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How Private is Therapy?

California law protects the confidentiality of communications between a patient and a therapist just like a doctor and patient.  If you would like your therapist to communicate with another health practitioner you will have to sign a release of information.

Your confidentiality will be protected with these notable legal exceptions:

  • Suspected  Child or Elder Abuse
  • Threatening Bodily Harm to yourself or another person

The other exception to your privacy is if you choose to use insurance to pay for sessions.  In this case, when a claim is submitted, the insurance company is aware of your dates of service and your diagnosis.

If you have other questions about your privacy – please contact me.

What about insurance?

The confidentiality of your therapy sessions is one of the most important parts of the process.  Insurance providers require, at times, detailed information about your condition and our work together.  As such, I have chosen to be an out-of-network provider.  This means that your covered amount may be less than with an in-network provider.  I can still bill your insurance, but, for the most part, I do not have to report as much about our therapy as an in-network provider is required to submit.

Some people choose to pay directly for their sessions without billing insurance at all.  This is a way to keep your sessions completely confidential.

What can I expect?

Therapy can vary greatly depending on the goals of the individual client. Generally, we will begin by discussing the events that led you to seek therapy in the first place. Then we will start to address solutions for you.  Each session is different depending on your individual needs.

You can choose to focus on a single issue, or we can do more holistic work – addressing personal themes that seem to be getting in your way.  Sometimes books, activities and/or personal journaling will be suggested.

For therapy to be effective, it is important for you to be an active participant in the process.  Commonly, sessions are scheduled weekly.  Each session is about 50 minutes in length.