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FAQ

What insurances do you accept?

I work with a company called Alma to accept insurance. I am able to work with clients with the following insurance providers: Aetna, Cigna, Oscar, Oxford, United Healthcare, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of New York. This is the link to my profile in Alma: https://secure.helloalma.com/providers/praia-westerband-otero/

What if I don't have insurance?

I can accept clients on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale which starts at $50 per session and goes up to $150 per session. Relationship therapy is also provided on a pay-what-you-can scale of $75 per session and also goes up to $150 per session. 

What does an intake look like?

An intake session is generally not the most exciting session, but it is incredibly important. It is basically an interview where I will try to obtain as much information as I can about you and your reason for coming to see me. Based on the information I gather, we can develop an idea for what your goals in therapy may be, what kind of schedule would work for you and what style of therapy you would prefer. An intake process for a relationship would look very different. I utilize a four session process when beginning treatment with a relationship: each partner would have an individual intake session preferably within the same week, then the following week would be the initial relationship session and the final week of intake would be to discuss my findings and make recommendations. Relationship therapy can be tricky to cover using insurance so if you have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to email me. 

How often are therapy sessions?

I generally prefer to conduct weekly sessions for at least the first two months and then I leave it up to you to decide when/if you are ready to move into a biweekly (every other week) schedule. 

Can you treat clients from other states?

Unfortunately, I am only able to accept clients in New York and New Jersey at this time. I am also licenced in Puerto Rico and accepting clients on a case by case basis. Please email me if you have any questions regarding availability. 

What is your cancellation/no show policy?

I have a pretty flexible cancellation/no show policy, however there are some situations where a fee will be charged. My late cancellation fee and no show fee is $50. I ask that cancellations be done with at least 24 hour notice, however I recognize that sometimes this just isn't possible. Life happens, I get it. If you realize that you cannot make your scheduled session, please email me as soon as you can so that we can negotiate rescheduling it. I define a late cancellation as any request to cancel or reschedule an appointment within 24 hours of its scheduled start time. If you reach out to me within 24 hours of our session time and request a reschedule that is within the same week, then I am happy to waive the late cancellation fee. If you contact me after our session has already begun (For example: our session was scheduled for 6pm and you message me at 6:10pm), then that is considered a late cancellation/no show and you can incur the $50 fee. If you fail to attend your appointment and make no effort to contact me and I am unable to reach you, then that is also considered a no show and can incur the $50 fee. In summary, communication is the key to avoiding any cancellation fees. As long as you keep me in the loop, I am happy to reschedule you. All I ask is that you please be mindful that late cancellations (those done within 24 hours of your session) prevent other clients from the opportunity to book that slot. If I notice that you are frequently cancelling appointments, then this will be brought up in session and we can discuss a possible schedule change. I reserve the right to terminate treatment if a client cancels three appointments in a row with no explanation or if they no show twice in a row. 

There is a 20 minute grace period at the start of every session for clients and myself. If you are more than 20 minutes late to your appointment, you will be charged $50 for the no show and you will be asked to schedule a new appointment. If I am more than 20 minutes late to your appointment then I will provide therapy for the time remaining in the session and I will offer you a free session since I value your time and commitment to your treatment. If you realize you may run late to your appointment, please email me and we will explore if we would benefit from rescheduling your session to a later time. You should note that insurance companies generally do not reimburse for missed appointments.

How can I reach you?

I can be emailed at praia@authenticselvesmhc.com, messaged through the SimplePractice client portal if you are a current client, or you can send me a message using the contact form below. You can also call me at 845-999-3030 and leave me a voicemail and I will return your call within 48 hours. While my email is HIPAA compliant, I ask that you do not include any sensitive information in emails. In case of emergency, please call 911, text the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, or call any local emergency room. Please do not utilize my email or phone as an emergency resource as I am not a crisis counselor and I am not available 24/7 to assist you. 

Can we follow each other on social media?

Due to the importance of your confidentiality and the importance of minimizing dual relationships, I do not follow back when current or former clients follow me on any social networking site (Facebook, Instagram, etc). I believe that adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.

How do we end treatment?

Ending relationships can be difficult. Therefore, it is important to have a termination process in order to achieve some closure. The appropriate length of the termination depends on the length and intensity of the treatment. I may terminate treatment after appropriate discussion with you and a termination process if I determine that the psychotherapy is not being effectively used or if you are in default on payment. I will not terminate the therapeutic relationship without first discussing and exploring the reasons and purpose of terminating. If therapy is terminated for any reason or you request another therapist, I will provide you with a list of qualified psychotherapists to treat you. You may also choose someone on your own or from another referral source. Should you fail to schedule an appointment for three consecutive weeks and I am unable to reach you, unless other arrangements have been made in advance, for legal and ethical reasons, I must consider the professional relationship discontinued. 

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