Q & A

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How do I know if my child or I need to see a therapist?

The choice to start seeing a therapist is a personal one. It can be intimidating to step out and ask for help. But many people find that the risks are soon outweighed by the relief they feel in consulting a professional. If you or your child are feeling significant distress, it impacts your daily life, you’re unable to find relief on your own, or you lack a sufficient support system, I encourage you to reach out now

Tara can help children with:  

  • Problems of adjustment (due to parental divorce, parent getting remarried, birth of a sibling, starting a new school or daycare, blended families, moving)
  • Anxiety/Worry
  • Defiance and Anger Issues (temper tantrums, refusing to follow the rules, cursing)
  • Depression (feeling bad, change of appetite, poor sleep, irritability, thoughts of dying/suicide, feeling guilty, worthless, isolation)
  • Grief (death of a parent, grandparent, sibling, pet or close family member or friend
  • Loss (loss of a parent due to military deployment, divorce or incarceration)
  • Parenting Skills (effective discipline, consistent consequences, household rules)
  • Impact of Chronic Illness or Injury
  • Physical, Emotional, Psychological or Sexual Abuse
  • School problems (behavioral problems, poor grades, attention problems, social skills, bullies)
  • Physical Aggression (biting, hitting, kicking, property destruction)
  • Impact of Natural Disasters and/or Acts of Terrorism
  • Sleep Issues (nightmares, night terrors, trouble falling or staying asleep, inability to sleep in their own bed)

Mental health is critical to a child’s positive development yet it is often misunderstood. A child’s mental health plays a key role in how well he or she is able to manage and express emotions, the quality of relationships with friends and family, to bounce back in the face of challenges, as well as the ability to develop cognitively and intellectually. Research shows that children who receive early and effective treatment are likely to avoid a downward spiral that can negatively impact their social, intellectual, and physical development. 

Question: What is Parent/Caregiver Consultation and Coaching?

With parents whose kid(s) are in therapy with me, I encourage parents to meet with me on a regular basis to discuss issues as they arise, process ways to the help the child, and discuss what progress is being made. Parental input on your child’s therapy can support the therapeutic process. Parents who want to integrate therapeutic components into your family life can significantly advance the change process for their child, not to mention increase their own fulfillment. 

Coaching sessions provide parents with the opportunity to share at greater lengths about their lives as parents, to celebrate their joys, and to receive support for the hard parts.

Question: How is counseling/pyschotherapy more beneficial than talking to a friend or family member?

It is wonderful to be able to share with a friend or family member that you trust! However, a trained professional counselor has developed skill and understanding with respect to the techniques and methods that are necessary for your success with implementing change. Friends are not bound by the standards that professional counselors follow, and oftentimes are partial to your perspective and relationship, and this could create a hardship. Seeking the expertise and empathetic support from a professional counselor provides the guidance and insight you might need to develop an understanding of your situation and what you need to make an impactful change.

Question: What is Live Video Counseling (Telehealth)?

Telehealth is conducting your counseling appointment online by video. While telehealth looks and works very much like a like a regular session with a therapist, there are some important considerations, some of which are listed below:

  • Q:  Does it work as well as therapy in real life? A: Yes – in larger research trials, overall telehealth was as effective as real life therapy.  Individual results may vary just as with in-person therapy.  You should work with your provider to let them know if telehealth is working for you or if you need to make a change.  For more information about the effectiveness of teleheath, click here.
  • Q: Is it secure?  A: The short answer is yes.  I use breakthrough.com, which is designed specifically for secure, HIPAA compliant therapy sessions, unlike other generic video platforms (Skype) that may be used for online counseling. The connection itself has the same level of security as banking and other secure communications. However, since you are not at an office setting, I cannot ensure that the space you are in is confidential. You share some responsiblity in making sure you have a confidential space in which to conduct your telehealth session.
  • Q: Is it covered by insurance? A: Generally, yes. Different insurance companies may have specific requirements to use telehealth. I do not take insurance, but my services may be covered as an out-of-network benefit. Ultimately you are responsible for understanding your insurance coverage. I recommend you check it out ahead of starting to use telehealth.
  • Q: Can I do telehealth from anywhere? A:  Because I am licensed in New York – my clients must be a resident of New York state to conduct therapy. I will work with you to verify your eligibility for telehealth. Additionally, I strongly recommend that you limit your telehealth sessions to one particular location on your end so that you know how confidential your space is and so that you are familiar with the internet connection and tools to connect.
  • Q: Do I need to download a program?  A: Yes – there is a small program you will need to install but it is easy to do! You will also need one of the following operating systems: Windows version 7, 8, or 10 or Mac version OS X 10.7 or newer. You will need one of the following Internet browsers: Chrome version 31 or newer, Firefox version 24 or newer, or Internet Explorer version 8 or newer.
  • Q: Can all the sessions be conducted by telehealth? A: Yes.
  • Q: Am I eligible to do telehealth?  A:  I will need to determine if telehealth is appropriate (safe and effective) for you based on your clinical criteria and outcomes. If telehealth is not helpful for you, or your needs go beyond what can be ethically and safely provided by telehealth, I will help you decide if you would like to continue your therapy in-person (if possible) or if you would prefer a referral to someone able to help you who lives in your community.

To learn more about telehealth and to sign up to work with me, visit my page at breakthrough.com.