Are you / how are you seeing clients during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Like many, if not most, health care providers, because of Covid-19 and social distancing, in March of 2020 I shifted my sessions over to telehealth / video conferencing.
I am now back in my office. At this time I am available to meet in person with any vaccinated person wearing a mask, and I continue to offer video sessions to everyone. Doxy.me and Zoom are my top choices of video platforms. There is no account necessary for them: Once I know your preferred platform, I will send a link to you over email. Of the options, Doxy.me is the most secure (encryption).
What is your fee?
My standard fee is $225 per 50-minute session; $335 per 75-minute session, and $400 per 90-minute session.
Do you charge more for the initial session?
No. I charge the same rate for the initial evaluation session as for subsequent sessions.
Do you charge a different fee for individual versus couple sessions?
No. I charge the same rate for individuals and for couples.
Do you accept insurance?
No. I am not in network with any insurance companies. My work is “fee-for-service,” and my full fee is due at each session.
Some insurance plans will reimburse for “out-of-network” providers, which is what I would be considered. If this is the case for you, I would be glad to provide a receipt with all relevant information if you wish to seek reimbursement from your insurance company. For more information about whether you would qualify for this, call your insurance company to find out whether your plan has any mental health/behavioral health coverage and, if so, if it reimburses out-of-network providers and, if so, what the requirements are. (For example, do you have a deductible to meet? What rate will they reimburse you?) Do be aware that any time you use your insurance to pay for mental health coverage, the insurance company requires a diagnosis code, which becomes part of your medical records.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. I accept cash, checks, and credit/debit cards in my office. (I also accept payment via Venmo (@Jennifer-Watts-84) and Zelle, as well as PayPal (Payment tab on my website).
What does 24-hour cancellation policy mean?
It means that once we book an appointment, it is yours to benefit from and to pay for, unless you give me at least 24 hours notice that you need to cancel or reschedule. If you cancel within 24 hours of our appointment (the night before, the same day) or miss the appointment for some reason, I will still expect you to pay for the session. Why? In part to protect my time and to have sufficient notice to offer the session to someone else in need, and in part to help you value and prioritize the time.
I am not sure whether I should come by myself or come with my partner. Can I come first and then bring my partner later?
Sometimes it’s hard to know whether to pursue individual or couple therapy, and sometimes both can actually be helpful. However, although I do see both individuals and couples in my practice, I can only do one or the other with a particular couple. So, if you come alone, I would be able to offer you individual therapy, but I would not later be able to add your partner to do couple therapy. (There are lots of reasons for this, including: it can feel unfair to the partner who gets added later; she or he can feel like the therapist is on your “side” and not hers/his; it is also not in keeping with the standard assessment approach I use with all couples, where I meet with the couple together the first time.)
Occasionally, after doing work as a couple, one partner wishes to continue to do individual therapy with me. This is possible only if the couples work is finished and/or if the other partner understands and agrees – because we would not later be able to do couples work together again.
What is a “psychotherapist”? What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, and psychotherapist? What are typical costs for therapy?
A psychotherapist is any mental health professional who provides “talk therapy” to help individuals, couples, or families to resolve a variety of issues. The differences between professionals relate to the years of education, degree, ability (or not) to prescribe medication or to do psychological testing. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has additional training in psychiatry; she or he specializes in treating mood disorders, can do talk therapy, and is the only clinician in the above list with the ability to prescribe medication to combat mood disorders (including depression).
A psychologist has a master’s and doctoral degree in psychology, provides talk therapy, and can also provide psychological testing.
A “masters level” therapist has a masters degree in social work, counseling, or marriage and family therapy, and is licensed as a Clinical Social Worker, Professional Counselor, or Marriage and Family Therapist.
Can you prescribe medication?
No. I am not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe medication. I would be glad to try to help you find a psychiatrist, if necessary, or to coordinate care with a psychiatrist or other physician you wish to consult with for medication.
I see you have degrees in religion and theology. What does that mean?
The short answer: I have the ability to understand and discuss aspects of spirituality, practice, and faith with clients who wish to do so.
The long answer: I explored my personal interest in spirituality and theology through graduate education at Harvard Divinity School, where I received a Master of Theological Studies, and Emory University, where I received a Doctor of Philosophy in Religion. I realized while at Harvard that I wanted to become a psychotherapist, and I considered pursuing a Master of Social Work or a Doctorate in Psychology when I completed my MTS degree. However, I also wanted to continue to study and explore spirituality and theology, to do research at the intersection of spirituality and psychotherapy, and possibly to teach in addition to being a clinician. So, I needed to find a doctoral program with unique offerings.
Emory University had a program within their Graduate Division of Religion called Person, Community, and Religious Practices. I decided this program was the right fit for me because it allowed me to do doctoral level work at the intersection of personality theory and theology while concurrently pursuing in depth training in pastoral counseling (at what was then the Georgia Association for Pastoral Care, which became the Care and Counseling Center of Georgia). What this means is that I studied the art and science of counseling and therapy with Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychologists, and Medical Doctors who had also studied theology or spirituality and were open to exploring aspects of faith in people’s lives. I participated in an intensive internship and residency where I studied the practice of psychotherapy (including diagnosis, personality, mood disorders) and provided individual, couple, and family therapy under direct supervision for four years.
At the end of the process, which included additional coursework and exams in couples and family counseling, I became licensed as a marriage and family therapist in the state of Georgia. I am licensed from my Ph.D. in Religion from Emory, because such a degree is recognized as an “allied discipline” for marriage and family therapists.
What if I am not Christian or don’t believe in God?
No problem. I work with people of all faith perspectives and religious beliefs – including people who are agnostic or atheist. I am not a “Christian Counselor”; I do not work from an exclusively Christian perspective; and I do not have any particular expectations for the expression of faith in my clients’ lives. In fact, it happens most frequently that the topics of faith, religion, and spirituality never arise in session. Regardless, I am here doing this work to help you with whatever relationship, emotional, mood, family, etc. issue(s) you are struggling with in your life at this time.