I am not an in-network provider for any insurance company. However, many of my clients are able to get reimbursed for sessions using out-of-network benefits. Because each plan is different, I cannot guarantee that you will receive reimbursement, so it is important that you call your insurance company and find out what your specific plan covers before starting with a therapist.
First, you should ask your insurance company if you have out-of-network benefits for outpatient psychotherapy as part of your plan. If you do, you will want to know what portion of the fee the insurance plan will reimburse you. (Please note, that insurance companies decide what they think a clinician should be charging; so the portion that they reimburse you is based upon what they think the fee should be. Usually my fees are in line with this, but this is helpful to check by asking them what they consider to be “reasonable and customary” for outpatient psychotherapy in my zip code, 07042.) Next, you will want to know what your deductible is. This is the amount you will need to pay, before the insurance will begin to cover a portion of the bill. With this information, you can make an informed decision about what the financial investment will be and whether or not this is doable for you.
We will first speak by phone to briefly discuss what is bringing you into therapy at this time and to see if working together is potentially a good fit for you. If we decide to move forward, we will schedule a full-hour intake session to discuss how you’re doing currently, what your goals are, and to gather pertinent history to better understand your unique story. We will come up with a tentative plan at this point, which may include continuing together in weekly therapy, or a referral to someone else who may be better able to help you. My interpersonal style is warm and nurturing as I help my clients to explore difficult issues with honesty in the context of a safe and stable therapeutic environment. We work together to understand their current experience in the context of their histories and to discover what is truly meaningful to them so they can move forward in a way that is authentic and fulfilling.
There are many variables that contribute to the length of therapy. These involve not just only the presenting issues, but also challenges related to one’s history, habitual relationship patterns, the progress of skill building and personal goals. Some people seek therapy for support through a particular stressor and choose to end once this situation resolves. Others choose to continue in therapy as a process of continued personal development and growth, to not just reduce symptoms but to reach one’s full potential. Goals and progress are evaluated in an ongoing way and discussed as part of the treatment.
Therapy appointments require 24 hours cancellation notice. Cancellations within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment will be charged for the session in full. I will always try my best to accommodate an unexpected change by rescheduling your appointment in the same week, but please understand I am not always able to do that.
One of the most common misconceptions about meditating is that we are not supposed to think. But thinking is inevitable – it’s what the mind does. What we develop in meditation is the ability to relate to our thoughts differently. This has a profound impact on our well-being.
Through mindfulness, we learn to become more of an observer of our thoughts; noticing when they carry us away, and strengthening our ability to disentangle from them. This ability can help us to reduce stress and anxiety and to be more wisely responsive rather than fearful and reactive. In other types of meditation, such as self-compassion practices we learn to relate to both the content of our thoughts and ourselves differently and to become an inner ally rather than constant critic. Over time this enables us to weather setbacks and disappointments more easily and to support and motivate ourselves with kindness and compassion, building inner strength and resilience.
We are so accustomed to living in constant “doing” mode that it can feel unimaginable to sit still for any length of time, let alone 20 or 30 minutes. Thankfully the research suggests that even just a few minutes of meditation, done consistently can be of enormous benefit to us, though the more we do it, the more we benefit. And there are lots of ways to practice and not all involve sitting still on a cushion. Working together we can find ways to integrate both formal and informal practices into your life in a way that is realistic and sustainable and that can help you cultivate the qualities you want for yourself.
While there really is not a “best” time to practice, the morning, when our minds are a bit more clear and rested, can be a good time for meditation. Evening can also be a good time as a way to transition from the busyness of the day to a calmer, more restful time for sleep. But truly, the best time to practice is whenever it is doable for you, given the demands of your schedule and life obligations.
Let’s Stay Connected
Marcie Handler, Ph.D.
38 Park Street
* Due to COVID stay-at-home practices all services are currently provided online
* If you feel you cannot wait to speak to someone, please call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
*Meditation instruction and consultations offered by Dr. Handler are educational and experiential services, NOT psychological treatment. You can find out more about psychotherapy consultation with Dr. Handler here.