Frequently

Asked

Questions

Where do I start?


If your tired of suffering and ready to reach out, click on any "Get Started Now" to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. During this time, you can ask me any questions, we’ll talk about how I can help, and see if working together feels like a good fit. If at the end of the call you’re ready to start being the mom you want to be by working together, then we’ll schedule our first session. You’ll then receive email notification that you have access to the client portal. Once you access the portal, you will be able to complete the necessary paperwork prior to our first session.




What can I expect from therapy?


Therapy is often a mystery to most people. I get it--the concept of talking about your innermost thoughts with a stranger is strange enough. On top of that, you may have never been in therapy before or didn't find a previous therapy experience to be helpful. Here are the truths and myths about therapy:

1. Don't believe all the preconceived notions about therapy. It is NOT "just for crazy" people or people with a history of mental health problems. In fact, therapy is simply for people who want to better themselves and their lives--and who doesn't want that?

2. Look at therapy as preventative care. Just like consistent teeth brushing and flossing prevents cavities, taking care of your mental wellness either before or while issues arise help maintain your psychological health.

3. Expect to feel uncomfortable at times. This means therapy is doing what it is supposed to. You are trying to make long-term changes, and change is not easy. Just like anything else that reaps long-term rewards, therapy is not easy (kinda like motherhood!)

4. Don't expect your therapist to have all the answers or tell you exactly what to do. Part of what makes therapy worth is being authentic-so the truth is I don't have all the answers. But I do have doctoral-level training and years of experience (not to mention being a mom myself). I also can't tell you exactly what to do-but I help moms figure out what's best for them and their families.




How long do I have to come to therapy?


The short answer is it all depends. Many clients find between 8-16 sessions to be beneficial. However, it depends on:

1. your goals

2. the severity of your symptoms

3. how committed you are to therapy

4. how much effort you put in between sessions

5. the nature of your life circumstances.

Ultimately, the length of time you spend in therapy is up to you, but just like with any other medical/mental health treatment, I will provide you with recommendations based on your unique situation throughout your treatment. Because a significant part of therapy being successful depends on the relationship between the psychologist and client, the first few sessions are typically spent building the foundation for this relationship. At first, I typically recommend clients come once a week and move towards every other week, then once a month. At that point, we can then arrange for check-in sessions as needed.




How much does it cost?


Individual therapy sessions in my office or online therapy are $155 per 50-minute session. For therapy sessions at your home, the fee is $275 per 50-minute session.

Therapy should be viewed as an investment, with an extremely high return on that investment--similiar to the cost of education or other life experiences aimed at enhancing personal growth. It's the place where you come to get support, rather than always doing the supporting.

If you think you can't afford therapy, a shift in mindset can be helpful. Think about all the "extra" things you might spend money on-getting your nails done, fancy coffee shop lattes, eating meals out, new clothes, etc. Think about ways to cut back, even just temporarily, to participate in the kind of self care that can literally change your life.

Think about it like this: the total cost for 12 sessions is $1,860. That's basically the same amount as paying $5 a day for a fancy coffee in a year ($1,825). But instead, you'd be living a happier life as the mom you want to be.

Think about what is at stake if you don't make this investment? There is truly no price you can put on the happiness and mental well-being of you and your family. If you feel better & like your self again, that will be contagious to those around you. Your relationships with inherently be better, and you will feel more present and fulfilled in your role as a mom.




Do you take insurance?


At the present time, I only accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield and its subsidiaries. The reason is because other insurance companies reimburse at a rate that makes it very difficult to provide quality care. In order to focus on your wellbeing, rather than negotiating with insurance companies, I can only accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield at this time.

Just as with any other medical/mental health provider, you as the client are responsible for the co-pay. If you have to meet a deductible, you will be responsible for paying me the full contracted rate until your deductible is met.

Please note that if you choose to use your insurance, they will have control over the majority of your treatment. This means they will dictate the number of sessions you can have, as well as have access to personal information they deem necessary, such as any diagnoses and treatment records. Some clients are not comfortable with this, and choose to pay put-of-pocket to avoid an invasion of their privacy.




Do I really need therapy?


The short anwser is yes. Therapy is not just for people who have been diagnosed with post-partum depression or are so depressed they can't fucntion. Therapy is for anyone who wants to better themselves and their lives, so it's for everyone. Many clients will express ambivalance and wondering if what they are going through is "enough" for them to go to therapy, or wait months to see if things get better "on their own." I encourage you to look at therapy just as you would anything else regarding quality of life. If you had a sinus infection and it was interfering with your life even just some of the times, you'd probably get it checked out. I encourage you to do the same for your mental wellness.




What is your cancellation policy?


If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, 24 hours notice is required. The reason being is that when an appointment is scheduled, that time is blocked off specifically for that client. If I am notified within 24 hours notice, I can fill that time slot with another client, who I may have previously have been unable to accomodate. You will receive a reminder 24 hours in advance of your appointment. Part of the onboarding process includes having a credit card on file so that you will be able to seemlessly pay for services. If you do not provide 24 hours notice for cancelling the appointment, your credit card will be charged a full session fee.




Does therapy actually work?


Yes! And I'm not just saying that because it's my profession. There is an entire body of research dedicated to studying if therapy works. Here is what they found: 1. The average person who comes to therapy is better off at the end of treatment than 80% of those who didn't have any therapy at all. 2. 75% of people in therapy show at least some benefit. However, there are certain factors the research has found that make it more successful. They are referred to in the research as common factors. Here are some of the most importan: 1. By far, the most important factor is the relationship between the client and therapist. That's why it is crucial to have a trusting and comfortable relationship. Many times people will say they tried therapy before and it wasn't helpful. The more likely explaination is that they did not "click" with the therapist. Just like any other relationship, building rapport takes time. Some people will stop coming to therapy after only a few sessions, and thus did not give time for the therapeutic relationship to be established. 2. Use of evidence-based treatment that is appropriate for your presenting issue.




What is your style of therapy?


Many clients comment on how their experience with me is much different from what they expected from a psychologist. That is because my style is very down-to-earth, straightforward, and collaborative. There is NO laying down on a couch while you talk about your childhood and I scribble notes. I actually don't take notes during sessions so I can focus on you and the interpersonal experience. I used a combination of evidence-based practices, including forms of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and psychodynamic/interpersonal approaches. That's just psycho-babble terms meaning I use techniques focused on changing your thoughts and behavior, as well as using our relationship to help you understand your own relationships and ways of dealing with life's challenges.




What’s the difference between a therapist, psychologist, and psychiatrist?


All are mental health providers; yet, the differeneces lie mostly in their education, training, and scope of practice. A therapist is typically a person with a Master's Degree. There are a variety of different degrees, such as LCSW, LPC, MFT, etc. The differences in these degrees typically lies in their area of concentration. For example a person with an MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist), received specific training in family and couples issues. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor, and thus has the privilege of prescribing medication. While some programs provide some training in therapy, the primary focus is on the practice of medicine. Thus, many people being prescribed medicine also have a separate therapist. A psychologist has a Doctoral Degree, usually a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) or a Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology). While many psychologists provide therapy, they also conduct psychological testing. A psychologist is unique in that they are the other discipline who can do this type of testing. Examples include testing for intelligence, personality, developmental delays, ADHD, and elder life issues.




Is what I tell you confidential?


Mostly everything is confidential in therapy. Mental health professionals adhere to special rules and strict ethical guidelines, as client confidentiality is extremely important to our profession. For example, if you wrote a positive online review about your experience with me, I would not be able to respond to it or thank you publically. This is because doing so would be confirming you are a client, and thus risking confidentiality. Here are some examples of situations in which confidentiality either can or must be broken: 1. if I am told or suspect a child or elder person is being abused 2. if I am told or suspect a client is imminently suicidal or homicidal 3. diagnosis and treatment information as necessary to obtain payment for services (for those using insurance) 4. as required by federal or state laws





Have more questions?

Reach out to get answers during a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation

(914) 269-8877

info@mentalwellnessmamas.com

7 Skyline Drive, Suite 350 

Hawthorne, N.Y. 10532

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© 2019 Mental Wellness Mama

The information on this website is NOT a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical/mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accessing this website does NOT constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Casarella. Thus, nothing on this website should be considered, or is intended to be, the practice of psychotherapy or other related health-care service. You should always consult with a mental health or medical provider regarding specific physical/mental health issues. Do not avoid or delay obtaining medical or mental health related advice from your
health-care provider because of the content on this website.
The information on this website is to be used solely at your own risk and for informational and educational purposes only.