Frequently Asked Questions
I’m new to psychotherapy, what can I expect?
Everyone’s first impression of psychotherapy is different, but it’s common to feel nervous or anxious. Psychotherapists are trained to help you feel at ease, inform you about the process of therapy, your right’s as a client, and address concerns and questions.
The first psychotherapy session is considered an “intake” session. Clients can expect to review their previously submitted online intake and forms (HIPAA-compliant) with Amanda, while going into further detail about their concerns, goals, and questions.
Sessions are 50-minutes and most clients come weekly or biweekly
Generally, clients will be seen in the same time slot every week; if other arrangements need to be made, please discuss with Amanda (i.e. travel, childcare, etc.)
Clients looking for more or less frequent sessions should consult with Amanda
Towards the end of the first session, Amanda and the client/s will discuss their compatibility
If Amanda and the client/s feel that they are a good fit (as much as you can tell from one session), then further scheduling will be discussed
It is completely common and expected that some new clients and psychotherapists won’t click. That’s OK! Psychotherapists are trained to put client-care first and Amanda is happy to work with clients to find a better-suited psychotherapy referral.
I’m interested in relationship psychotherapy, what can I expect?
People in romantic relationships (2 or more people) sometimes encounter difficulties in communicating with their partner/s, differentiating themselves from their partner/s, and feeling satisfied. Relationship-focused psychotherapy aims to provide a neutral space, where partners can improve negative communication patterns and habits and better understand what they feel, desire, need, and hope for.
The first appointment in relationship psychotherapy is also considered an “intake” session. After the initial appointment, Amanda will schedule an individual session with each partner, in order to gather more information one-on-one. Subsequent sessions will be conducted with all partners involved in psychotherapy.
Not every partnership that comes to relationship psychotherapy decides to stay together. An important goal of psychotherapy is to help the client/s determine what feels most authentic, and sometimes that means leaving a relationship that no longer serves them.
I’m interested in sex therapy, what can I expect?
“Sex therapy is a form of counseling intended to help individuals and couples (relationships) resolve sexual difficulties, such as performance anxiety or relationship problems. Clients generally meet in the therapist’s office. Some choose to attend sessions alone; others bring their partner with them. Session frequency and length usually depend on the client and the type of problem being addressed.
It’s normal for clients to feel anxious when seeing a sex therapist, especially for the first time. Many people have trouble talking about sex at all, so discussing it with a stranger may feel awkward. However, most sex therapists recognize this and try to make their clients feel comfortable. Often, they start with questions about the client’s health and sexual background, sex education, beliefs about sex, and the client’s specific sexual concerns.
It’s important to know that sex therapy sessions do not involve any physical contact or sexual activity among clients and therapists. Clients who feel uncomfortable with any aspect of therapy should speak up or stop seeing that particular therapist.
Sex therapists usually assign “homework”—practical activities that clients are expected to complete in the privacy of their own home. Such homework might include the following:
• Experimentation. Couples who feel they’re in a sexual rut may try different activities, such as role playing or using sex toys, to increase their desire. Other couples may need to adjust their sexual routine or positions, especially if one partner has a health condition that requires such changes.
• Sensate focus. This technique for couples is designed to build trust and intimacy while reducing anxiety. Couples progress through three stages, starting with nonsexual touching, progressing to genital touching, and, usually, ending with penetration.
• Education. Sometimes, clients do not receive adequate sex education while they are growing up. As a result, they may not be aware of anatomy and how the body functions during sexual activity. Therapists might assign books or web content to read or videos to watch. They might also suggest that clients use a mirror to learn more about their body.
• Communication strategies. Clients may practice asking for what they want or need sexually or emotionally in a relationship.”
Additionally, all clients interested in sex therapy, can expect to complete a sexual history during the initial stages of the psychotherapeutic relationship
This is a very helpful tool in sex therapy, as it provides a broad overview of the complexities of someone’s sexuality and helps illuminate what treatment approach might be best
What if we begin working together and it doesn’t feel like a good fit (for either the client and/or the therapist)?
Sometimes, it can take a little bit to determine whether the client and therapist are best suited for each other. If the client decides that moving on is best, it’s imperative that they have discussion with Amanda, as the continued care of the client is most important. Amanda requests 4-weeks notice to make sure the closing and referral process is adequate.
Occasionally, Amanda may come to the conclusion that her client’s clinical needs are beyond her skill-set, and in those instances, she will also work with the client to properly close the therapeutic relationship and find a more appropriate referral.
Why don’t you accept health insurance?
At this time, Amanda does not accept, bill or work directly with any insurance companies. She is considered an “Out-of-Network” provider and can provide receipts for submission to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.
Energetically and emotionally, Amanda can provide more time spent on client-care (research, resources, consultation, ongoing learning), and less time justifying why an individual should continue to get access to necessary care.
Clients value their privacy, especially when discussing sensitive topics. By not accepting insurance, Amanda is able to keep the therapeutic process completely individualized and confidential (with exception of her Duty to Warn; see Privacy & Confidentiality page for more info).