Frequently Asked Questions
Many people have never had the opportunity to work with a psychologist. Often, persons considering mental health care have questions about mental health and the therapeutic experience. We have attempted to answer the most common questions here. If you have additional questions, or would like to speak with one of our psychologists, please free to call.
Do you accept insurance for mental health services?
- We are preferred providers for BlueCross BlueShield.
- If you have another insurance provider, we may be covered as an Out of Network Provider. Call your insurer and ask, “What is my Out of Network, Outpatient Mental Health benefit”?
- Most insurance companies have two levels of coverage: 1) In Network: Services rendered by a clinician on your insurance panel & 2) Out of Network: Services rendered by a clinician not on your insurance panel.
- The difference between In Network and Out Of Network reimbursement is typically the difference between 80% and 60% reimbursement. Please call your insurance company to find out your mental health reimbursement rate.
- New Leaves Clinic is happy to assist you by providing needed paperwork for insurance reimbursement.
What is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist?
- Two of New Leaves Clinic therapists are doctoral-level, licensed clinical psychologists. As doctoral level therapists, we have had extensive training in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of difficulties related to mental health.
- To become a doctor of psychology, one must complete at least 5 years of graduate (i.e., post Bachelor’s level) education including a full year of internship. Doctoral candidates pursuing a Ph.D. must also contribute an original research study to the field (i.e., a dissertation). This is different from a ‘thesis,’ which is usually a summary of existing research. Completion of these steps confers the academic doctorate degree.
To gain licensure for the purpose of clinical practice, the doctor must complete a year of postdoctoral study, pass (at the doctoral level) a written national examination on psychological matters (i.e., EPPP) and a state-specific oral examination related to the laws of that state. The licensed doctor is then termed a “Licensed Psychologist”.
All academic and clinical work must have been pre-accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) to ensure quality. Licensing attests that the state has deemed the professional a qualified psychologist, as opposed to a general counselor. To retain a license, a psychologist is bound to uphold strict ethical standards and must complete continuing education courses on a regular basis.
- Last, the term “clinical psychologist” identifies the clinician’s area of study within the field of psychology. Clinical psychologists specialize in working with “clinical” issues, or issues often found in a clinical setting. Specifically, they are well versed in assessing, diagnosing, treating and researching clinical issues ranging from emotional stress to chronic mental health disorders.
- We encourage you to reference the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners website for additional consumer information.
What makes New Leaves Clinic different from other mental health clinics?
- There are multiple aspects to New Leaves Clinic that makes it different from other mental health organizations.
- In our experience, clinic offices are often unimaginative, sterile and impersonal. In contrast, we hold that a health clinic should be a sacred place. Our clinic rooms appear more like beautiful living rooms with Greco Roman art.
- New Leaves Clinic employs licensed, doctoral-level clinical psychologists. This ensures that you receive the highest quality of service in terms of your therapist’s education, and their obligation to abide by very strict and specific ethical and legal standards (e.g., your confidentiality, etc.). We also employee a licensed masters-level therapist to reduce cost to patients for more conventional care.
- New Leaves Clinic staff has pursued a wide array of of life, training and clinical work experiences. This eclectic background benefits you in many ways.
- New Leaves Clinic psychologists have worked with clients in multiple settings, including inpatient hospitals, medical hospitals, day treatment facilities, nursing homes, community mental health centers, schools and within family homes. Even if it turns out that New Leaves Clinic is not the best resource for you at this time, we will ensure that you receive a proper referral elsewhere.
- New Leaves Clinic therapists have professional clinical experience working with individuals, couples, families and groups.
- New Leaves Clinic psychologists have worked with individuals covering the full range of lifespan issues. For example, Dr. Arnold has assisted families in coping with the impact of the impending birth of a disabled child. On the palliative end of the spectrum, Dr. Friedrichs has calmed dying elderly clients as they passed over. New Leaves Clinic psychologists understand the importance of a developmental “stage” approach to mental health.
- While New Leaves Clinic psychologists are trained in general psychological care, they have also developed very specific areas of specialty through additional training and clinical work. New Leaves Clinic specialties include: physical disability, cognitive disability, learning disability, developmental disability, anger/behavior management, geriatric care and psychological and spiritual growth. See staff profiles for more information.
- It is our belief that each client is unique. People learn and embrace change differently from one another. Successful therapy can only happen when certain elements come together properly. Called the “Four R’s.” these include having theright therapist, providing the right therapy, to the right client, at the right time in that client’s life.
Because of increased need, community mental health organizations are under increasing pressure to apply only “time-limited” therapies. New Leaves Clinic psychologists are trained in a wide array of empirically validated techniques, including cognitive/behavioral, learning theory, interpersonal, dynamic, existential, narrative, solution-focused, and reality therapies. We are willing to work with you on an ongoing basis, if you so desire.
- New Leaves Clinic provides holistic care. Many practitioners focus on the “problem”, rather than the person as a whole, integrated being. New Leaves Clinic is unique in that we take a personal strengths approach. All aspects of a person are considered when designing treatment strategies. This includes each person’s distinct lifestyle, interests, physiology, capacity and spirituality.
What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
More and more often these days, psychologists and psychiatrists work together for the good of patients, since each are trained to address an important aspect of mental wellness. If you are a patient seeking psychotherapy from New Leaves Clinic, your psychologist may enter into a collaborative arrangement with your family practitioner for the purpose of medications management with your consent.
What is the difference between a licensed psychologist, a master's-level therapist, a counselor, and a life coach?
- It is important to understand that a licensed psychologist, master’s level therapist, counselor, and life coach all have very different levels of education. In many cases there are different degrees of ethical and legal responsibilities as well.
- To be a doctor, one must complete at least 5 years of education, including a year of internship, as well as an original dissertation. To gain licensure, the doctor must complete a year of post-doctoral study, pass a written national examination on psychological matters and a state-specific oral exam related to the laws of that state. A licensed doctor is termed a “Licensed Psychologist”. All of the doctor’s academic and clinical work must have been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) to ensure quality.
- To be a master’s-level therapist, one must complete 2 years of education, a thesis (or qualifications exam) and a year of internship. To gain licensure, the master’s-level therapist must pass a written national exam on psychological matters and a state-specific oral exam related to the laws of that state at the master’s level of skill. In Oregon, a licensed master’s-level therapist is termed a “Licensed Psychologist Associate”. All of the individual’s academic and clinical work must have been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) to ensure quality.
- The term “counselor” is not a protected term. This means that anyone, regardless of education or training, can use this title. This also means that a counselor is not necessarily held to legal or ethical standards, and has no responsibility to protect your confidentiality.
- The term “life coach” is not a protected term. This means that anyone, regardless of education or training, can use this title. This also means that a life coach is held to no legal or ethical responsibility to protect your confidentiality. While there are programs in place to train life coaches, there is no established standard of care in this field. Thus, the quality and type of education, training and practice is not consistent.
Why would I go to a psychologist?
Albert Einstein once defined “insanity” as the repeated application of the same old tired fix, hoping each time for a different outcome. When you go to see a psychologist, you are speaking with a scientist who is skilled in the art of human nature. It is likely that the application of a hundred years of the research into human behavior may shed some light onto your problem. A psychologist can provide insight, assign pointed behavioral projects, as well as help you to formulate your own solutions. In this way, psychologists are “mental midwives. ” They help you to give birth to your own unique solutions.
What if I am not sure I need a psychologist?
Do I have to have a big problem to work with a psychologist?
Does this mean I am crazy?
How long will this take?
The course of time psychologists and patients work together varies greatly based upon the type of difficulty that is being addressed, the willingness of the patient to address it, and how often the patient comes to sessions. When you first meet with your psychologist, you will set specific goals for your work together, and will agree upon a general time line for accomplishing them.
May I bring a family member or friend with me?
Do you have a couch I have to lie down on?
Do you work with individuals / families with a chronic or terminal illness?
What is it like to see a psychologist? What should I expect?
Are sessions audio or video taped?
Why is working with a psychologist expensive?
- The fee per hour is equal to or less than the fee of other professionals (e.g., medical doctors, accountants and lawyers). In addition, this fee is consistent with those charged by other licensed psychologists in the Portland, Oregon community.
- In regard to education, doctors of psychology have 3-6 more years of education and professional training than master’s-level therapists. In addition, it is important to note that licensed professionals charge a higher rate because we are held to a higher ethical standard requiring ongoing continuing education, professional board fees and malpractice liability fees.
Will you tell my family or other people what I talk about?
That having been said, there are certain common sense situations in which psychologists are legally mandated to break confidentiality for the good of the client or public welfare (e.g., suicidal / homicidal intent, or ongoing child abuse). In these cases, a psychologist cannot be held liable for breaking confidentiality. Before you agree to enter into therapy, your psychologist will review ALL situations mandating disclosure to state agencies, and you will receive a copy of this form to keep for reference.