Common Questions

What is a psychologist?

A psychologist is a specialist that has earned a doctorate (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology. The process of earning this title typically takes 10-12 years, including undergraduate and graduate studies. Often, one’s full discipline encompasses a separate master’s degree, obtained prior to graduating with a doctoral degree. The training to become a psychologist includes extensive academic coursework, supervised guidance and development in psychotherapy, research conducted in the field of psychology, and education in psychological assessment. Many psychologists will choose areas of focus or specialty to complement their core training.

A licensed psychologist has completed all requirements listed above to earn the psychologist designation, including a year-long pre-doctoral internship prior to graduation.  In addition, a licensed psychologist has completed 1+ years of a post-doctoral fellowship after graduation and passed all required testing by the state licensing board in order to independently practice.

Post-doctoral fellows are psychologists who are provisionally licensed, have completed and received their doctoral degree(s) in psychology, and are earning supervised hours towards full licensure.

Chrysalis practicum interns are graduate students in local clinical and counseling psychology doctoral programs, obtaining supervised  experience as part of their training to become psychologists.

Psychologist is a legally protected term.  Therapist, counselor, psychotherapist, and other related terms are not legally protected terms, and therefore various professional groups also utilize these designations.  For example, licensed professional counselor (LPC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and others may all be referred to as a therapist or counselor.

Do I need to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist?

This decision is based on a host of factors, including personal preference.

A psychologist has earned a doctorate (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) and primarily utilizes psychotherapy and assessment to address mental health concerns.

A psychiatrist is a doctor of medicine (M.D. or D.O.) with specialized training in pharmacological interventions to alleviate mental health symptoms.

Research demonstrates that psychotherapy and medicine can both be beneficial. Some people seeking treatment choose to see either a psychologist or psychiatrist, while others find benefit from the combination of both psychotherapy and medication.

It is not uncommon for psychologists and psychiatrists to communicate, but only when a patient approves and prefers a collaborative treatment team approach.  We would be happy to discuss this in more depth to help you determine the next best steps for you.  The Chrysalis Center has a number of psychiatrists with whom we work closely, and we are glad to provide psychiatric referrals.

Is a psychologist a doctor?

Yes, psychologists are doctors as they have earned a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology. While the duration of education and training is similar, the subject matter and emphasis on psychological intervention differs from that of a medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.), who is generally more focused on biomedical intervention.

How much does therapy cost?

When patients engage in therapy, whether they are seeing a psychologist, licensed professional counselor (LPC), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), or licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), costs can vary depending upon a variety of factors:

    • level of training,
    • experience,
    • location,
    • specialty,
    • insurance, etc.

At the Chrysalis Center, we charge $175/hr for our senior psychologists, and $135/hr for post-doctoral fellows.  These fees are based on a 50-minute clinical hour.  We maintain a certain number of sliding scale appointment slots, for those who might require financial assistance.

See below for additional information regarding insurance reimbursement options.

Is therapy covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage for mental or behavioral health services varies greatly by provider and plan.  It is not required to involve your health plan, as we are not in-network providers.  Some people prefer not to submit through insurance.

Our providers are classified as out of network and can provide a superbill for you to request reimbursement from your insurance company. We recommend contacting your insurance provider to learn about your benefits.

Important questions include:

1) What is your out-of-network deductible?

2) At what rate or percentage will you be reimbursed per session?

3) Will insurance reimburse you at a percentage of the full psychologist’s fee ($175) or a percentage of a lower pre-determined rate for services (ex. 75% of $90 fee)?

4) If seeing a post-doctoral fellow or practicum intern, will insurance reimburse for supervised services?

In order to accurately budget for psychological services, it’s important to understand the details of your benefit plan.

What type of therapy is done at Chrysalis?

There are many forms and approaches of psychotherapy available.  At Chrysalis, we implement an intentionally integrative approach to therapy.  Our psychologists and other providers have training and experience derived from a variety of psychotherapeutic models.

We will explore the nature of your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, in relation to your current experiences. This will include the aspects of these experiences that feel apparent to you (conscious), as well as those that are outside of your current awareness (unconscious).  We will also look at the influence of current and past relationship patterns on your present experience. Finally, we will explore the areas of conflicted feelings and thoughts that often underlie your difficulties.

For example, you might have trouble getting yourself to engage in certain desired changes (e.g., improved relationship patterns, diet, exercise, addictions, etc.), despite feeling that they would be best. Often, the difficulties we encounter in making changes involve conflicted feelings that we might not recognize.  At Chrysalis, we strongly believe that a comprehensive understanding of the nature of your goals for growth or symptom reduction can only happen within a deep appreciation of how they are related to your unique experiences and personality.

Importantly, this type of therapy does not involve being directed about what to do and when. Rather, we will work collaboratively to better understand your thoughts, feelings, desires, behaviors, and personality in an effort to help you make autonomous decisions that make the most sense for you.

The goals of therapy can be focused not only on targeted symptom improvement but also on understanding the meaning and function of symptoms as well.  For example, experiences of anxiety might be leading to difficulties currently, but they might have been adaptive or necessary at an earlier time in life. Beyond symptom reduction, we strive for increased satisfaction in relationships, occupational endeavors, and greater capacities for a more creative and meaningful life.

How long does therapy take?

The course and length of therapy vary greatly from person to person. According to the types of difficulties each patient is facing, and the specific goals that they hope to achieve, treatment plans are created.  There is not a one-size-fits-all approach at Chrysalis.

Following an initial evaluation of 2-4 sessions, we will then discuss what the process for healing and enhancement of living will likely entail. While it is difficult to predict the exact course of treatment, the initial collaborative process often provides some indications of the direction and parameters.

Most individuals come for weekly appointments, though sessions may take place more or less frequently based upon a variety of factors. Sessions generally last at least several months and often go much longer depending on the types of issues you need and want to address. It is important to recognize that therapy involves a significant commitment of time, energy and finances.

At Chrysalis we believe in a continual collaborative assessment of treatment goals and progress, in order to assure therapy remains optimally helpful and meaningful until the completion of our work together.

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