Asking this question is often an indicator that you have been thinking about therapy and how it may be useful to you. Thinking about therapy is often an indication that you feel you need some assistance.
If you find yourself in a negative or repetitive cycle you may also benefit from therapy. Anyone who has difficulty in relationships can benefit from therapy. Individuals who have a mental health diagnosis also benefit from therapy. Individuals who are taking psychiatric medications most likely will benefit from therapy.
Many people choose to be in therapy because of the nature of the experience. With the right therapist, you can be heard, understood and accepted all at the same time. That experience is very important to everyone’s wellbeing. I highly recommend it! A therapist is different than a friend or relative in that they have no stake in the decisions you make.
The most important component of picking a therapist is the fit between you and them. Do you feel you can work with them or open up to them? Then other practical considerations need to be made.
Beyond feeling, they are a good fit for you to consider their availability, their fee, and office location. You want to go to your appointments to be user-friendly. The fit really is the most important thing. You will probably have to see them several times to decide if they are the right therapist for you.
This is a question each therapist answers separately. Kristine works with people in both short term and long term therapy. At the end of the initial 2-3 sessions, she will make a recommendation with regard to her current understanding of the client’s situation and their goals.
She usually works with people for 6 months to a year or longer. She does some short term work when the goals are obtainable in a shorter time frame. It is important to know that therapy is a very individual experience and there is not one specific answer for everyone.
It is not “one size fits all”. Clients are free to end therapy whenever they choose. It is important to discuss the end of therapy with your therapist. Saying goodbye and acknowledging the work you have done is very helpful to the client and therapist.
The cost of therapy varies based on the therapist’s experience, training and the location of their office. A more experienced therapist usually charges in the upper range of the local average, while a less experienced therapist usually is building their practice and is charging closer to the low end of the range.
Also, therapists in a city may charge more than their peers who live further away from the heart of the city. It is not unusual to find a $50.00 to $150.00 difference in the fees being charged in any location.
Kristine has set her fees so that she is not the most expensive or least expensive in the community. She is willing to discuss her fees in person. She raises her fee each year on the first of May.
Each therapist makes their own decision about being on insurance panels. Many therapists are on insurance panels early in their careers and then decide over time and with gained experience that they would rather not work with insurance companies.
Kristine is currently participating with one insurance panel: BayCare Behavioral Health. There are several reasons she does not work with insurance companies. The most important of these is confidentiality.
Kristine believes your mental health should be kept private between you and your providers. She also has been in Private Practice for 20 years and finds her work is more meaningful without the influence of managed care companies.
The most important credential of any mental health therapist is the “L”, which represents License. For example, Kristine is an SW (social worker) with the credentials LCSW which means she is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. There are many different degrees and certifications but working with someone who is Licensed is critical.
A Licensed therapist is bound by rules of ethics, by the requirements of the state they practice in and can be held accountable for their behavior. It is a level of protection to the consumer. Here are some (in no particular order) of the credentials you might see when looking for a therapist.
LCSW – Licensed Clinical Social Worker
LMFT – Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
LMHC – Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Ph.D. – Doctor of Psychology (look for the L in another credential)
CAP – Certified Addictions Professional (look for the L in another credential)
There are many credentials so if you see one you don’t recognize just ask them, most of us would be happy to explain them. Just remember to look for the License.
Kristine answers her phone whenever possible. She does not answer the phone or check e-mail while in session.
She does check her voicemail often so you can leave her a message at (813) 689-0139 and she will return your call usually within 24 hours. You can also send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will also get back to you usually within 24 hours.