Questions you may have about therapy:

What is a psychiatric Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)?
APRNs in Psychiatric and Mental Health Care are registered nurses that have a master's degree or higher in nursing. They are licensed by the state in which they practice and are board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Psychiatric APRNs assess mental health and substance abuse, request medical tests, diagnose, provide treatment and monitor outcomes.They promote mental health and help prevent relapse. Treatment may include psychotherapy (individual, couples, family, group) and prescribing of mental health medication. Psychiatric APRNs work in hospitals, clinics, ambulatory centers, community agencies, managed care companies, homes, industry, schools, nursing homes and private practice.

What can I expect on my first visit?
The purpose of the first visit is to evaluate your current situation and symptoms, why you are seeking treatment, what you hope to accomplish in treatment, your general history (childhood, school, family, work), previous psychiatric treatment, substance use history, medical history and your family's psychiatric and substance use history. You may be asked to complete a self-assessment tool(s) when appropriate. Time is made to answer any questions that you might have. An assessment and options for treatment are discussed with you. Sometimes the initial evaluation requires more than one session.

How do I know if therapy will help me?
Each person has different needs. Therapy is tailored to find a way to resolve the issues that brought you to therapy. For example, learning new coping skills; replacing old ways of thinking and behaving with healthier ones; understanding how the past is affecting you today; learning to develop health relationships; learning skills to manage depression, anxiety, anger, grief, and stress; understanding and accepting mental illness; learning how to maintain your health when giving care to others; learning to set boundaries and limits with others; learning how to improve your self esteem and self confidence; learning how to take care of yourself and learning skills to prevent relapse. Whatever you may need help with, the therapist's role is to work with you and guide you on your journey to health.
How do I know if medication is right for me?
Not everyone needs medications. However, if symptoms are such that you could benefit from medication, options and alternatives would be discussed with you. While there are evidence-based medication options for a given illness or symptom(s), what may work for one person may not work for another. The person prescribing medication should work closely with you to help you obtain the best possible outcome.

How long will I need to be in therapy? 
How long you need to be in therapy depends on your needs. It can vary from a few sessions to address very specific issues to ongoing treatment for chronic conditions. Discuss this with your therapist to determine what is best for your situation.

How often do I need to come to appointments?
When you first start therapy, start medications, or are experiencing more distress you may need more frequent visits such as weekly or every other week. Over time you may find that you are able to come less frequently. This is determined by you and your therapist.
What if I miss an appointment?
When you set an appointment either on a regular or flexible basis, you are contracting to meet with the therapist. Since the appointment time is reserved specifically for you, you should give at least 24 hours notice (exceptions for emergencies) should you need to reschedule your appointment. The cost of missing an appointment without giving 24 hours notice may be charged to you.

I don't have insurance for counseling. Can I still make an appointment?
If you don't have insurance that covers counseling, you can self pay.  Click here to see fees for office visits.

I can no longer see my regular counselor because I moved or my insurance changed. Will I need to start all over again with therapy?
While change can be difficult, it can also be a catalyst for growth. You won't have to necessarily start all over again because you have developed skills and knowledge about the therapeutic process that will help you continue in your healing process. Because you are new to the therapist, you will be asked standard information on your initial visit (see "What can I expect on my first visit?").

More information:
About Mary Anne Zeh APRN
Treatment Options