Q: I have never seen a therapist before, what can I expect?
A: Therapy is a collaborative process that works best when sessions are held on a consistent basis. If you are unsure of wanting to commit to a full session to begin with, you are welcome to request a 20 minute free consultation. During the consultation, I will ask you to describe what kinds of things you are hoping to work on, and I will answer any questions you might have about the way I work or the process of therapy. It is important that you feel comfortable with your therapist and I always welcome questions from clients before and during the course of therapy.
When you do decide to start therapy, you can expect to meet with me on a weekly basis for 50 minute sessions. The first two sessions are part of the assessment period, I will ask you questions about the things that brought you into therapy, what kinds of stressors you are experiencing, and some general background information. If you have any concerns about the therapy process, please let me know. I understand that it can be difficult to share personal things with a person that you just met, and if you want to wait to discuss certain things until you feel more comfortable, you have the right to do so. The first few sessions are an opportunity for us to get to know each other and to establish what goals we will be working towards together. After the assessment period, we will start working towards your goals and will start implementing various interventions. There is no specific blueprint or formula that we use and the direction we take will be based on your needs.
Q: Do you have a specialty?
A: I specialize in the treatment of Eating Disorders. However, I do have a broad range of experience that covers areas not specifically related to Eating Disorders, such as stress management, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, issues related to adjusting to major life transitions (moving to a new city, starting a family, divorce, adjusting to college life, etc), grief and loss, trauma, and relationship issues. I also have experience working with children and adolescents.
Q: Can I use my health insurance to pay for sessions?
A: If you have a PPO insurance plan, I can provide you with invoices to give to your insurance company for reimbursement. You pay for the sessions yourself, and your insurance company will directly reimburse you a percentage of what you have paid (please check with your insurance company to make sure this is a possibility with your plan). I do not accept HMO insurance plans. If you do choose to be reimbursed by your insurance company, I must provide them with a diagnosis. Everyone’s insurance benefits are different, please contact Member Services for your insurance plan and ask them how you can be reimbursed for an “out of network provider”.
Q: How much do you charge?
Q: How do I know if my problems are “big enough” to see a therapist’?
A: People seek out therapy to help them through a wide range of life circumstances. Events like changing jobs, moving to a new city, adjusting to a new relationship, figuring out how to cope with a breakup, stress in dealing with difficult relationships with family or friends, all of these things are examples of reasons to seek out therapy. After you try your usual ways of coping, and you see that it isn’t enough and the problem is still affecting your life in a negative way, it is a good idea to consult with a therapist for an objective perspective and extra support.
Q: How do I schedule my first appointment?
A: You can request an appointment for either a free 20 minute consultation or a full, 50 minute initial therapy session by contacting me at ErikaHirschMFT@gmail.com, or at (323) 825-1599. I will need some basic information from you before scheduling a consultation or therapy session, including the reason you are seeking out therapy. If you are reaching out because you feel that you are in a state of emergency (i.e. urges to hurt yourself or someone else), please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.