Is my insurance accepted by your practice?

That depends. I am a contracted provider for many insurance companies. You would have to call your insurance to see if I am ‘on their panel’ of therapists. However, if I am not on their insurance panel, you can still have your insurance cover your therapy costs as long as you have ‘out of network’ benefits. Each insurance plan is different, so you should check with your insurance company to find out how much is covered, and what co-payment you have for therapy.


What can I expect when I see a psychotherapist?

Discussion of fees, and policies: Before you arrive at the therapist office, you should have a idea your costs, and what costs your insurance will cover. The therapist may discuss payment policies for missed, or late appointments. All ‘business’ matters should be explained, and covered in the first session.

Professional setting:When you arrive at a therapist office, it should be clean, private and well organized. Often her office will exist in a medical, or other professional building. Private insurance companies discourage therapy offices in people’s homes. Typically during the first session, your therapist will collect a complete social, and medical history from you, as well as a discussion of what brought you to therapy at that time.

Confidentiality, and the limits to confidentiality: is covered in writing, and verbally by your therapist in the beginning of treatment. A discussion of confidentiality concerning parents and their children is discussed if the patient is a minor.

Discussion of treatment plan: During the first few sessions, after history is collected, a plan to achieve your goals will be discussed with you. Sometimes an estimate of length of treatment will be given. Your treatment could be limited by what your insurance coverage will pay; such as in Employee Assistance Plans, or your insurance plan coverage.

Individual care in a “bias free” environment: You can expect that your therapist will listen to your personal issues without judgment. Some patients expect their therapist to “solve” problems for them. Therapy takes the active participation of patients. However, all therapists are trained to speak with a large variety of personalities and lifestyles. You can expect your therapist to have a working knowledge about subjects you want to discuss. You can expect a therapist to provide you with new tools to deal with your problems, or suggestions on how to achieve your goals. You may not feel a connection to therapist in the first meeting, it is suggested you try 3-4 sessions before making a change. If necessary, your therapist will assist in your transfer to a new therapist.

Work outside therapy office: Your therapist may [over time] refer certain books, outside groups, or community services that could aid in your treatment. She may assign homework to you. These are some ways patients participate in their own problem solving.

Work with Physicians: If medication is indicated your therapist may refer you to a psychiatrist for further evaluation. Some patients are already seeing a physician for medicine, and their doctor has suggested they also see a therapist. In these cases, you can expect [with your authorization] that your therapist will coordinate your care with the physician. This is the highest standard of care, and benefits you and your physician, as you work on your problems.


How long will therapy take?

Therapy takes as long as the problem persists. That is a very individual experience. My observation is that individuals ‘graduate’ faster the more willing they are to put in the personal work. Typically a problem did not ‘develop over night’ and rarely can be resolved over night. Children’s therapy and Couple’s Therapy is fairly short term.


What is Attachment theory and therapy?

John Bowlby originated attachment theory. As infants we attach to our primary care givers in different ways including ambivalent, healthy, and avoidant. Parenting of a child lead to the development of patterns of attachment which in turn lead to ‘internal working models’ which will guide the individual’s feelings, thoughts, and expectations in later relationships. Attachment predicts our success in all human interactions including business, family, or romantic relationships. Attachment or relational therapy works in recognition of different styles of attachment. Ms. Muschio follows this type of therapy helping individuals.


What is Filial therapy?

Filial therapy is type of therapy where the individual is instructed by the therapist to become ‘his or her own’ therapist. In children’s therapy, it involves the therapist teaching the parent to be the child’s therapist. In Couple’s therapy, each individual within the couple dyad learn to be empathetic to the other person. This is the principle in the practice of the ‘Couples’ Relationship Enhancement® Program. Ms. Muschio follows this type of therapy when working with couples.


What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is based upon research that children’s dysfunctional patterns will be reflected in their play. ‘Play’ is the primary tool that young children [ages 4-9 years-old] have to express themselves. A trained play therapist uses the therapeutic powers of play to help children resolve psychosocial difficulties and return the child to their normal developmental trajectory. Play becomes the vehicle for children to express themselves in a natural, self-guided, self-healing process. Ms. Muschio has a certificate in play therapy and extensive experience working with children.[www.theraplay.org] [www.a4pt.org]


How is couple’s counseling different from individual therapy?

I do not see patients in individual and couple’s therapy at the same time. I find this is a conflict, and creates possibilities of affiliations that are damaging. Couple’s therapy focuses on the present, more than the past. I have written a Blog about couple’s counseling, and it is on this website.


How are electronic protected health information handled?

Patients should be aware that I keep all patient information password protected, and encrypted on my laptop. I am the only person who has access to my computer. A HIPAA compliant professional handles all maintenance to my computer. When discarded my computer will be wiped clean of all information. All protected health information is backed up daily on site, and weekly off site. All backups are password protected and kept in locked areas. Patient should know that email, and cell phone communications are not secure. They should consider this when sending information via cell or email. I review and update my electronic security procedures annually or as needed.