Frequently asked questions

What can I expect when I make my first call?

I welcome you to call and am happy to talk through the understandable questions many have when first initiating contact for a mental health provider.  I will contact you by phone to discuss your concerns and interest in my services.  After ensuring that I am the best next step for you or your family, I will then schedule you for an in-person intake appointment.  In this initial meeting, we will review the history of your concerns, address any questions you have and discuss my approach to the services I provide.  Throughout the preliminary intake process, approximately 3 additional sessions, I will develop my clinical impressions and treatment recommendations. If need be, I will help connect you to a network of professional referrals if a higher level of care is indicated for any of the concerns you raise.

 

Where are you located?

My address is 99 East Central Street in Natick.  Free parking is available.

 

Can I use my health insurance?

I do not accept insurance but will be happy to provide invoices that can be submitted to your insurance company. Please contact your insurance company to find out about your benefits.

 

How often is therapy needed?

Typically, sessions are held once weekly.  At times of heightened stress or crisis, your therapist may discuss meeting more often for a limited period of time.

 

How many visits will I need to attend?

The number of sessions needed depends on many factors. We can discuss this following the completion of your initial intake. Research demonstrates that therapy is most effective when treatment is consistent, people are motivated to change, and an open, trusting relationship with the therapist develops. You will find my approach aims to provide both the short-term relief from life’s current challenges, while also addressing underlying contributors to support long- lasting change. An open, collaborative conversations about the best treatment plan will be ongoing between us.  If I am working with your child, I will invite you into ongoing meetings to share updates, revisit treatment goals and gains, and discuss some helpful parenting approaches to some of the problematic patterns that first prompted you to seek some additional supports.

Is what I share in therapy kept private and confidential?

Yes, what you share with me is held in confidence.  Should any situation where a risk of harm arises, I may need to disclose information to ensure everyone’s safety.  In addition, utilizing your insurance will require a mental health diagnosis to activate your coverage.  Whenever a disclosure of your information is required, I will clearly discuss that with you, and the protection of your protected health information is detailed in the preliminary paperwork.

 

What can I expect from therapy?

Therapy should become a trusted place where we feel accepted, known, and understood.  It is a highly personal space designed to slow us down from the pace of everyday life to explore how we feel, relate, and think in order to create greater fulfillment, stronger connections, and improved insight.  You may explore moods that feel problematic, ruptured relationships in need of repair, troublesome or confusing experiences from your past, or goals you would like to attain in life.  At times, therapy is focused on tensions or stressors of today; other times, the process more deeply explores our history to foster understanding to move forward in life with greater insight, healing, and agency.  Sometimes therapy explores memories, relationships, or realizations about ourselves that can be painful, though therapy will progress at a pace comfortable for you and carefully tended to by your therapist.

 

What is play therapy?

According to the Association for Play Therapy. “Initially developed in the turn of the 20th century, today play therapy refers to a large number of treatment methods, all applying the therapeutic benefits of play. Play therapy differs from regular play in that the therapist helps children to address and resolve their own problems. Play therapy builds on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them" (Axline, 1947; Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002). Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development.

© 2020  Emily Nicholson

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