Frequently Asked Questions
When should I seek therapy?
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered “the gold standard” for treatment of a wide range of psychological disorders. CBT incorporates thought-based (cognitive) and action-based (behavioral) interventions. Thought-based interventions include identifying and modifying unhelpful, unfair, or unrealistic thoughts. These thoughts, called cognitive distortions, exacerbate and reinforce worries. An example is all-or nothing thinking (“I can’t do anything right”) which is both untrue and unfair. Learning how to identify and modify these thoughts can yield great improvements in emotional health. Action-based interventions include identifying and modifying unhealthy behaviors that can exacerbate or reinforce anxiety (such as reassurance-seeking or avoidance). Action-based interventions also include implementing behaviors (coping skills) that help one manage their anxiety symptoms.
What should I expect in my first session?
In the first therapy session, your therapist will want to get detailed information about your background, the things you struggle with, and your goals. Your therapist wants to know as much relevant information about you as possible so that they can develop a personalized plan for your treatment. You will collaborate with your therapist on what you would like to work on in therapy and how you will do it. The first session is also your chance to get your questions answered, so feel free to seek clarification on anything you need. Finally, and most importantly, the first session will give you an idea about how your therapist works and how well you and your therapist “click.” You can think of it as a job interview to help you decide whether you want to “hire” the therapist for the job of supporting you with your goals.
How should I prepare for my first session?
It is very common for someone to feel nervous for the first session, especially if they have never met with a therapist before. Before your first session, remind yourself that feeling nervous is normal, and give yourself credit for taking the brave step of seeking help. Also remember that therapists are trained to help you through anxiety and you can share how you’re feeling with your therapist. After you schedule the first session, you will receive various intake documents asking for demographic information, payment information, symptoms, as well as informing you of various policies and expectations. If you have any questions about any of the documents, do not hesitate to call or email your therapist about them.
How long do sessions last?
Session length depends on your payment method. If using insurance, 53 minutes constitutes an hour long session. Shorter sessions are also available upon request. If you are paying out of pocket, sessions offered are 50 minutes long.
How often will we meet?
In short, you get to decide. The most common frequency of sessions is once per week, and this is recommended for everyone to start with in order to develop a good working relationship with your therapist and to build momentum. You can choose to meet more or less frequently depending on your personal needs/preferences, financial situation, and schedule.
How long will it take to feel better?
There is no universal answer to this question. Research shows that several factors influence how quickly someone will feel better in therapy, including their engagement in sessions, their application of skills and concepts outside of session, the level of support from family and friends, the severity of the presenting problem, and more. Some people find that even talking about their feelings in the initial session gives them hope which helps them feel better. Others may notice that bringing repressed feelings to the surface or facing things they’ve been avoiding causes them to feel worse before they feel better. It’s important to keep your therapist in the loop about how you think therapy is affecting the way you feel, either in a positive or negative way or not at all.
Do you prescribe medication?
No, and most therapists do not prescribe medication because most therapists are not medical doctors. However, therapists can play an important role in medication management. For example, therapists can help you process your thoughts and fears about taking psychotropic medications. We can help you prepare for your appointment with a psychiatrist by giving you an idea of what to expect and compiling a list of questions. We can even help you monitor effectiveness and side effects of your medication to ensure success.
Will my information be kept private?
Therapists are legally and ethically required to keep all of your information private. However, there are some limitations to confidentiality. If there is an imminent risk of harm either to you or another identifiable person, therapists are required to report this information to the authorities. This includes suicide risk, homicide risk, child abuse, and other threats to safety.
How do I know if my therapist is a good fit for me?
Research shows that the most important factor for treatment success is the quality of the relationship between their therapist and the client. Therefore, it is of high importance that you find a therapist that is a good fit for you. It is important to keep in mind that it may take more than one session for you to determine whether it is a good fit. Some signs that your therapist is a good fit for you are that you feel comfortable with them, you feel that they understand you, and you trust them. If you are someone who struggles to open up to others, it may take some time for you to determine whether you are comfortable with and trust your therapist. If at any point you determine that your therapist is not the right fit for you, it is important that you are honest about this. All therapists want the best possible care for clients, and we know that we cannot be the right fit for everyone. If we are not the right fit for a client, we strive to help our clients find a therapist who is a good fit.
Do you accept health insurance?
Unbroken Therapy is in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO and Aetna PPO plans. Please note that HMO and Medicaid plans are not accepted.
What if you do not accept my health insurance?
For all out-of-network plans, an out of network claim will be sent directly to your insurance provider on your behalf. Depending on your provider and plan, you may be eligible for partial reimbursement for your sessions. You can verify out of network benefits with your insurance provider.
How do I verify my health insurance benefits?
To verify your benefits, call the number on the back of your insurance card. Then follow the prompts for:
What is a copay?
A copay is the fixed amount of the fee that you are responsible for paying for each session. Once you pay your copay, your insurance will cover the rest of the fee. Copay amounts vary based on the plan. Your copay amount can be found on your insurance card. However, some plans require you to meet your deductible before covering any mental health services.
What is a deductible?
A deductible is a fixed amount that you must pay each year before your insurance begins to cover any fees from treatment. If you have a deductible for mental health benefits, this means that you are responsible for paying 100% of all session fees until you have payed the amount of your deductible.
What is coinsurance?
Coinsurance is a percentage of costs you are responsible for when receiving treatment. Unlike copays which are a fixed amount of a fee, coinsurance varies depending on the amount of the total fee for treatment.
Do you offer reduced rate sessions for individuals without health insurance coverage?
Sliding scale sessions are offered based on availability. Please call or email to inquire about availability and cost.
What is your cancellation policy?
What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)?
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) was originally developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder, but has since been shown to be effective with a range of psychological disorders. Dialectic refers to an integration or synthesis of opposites. This means that two things can be true at once. For example, one can strive for change AND reach acceptance with the way things are at the same time. DBT aims to help individuals get "unstuck" from extreme thinking patterns by learning skills to regulate their emotions. It is important to note the difference between DBT and DBT-informed practice. DBT utilizes groups and phone coaching outside of sessions, both of which are not offered at Unbroken Therapy. DBT-informed practice incorporates dialectical theory and DBT skills into individual therapy sessions.
What is Acceptance and Committment Therapy (ACT)?
Acceptance and Committment Therapy (ACT) strives to help individuals reach peace by accepting things without struggle, and working toward a value-driven life. ACT recognizes that attempts to suppress or control emotions often lead to struggle, distress, and suffering. Paradoxically, accepting negative emotions rather than fighting them can lead to a decrease in psychological distress. A common misconception of acceptance is that it means one must accept defeat or resign to the fact that things will never get better. Instead, acceptance means freeing oneself from the notion that outcomes must always be controlled.