What is therapy actually like?  What can I expect? 

Here are some frequently asked questions with my answers about the process

Q: I'm really afraid of starting therapy. What can you tell me?

A:  Fear is normal.  Fear wants to stop you in your tracks and keep you stuck in the same place by avoiding, procrastinating, or not showing up at all.  Fear is a primal emotion to protect you from a perceived threat.  What is threatening about starting to help yourself feel better?  Fear often lies to us to make us feel safe, even when that safety is really anything but. 

Sometimes we're afraid to change because we don't know what it will be like, and while we don't like our current circumstances, at least we know what they are.  Here's the thing: change occurs gradually, and you get to make decisions and adjustments along the way.  You are the one in the driver's seat.  If you're worried about others' reactions to your chosen path, that is something we'll discuss.  Change doesn’t happen overnight, where you’ll wake up like it’s Freaky Friday and you have no idea how to live your life.

Sometimes we're afraid of therapy because of the ways it has been portrayed in the media, on television shows, or movies.  That doesn't mean that's how your therapy will be.  Learn about 6 Therapy Myths here.

If you are wondering what it’s literally like, this is the waiting room when you enter the building.

Waiting Room

Waiting Room

Waiting Room

Waiting Room

Here is my office. I want you to feel as comfortable as possible as you’re on this winding journey.

Courage Compass Therapy Office

Courage Compass Therapy Office

Q: What can you not offer me?

A: I can't promise you a quick fix or the hope that therapy will always be easy.  It's actually not my role tell you what to do.  My role is to help you identify your underlying beliefs that influence how you feel, think and behave in order to start seeing patterns.  Once we do that, I can help you learn what to do with those beliefs, how to cope with discomfort, how to understand fear and your inner critic, and how to build your courage and self-compassion--all while gaining emotional balance.  I often like to check in with my clients often to ensure that we are on the same page, that what we are doing is effective.  If not, we can always change course and make adjustments.

Q: What will the first appointment be like?

A: Your first appointment will last 60 minutes.  

Prior to the first appointment:

  • I will send you an intake questionnaire that will provide me with a sense of what your current needs are, as well as other questionnaires and screenings to gather background information. I also use some of these screenings to help us track your progress over time, as self report can sometimes be unreliable.

  • You will also receive information regarding HIPAA laws, my practice policies, and clear directions and instructions on parking and entering the building.

    At the first appointment, we will review your paperwork and expand on topics from there to help us conceptualize and formulate a plan. I'll answer your questions about me so that you can ascertain whether or not it feels right for you.  

 Q: What if my schedule is crazy and I cannot make it in to your office?

A:  Everyone's circumstances are different. If this is your obstacle, get in touch and we’ll figure it out.  There are often possibilities that haven’t been thought of, and that’s something we can explore together.

Q: I'm new to this…what is therapy actually like?

A: Each session varies based on what you identify as your goals and primary areas of concern.  I like to say that my approach is organic, and not in the green kind of way.  It means that I work with what comes up and find a way to address what that is in the moment, rather than having a premeditated plan.  If we are working on a certain goal, sometimes a premeditated plan is a must.  It all depends on YOU and YOUR NEEDS. Bottom line: I do not have a cookie cutter approach, and will view you as an individual with unique needs and circumstances. The beginning of therapy is all about coming up with an approach that you feel comfortable with to achieve your goals.

I will often assign {homework}: i.e. small tasks or techniques you can easily incorporate into your daily life to help you achieve your goals. If I come across something that makes me think of you and what you're working on, I'll send it along. I like to call this email candy!

Q: How long are the sessions?

A: The first session is 60 minutes, and regular therapy sessions are 55 minutes.

Q: How long will I be in therapy?

A: Everyone's journey in therapy is unique. Some people are in therapy for a few months while others are in therapy for a few years. This all depends on you. People who desire more intensive work and faster results often add group therapy to their schedule, as it provides another medium for self-improvement and personal growth in a way that individual therapy cannot. Usually people phase out, take a break, or terminate from therapy when they realize that they are handling things on their own, and they don’t have much to discuss, work on, or review. It’s a fun realization and leads to a review of progress and planning for the future.

Q: What are your fees and do you take insurance?

A: My fees are $145 per session. Group rates vary depending on the group.  

I accept the following insurance plans: United Behavioral Health/Optum, Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield (not Personal Choice or Keystone), Medicare, and Beacon Health Options. 

However, some people choose not to use their insurance for several reasons.  First, I run a small, cozy, and home-like private practice, and I do not want an agency feel.   It is important for me to preserve the integrity of the therapy process and avoid fighting with your insurance company, as they may have stipulations about your treatment. I like to have the freedom to make clinical decisions based on my client’s needs and not allow insurance to make these decisions for me.  If those conflicts arise with an insurance company listed above, I will talk with you about the next steps to preserve your treatment needs.

If it would be helpful for you to use insurance for therapy, I am considered an out-of-network provider for insurance companies other than the ones listed above. I encourage you to find out if your insurance covers any out-of-network benefits. If so, I can provide you with a “Superbill” to receive all or partial reimbursement for the cost of the therapy session. Full payment, however, will be collected at the time of your session.

You can also utilize your Flex Spending Account/Health Savings Account to pay for services.  This helps save you money by using tax-free money to pay for services.  I am obligated to collect your full copay for the session per my contract with the above companies.  

Q: Why would I choose to pay privately instead of using my insurance?

A:

  • No documentation of a "mental illness."

  • No session limits.

  • Can receive therapy if not “mentally ill” or don’t carry a “diagnosis.”

  • Less access to your personal information.

If I have not answered your question, please be in touch with me to learn more. 


Courage Compass Therapy at Park Center Wellness
208 N. Easton Rd. • Willow Grove, PA 19090
267.209.0795 • anya@couragecompasstherapy.com