What is a licensed clinical social worker?
Clinical social work is a specialty practice area of social work which focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness, emotional, and other behavioral disturbances. Individual, group and family therapy are common treatment modalities. Social workers who provide these services are required to be licensed at the clinical level in their state of practice. Licensed clinical social workers have master’s degrees in Social Work and have completed additional supervision so that they can provide counseling and therapy services.Clinical social workers perform services in a variety of settings including private practice, hospitals, community mental health, primary care, and agencies. Patrice is a member since 2004 of the National Association of Social Workers. NASW advocates for clinical social workers through the legislative and regulatory process.
Who will answer my phone call or email message?
Patrice will personally respond to your message as soon as possible (unless the outgoing message says she is out of town).
What will my first appointment consist of?
You and Patrice will discuss the problem that led you to call, as well as going over a brief history. If services are for your child, she recommends meeting with both parents at the first appointment.
What is the length of a typical session?
Typical sessions last 45-50 minutes.
What is the typical waiting period for a new client?
Patrice makes every effort to make room for a client who she believes she can assist. She will let you know about any waiting list and timeframe when you call. If you both agree it is not a good match, she can recommend you to someone who might be a better match for your family.
What insurances do you take?
Patrice is an in network provider for the following companies:
Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, Aetna, Coventry, Psychcare
Regardless of your insurance plan, you should always ask your insurance company what mental health benefits your plan allows for.
Why do some Psychotherapists not accept insurance reimbursement?
There are several reasons for this choice:
Insurance companies can, and often do, make changes to the payment policies of their plans and to the process for reimbursement. These changes are not always in the clients/members’ clinical best interests.
Insurance companies want a psychiatric diagnosis and will then determine based on the diagnosis given how many sessions they will cover. This information often becomes a permanent part of your medical file and might increase the cost of your future health insurance premiums.
Not all the reasons for coming to see a psychotherapist require you to be labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis. There may be situational issues that a family is facing, developmental phases that a child is going through, or personal growth challenges that a client needs to confront. Many of these issues may not require labeling with a psychiatric diagnosis.
What is your policy regarding confidentiality?
Confidentiality is a strict guideline in the practice of psychology protected by state law and by the rules of this profession. All information concerning patients is held confidential and is released only through procedures consistent with the law and professional ethics. Psychologists cannot even acknowledge that a person is our client outside of certain specific situations:
The client has signed a written release to speak with a specific person
An emergency that requires breaking confidentiality
There is an incident of child abuse
The client is a danger to themselves
The client is a danger to someone else
Outside these exceptions, we uphold a client’s confidentiality.
What is your policy regarding confidentiality specifically between parents and children who are clients?
Confidentiality is more complicated when a client is a minor. While there is a professional relationship with the parents, as their consent is required, the child is the client.
Factors such as client safety, the child/adolescent’s need for privacy, trust and investment in the treatment, and the parents’ desire to be involved, must all be carefully considered. Each case results in a personal boundary that the client, the parents, and Patrice agree will best serve the treatment and the client. Consultation with parents is important; Patrice consults with parents with the child/adolescent’s awareness and permission. In some situations, where a child’s or teenager’s health and safety may be at risk, Patrice could be legally required involve other adults and to consult with the appropriate medical and/or psychiatric professional.
How does therapy work with children or teens?
Patrice will spend the majority of the visit with your child individually using play therapy, sandtray , art therapy and traditional talk therapy to address the problems that you have
identified. Sometimes, she will work directly with the parent before and/or after that time to discuss concerns, make recommendations, and provide feedback about things to work on at home. Patrice recommends meeting with the parent about 1x a month to discuss progress and any concerns.
How long can I expect for me or my child to be in therapy?
Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular weekly sessions initially, and then space them out as you see progress.
How can I get the most out of therapy?
The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you or your child to bring what you or they learn in sessions back into your life. Beyond the work processed in therapy sessions, if you are receptive to “homework”, Patrice will suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your progress – such as practicing mindfulness / relaxation skills, journaling on a specific topic, reading a pertinent book, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. Patrice often gives children clients ‘missions’ to do during the week.
Parents are busy however, Patrice recommends the participation of the entire family at times in order to address the underlying dynamics that may be contributing to the child’s behaviors or concerns. Patrice finds it a privilege to be able to assist you with challenges that come up in life.