Frequently Asked Questions

You can find answers to most questions I’m commonly asked below, in the categories of therapy, fees/cost/insurance, scheduling, other treatment options, hope, and how to contact me.

I’m not taking new clients, and I’m not adding new clients to my wait list because the wait would be 3 months or longer. I’m also doing all therapy via HIPAA-compliant video conferencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Therapy

Are you seeing clients in-person or virtually due to the pandemic?

I only see clients virtually using the online, HIPAA-compliant platform Vsee. After taking an online course on providing therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect the health of my clients as well as my health, I made the decision to not see clients in-person until the pandemic is over and therefore stopped leasing my physical office space.  I will open a new office either at or near where my previous office was located (2993 Sandy Plains Rd in Marietta, GA) or in Historic Marietta, GA near the Marietta Square once the pandemic is over. The address listed at the bottom of my website is my business mailbox, but is not my physical office.

What type of counselor are you?

I’m a cognitive behavioral therapist (CBT) specializing in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders (body dysmorphic disorder and hoarding disorder), anxiety disorders (social anxiety, panic disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder), and depression.

What type of therapy do you provide?

I offer cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), including exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. I also use mindfulness in my work with clients.

canstockphoto0555862What is your training and background?

Please see About Shala for a detailed overview of my clinical training and experience. I am the author of Is Fred in the Refrigerator? Taming OCD and Reclaiming My Life and co-author with Jon Hershfield, MFT of Everyday Mindfulness for OCD: Tips, Tricks and Skills for Living Joyfully . I also blog for Psychology Today, offering an inside perspective on life with OCD and the lessons of uncertainty.

Do you work with people who are just suffering from depression?

Typically I work with people who have one or more of the OCD/OCD-related and/or anxiety disorders listed above along with depression.

Do you work with children and adolescents?

I work with adolescents aged 12 and above and adults.

Do you do sessions with clients in other states via video?

No, I am only licensed to see clients who live in Georgia or who can come to Georgia for therapy. I do not see clients who live outside of the United States.

Are you offering group therapy?

I’ve run therapy and support groups in the past, but I’m not currently running groups right now. If you have OCD, I encourage you to check out the online group My OCD Community on HealthUnlocked.

Fees/Cost/Insurance

How much do counseling sessions cost?

Individual counseling sessions, which last 45-50 minutes, are $200 per session.

Do you take insurance?

canstockphoto8753196No, I’m not in-network with any insurance companies, and I’m not a Medicare or Medicaid provider. However, if you have out-of-network mental health benefits, I’m happy to provide you with a receipt called a superbill that you can send to your insurance company for reimbursement based on your plan.

If you are looking for a provider who takes most major insurance plans and/or Medicare and the person for whom you are seeking treatment is at least 15 years old, then contact the Emory OCD Program. Use their Contact Us form to request further information, and a patient navigator will call you back as soon as they can.

Do you take credit cards?

Yes, I take credit and debit cards from Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. I am also able to take Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) credit and debit cards if they are Visa, Mastercard, Amex, or Discover.

If you are paying by check, please make the check to Nicely Done, LLC.

Scheduling and Wait List

How often do people come to therapy for OCD, related disorders or anxiety disorders?

I recommend that people come weekly to virtual therapy sessions. However, if weekly is not affordable, I sometimes have every other week openings.

Are you currently taking new clients?

I’m not taking new clients, and I’m not adding new clients to my wait list because the wait would be 3 months or longer.  I’m doing all therapy via a HIPAA-compliant online system due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, I can only see clients who are in the United States in the state of Georgia.

How does the wait list work?

I only add people to my wait list who really want to wait, as this allows me to give people on the list more accurate estimates of when I’ll be able to start seeing them.

I ask people on the wait list to call and check in with me every 2-3 weeks, and at that time I can give you an update on how long the wait will be. If I don’t hear from people every 2-3 weeks, I will go ahead and remove your name from the wait list. If at any time you would like to be removed from the wait list, please call me and let me know.

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What if I’m a former client who needs a booster session?

I try to keep times in my schedule for former clients who need booster sessions. Typically I can see you the week that you call or the next week.

Other treatment options

What if I’m a new client and I need to see someone right away?

I completely understand! If I am not taking new clients, I recommend the following resources to help you find a therapist:

  • OCD:
    • The International OCD Foundation Resource Directory.
    • The IOCDF also has a great resource called How to Find the Right Therapist, which I highly recommend. Many therapists say they treat OCD, but if they have not been trained in exposure and response prevention therapy, the evidence-based therapy for OCD, “use caution,” to quote the IOCDF!
    • If you are looking for a provider in the Atlanta area who takes most major insurance plans:
      • If the person for whom you are seeking treatment is at least 15 years old, you can contact the Emory OCD Program using their Contact Us form to request further information, and a patient navigator will call you back as soon as they can.
      • Rogers Behavioral Health is also opening an PHP program for adults, adolescents and children with OCD and anxiety in Atlanta.
    • For a customized resource referral consultation, please contact Chrissie Hodges.
  • Hoarding Disorder: The International OCD Foundation Resource Directory (put in your zip code and click find and you’ll see a listing of all the therapists in that area, then you can select for Hoarding under Specialty areas).
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD): The International OCD Foundation Resource Directory (put in your zip code and click find and you’ll see a listing of all the therapists in that area, then you can select for Body Dysmorphic Disorder under Specialty areas).
  • Anxiety Disorders: Go to Find Help at Anxiety and Depression Association of America and/or go to Find Help at the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
  • Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (Trichotillomania or Skin-Picking Disorder): the Find a Therapist Directory at The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors.

What if I live several hours away from the Atlanta area and can’t find anyone who treats OCD near me?

If no one is treating OCD near you, you might consider going out of state for residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) which is typically ~15 hours a week, or partial hospitalization (PHP) which is typically ~30 hours of treatment a week.

The U.S. residential programs for OCD for adults, adolescents and children are:

In addition, Skyland Trail has opened a residential program in Atlanta for the treatment of OCD in adolescents.

Dr. Reid Wilson of The Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center of Durham and Chapel Hill also offers Weekend Treatment Groups for OCD, social anxiety and panic disorder (the whole group experience occurs over one weekend) in North Carolina (although they are not happening during the pandemic).

What if I need low-cost treatment?

When you are searching in the resource directories, look for treatment providers who offer sliding scale options. Some larger practices or clinics also offer interns who are in training at a lower per session fee. Please ask any therapist whom you are considering whether they have had training in evidence-based approaches to treating anxiety, OCD and related disorders. The International OCD Foundation has a great list of questions you can ask potential providers.

Also, Dr. Reid Wilson of The Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center of Durham and Chapel Hill offers affordable Weekend Treatment Groups for OCD, social anxiety and panic disorder (although they are not happening during the pandemic).

Suicide Prevention Line

What if I’m in crisis?

Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800-715-4225, or you can call 911 or go to an emergency room. ADAA also offers additional resources for suicide prevention.

Hope

Most importantly, I’m suffering so much. Are OCD and related disorders and anxiety canstockphoto0935401disorders treatable?

Yes! OCD and related disorders and anxiety disorders all have evidence-based cognitive behavioral treatments available. You don’t have to suffer … you can take your life back from these disorders. For hope and inspiration from people who’ve overcome these disorders, please visit Project Hope Exchange.