Frequently Asked Questions
What is psychotherapy?
Treatment of psychological, emotional, or behavioral disorders through interpersonal communications between a patient and a therapist. The goal is to establish a relationship in which the patient can feel free to express personal thoughts and emotions and thus gain the understanding necessary for change.
What are the differences among an M.D., a Ph.D., Psy.D., L.C.S.W.-C and a CRNP-PMH?
- M.D. – Psychiatrists are physicians who can prescribe medications as well as provide psychotherapy.
- Ph.D. – Psychologists with Ph.D.’s typically have degrees in Clinical Psychology (focused upon research and practice). Ph.D.s have 4 years post graduate education plus 2 years supervised experience. Psychologists generally cannot prescribe medication.
- Psy.D. – Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) is a professional doctorate degree intended to prepare graduates for practice in psychology. Earning the degree was originally completed through one of two established training models for clinical psychology.
- L.C.S.W.-C. – Social Workers have a Master’s degree in Social Work. Masters programs are generally 2 additional years beyond a Bachelor’s degree. A clinical license is achieved after 2000 hours of supervised training in therapy.
- CRNP-PMH – Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who can prescribe medications.
What do the credentialing initials after the therapist’s name mean?
- B.C.D. – Board Certified Diplomate
- C.A.C. – Certified Addictions Counselor. Therapist is qualified to deal with both drug and alcohol abuse.
- M.D. – Physician
- M.S.N. – Master of Science in Nursing
- L.C.S.W.-C. – Licensed Certified Social Worker – Clinical
- L.C.P.C. – Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
- CRNP-PMH – Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner -Psychiatric Mental Health
- PsyD – Doctor of Psychology
How do I choose a therapist?
Finding the right therapist is important. You can begin by looking at our therapist’s various areas of expertise on this website. If you would like we can help you decide which clinician would best suit your needs. We offer a full range of psychotherapy services to help you meet your individual needs.
What are the reasons to consider therapy?
There are many reasons to seek therapy. One useful barometer: if the problem interferes with your functioning or quality of life, it can be very beneficial to address it in therapy. Among the issues frequently addressed in therapy are conflicts in relationships, finding that you are repeating negative patterns, no longer enjoying activities that were pleasurable, and feeling “stuck”. Often, addressing your problems with a therapist can provide a new perspective and outlook.
How long before I feel the benefits of therapy?
You may feel better right after the first appointment, because you are doing something about the problem. Those feelings may give way to the work of dealing with your issues. Change is often difficult. Whether you are in short-term or long-term therapy, some sessions will be difficult as you face your feelings and others will be gratifying as you see yourself making changes. Benefits are sometimes slow and sometimes rapid. If you stay with the work, you will feel the benefits as they occur. The trusting relationship with your therapist will be helpful in talking about the work and in sharing your reactions to it.
How do I make an appointment?
You can make an appointment by calling our Frederick, Maryland office at 301-662-6226 and speaking with our staff. If you prefer, you can fill out the appointment request form found on this website under New Patients. Typically a therapist will call you within 24 hours during the business week to schedule an appointment.
How soon will I be able to see a therapist?
Usually an appointment will be scheduled within a week with a social worker or psychologist. It may take longer to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist.
How frequent are the sessions?
Sessions are frequently scheduled weekly although they could be scheduled more or less often depending on your needs.
How long is each session?
Each therapy session is approximately 45-50 minutes in our Frederick, Maryland office. Medication management sessions are approximately 15-30 minutes.
Will my insurance cover any of the cost?
Often insurance will cover all or a portion of the cost. Our staff will help you to clarify your benefits.
Will my information be kept confidential?
A professional code of ethics and the law require each therapist to keep everything between the therapist and patient in the strictest confidence. The only exceptions are those mandated by law. Maryland law, for instance, dictates that situations involving child abuse (present or past) must be reported. Other exceptions include court subpoenas and instances where someone’s life is in danger because of homicidal or suicidal intent. When appropriate, and with the patient’s written permission only, a therapist may exchange information with physicians, hospitals, or other professionals. Always discuss any concerns with your therapist.
What should I expect during my first session?
Your first appointment will be an evaluation of your concerns. Your therapist will ask questions such as your reasons for seeking treatment and together you will develop a treatment plan.