answers to common questions about therapy

How do I know If I’m a candidate for therapy?

Some people seek psychotherapy because they have felt depressed, anxious or angry for a long time. Others may want help for a chronic illness that is interfering with their emotional or physical well-being. Still, others may have short-term problems they need help navigating. They may be going through a divorce, facing an empty nest, feeling overwhelmed by a new job or grieving a family member’s death, for example. The time when most people tend to go to a therapist is during a crisis.

Signs that you could benefit from therapy include:

  • You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness.

  • Your problems don’t seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends.

  • You find it difficult to concentrate on work assignments or to carry out other everyday activities.

  • You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.

  • You have experienced a loss of a loved one and are overwhelmed with grief

Going to a therapist can be a worthwhile growing and stabilizing experience, good for times when you have specific problems, interpersonal problems, or generally feeling down. You can go to a therapist once, for a few months or embark on long-term therapy–each depends on different expectations and goals. Adapted from apa.org

How do I schedule an appointment?

There are several ways to schedule an appointment. Please choose the option that’s easiest for you.

You can call me at 214.784.8134. I do my best to answer phone calls, but if you get my voicemail, that means I’m either in session or simply away from the phone. Please feel free to leave a message on my confidential voicemail, and I will return your call as soon as possible.

Send me an email at paula@paulamillercounseling.com

You can also contact me by filling out my online form.

All inquiries are returned within 24 -48 hours or next business day if received on a weekend or holiday.

After we have a brief phone consultation, and if you feel that I might be a good fit for you, we will schedule your first appointment.
I’m here to help, so if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

What can I expect at my first appointment?

After we schedule your appointment, I will email you a confirmation of your appointment date and time, along with the forms you will need to complete and bring with you to your session. These forms will provide me with some information about you, but also give you additional information about my office policies, your privacy rights, and the counseling process with me.

In our first meeting, I’ll ask you to tell me about yourself, your background, and what brings you into therapy. You will be encouraged to ask questions and discuss your goals. It’s normal to be nervous about therapy, especially if it’s your first time. My job is to answer your questions and help you feel at ease.

Do you accept insurance?

At this time, I do not accept insurance and am considered an out-of-network provider. If your plan allows for have out-of-network providers (call your insurance carrier to verify), I can give you specifically coded receipts to file for reimbursement. You can also pay for sessions using a Health Savings Account (HSA) card or your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Filing a claim with insurance requires you be given a diagnosis, which I am qualified to give. This diagnosis will become part of your medical record. There is no assurance that this information will be kept confidential by your provider.

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information may not be disclosed without a signed consent to release information form. There are a limited number of exceptions to this rule.

Exceptions include:

  • If I have good reason to believe that you will harm another person, I must attempt to inform that person and warn them of your intentions. I must also contact the police and ask them to protect your intended victim.

  • If I have good reason to believe that you are abusing or neglecting a child or vulnerable adult, or if you give me information about someone else who is doing this, I must inform Child Protective Services and/or Adult Protective Services.

  • If I believe that you are in imminent danger of harming yourself, I may legally break confidentiality and call the police or the county crisis team.
    I would explore all other options with you before I took this step. If at that point you were unwilling to take steps to guarantee your safety, I would call the crisis team.

  • If your record is subpoenaed in a court of law, I will do what I can to protect confidentiality within the limits of abiding by the law.Whenever possible, I would inform you if I have to put one of these into effect.

How often will we meet for therapy?

At the beginning of therapy, I recommend weekly appointments, as this will allow us to build a trusting alliance and establish momentum toward your goals. Each session builds on the previous one; I often give you homework, skills to practice,  or just ideas to be mindful of between sessions. If too much time lapses between sessions, you are prone to shift to an “out of sight, out of mind” state which we all tend to do.

As clients move closer toward reaching their initial goals and start feeling better, they sometimes move to bi-weekly appointments. Often, clients continue weekly therapy for personal growth, come in for monthly check-ins, or come in on an as-needed basis.

You always get to decide when you’d like to end treatment, regardless of your therapist’s opinion. It’s ultimately up to you.


any other questions?

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For information about my fees, insurance, and cancellations click HERE



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