What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychologists have a doctoral degree, such as Ph.D. or Psy.D and use psychotherapy and behavioral interventions to treat mental health issues . A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) who can prescribe medication for mental illnesses and primarily focuses on medication management as a course of treatment.

How do I know if I need a counselor, Psychologist, or a Psychiatrist?

While there are some overlaps with their services, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists will vary. All three are professionals who can diagnose and treat mental illness. A counselor has a Master's degree and licensure to provide therapy services. A psychologist also provides therapy, but can also provide formal evaluations, such as developmental, cognitive, and emotional testing. Psychologists have a doctoral degree, such as Ph.D. or Psy.D. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) who can prescribe medication for mental illnesses. There are times when a counselor works with a psychologist and/or psychiatrist during the course of treatment.

How long will I need to be in Therapy?

Everyone involved in treatment will decide when to terminate therapy. It will depend on the progress, effectiveness and participation of everyone involved. For whatever reason you feel you want to end therapy, I do ask that we address it during sessions and have at least one closure session.

What if you are not the right psychologist for me?

After the intake session, we will decide if we want to continue. If you feel we are not the right fit to have a working relationship, I will provide you with referrals to other psychologists.

What is the cost?

The initial 50-60 minute visit, including setting up your account, developing treatment plans and any initial testing, is $350.

45-50 minutes of individual counseling sessions (This is the most common service charge) are $250.

Psychological testing, interpretation, and reporting per hour by psychologist (per hour) is $250.

Any service provided for legal purposes for use in a court setting to include diagnostic interviewing, testing, records review, scientific literature review research, report preparation, expert testimony and/or deposition is $300.

Can I use Insurance?

Dr. Hernandez is an Out of Network provider, meaning she does not work directly with insurance providers. You may be eligible for reimbursement by your insurance as an “Out of Network” expense. We would be happy to supply you with the receipts to submit to your insurance.

Before you decide on using your insurance benefits please understand there are benefits to private (out of pocket) pay:

1. Use of health insurance requires a mental health diagnosis. Insurance will not pay for relationship counseling, parenting, grief, and many other typical challenges for which you may be seeking therapy.

2. If you use your insurance, the insurance company will have a say in your treatment plan, goals, etc. They will want documentation of our work toward their “approved” goals and plan. These goals may or may not be in line with why you are seeking therapy.

3. Insurance benefits are not accessible until your deductible is met. If your deductible is high, we may be done with counseling long before it’s reached.

4. By paying privately, your medical file and everything we discuss is private. Many clients do not want a paper trail documenting a mental health or substance use diagnosis on their permanent health record.