Specifics About Therapy
Your First Session
The first time we meet is generally a time for us to get to know one another. It is important for us to feel comfortable with one another, and the best way to find this out is to talk. Our first meeting will last about 50 minutes. During this time you are welcome to say a bit about what brought you in, and you are also free to ask me any questions that you may have about me. If you decide that you would like to return, we can talk about how frequently you might like to come. In general, people come between once per week to once per month, with early sessions being more frequent and later sessions less frequent.
If you are wondering what to do next, feel free to call me directly at 608-250-2492. I am happy to answer any questions that you might have. If you get my confidential voice mail when you call, please leave a message and I will return your call asap.
Here are some FAQs to guide you through the insurance maze:
Do You Take My Insurance?
I do not take Medicare, Badgercare, Medicaid or Tricare. If you have an HMO plan, you have to get special permission from your insurance to see me. If you have any other insurance plan, I will be happy to bill them on your behalf.
Some insurance policies are very strict regarding who you must see in order to be covered by the plan, and others are quite flexible. If you want to know if therapy with me will be covered by your particular plan, call your insurance directly and ask them "Do I have coverage for out of network, outpatient mental health services?" If they say yes, bring your card to the first session and I will be happy to bill them for you.
Your insurance will probably require you to pay a deductible and copayment. These are payable to me at the time of each session.
My Insurance Does Not Cover You, Why Might I Still Want To See You?
Many people choose to see me for therapy even when their insurance will only pay to see someone else.
* Desire to choose your own therapist instead of seeing someone randomly picked from a small list by your insurance company
* Desire for responsive, personalized care with easy and flexible scheduling
* Ability to get in quick! I can usually offer you a session within 1 or 2 days of your request
* Self pay can keep personal and detailed information out of the hands of your insurance company
* Allows you to come as often as you want and finish when you feel done instead of needing to follow arbitrary guidelines set by the insurance company
* Come to a quiet and serene space for therapy and deal directly with me. No impersonal clinics or receptionists
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a procedure that involves inducing back and forth movements of the eyes as the therapist guides the client in concentrating on a troubling memory or emotion. The client is concentrating both on the eye movements and on the troubling memory, which seems to help gain a better perspective about the memory.How Was EMDR Developed?In 1987, psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro made the chance observation that eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts under certain conditions. Dr. Shapiro studied this effect with Vietnam veterans and victims of rape and incest, all who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She found the procedure reduced the frequency and intensity of their symptoms and the results held over time.
What Is It Used For?
EMDR is used to treat troubling symptoms such as anxiety, depression, guilt, problematic anger and grief. Post traumatic stress reactions such as disturbing and intrusive thoughts, nightmares and flashbacks can be effectively overcome with the use of EMDR, and can be extremely helpful for victims of rape and battery, childhood abuse and trauma, disasters, car crashes and violent crimes. EMDR can also be used to enhance emotional resources such as improving confidence and self-esteem, feeling calm and safe, and improving performance.
What happens in a session?
The client and therapist plans ahead of time to use EMDR for that specific session. They choose a specific event or belief as an area of focus, paying attention to the images, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and even physical reactions that go along with that event. While loosely holding an awareness of these, the client watches the therapist move her fingers in a side to side motion. For some reason, this often brings up more thoughts and feelings about the incident. People talk about feeling like they are watching their own story play on a screen in their mind's eye.
This sounds really weird! Does it work?
Yes, it definitely does sound weird, and yes it works amazingly well for many people. For some unknown reason, this arrangement seems to help the brain focus intensely on the things that are painful while not getting overwhelmed by the pain. That process seems to help the person draw new and healthier conclusions about the experience.
Are there any precautions?
Yes. It is very important that the therapist be formally trained in EMDR. This is a unique and powerful tool that can cause harm if used inappropriately. The therapist with formal EMDR training will carefully monitor your progress to make sure that any potential strong feelings remain manageable for you.