Psychotherapy FAQs

  1. What is psychotherapy?

    According to the American Psychological Association (APA), psychotherapy is defined as “any psychological service provided by a trained professional that primarily uses forms of communication and interaction to assess, diagnose, and treat dysfunctional emotional reactions, ways of thinking, and behavior patterns.”

    To me, psychotherapy is a process of self-exploration and discovery when a person pours their efforts into healing from their previous experiences to stop the hurt of the present and be able to fulfill their full potential in their future. The relationship between the therapist and the individual serves as the bridge for the changes to happen.

  2. What is the difference between psychotherapy and counseling?

    In general terms, psychotherapy is a process that seeks long-term changes to a person’s experience. The goal is to change their frame of reference by processing their past experiences to relieve the pain of the present. This allows the individual to move forward with their goals.

    Counseling is a process that focuses on specific problems and how to solve them. It can involve issues that are more superficial and need short-term interventions.

    Many people use the terms interchangeably.

  3. Do I need psychotherapy?

    It is common for people to minimize their problems and try to brush them off; after all, reaching out for help can be unknown territory. If you find that the issues bringing you to this page are interfering with your day-to-day, you could benefit from psychotherapy. Disruptions in your daily life can vary greatly, from having difficulty getting out of bed in the morning to isolating yourself from others because it is too hard to talk to anyone. You are the only person who can truly decide whether psychotherapy is needed or not. Know that taking a chance on yourself can be life-changing; if you start the process and feel it is not a good fit, you can always cease services. The process is flexible to fit your needs.

  4. How long does it take for psychotherapy to work?

    Psychotherapy is a very individualized process; the length of time that will be right for you will depend on your circumstances. We are all dynamic individuals, and so is the treatment we receive. Whether you are looking to target specific challenges in a short period of time or would like to dig deeper, giving yourself more time in this process, the interventions can be adjusted accordingly. I will be happy to give you feedback on the process and what may seem most fitting; however, you will have the power to make decisions about this process.

  5. How long are the sessions, and how often will we meet?

    I offer 60-minute sessions; the frequency of sessions will vary. Typically, my recommendation is to start sessions weekly until we establish a baseline of what your situation is and what goals you would like to accomplish. As we continue working together, we can change the frequency of sessions as needed. If we happen to be meeting less frequently and things change on your end, and you need extra support, we can increase the frequency again.

    Of course, everyone’s situation is different, and treatment will look different for each person.

  6. What are your specialties?

    My areas of focus are anxiety, trauma, and life transitions. The reality is that life is full of transitions; some are more significant than others and bring about more implications for our day-to-day lives. Some people can get through these life phases naturally and adapt to the process without a hitch. For others, having support and a safe space to process the changes they are going through can be the key to a successful and smooth transition. There isn’t a right or wrong way to go about it; it is simply what works for you. I am referring to changes from moving away from home for the first time to transitioning into parenthood and all in between. There isn’t a change that is too small; if it is something you feel uneasy about, it is worth addressing.

    In a similar way, anxiety is something we have all felt to some extent at some point in our lives. However, when a lingering feeling translates to worrisome thoughts, restlessness, interference with interpersonal relationships, self-doubt, or even poor job performance, professional help can be the missing piece to change the narrative. Anxiety does not have to dictate your every move; you can take control of it by learning to understand yourself, navigate your feelings, set healthy boundaries with others and yourself, communicate assertively, and practice self-acceptance.

    Lastly, trauma is prevalent in so many people’s lives. When talking about trauma, one may think of an intense experience as shown in social media; in reality, what makes an experience traumatic is how impactful it is on the person and how it continues to interfere with their present life. It is a subjective term, meaning that you cannot be “wrong” when considering something traumatic, and nobody can dictate that for you.

    For many years, I have worked with adults dealing with either a crossover of these three main themes or some of them. These issues present in different forms and intensities; what I have found to be a common denominator is that people do recover from them and can break the cycle of being weighed down by them. Using different approaches and based on your own process, we can find that path for you finally giving you relief.

  7. Where did you go to school, and what are your credentials?

    I started undergraduate studies in Lima, Peru, seeking a degree in Psychology. I later transferred to Texas State University to complete my studies and obtained a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. I worked in the field for two years before deciding what graduate program I wanted to enroll in. I obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a Clinical concentration from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

    I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) in the state of Virginia. I am also an Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in the District of Columbia.

  8. Do you take insurance?

    Yes, I take three major insurances: Cigna, CareFirst BCBS, and Anthem BCBS.

    Please be advised that copays, deductibles, and coinsurance vary by plan. The amount you are responsible for per session will depend on your plan.

    In addition to insurance, I can also provide out-of-network services by giving you a superbill for the sessions. Your insurance plan will reimburse you partially or fully, depending on your coverage.

    The best way to find out specifics about your responsibility and reimbursement rates is by calling the phone number on the back of your insurance card. You can inquire about coverage for CPT code 90837 (therapy session of 60 minutes).

  9. What if I need to cancel an appointment?

    Life happens; if anything changes in your schedule, please give me 24-hour notice, and we can reschedule for a different day. Appointments canceled less than 24 hours will be charged for the full fee ($175); please be aware that insurance does not cover any late cancellation fees or no-shows.

Still have questions? Book a free 15-minute consultation.