What is a Licensed Psychologist?

Psychologists are highly trained doctoral level professionals with expertise in the areas of human behavior, mental health assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and behavior change. Psychologists apply scientifically validated procedures to help people better understand and change their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. 

A combination of rigorous doctoral-level academics, extensive supervised clinical training and demanding licensure requirements distinguishes psychologists from many other mental health care providers:  After graduation from college, psychologists spend an average of 7 years in graduate education training and research before receiving a doctoral degree. As part of their professional training they must complete a supervised clinical internship in a hospital or organized health setting.  This is followed by at least 1 year of post-doctoral supervised work and then they must pass national and state licensing exams before they can practice independently in any health care arena. 

Psychologists must be licensed by the state or jurisdiction in which they practice. Licensure laws are intended to protect the public by limiting licensure to those persons qualified to practice psychology as defined by state law. In Georgia, renewal of this license depends upon the demonstration of continued competence and requires continuing education. 

What can I expect at my first appointment?

Our first appointment is 60 minutes long and is considered a "diagnostic interview." It is designed for me to learn what has brought you in, your history, what your needs are and what you want to get out of our work together. I use a structured and comprehensive interview process to gather as much information as I can in that short period of time. I use this information to give you immediate feedback about what I recommend the type and focus of our work together to be. If we decide I am not the right person to work with you, I will offer you referrals.

Is Everything Confidential?

Patient privacy is extremely important to me. Psychologists are required to follow high ethical and legal standards to protect your confidentiality. Prior to our first session, I provide you with all of these in writing.  To further protect your privacy, I do not use administrative staff.  I handle every new patient inquiry and all administrative matters myself.

What About Insurance?

Health insurance does usually cover my services.  Payment is due in full at the time of service. I will provide you with a receipt that you can file to your insurance company and they will reimburse you directly for covered services. This allows you to decide if this information is passed along to an insurance company and entered into their records.

I do not bill insurance directly and do not do "in-network" or "panel" work. I believe that decisions regarding medical care should be made by the doctor and the patient, not the insurance company. This means that I am an "out-of-network" provider for your insurance company. This lessens the chance that your insurance company will intrude upon your privacy.

Payment is accepted via check, debit card, FSA/Healthcare Cards, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and cash.    

Can You Explain More About How This Works?

When a Psychologist agrees to be an in-network provider, s/he is paid directly by the insurance company. This may give your insurance company the right to review your chart and dictate what services they will pay for.  These decisions may be based on cost-containment for the insurance company, not on what is clinically and ethically appropriate for you.  In-network providers must agree to accept a set payment from the insurance company.   These amounts are sometimes quite low and may require a provider to see a larger number of patients just to meet over-head costs.    

I have a different approach:  I see a maximum of 20 clients per week and you will be seen at your appointment time. In other words, you will not find yourself sitting in the waiting room, well past the start of your appointment, and wondering when I will come out to get you. I handle all scheduling, inquires and administrative matters myself and respond in an appropriate amount of time. Limiting myself to 20 clients a week allows me adequate time to focus on the clients I am seeing and to stay current on evolving developments in the field of psychology through continuing education, reviewing research and professional writings, and peer consultation.

 Do You Offer Video Sessions?

Yes. I use a secure HIPAA-compliant video platform for remote sessions.  Click more information

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