Q: How do I know if I need therapy; is there really even a problem here?
A: If you are thinking you might need some help for you or your child, you probably do. We recommend you come in for a consultation. In most cases, if the problem has reached the point where you are considering getting some help, you probably need help. If you or your child do not need help or need some other kind of help, the doctor will not only tell you, she will help you find it.
A: Dr. Seropian has more than twenty years of full-time, post doctoral practice experience. She has had broad training and experience and enjoys helping people with a wide variety of problems. If, however, your therapy needs fall outside her area of practice, she will gladly help you find a provider who works in that practice area for your referral.
Q: How will I know if Dr. Seropian is the right therapist for me (or my child)?
A: You will know that Dr. Seropian is the right provider for you if you (or your child) feel the doctor is listening well, is understanding you or your child, has a command of the problem and has conveyed what needs to be done on your part and on her part, that the important points are being addressed, and that you are learning about yourself, or your child is learning about himself/herself. You may not like everything the doctor says to you, but that is not necessary in order for you to benefit.
Q: What populations does Dr. Seropian serve and what age groups?
A: Dr. Seropian works with children, starting as young as age 6, teens, and adults. She conducts individual and family therapy as well as assessments. As a Play Therapist, she used a variety of means to communicate with young children and adolescents. She does not conduct marital or couples therapy. She does not work with actively using alcoholics or substance addicted individuals who are currently using.
Q: What is Play Therapy and how does the doctor apply it to my child?
A: Play Therapy is a kind of therapy used with children and, sometimes, adolescents. Although it is called "Play Therapy" it is work for the child and the therapist. In fact, play IS a child's work. Play is the means by which children express themselves and make meaning of the world. With regard to therapy, play is also the means by which children sort out their conflicts and struggles and gain mastery over them. Children's play shows how they are understanding the world and how they are feeling about it. Through analysis of the play, the Play Therapist is able to understand the child's conflicts, needs and wishes and facilitates the child and parent understanding better, too. Play therapy takes time. Your child first must establish a trusting relationship with the therapist. Media such as art, books, therapeutic board games, and a sand tray with figures, as well as other toys and media are used.
Q: How can you be good at treating both children and adults?
A: I was trained in both. My two practica were with adults. My internship was six months of each. Next, I worked exclusively with children for ten years in public mental health and in group home settings. For the past 12 years, I have worked with adults and children both. Also, the best training to be a psychotherapist is based on sound models of human development and human behavior, which capture the entire lifecycle. That is the training that I had. Now, I prefer to work with children, adolescents, and adults because my work in each area enriches the work in the other areas and working this way mirrors the develpmental life cycle found in our natural, daily lives.
Q: How will I know when it is time to end therapy?
Q: Can I come back to therapy later one once I have finished?
A: You are always welcome to return to therapy in the future. The doctor has seen many people at different points in their life in a similar way as a family physician.
Q: Is my information confidential?
A: Yes within certain limits. Dr. Seropian’s Voice Mail, the verbal information you give, and Dr. Seropian’s written records are confidential. Your record will be stored the requisite number of years (mandated by state law) and then will be destroyed. Sometimes your confidential information has to be shared such as in cases where your behavior or that of your child is a danger to self or other. Also, if you are using insurance, there will be some loss of confidentiality such as a diagnosis which is used on the claim form. (See below under "Why Pay With Private Funds?" for more about this.)
A: As a psychologist, and not a psychiatrist, the doctor does not prescribe medication. However, Dr. Seropian will conduct a complete assessment and consult with you about treatment recommendations. These recommendations may or may not include a recommendation for an evaluation by a physician about the possibility of a trial of medication. Dr. Seropian has many clients who take medication and many who do not; she does not have a bias toward or against medication. You will have ample opportunity to discuss all your treatment options with Dr. Seropian.
A: If medication is needed, you may be able to receive it from your family physician. If your case is more complex, it may be better for you to receive your medication from a psychiatrist than from a family physician. If you want help from Dr. Seropian in selecting a psychiatrist, she will help you. Also, she will provide needed information to your physician. However, Dr. Seropian does not conduct assessments for the sole purpose of helping clients obtain medication. Assessments for diagnosis and for determining the need for medication are services Dr. Seropian provides only to those who are seeking her ongoing psychotherapy services.
A: Currently Dr. Seropian is in network with several insurance companies. Even if you are going out of network, you probably still have mental health benefits, although you may have a higher deductible and/or higher co-insurance payment. Going to a highly skilled psychologist, even if going out of network, may be less costly overall, in terms of time, money and energy, than going to a less skilled psychotherapist who is in network, because an accurate diagnosis, effective treatment plan, and effective interventions speed the assessment and therapy process.
Q: Why should I pay with private funds when I have insurance?
A: There are several reasons why paying privately is preferable to using your insurance. One is that when you pay with private funds, you receive all the treatment you need and you determine when you stop treatment, rather than having an agent of your insurance company make that decision. Also, treatment is not interrupted by obstacles such as obtaining authorization to treat and claims that have been denied.
Also, when you pay for your treatment with private funds, you retain control over your confidential information rather than your PHI (Private Health Information) released to your insurance. When your diagnosis, and possibly also progress notes if requested by your insurance, are released to your insurance company, your information may be entered into the MIB (Medical Information Bureau). The MIB is a central database of medical information shared by insurance companies. The MIB retains information about patients' medical condititions and lifestyle choices, such as smoking and high-risk sports, which in turn can be used to affect your prospects for buying insurance in the future, as well as the rates you will pay.
In addition, since insurance requires that treatment be "medically necessary," your provider must use a medical diagnosis. That medical diagnosis follows you for life once it is entered into the MIB. There are implications for employment prospects especially for those in positions requiring security or mental health clearance and for young people who might want to enter such fields in the future. When you pay privately, you are able to receive consultation for whatever reason you choose including personal growth, coping with a stressful event or situation, marriage and family problems, and consultation regarding work related stressors without the burden of carrying a mental health diagnosis.
One of the most important reasons to pay with private funds is that it allows you to choose your provider. Perhaps the best provider for you or your child is not in your insurance network. In the long run, you will have the best outcome by basing your decision on what you or your child needs in the way of assessment and therapy, and not on who is in your insurance panel.
In addition, there is a trend, which will continue to increase, of insurance companies dictating what type of session (such as individual, but no couples/family therapy), what approach must be used for certain disorders, the use of medication for certain severe and persistent conditions, referrals to self-help groups, treatment protocols that they deem appropriate (and which might not be best for you), and limited session length and session number.
In sum, you will have much better control over the services you receive and over your Private Health Information by paying privately.
Q: What hours is Dr. Seropian available?
A: Dr. Seropian is available from 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday.
Q: Does the doctor offer a free consultation?
A: Yes, a brief telephone consultation is offered (up to 15 minutes) if you are uncertain about seeking services from the doctor and need a little extra time to get your questions answered.
Q: Do you have papers I should fill out ahead of time?
A: The doctor prefers to be there when you fill out your papers in case you have any questions.
Q: Will I like the doctor and will she like me?
A: The best way to see how well you and the doctor click is to meet with her. If you aren't sure after the first session, you will certainly know by the end of the third session. You may not like everything the doctor says to you, but that's okay. Good therapy sometimes involves hearing things about ourselves that are difficult to hear. If you trust your therapist, you will gradually increase your tolerance for hearing difficult things and will be able to work well with your therapist, even if you don't always like her.
Q: But what if I'm nervous about calling?
A: It's okay to be nervous about calling. The only time nervousness or apprehension is truly a problem is if you let it stop you from taking your first step. Be brave. You will likely be well rewarded! Here's the number: 704-776-6438.