I understand that finding the right therapist for you and your presenting concerns can be challenging.  You are taking the right steps by exploring resources in your area.  Here are common questions that many people have. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any additional questions.  I look forward to corresponding further and to hopefully working together. 

How do I get started with the therapy process and how does the initial session work?

You may want to ask a provider about his or her areas of specialty, his or her experience with your presenting concerns and if he or she is licensed.  Further, discussing fees for therapy would be important prior to beginning sessions.  Appointments typically last for 60 minutes, although sessions can range from 30 to 90 minutes.  I believe that the first session or two are “assessments” for me and for you.  This means that you are given a chance to be sure you are comfortable with me, and you can determine if you believe I can help you.  I can refer you to someone who may be better able to help, if I cannot.  If you are not satisfied, there is no obligation to return.

How much will it cost and do you accept my insurance?

Rates are dependent on the type of service and format of service.  I am an out-of-network provider for insurance companies which means that payment is due at the time of session and I can provide you with an itemized receipt for you to submit a claim for reimbursement from your insurance company.  Check with your insurance company to learn more about your “out-of-network mental health benefits”. 

I do not work with any insurance companies directly for a number of reasons.  In many cases, in order to get your health insurance to authorize, provide, or pay for treatment you must have a diagnosis, and you probably need the kind of diagnosis that is covered by insurance.  Not all of the problems that people present to me require a diagnosis and I do not believe in falsely diagnosing someone for insurance coverage.  Further, I strongly believe in your right to confidentiality.  Regardless of the reasons for your therapy, your insurance company has access to your diagnosis and appointment dates, and perhaps additional private information.

How many sessions will I need to attend?

Sessions are tailored specifically to meet your needs.  Depending on your circumstances, therapy can be brief or more long-term.  As our work together progresses, we will discuss the amount of sessions you may need to attend.  The duration of therapy will also be reviewed on a continual basis to determine effectiveness of interventions.

For couples where one or both partners are not certain about staying in the relationship or are experiencing conflict, I often recommend 8-10 sessions. The basic act of commitment to work on the relationship for this specific time frame often enhances the level of trust between each partner. Couples seeking premarital counseling that are not experiencing distress often meet for 4-8 sessions. 

When are appointments available?

I am currently available for in-person sessions on Mondays through Friday in McLean, Virginia by appointment. Distance therapy sessions are available by appointment.  I offer a flexible schedule to include early morning, afternoon, and evening appointments.  Appointments can be made by email at erin@erinmetheny.com, or by phone at 703-677-1548.

What is the cancellation policy?

If you do not show up for your scheduled appointment, and you have not notified me at least 24 business hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of the treatment as booked.

What is the class registration change and refund policy?

If unforeseen circumstances prevent your attendance on your reserved date, you may transfer your registration to any available future date within one year, as provided by the policy, detailed here.  Reservation and other fees are non-refundable, except in cases where payment is submitted for a class that is already fully subscribed or must be rescheduled. On occasion it is necessary to reschedule a class series for reasons beyond my control. Reservation fees received for fully subscribed or rescheduled class series will be refunded in full if you do not wish to transfer your reservation to another date.

Reservation date transfers will be made at no additional charge provided that you notify me of your change at least four full days (96 hours) in advance of your original reservation date.  I regret that I must charge a $50 handling fee for reservation changes not received at least four full days (96 hours) in advance in order to cover charges that I incur for cancellations without more notice.  Your eligibility to use or transfer your class registration expires one year from the original registration date.

Can other professionals access my therapy files?

It is my legal duty to safeguard your protected health information.  The data gathered in the therapy sessions is confidential and privileged.  Your written consent is needed for release of information unless you or others are in danger to self or others.

When working with adolescents and children, how much information will be shared with their parents?

In order to establish rapport with the child/adolescent, they must feel comfortable talking about anything and everything (which will include their parents and family) with me.  If the young person is in danger to self or others, parents will be informed immediately.  Disclosure of information will be in the presence of the adolescent and possibly, the child, depending on his or her age.  Family sessions will be scheduled in order to address on-going concerns.