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Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? Write Dr. Friedman at doc4mind@yahoo.com.

Why should I see a psychologist?

People often think that you need to be "crazy" to seek the help of a professional. This misconception leads many to lose the opportunity for increased quality of life. The only condition for psychotherapy is the desire to live a happier, more fulfilling life. After years of practice, I truly do not believe that people who go into therapy are "sicker" than those who do not. It is not a sign of weakness to crave growth. In fact, I experience an immediate respect for my new clients, as I believe that it takes strength and courage to walk through that door.

How do I know if you are the right psychologist for me?

I recommend consulting with different psychologists until you feel a connection with your therapist and a sense that he/she genuinely cares about your well-being. Your therapist should offer insight, understanding and tools for coping beyond what you can get from your outside world.   After you have given therapy a chance, you need to evaluate whether you are growing and changing in a positive way. If so, you are probably with the right therapist.

How long does therapy last?

The length of therapy varies depending on the client's goals. Sometimes a person will choose to focus on a specific issue (e.g., loss of a loved one), which can be handled in short-term therapy. Others may want to grow more globally or work on deep-seated issues. This requires more time in therapy. Often the problems that bring people to therapy took a long time to develop and cement. For this reason, true and lasting change may require a time commitment to healing.

How long are therapy sessions and how often do I need to go to therapy?

My individual therapy sessions are 50 minutes long. I generally start out seeing clients once per week. This can be adjusted depending on the individual's needs. I am available for "emergency sessions" if needed in between our regularly scheduled appointments.

How do I pay for therapy?

My policy is to have the client pay for each session at the time of service. On a monthly basis I can provide you with a statement to submit to your insurance company who may reimburse you for a percentage of my fee. I am credentialed with a number of insurance companies, but I am not affiliated with any HMO's.

Will my therapy be confidential?

I will answer this question as it pertains to adults, as I do not work with minors in my practice. Psychotherapy is confidential. There are a few exceptions to this rule.   If you give your therapist permission to share information with another party (e.g., another health care provider), he or she is free to do so. Also, if there is a reason to suspect that you or another person is in danger of being harmed, the therapist is legally required to share necessary information to protect the party in danger from harm.   If you choose to go through insurance, the insurance companies will have access to some basic information about your treatment (e.g., diagnosis). If I am court ordered, I may have to disclose some or all of a client's records for legal reasons." Please note that this is very rare and has never happened in my practice.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychologists have a doctorate degree (Ph.D., Psy.D. or Ed.D) and usually focus on psychotherapy and psychological testing. Psychologists can offer opinions on medication, but cannot prescribe medication. Psychiatrists are medical doctors (M.D.'s) and prescribe medication for mental/emotional issues. Some psychiatrists perform psychotherapy as well.

How do I get in touch with you if I need you?

Due to my schedule, most of my phone calls (703-859-5608) are answered by voice mail. I check my messages several times throughout the day and return my calls as soon as my schedule permits. I also check my email throughout the day and correspond with many of my clients that way. When I am out of town, I have a trusted colleague available for emergency phone or in-person consultations.

Please contact Dr. Friedman for further information or to schedule a consultation.

Dr. Dina Friedman
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Private Practice
Reston, VA