FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
“WHAT HAPPENS IN TREATMENT?”
Treatment for sex addiction is not easily described. It varies depending on your personality and the particular issues you present. There are many different treatment methods New York Pathways may use to deal with the issues that you hope to address.
Treatment is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part. We have found that in order for treatment for sex addiction to be most successful, you will have to be active in your recovery both during your sessions and at home.
Sex addiction treatment has benefits, but it carries risks as well. Since treatment often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, New York Pathways has found that sex addiction treatment has benefits for many people who go through it, and it often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. But there are no guarantees of what you will experience in treatment.
“WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP IN MOVING FORWARD?”
]After your initial phone conversation with New York Pathways, we will schedule an in-person assessment. By the end of the assessment, your therapist will be able to offer you some first impressions of what your work will include and a treatment plan to follow, if you decide to continue with treatment. You should evaluate this information along with your own opinions of whether you feel comfortable working with your therapist. Treatment for sex addiction involves a large commitment of time, money, and energy. If you have questions about New York Pathways’s treatment procedures, please discuss them with your therapist whenever they arise.
“HOW LONG ARE SESSIONS?”
Your assessment session will last approximately 60 minutes. During this time, you and your therapist can both decide if New York Pathways is right for you in order to meet your treatment goals.
If treatment is begun, your therapist will usually schedule one 45-minute session (one appointment hour of 45 minutes duration) per week at a mutually agreeable time, although you and your therapist may mutually decide to schedule some sessions for a longer duration or more or less frequently than once per week.
“DO YOU OFFER SKYPE OR TELEPHONE SESSIONS?”
]Yes. New York Pathways also offers treatment sessions for sex addiction through Skype if you are out of New York City or are unable to attend your regularly scheduled sessions. In addition, if you and your therapist agree, telephone treatment sessions are available. You will be charged New York Pathways’s regular rates for your Skype or telephone session.
“DO YOU WORK WITH OTHER PROFESSIONALS OR SEX ADDICTION TREATMENT CENTERS?”
Yes. Occasionally, if your therapist believes it is best for your treatment or if you request, you may be referred to another therapist who works independently of New York Pathways. You may also be referred to other professionals to assist in your treatment for sex addiction. Although New York Pathways generally refers its clients to other professionals that have worked with New York Pathways’s clients in the past, these other therapists or professionals are not affiliated with New York Pathways, and New York Pathways is not responsible for your treatment with them.
“WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?”
Once an appointment is scheduled, you will be expected to pay for it unless you provide twenty-four (24) hours advance notice of cancellation, unless you and your therapist both agree that you were unable to attend due to circumstances beyond your control. If you use out-of-network insurance benefits, please note that most insurance companies do not reimburse for missed treatment sessions, so you would be responsible for the full fee for that session, if you are using your insurance.
“WHAT ARE YOUR FEES?”
The current fee for the initial assessment is $300.00. Thereafter, the current hourly fee is $225.00. In circumstances of financial hardship, Pathways may be willing to offer you a fee adjustment. Occasionally, New York Pathways may raise its assessment or hourly rates. New York Pathways will provide you with at least 60 days’ notice prior to raising your hourly fee.
In addition to weekly appointments, you may be charged for other professional services you may need, and your therapist will provide you with an estimate of any such additional charges before they are incurred. Other services for which you may be charged include report writing, telephone conversations lasting longer than ten (10) minutes, attendance at meetings with other professionals you have authorized, preparation of records or treatment summaries, and the time spent performing any other service you may request of your therapist. If you become involved in legal proceedings that require your therapist’s participation, you will be expected to pay for your therapist’s professional time even if your therapist is called to testify by another party.
“WHAT IS YOUR BILLING AND PAYMENT POLICY?”
]You will be expected to pay for each session at the time it is held. Payment schedules for other professional services will be agreed to when they are requested.
New York Pathways accepts payment by credit card, check, or cash. Payment by check should be made payable to “New York Pathways.”
“DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?”
At the present time, New York Pathways is not in-network with any insurance provider. If you have a health insurance policy, it may provide some coverage for mental health treatment. Your therapist will fill out forms and provide you with whatever assistance he/she can in helping you receive the benefits to which you are entitled; however, you (not your insurance company) are responsible for full payment of your therapist’s fees. It is very important that you find out exactly what mental health services your insurance policy covers.
You should carefully read the section in your insurance coverage booklet that describes mental health services. If you have questions about the coverage, call your plan administrator. Of course, your therapist will provide you with whatever information he/she can based on his/her experience. Please be aware, however, that it is ultimately your responsibility to understand the nature and extent of your insurance coverage and the manner in which you can obtain any reimbursement for your treatment.
Certain plans may require authorization before they provide reimbursement for out-of-network mental health services. If you have one of these plans, it may be necessary to seek approval for more treatment sessions after a certain number of sessions. While a lot can be accomplished in short-term treatment, some clients believe that they need more services after insurance benefits end.
“HOW DO I CONTACT MY THERAPIST?”
The best way to reach your therapist is by telephone. However, your therapist is often not immediately available by telephone. While your therapist is usually in the office during the day, he/she will most likely not answer the phone as he/she will be with other clients. When your therapist is unavailable, the New York Pathways’s telephone is answered by a confidential voice mail system or an answering service. Your therapist will make every effort to return your call on the same day you make it, with the exception of weekends and holidays. If you are difficult to reach, please inform your therapist of some times when you will be available.
If you are unable to reach your therapist and believe that you cannot wait for a return call, please contact your regular physician or go to the nearest emergency room. In emergencies, please call 911.
If your therapist will be unavailable for an extended time, he/she will provide you with notice and will also provide you with the name of a colleague to contact, if necessary.
“CAN I EMAIL OR TEXT MY THERAPIST?”
Yes. However, please be aware that your therapist may not always be able to respond promptly. In emergency situations, please do not email or text your therapist, and if you cannot reach your therapist by telephone, please contact your regular physician, emergency room, or call 911.
Please note as well that although your therapist’s email and text messaging systems are password protected and will only be accessed by your therapist, the nature of email and text messaging means that complete confidentiality cannot be assured. It is possible that email or text messages can be intercepted by third parties. Therefore, you may not want to email or text any highly confidential information to your therapist.
Treatment will never involve any relationship that impairs your therapist’s objectivity, clinical judgment, or therapeutic effectiveness or is exploitative in nature.
New York can at times feel like a small town. Therefore, some clients may know each other from the community. Consequently, you may run into someone you know in the New York Pathways waiting room. Your therapist will not discuss or divulge any information you share with your therapist with any other clients, even clients you may consider to be friends from the community.
In addition, you may run into your therapist out in the community. Your therapist will never acknowledge working with you without your written permission. In this regard, if you run into your therapist in a social setting, it may be appropriate for your therapist not to acknowledge you at all. Further, although you and your therapist may be members of the same online social network, such as Facebook or Linkedin, please do not “friend” your therapist or ask that your therapist be added to your network. This is for your protection and benefit, so please do not interpret your therapist’s behavior as rude, unfriendly, or uncaring.
“DO YOU KEEP RECORDS OF MY TREATMENT?”
Yes. The laws and standards of New York require that your therapist keep treatment records. You are entitled to receive a copy of the records unless your therapist believes that there is compelling evidence that such access would cause serious harm to you, in which case your therapist will be happy to send your records to a mental health professional of your choice. Because these are professional records, they can be misinterpreted and/or upsetting to untrained readers. New York Pathways therefore recommends that you review them in the presence of your therapist.
“DO YOU TREAT MINORS?”
Yes, in certain cases, New York Pathways will provide treatment for sex addiction to minors age 16 and older. If you are under eighteen years of age, please be aware that the law may provide your parents the right to examine your treatment records. It is New York Pathways’s policy to request an agreement from parents that they agree to give up access to your records. If they agree, your therapist will provide them only with general information about your work together, unless your therapist believes that there is a high risk that you will seriously harm yourself or someone else. In this case, your therapist will notify your parents of his/her concern.
In general, the privacy of all communications between you and your therapist is protected by New York law, and your therapist can only release information about you to others with your written permission. If your treatment involves your family members or friends, your therapist will not disclose any information about you to your family members or friends. Similarly, if your therapist sees any of your friends or family members separately from you, your therapist cannot disclose information learned during those sessions to you.
However, there are a few exceptions to confidentiality.
There are some situations in which your therapist is legally obligated to take action to protect others from harm, even if your therapist has to reveal some information about a client’s treatment. For example, if your therapist believes that a child, elderly person, or disabled person is being abused, your therapist must report the same to the appropriate state agency.
If your therapist believes that you are threatening serious bodily harm to another, your therapist is required to take protective actions. These actions may include notifying the potential victim, contacting the police, or seeking hospitalization for the client. If you threaten to harm yourself, your therapist may be obligated to seek hospitalization for you or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection for you.
These situations rarely occur in New York Pathways’s practice. If a similar situation occurs, however, your therapist will make every effort to fully discuss it with you before taking any action.
Your therapist will occasionally find it helpful to consult other treatment professionals about a case, including other professionals who work at New York Pathways. During such a consultation, your therapist will make every effort to avoid revealing your identity. Please be aware that the other treatment professional is also legally bound to keep the information your therapist reveals confidential.
While this written summary of exceptions to confidentiality should prove helpful in informing you about potential problems, it is important that you discuss any questions or concerns that you may have during your next session with your therapist. You therapist will be happy to discuss these issues with you if you need specific advice, but formal legal advice may be needed because the laws governing confidentiality are quite complex, and your therapist is not an attorney and cannot provide any legal advice to you.
“IF I AM NOT IN THE NEW YORK AREA, HOW DO I FIND A SEX ADDICTION THERAPIST?”
If you are looking for treatment for sex addiction, and you do not live in the New York area, you may be able to find a therapist for treatment in your area through the International Institute for Trauma and Therapy Professionals http://www.iitap.com/find_csat.cfm. If there are no sex addiction therapists in your area, Pathways offers telephone sessions and sessions through Skype.