To make an appointment with me, please call me at 352-363-1998. We can talk briefly, and if desired, set up an appointment at my earliest opening. I will ask you to read, fill out, and sign the required intake forms.
The first session is one hour (subsequent sessions are 45-50 minutes). During or prior the first session, I will review your intake form and we’ll talk about what you hope to gain from therapy. We’ll use our first session to both share information and assess if you feel I am a good fit for you, and if we would work well together. We’ll discuss office policies and procedures and I’ll answer any questions you have about the process, working with me, etc.
Family counseling and consultation
Child therapy/play therapy
Referral for psychological testing, medication, and other services as needed, if needed
How long is each session?
The first session is 60 minutes. Subsequent sessions are 45-50 minutes.
How long are most people in therapy?
There are many variables that influence the answer to this question. It depends on your goals and your life circumstances (time, energy, money, logistics). Some people are in therapy for many years, while others do brief work. Others go in and out of therapy as circumstances allow. I most enjoy working with people over the longer term as it affords the most rewarding results. However I have seen therapy make a big difference in just a few sessions as well.
How do I know if you’re a good fit for me?
Consider this question seriously. Therapy is a deeply personal relationship. It’s also a commitment to and an investment in yourself. For you to do good work in therapy, there has to be trust, chemistry, and certainty—as well as kindness, and challenge. Do your homework: ask trusted friends for references, pay attention to results, listen to your gut when we meet. You’ll know if we’re a good fit.
How does insurance work?
First, you have a choice as to whether you want to use insurance or pay privately. The benefit of insurance is reduced cost to you. The drawback is some intrusion in your privacy, as insurance companies require some documentation as to your mental heath.
Healthcare insurance breaks down into 2 broad categories: open and managed care. If you have an open policy you can chose your therapist, and your insurance company will pay for part of your session (once you have met your deductible). You must meet a deductible before your insurance will start reimbursing a part of each session. You pay my full fee until then (usually just a few session); once you’ve met deductible, insurance starts to pay me a portion, and you pay a co-payment (the balance of what the insurance co does not pay). I provide the insurance company with a diagnosis code, and occasionally, for some companies, a little more information on your status (goals, assessment for risk, etc).
If you have a managed care policy (including an EAP or employee assistant program), you choose from a list of providers who are on the “panel” for that insurance (I am on some of these). There is no deductible to meet. Managed care companies pay me either the full fee, (or most of it while you pay a small co-payment.) Some managed care companies ask for more detail about your session than others. We discuss together what information is being released.
As a service to you, my office files the insurance claims for you.
What if I need to cancel a session?
I require a minimum of 48 hour notice for cancellations. I prefer more advance notice if at all possible. If you cancel a session with less than 48 hours or do not show up for a session, you are charged the full fee for our session as I cannot bill the insurance company for a session that did not happen.
That said, I know that real emergencies do happen. In case of emergency, we can have a phone session which will mitigate the cost to you. We can discuss this possibility in our first session together as we go over policies and procedures.
What is the best way to get a hold of you?
The best way is my office voice mail, which I check frequently. You can email me at email@example.com; however know that email communication is neither private nor secure.
What happens when you go on vacation?
I work in an office with colleagues, so we cover each other’s phones (and provide emergency appointments if needed) for one another when we are out of the office for vacation or a conference. If a message is urgent, my covering colleague knows how to reach me. I return all other messages when I return.
Do you prescribe medication?
No. Only those with an MD, such as a psychiatrist, prescribe medication. I do evaluate the need for medication, and if you need medication, we will discuss it in our sessions and I will refer you to a psychiatrist for evaluation if needed.
Do you offer a free initial consultation?
No. My belief is that even the first session is valuable and therapeutic. Even one session can provide a breakthrough.
What are my options for beginning therapy with you? What do your services include?
Most people start therapy on a weekly basis and I can usually get you in for your first visit fairly quickly. As soon as we can, we get you into a time slot that works best for you. (Some people opt to meet more often which is fine. Others opt to meet less often than weekly; although I find this to be not ideal for the process of therapy, it does work well for some clients. However, the first month I want to work with a new client weekly so that I can truly understand your story and needs.)
My services include a detailed intake first interview, where I gather history and really hear what it is you want to work on in therapy.
I demystify therapy for you. We talk about what works and what doesn’t, and how you can get the very most out of every session. When appropriate, I use simple measures to take stock of, for example, levels of depression or anxiety, and we track it through sessions together so that we both can see your progress. I use a variety of creative tools and help keep you aware of the latest research that can help you. I listen deeply and am flexible; if what we’re doing isn’t helping, we will change directions. I offer coaching and mentoring to enhance life skills and help move through procrastination, obstacles or periods of apathy.
Most importantly, however, is that I create a safe, listening, and gently challenging environment where you are the focus.
Does therapy really work?
If you are interested in improving your life, yes, therapy works. (See the “Working With Lisa” section for a descriptions of clients with whom I work well, and clients for whom my services will not work). The key is finding a therapist with whom you feel comfortable, yet who challenges you, who provides a safe atmosphere for change to happen, and with whom you can build a relationship rooted in trust. The other key is hanging in there when it feels like nothing is happening—because often, a lot is happening under the surface. I will never keep you in therapy with me if I believe we aren’t moving forward.
What results can I expect?
If we are a good fit, you can expect to feel better soon—usually even in the first session. For most people, the painful feelings they have been carrying around, sometimes in secret, are so distressing that the very act of making an appointment is a relief. For others, talking out loud to an understanding, listening, interested therapist begins to lift the burden they have been carrying. I teach my clients that in therapy, as in many endeavors, progress is not linear—but good therapy does trend in the right direction. Part of my job is to point out–and underscore–the concrete indicators of progress that are happening, indicators that are easy to miss. Clients tell me that this practice—of holding the vision of hope while expanding their vision of progress—is key to their growth and key to feeling motivated to move through the difficult territory of change.
How quickly will I see results?
As fast as possible, given your situation. I strive to work with you to quickly identify your goals, where the obstacles to change are for you, and how to address them. At the same time, we are building a human relationship. You have probably heard before that progress is not a steady climb up a straight mountain road. Rather, it is a series of twists and turns, yet all moving in the right direction. My job is to make explicit the results I see—ones that can be veiled for a client mired in anxiety, depression, or chaos in their life. As we compile the evidence of results, change happens even more quickly. I love seeing this process happen with clients.
How can I guarantee that I’ll get the most from your services?
Show up on time for every appointment. Treat our time together as a precious investment in yourself. Educate yourself on the process of therapy. Familiarize yourself with some common ways people can sabotage their own growth, acknowledge that even you may do so, and resolve to discuss this—even if it feels uncomfortable—in your session. Be as honest and as transparent as you feel you can be in sharing information. Stay current with payment so that issues around this do not get in the way of us both being fully present for your therapy. Entertain the notion that I might have something to say, even if you initially disagree or wish to disregard it. Seek out ancillary avenues of growth—group therapy, reading about psychotherapy and human growth, seminars, and bring what you learn into our sessions.
How do I measure if the investment I put into therapy with you is worth it?
Happiness, contentment, fulfillment – these are all your birthright. Therapy is a journey from lack to abundance in these areas. Along the way, there are concrete indicators of change, movement, dissipation of obstacles, and growth. From the very beginning, as I get to know you, we talk about what these indicators will look like for you. And as we move through the therapeutic process, we note when we reach these indicators. Change is both challenging and invigorating. To change with the support of a knowledgeable, warm, confident therapist is an experience that many clients feel is precious and unlike anything else in their lives.
Lisa, based on everything I’ve heard about and read about you, I know you are the one I want to work with. What are my options for getting started with you?
Great, I look forward to working with you! To get started, see the “For Clients” section. Call me at 352-363-1998 and leave me a message. Due to the number of new client requests, I or my administrative assistant, Cindy Martin, will get back to you within 48 weekday hours. You can also email me to request an appointment. However please note that email communications are neither confidential or secure.