Frequently Asked Questions

I created this question/answer portion of the website to answer as many questions as I can for potential clients. Beginning any new journey, but especially therapy itself can be an overwhelming process and can make you formulate questions we would never ask in any other setting.
If you have a question that needs to be answered that has not been addressed below, please do not hesitate to complete the contact form and I will reply in 24-48 hours... 
Is therapy right for me?

Beginning therapy is an individual choice, and one of the greatest choices that one can make genuinely for themselves. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes this includes a person who has struggled with self-managing with long-standing psychological issues, such as anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition, and they haven't had the appropriate coping skills to deal with these changes.  Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help empower you to address many different types of issues that you will encounter throughout life. Therapy is right place for any person who is interested and intentional about their own self-growth, being accountable and is looking to make change in their life that can last a lifetime. 

Do I really need counseling?  I am use to handling my problems?
 
The question I would ask, is how is handling your own problems truly working for you? 
While you may be use to or have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. You don't have to deal with life alone, we weren't born to not need people. Therapist provide that unbias, non judgmental support and ultimately the listening ear for you to bounce ideas off of and to create solutions with. This allows us to build health dependency vs co-dependency. In addition, it is the opportunity to develop and model healthy relationships amongst adults that have appropriate communication tools that you get to practice and keep.

How can having a therapist help me? 

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy.  Therapists have the unique opportunity throughout their years of clinical expertise to offer you as a client a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger/sadness/emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What is therapy like? 

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session last around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. Some treatment plans can be completed in 8-10 sessions, while others can take 10-20 sessions.
Some sessions will also include completing homework, journal entries, or even reading short passages for us to disect during our sessions or build upon based on the topics that are presented.
 
Therapy is a worthy investment, it is important, it is safe, it is effective , is is emotionally freeing! Therapy is the encouraging component to positive change and mental wellness that you are seeking. 
What happens during the first session of therapy?
 
Our first therapy session together will consist of you and I first setting a baseline of comfortability by building rapport with one another. We will also take a small amount of time to complete a series of forms that are necessary to begin therapy such as intake paperwork, informed consents, emergency contact forms, payment policies, etc. We will gather history, explore your view of the issues that you present and together create your ideal therapy session outline. 
 
What do I need to start therapy sessions with you?
Since The Culture of Health, PLLC is a virtual practice only, all you need is yourself and an electronic device such as a cellphone and/or laptop. The platform that we will utilize for sessions is called SimplePractice. We will both log in during our scheduled time to complete the sessions.
In addition, bring an open mind, active participation and honesty, these are keys to getting the most out of our time together.
The benefits of virtual therapy is that sessions can take place in any setting that is comfortable for you. 
 
What are your rates for the initial consultation?
 
Initial consultations are completely FREE. We have 15 mins of a naturally guided conversation to learn more about the reasons that brought you to therapy, to learn what you are seeking from a therapist and to learn if we are a good match for each other to begin the therapeutic relationship. 
If we both agree at the end of the consultation service, we can book your first therapy session or it is also encouraged to book within 7-10 days. 
 

Do you accept insurance?
I am happy to announce that I accept the following insurance plans: Aetna, Cigna, Oscar, UHC, Oxford. Visit my Headway profile to learn more: Shajuan Alexander - Licensed Clinical Social Worker | Headway 
If you wish to pay privately, the rate for all therapy services (individual/couple/assessments) are $165.00. Payment are collected/withdrawn electronically prior to the session beginning.
 
What are the benefits to being a self-pay client? 
The biggest benefit is that we can start therapy immediately! Most insurance plans require prior authorization prior to beginning the therapeutic process. In my experience when you feel you need therapy, is the best time to pursue and initiate sessions. This also allows for therapy to be self-paced, based on your own affordability and availability. 
Cancellation Policy? 
 
If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please do so 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. If not, you are responsible for the full amount of the session, which will be deducted electronically. Cancelling or rescheduling prior to the 24 hour policy will eliminate you being liable for the fee. 
Therapy rates are too expensive to pay weekly, what can I do?
Therapy sessions with me are based off of an individual's process and progress. Therapy for some is weekly, depending on the severity of symptoms and others are bi-weekly. There are also cases where clients decide to do maintenance style therapy after the sessions are completed, because let's face it everyone needs their person. Maintenance sessions can be done once a month or as needed. 
If my rates are unaffordable for you, all hope is not lost. I would love to connect you to in-network or in-budget therapist that can meet your needs. My goal as a therapy is not to be overbooked, but to provide quality therapy that meets the needs that you have during your most vulnerable state.

Is therapy truly confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
Below are the areas of therapy that I thrive in and I'd love the opportunity to can help you address...
  • Anxiety/ Depression 

  • Managing the severity of symptoms and how they are affecting our everyday lives

  • Reframing Negative Thoughts

  • Stress Management

  • Developing Coping Skills

  • Exploring self-esteem/self-confidence and self-assurance

  • Goal planning 

  • Life Transitions/Adjustments

  • Professional/Career Issues/ Toxic Work Environment/ Microaggressions in the workplace/ Codeswitching/ Imposter Syndrome

  • Creating healthy boundaries throughout personal transitions

  • Pre/Post-Graduate School Adjustments/ Issues

  • Relocating

  • Grief/Loss/Ambiguous Loss

  • Loss of social connection/supports

  • Chronic Health Illnesses

  • Divorces/Separation/Empty nesting

  • Relationship Conflicts/Resolutions

  • Teaching appropriate communication techniques

  • Learning the “rules of fighting”

  • Evaluating/re-sculpting “millennial” marriages/ relationships

  • Exploring societal expectations vs traditionalism

  • Parenting conflicts

  • Finding balance outside of the familial label

  • Family planning, loss, and post-partum