Frequently Asked Questions
This section will provide you with information about the process of therapy as well as how I work as a psychologist. Whatever your reason for exploring therapy, just know that both hope and help exist. It may feel overwhelming to address life’s challenges, but the potential rewards are great.
Why go to a therapist?
Psychotherapy offers a collaborative environment to explore problems and challenges with the assistance of a knowledgeable guide who will listen to you in a thoughtful, non-judgmental way. A skilled therapist can help you develop new coping and problem solving skills, increase your self-awareness, enhance your self-esteem, develop solutions to difficult problems, guide you to gain greater control over your life, and help you achieve a greater sense of well-being.
Working with a therapist is different from talking to a friend or family member: therapists are specifically trained to help you see things that may be out of your awareness. Unlike friends or family, therapists are neutral and do not have an investment in the outcome of your situation.
Is it normal to feel anxious or unsure about beginning therapy?
In a word, yes. Change takes real courage. It’s difficult for anyone to ask for help when things get rough, but it’s important to remember that being able to ask for support when you need it is not a sign of weakness but strength. When it comes down to it, your initial therapy session is really the first step towards resolving your problem.
What type of therapy do you do?
I don’t have a “one method fits all” philosophy of therapy. Each person is a unique individual; therefore I work with each person according to their needs, learning style, personality, and the issue at hand. I draw from a number of different approaches, including cognitive behavioral, Jungian/depth psychology, psychodynamic, existential/humanistic, positive psychology, Gestalt, and narrative therapy.
I use a non-judgmental and compassionate approach when working with people; I am down-to-earth and genuine. One of my abilities is to see a person’s "best self" - their full potential -and to mirror it back to them in a way that supports them to take action towards that goal. My aspiration is that you feel encouraged to heal, grow, and transform so you can have the quality of life you are seeking.
Do you offer phone consults?
We can schedule a 15-minute phone consultation so that we have some time to talk together and determine whether I might be a good fit for you. The consult will give you the opportunity to ask questions and tell me about your situation. It is free of charge, and, if you wish, can be followed by scheduling an initial session.
What should I expect from our first session?
Your initial session will provide us the opportunity to explore in greater detail your reasons for seeking therapy as well as the goals you have for yourself. This will also be a time to gather more information that will help me better understand you and your current life situation. By the end of the evaluation, I will be able to provide you with an assessment of your situation as well as how we can work together to achieve your goals.
How long does therapy take?
Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue; or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal growth.
Will what I talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is a critical component in achieving a sense of mutual trust in a therapeutic relationship. Strict confidentiality between therapist and client is broken when it is determined that someone’s personal safety is at risk. For more information, see the confidentiality section in New Client forms.
What are your fees?
Private Pay: $160.00 per 50 minute session.
I have a few slots reserved for those whose financial demands require a reduced fee. If my fee is a concern for you, please discuss it with me.
Insurance: I am a preferred provider on the following insurance panels: Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Medicare, MHN, Blue Shield, and Victim Witness. Insurance providers generally authorize a 45 minute session. Usually, the insurance company will require that you pay a co-pay, usually in the range of $10 to $40; the insurance company will pay the remainder of my fee. I will bill your insurance company for you.
Dr. Diana Sharpe, Psy.D.