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 for my wait list at this time.
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Are you seeing clients in-person or virtually?
I’m currently seeing clients virtually using the online, HIPAA-compliant platform Vsee.
Is online therapy as effective for OCD and/or anxiety disorders as in-person therapy?
Yes. After providing online ERP therapy for OCD and anxiety disorders for several years now, I’ve found that online therapy works as well as in-person therapy for these disorders—and sometimes even better—for the following reasons:
- Therapy happens where your OCD and/or anxiety disorder is triggered: Online therapy enables us to do appointments in the settings that trigger your OCD and/or anxiety disorder so we can work on real-time exposure therapy together.
- No travel time: It’s much easier for my clients to find about an hour to set aside each week for online therapy versus having to carve out two or three hours for therapy and travel time in metro Atlanta traffic.
- Flexible scheduling: With online therapy, I’ve been able to see people during their lunch breaks or at other times when they’re able to step away from the office or work from home. Being able to do therapy remotely gives us both more flexibility in scheduling.
For a brief summary of research on the effectiveness of online therapy, please see the article “Online Therapy Just As Effective As In-Person Sessions.”
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.
What 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 teens age 18 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.
How much do counseling sessions cost?
Individual counseling sessions, which last 45-50 minutes, are $265 per session. This includes daily weekday feedback via Vsee text on your exposure therapy practices/homework.
Do you take insurance?
No, I’m not in-network with any insurance companies, and I’m not a Medicare or Medicaid provider.
Do you provide receipts I can submit to my insurance company for out-of-network reimbursement?
Yes, 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.
What are the CPT codes used on the superbill?
The CPT codes I use on superbills are:
- For a 45-50 min session: 90834 and the fee is $265.
- For a 25 min session: 90832 and the fee is $132.50.
- For a 45-50 min session with a family member present: 90846 and the fee is $265.
- For the infrequent occurrence when a session runs several mins over and is ~55 mins: 90837 and the fee is $265.
If you and I determine that you could benefit from an extended session (such as a double session to work extensively on exposures), then we would discuss and agree on this in advance, and the add-on code would be +90836 for 45 additional minutes or +90838 for 60 additional minutes. My fees for the additional time are pro-rated based on the length of the appointment, i.e. an additional 45-50 mins would be an additional $265. Please note I do extended sessions very infrequently.
Please note that teletherapy appointments also include the 95 modifer at the end of the code, such as 90834-95.
If you are looking for a provider who takes most major insurance plans, please see the Other Treatment Options section below.
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.
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.
Are you currently taking new clients?
I’m not taking new clients for my wait list at this time.
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 do an initial session with potential clients who’d like to be on the wait list, and if we both think it’s a good fit, then I add you to my wait list. I ask everyone on the wait list to check in with me every ~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 you, I’ll 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 let me know.
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:
- 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 or you cannot find a virtual provider, you might consider going out of state for residential treatment. Some of the U.S. residential programs for OCD for adults, adolescents and children include:
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.
You can also try ERP School, a self-help online program developed by Kimberley Quinlan, LMFT.
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.
Most importantly, I’m suffering so much. Are OCD and related disorders and anxiety disorders 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. To learn how you might feel more empowered during your OCD recovery journey, check out the blogs I’ve written on this topic.