What to expect

Dr. Alan Nathan, Psy.D.

What to expect

What will happen in our psychotherapy sessions?

Our sessions are your space to bring whatever it is that needs to be expressed, understood, and resolved. You may tell me about important things that happened to you in your life, troubling thoughts and feelings, fantasies, dreams, and inner experiences you are having difficulty finding words for. I’ll help you to notice the central themes in the experiences you describe and to make sense of your fears, inhibitions, and frustrated desires.

I take a balanced approach to problem solving and personal growth – problem solving informed by an in-depth understanding of the personal issues and meanings involved, increasing the likelihood of lasting success. I will pay careful attention to when you need me to step back and help you explore and when you need me to step in and help you get centered and take effective action.

If you are struggling with debilitating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and/or self-destructive behaviors I will provide you with the skills and strategies you need to get yourself better centered and able to function. We will devise these skills and strategies together based upon an understanding of the unique personal meanings within your symptoms and problematic behaviors. We will also work together to build upon the coping mechanisms that are most likely to work for you. Meditation and mindfulness practices might be quite helpful under these circumstances.

What are my practice procedures?

Initial consultation – includes initial assessment of problems, goals, and discussion of how I might help.  I provide 60 minutes (75 minutes for adolescents/parents) for the first session to allow for time to address business matters including collecting contact information from you and discussion of fee and scheduling sessions.  I charge a reduced fee of $100 for the initial consultation session only.  I am mindful that you might meet with more than one psychotherapist for consultation.  All subsequent sessions are charged at my standard rate for psychotherapy sessions (see below).

Treatment plan – by our third or fourth session we will establish a mutually constructed set of treatment goals.  We will periodically review our progress toward these goals and revise them as needed.  We will also decide upon a session schedule that is best suited to meet your needs.
If at any point in the process we decide that I cannot provide what you are looking for then I will help as best I can to get you to the services that best suit your needs and preferences.

Regularity of sessions & length of treatment – In order to achieve deep and lasting personal change an investment of one to two years in relational psychodynamic psychotherapy is often needed.  Simply put it takes time and consistent investment to change the way your mind works.  Psychotherapy outcome research is consistent with this idea.  It is not uncommon for individuals with a trauma history to choose to invest in psychotherapy for multiple years.  We can discuss psychoanalysis as an option.

Individuals who are looking for an in-depth personal growth experience may benefit from meeting more than once per week.  Individuals recovering from trauma may find two or more sessions per week most beneficial.  For others short-term treatment options might be the better choice.  A thorough assessment of your situation and ongoing monitoring of your treatment progress will be necessary in order to determine the right session frequency and length of treatment for you.

Fee Schedule & Policies – Revised effective April 1, 2014

For Adult Patients

  • Initial phone consultation 15 minutes – no charge
  • 60 minute initial face-to-face consultation – $100
  • 50 minute psychotherapy session – $175
  • Brief phone contact 10 minutes or less – no charge
  • Phone contact longer than 10 minutes billed on a prorated basis
  • Email contact – no charge


For Adolescent Patients and Parents

  • Initial phone consultation 15 minutes – no charge
  • 75 minute initial consultation – $100
  • 50 minute psychotherapy session for adolescent patient – $175
  • 50 minute parents guidance session – $175
  • Brief phone contact with parents 10 minutes or less – no charge
  • Phone contact with parents longer than 10 minutes billed on a prorated basis
  • Email contact – no charge


Fee and payment policies

  • Payment is by check only.  I am not set up to accept credit cards or electronic payments.
  • For the first three sessions including the initial consultation payment is due on a per session basis.  Thereafter, I will bill you on a monthly basis.
  • My practice is fee for service.  I do not belong to insurance panels.  Check with your insurance provider to determine what out-of-network mental health coverage you might have available.  I am happy to help you by providing itemized bills and completing insurance forms to help you access your out-of-network coverage.
  • If your financial situation prohibits your ability to pay my full fee we can discuss a reduced fee.  If we agree upon a reduced fee we will keep that fee for as long as your financial situation requires it.  We may periodically review your fee as circumstances change.
  • If we are unable to establish a mutually agreed upon fee I will do my best to provide you with appropriate referrals to a provider that might be better able to accommodate your financial situation.
  • Occasionally patients have trouble paying bills on time.  I attempt to avoid the accumulation of large past-due balances for both our sakes.  If you fall more than one month behind in payments, we may discuss either suspending or reducing the frequency of sessions until you can catch up with payments.


For more information on my practice policies and procedures please see the forms page.