Frequently Asked Questions
Are you accepting new patients? How do I become a client?
Do you take insurance? What are your fees?
Washington patients: I do not work directly with insurance companies and bill patients directly at the time of service. If requested, I can provide you with an invoice (super-bill) that you may submit to your insurance company, FSA, or HSA plans for reimbursement (which can greatly reduce your costs).
For more information about fees and payments, good-faith estimates, and resources to help you with the process, click here.
Hawaii patients: I do take most major insurance companies for the state, excluding Kaiser and UHA. Please follow this link for more details.
What ages do you treat?
My clients are generally between 5 to 60 years of age.
Please note that in Washington state adolescents 13 to 17 years of age may request an evaluation or treatment for mental health conditions without parental consent. Safe and appropriate treatment, however, nearly always requires family involvement, therefore a legal guardian should be present for at least part of each appointment. Read about the associated law, here.
What do intake appointments look like?
They start with a simple Hello! Seeing a psychiatrist can seem a little daunting, so the first step is to make this a safe and comfortable place for us to get to know each other. When you’re ready and at your pace, we talk about what brought you here, go over the intake paperwork you filled out, and I answer any questions you may have.
The next step is a bit more clinical: we go over a “differential diagnosis”–covering different mental health conditions that can impact a person, as often one concern can be masked by another, or lead to another, or they can look the same (but with different treatments). We then work together to create a plan to match your specific goals, for example, different types of psychotherapy, and/or medication options.
Note that I rarely prescribe medications during the first few visits. Simply put; I do not know you or your specific situation well enough yet to assume any particular medication will work best. You also deserve to feel comfortable that you know your options, and the potential benefits, risks, and side effects of different treatments.
For children and adolescents, the process is mainly the same. It frequently takes longer however, as we make sure there is protected time for me to meet with your whole family, parents alone, and the patient alone.
How are virtual appointments managed?
You can find the link to a HIPAA-compliant (doxy.me), secure video conference session for your appointment on your patient portal. It is important that you are in a comfortable place where you can talk freely. There should be no one else in the area unless they are actively participating in the session by your consent. Please use a computer with a high-resolution camera, and a strong internet connection. Using a phone for the appointment is often a barrier and a distraction. Similarly, please minimize or quit all other applications and silence all other devices for the duration of the appointment.
Can I see you for psychotherapy and not take medications?
Absolutely! You can read about my psychotherapy approach, here. Taking medication is a very personal decision and not a requirement for working with me. At times we may discuss the potential pros and cons of medication (and psychotherapy), but it will always be your choice how to proceed.
Can I have a separate therapist?
Frequently, yes. It is important that all parties involved work well together and communicate regularly, and not overlap in focus of care. For example, I might provide medication management, and/or individual therapy while another therapist providers couple’s work. Or I might do family therapy, while the patient has a specialist for trauma/EMDR or neurofeedback treatment.
Do you prescribe controlled substances?
For Washington patients, yes: This includes most medications for ADHD. Please read more about this on my services provided page.
For Hawai’i patients only: Hawai’i does not allow physicians residing outside of the state to prescribe controlled substances back into Hawai’i. This includes stimulants for ADHD. As a result, my role in these situations has evolved to provide expert consultation for patients and their primary care physicians to comfortably prescribe these medications when in-state psychiatrists are not available. Note that I am still able to prescribe a vast majority of other medications in Hawai’i, such as antidepressants and non-stimulant medications.
Are there mental health conditions or situations you do not treat?
Yes. Please note that due to working as an individual provider with limited resources, there are inherent restrictions to the services I can provide and some situations will require a higher level of care. Examples are included below, but please note that other complications exist that I cannot treat based on clinical judgment:
• Psychiatric emergencies
• Active or persistent suicidal thoughts or behaviors or self-harm, or thoughts or behaviors to harm others
• Complicated or treatment-resistant Bipolar 2 disorder or schizophrenia
• Active eating disorder symptoms such as restricting, binging or purging
• Primary alcohol and drug use disorders
I also do not provide custody, forensic, or disability evaluations, case management, court-ordered treatment, fitness for work assessments or similar services.
I am unable to see patients with Medicare or Medicaid at this time.
Can you complete my accommodations form for school/work, or FMLA, ESA form?
I will complete these and similar forms only for well established patients who are in active treatment, and only after assessing if medically appropriate. Please note that an administrative fee may apply.
I do not provide custody, forensic, or disability evaluations, case management, court ordered treatment, fitness for work assessments or similar services.
What is your cancellation/no-show policy?
Please provide at least one full business day to cancel appointments (this does not include weekends or holidays).
• If an appointment is canceled within a full business day or if you do not show, you will be charged the full expected appointment fee. If you can re-schedule within the same week, or if there was a crisis, there is some flexibility to this policy.
• Arriving late: If you arrive late to your appointment you will still be charged the full fee and it may not be possible to extend the appointment. If you are more than 15 minutes late you will likely need to reschedule, and the late fee above will apply.
• Please note that insurance will not reimburse missed/late appointment fees.