit for reimbursement if you have out-of-network benefit coverage.
Can my insurance cover at least part of the fee?
Possibly! If you have health insurance you may have out-of-network mental health coverage. If you do, here is how it would work. At the time of your session you would pay for your service ($160 for 60-minutes) directly to Sensitive Soul Therapy. At the end of each month I will provide you with a receipt that you submit to your insurance company.
If there is a deductible, the insurance company will apply the amount you paid to that number. If you have met your deductible, or there is no deductible, the insurance company will reimburse you for some or all of your session fees.
Please check with your insurance company before deciding to use your benefits. I make no guarantee that you will receive reimbursement (or how much reimbursement) from your insurance company. Every insurance company is different and every insurance plan varies.
How do I find out if I have Out-of-Network benefits?
Call the customer service number listed on the back of your insurance card. Click here to find some questions you may want to ask.
How do I make an appointment?
Reach out on the "Contact" page and tell me a little bit about why you are seeking to start therapy and your availability.
What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellations must be at least 24 hours in advance. You will be charged for the full session ($160) if less than 24 hours notice is given. There is no charge if you cancel or reschedule your appointment with at least 24 hours notice.
When are your sessions?
Sessions are typically available at 10:30am, 12:00pm, 2:30pm, and 4:00pm (EST), Monday through Thursday. I am located on the East Coast so all session times are Eastern Standard Time.
What states do you serve?
I work with sweet, shy, introverted, empathic HSPs and INFJ's in Florida, New Jersey and Hawaii (Maui, Oahu, Big Island, Kauai, Moloka'i, Lanai) through telehealth (online therapy).
What is the Good Faith Estimate?
Under the No Surprise Act, health care providers need to give clients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the expected charges for medical services, including psychotherapy services. You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency healthcare services, including psychotherapy services.
You can ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule a service, or at any time during treatment. If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill. Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate.
For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate or how to dispute a bill, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises.
How did you get to be so awesome?
Ok, maybe that's not a frequently asked question, or even a one-time asked question but I wouldn't mind if someone asked me that. :)