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Q: How does this therapy thing work?

Therapy is a highly individualized process to help you get the most out of it. Before you reach out, you’ll want to have some idea of what’s concerning you or what you want to change in your life so that when we speak during our consult call, I can determine if I’m the best fit to support you.  When we meet for your intake session, I’ll be gathering more information about your current situation, as well as some of your history, to get a deeper sense of where you want to be and what might be getting in the way.  Therapy is a collaborative process; meaning you and I will work together to identify a plan of action that works best for you. Commitment to consistent attendance in therapy greatly contributes to positive results; therefore we’ll discuss a schedule for sessions that works best for you and your circumstances.

Q: This is new to me; what do I need to be able to do this virtual therapy stuff?

A stable internet/wifi connection, a computer, laptop or smartphone, and a private place to join your session, free of distractions.  You should NOT be joining your therapy session while driving or doing other distracting tasks; therapy is only helpful if you’re able to join your session in a manner in which you can give your full, alert and sober attention to the work. This also means that substance use during our sessions is not permitted.   It’s also highly recommended to use headphones or ear buds for improved sound quality, and for your privacy..  If you’re joining your virtual sessions from a smartphone, please be sure to download the free Simple Practice telehealth app prior to your first session.   When you log in, you’ll be asked to provide your name; you can type in whatever name you’d like to be called here; it doesn’t have to be your legal name.

Q: What about insurance?

A: Currently I’m in network with Aetna, Husky and Cigna insurances. If you have insurance through another provider, you can check and see if you have out of network benefits; if so, you’ll pay for your session upfront, and be given a detailed receipt from me called a Superbill, and you can submit that to your insurance for reimbursement. *If you’re opting to do this, be sure to get clarity on how much you’ll be reimbursed ahead of time to avoid financial stress.

Q: Can I wear clothing to present in line with my gender identity for my sessions?

A:  HECK YES! Given your living situation, this may be one of the beautiful things about doing sessions virtually; it might not be as scary as having to go out in public to present the way you’d like to for your therapy session.  Of course, if it is NOT safe for you to present in your current environment, please know that it’s okay to not do this; please do what feels safest to you; your identity will be affirmed always. It’s important to me that you know that you are welcome to present HOWEVER you would like for our time together. 

Q: Can I have a friend, partner/spouse, or parent come with me for any sessions?

A: Absolutely, in fact this is often helpful.  Often clients I work with will bring in someone for a session or two to help them better understand their experiences, learn how to be better supports, or just to improve the relationship overall.  In fact, this is why you’re asked if you’d like anyone to be involved in your treatment in your intake questionnaire.

Q: Can I come in just for assessments to get a letter for cross hormones or surgery? If so, how many sessions do I need to have with you?

A: Yes, I regularly provide assessments for trans-identified individuals for the purposes of getting a referral letter for cross-hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgeries.  It’s totally fine for you to let me know that’s all your looking for, rather than ongoing therapy.  Really, no hard feelings.   My work is guided by the most current versiono of the WPATH standards of care.  As such, I do not have a set number of required sessions to attend before I’ll write a letter, because every situation is unique. I do my best to provide thorough assessments without excessive gatekeeping because I believe that people need and deserve the easiest access to their healthcare as soon as possible.  Please note: if I am providing a second referral letter for you, you will be asked to sign a release of information for me to be able to contact the provider who’s written your first letter, to collaborate on this assessment for your readiness for surgery.

Q: So, you write letters; great… Do you charge extra for them?

No I do not.  I work with you collaboratively during our sessions to create your letter, so you are not billed for the letters in excess of whatever you are paying for your session through insurance, or out of pocket, for your session. Additionally, I have signed the GALAP provider pledge; this means that I provide one free session per month for clients seeking a letter for gender-affirming healthcare. I believe in helping my trans clients get access to the healthcare they need without being cost-prohibitive.

Q: Do you help with any paperwork for name or gender marker changes?

Yes; feel free to bring your forms or any questions about to your virtual session. As of January 2020, CT drivers’ licenses and state ID’s no longer require a therapist or MD’s co-signature, so you can fill out the form and self-select your gender in that form. (type CT B-385 in your search engine to find this form online).

Q: Am I only allowed to talk about my gender stuff with you?

While exploration of gender identity is my practice specialty, of course other experiences and issues are welcome to be discussed in your sessions. If you are experiencing another issue that is something I’m not trained in, I will be upfront with you about that, and try to connect you to clinical supports for that issue in addition to our work together.