Arlene B. McCoy, Ph.D.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people seek therapy?

Therapy is a means of addressing a variety of deep, inner personal feelings and topics that are often difficult to access and identify without professional guidance.

Some people are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek personal growth. Some are consumed with the stresses of life and are feeling anxious or confused. Relationship problems, a lack of confidence, a body image issue, suffering the loss of a loved one, or experiencing spiritual conflict are yet more reasons why people seek therapy.

Awareness is the start of the healing process.

What can I expect in a therapy session?

In my practice, you can expect a therapy session to be a safe and relaxed one-on-one exchange between the two of us regarding your primary issues and concerns. A session lasts 50 minutes, but some people request longer sessions.

Weekly sessions are generally suggested. If you are experiencing an acute, current life challenge, more than one session per week may be recommended until the crisis passes. During the time between sessions it is expected that you take time to review past sessions. Active participation is one of the keys to successful therapy.

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

It is often helpful just to know that someone is listening and understands the issues that are impacting you. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find therapy helps in managing interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and personal growth.

Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Finding new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communication skills – learning how to listen to others, and having others listen to you
  • Getting “unstuck” from unhealthy patterns – breaking old behaviors and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What if I don’t know what my goals are for therapy?

If you aren’t sure what your goals are, the first task of therapy is to figure that out. It may take several sessions before a direction is clarified. During the course of therapy your goals may change. Establishing a direction for therapy will help you get the most out of the experience.

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
There is a confusing array of insurance arrangements. I am in network with Tricare, Value Options, State Insurance, i.e. Charter Oaks, Husky.

Most insurance carriers will reimburse you for my private pay fees. I accept cash or checks and payment is expected at the end of each session. Financial considerations can be discussed when you call.

The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier and ask the following questions:

  • Do I have mental health benefits?
  • Can I go out of network?
  • What is the deductible?
  • How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
  • Do I need a referral from my primary care physican (PCP)?
  • What percentage of the providers fee is paid to out of network providers?
  • Will I have a co-pay?

Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission.

The following exceptions apply:

  • In a case of suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse, the therapist is required by law to report such findings to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person(s), the therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim(s).
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, the therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. However, if the client does not cooperate, further measures may be taken without permission to insure the safety of the client.