What does LCSW mean?
LCSW means Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Is the information that I disclose confidential?
All communication between social workers and their clients is protected by law as confidential information. Recently, it has been compared to attorney-client privilege. In general, communication between therapists and clients are protected by law and professional ethical guidelines as confidential. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) requires strict adherence to a code of ethical conduct, confidentiality chief among them. There are certain exceptions:
For example, a “duty to warn” responsibility exists on the part of counselor and therapists if a client plans to harm another person or is imminently at risk of self-harm or suicide. Social workers are also mandated reporters, legally obligated to report child abuse to the child protective authorities. Beyond that, personal information is protected, and I will only share information involving you or your circumstance with others upon your personal request and following your consent in writing.
Are relationships supposed to be difficult? Is Counseling difficult, painful?
Relationships are the most important things in our lives, period. They are also the greatest challenge. Why? Because the natural friction, discourse, and interaction in marriage draws out all our latent joys, longings, pleasures, and frustrations. Marriages uproot our feelings.
All our emotions live inside of us, in the well of our midbrain and heart, below the logic seeking part of our brain. Every feeling we ever had is literally resting in an electromagnetic loop in our mid brain, right below the rim of our rational brain, our neocortex. Our relationship wakes all these emotions up.
Emotional pain tends to be more formidable and strenuous than physical pain too, because there are deeper, less well-known roots to emotional discomfort. A broken heart, for example, tends to debilitate the whole body, physically and psychologically. Physical pain though tends to be just a specific part. Both are difficult. Marriages fail because many people do not want to confront this pain. I completely understand.
But growth, change, and more meaning and happiness will occur when we go in and unlock the information stored in these emotion-coded, electromagnetic charges. “To love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed” (Cassandra Clare, City of Bones).
The key is to just begin, that is all. Just start by talking about how you feel. The key to couples counseling, all counseling, is to forget about the outcome of the work and just do it. Just start. The work and your commitment to yourself and partner, and your desire to fully complete your life are the most important things. The work on your relationship ironically will bring the greatest and most powerful changes. In many ways you cannot control what the outcome is going to be, so no need to dwell on it in the beginning.
Your relationship is a verb, not a noun. What that means is that it is constantly in motion, that you are supposed to be continually breaking things open inside yourself so that the relationship continues to expand. A marriage is designed to crack open your feelings.
The word relationship actually is derived from a verb root. The word comes from the Latin word relatus, which means to ‘carry back’. This Latin word tells us what the work on relationship involves. We have to take all of our uprooted feelings and reactions, all those intense emotions generated in the arena of our marriage, and spend time with them alone in our cave, by sitting quietly alone, in our prayers, meditation, in church, and in counseling and group sessions. We learn about ourselves via these feelings.
We do not just think about them, we go further than that and re-experience our deep-seated emotions of joy, longing, sadness, etc. We go into them to find their roots, those original moments that created them. Our body is still storing the sensations of these original events, and we just have to help undo or release those neuro-chemical patterns stored in our heart, stomach, mid-brain, etc.
Once we understand and eventually accept these stored emotions, we bring back to our partner the insights we learned. We ‘carry back’ our acceptance or understanding, or potentially even more anger or frustration to the altar of our marriage so that we can work and process these with our partner. Carrying back our understanding of ourselves to the altar of our marriage is the foundation of doing the work.
It takes courage to be married and to do the work. Many are willing to allow their relationship to kick up everything that lives inside of them to truly understand who they are and why they react the way they do. Some are not. Again, the most important thing is to just try it. The risk is you turn away and are not ready. Not a big deal. You can always try again later.
The reward is understanding who you really are, why you feel the way you do, and acquiring the tools to complete your life, to live out the real design of your life.
Do you take my insurance?
I am an “out of network” provider with insurance companies which means that I do not bill insurance companies directly. Your counseling sessions may be eligible for reimbursement through your out-of-network, behavioral health insurance coverage, medical spending or health care savings accounts.
Most insurance plans provide “out of network” coverage which allows you to choose your own clinician and reimburse you a percentage of the provider’s fee. See the Help Submitting Insurance tab that will direct you to the documentation that will enable you to submit statements/bills for these counseling sessions.
If you have behavioral health insurance, we recommend you contact your plan to learn what your benefits and responsibilities are. When contacting your insurance company, ask them about claim submittals for Out-of-Network LCSW’s.
Below are a few more questions that will be helpful to review, that you might want to ask your insurance company:
- Do I have behavioral/mental health insurance benefits/coverage?
- What, if any, is my deductible and has it been met for the year?
- How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session? What amount am I responsible for?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is an authorization required?
Major credit cards, Paypal, and Venmo are all accepted for payment
What If I need to cancel an appointment?
Please call or email Bill as soon as you know if you need to cancel or change your appointment. You can reschedule your session without penalty if you provide sufficient notice, typically at least 48 hours. Cancellation within 24 hours of the session will result in you being charged the initial $75 fee.
If an emergency comes up, please feel free to contact me, but since I do not provide 24-hour crisis counseling, you should immediately call 911 or your nearest hospital emergency room in order to address your emergency.