FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are a few typical questions prospective clients have prior to starting therapy

Taking Notes

Q: What happens during the first visit?

A: The first session is known as an intake in which we gather information from clients about their reasons for seeking out therapy.  We will review our policies and procedures for treatment with clients.  Questions will be asked about presenting symptoms, family history, medical history, and what client seeks to obtain from therapy.  We will then plan treatment goals with client aimed and addressing their issues or managing their symptoms.

Q: Is therapy confidential?  I don’t want my school or job to know I am coming.

A: All information shared by clients with us remains totally confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone without your expressed written consent.  There are exceptions to us maintaining confidentiality however which is when information shared to Vida therapists in which we suspect any abuse, harm, or neglect towards children, elderly, or dependent adults.  Vida staff are compelled to report these matters to the corresponding entities as well as a client’s threats or plans to harm themselves or others.  Your record of treatment will remain secure with us and all information will not be released unless we received your written authorization or are compelled by law (ex. a court order) to do so. 

Q: You specialize in men’s mental health, does that mean you do not work with women?

A:  Vida provides services to women / female identifying clients as well. 

Q: How do I know I am getting better?

A: During your intake session, your therapist will review with you a set of goals aiming to meet objectives based upon your reasons for seeking therapy (ex. managing anxiety).  Your therapist will frequently review progress towards your goals with you based on managing or reducing your symptoms or other stressors.  When you’ve arrived at a point where you feel your life is in a better balance and your stressors have reduced or are under control, you and your therapist can discuss a transition plan to phase you out of therapy by reducing the frequency of your visits.  Therapy is voluntary however, and can be terminated at any time.

Q: Can I still see you if you all don’t accept my insurance?

A: Absolutely.  If your insurance plan has “Out of Network Benefits,” you would pay our standard fee of services after which you will receive an insurance “Superbill” as a receipt.  This in turn can be given by you to your insurance for reimbursement.

Q: Do you write letters for support animals?

A: Unfortunately, we do not.  Vida therapists also do not write letters for release / return to work, child custody recommendations, etc.

Q: What’s the difference between a therapist, psychologist, and psychiatrist.

A: A therapist provides “talk therapy” intervention to clients to help them resolve the issues that bring them to therapy.  A psychologist is also a therapist but may also conduct tests to evaluate a client’s brain function in their ability to learn, process, or retain information.  A psychiatrist is also trained to provide “talk therapy,” and is a licensed MD who could prescribe medication to assist client in managing their symptoms.

Q: Can Vida prescribe me medication?

A: Currently we have no medical providers on our staff to do so and encourage clients to reach out to their primary care doctor for a referral to a psychiatrist. 

Q: If my child wants to come to therapy, do I have to come with them?

A:  We highly recommend a caregiver to be present with a client at intake. In the state of California, clients 12 and older can sign off on their forms and legally consent to services without an adult yet we still encourage caregiver involvement.  The therapist may recommend family sessions with client and the caregiver, especially if the client’s issues are related to any kind of family conflict.  A minor client can request to meet with their therapist alone, which will be honored with recommended family therapy sessions once in a while.  All rules and mandates to confidentiality will apply to a therapist’s work with a minor client.