C. Matthew Nichols, Ph.D.
                                      Licensed Psychologist
FAQ

How do I choose a psychologist?

At some time in our lives, each of us may feel overwhelmed and may need help dealing with our problems. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 30 million Americans need help dealing with feelings and problems that seem beyond their control -- problems with a marriage or relationship, a family situation, or dealing with losing a job, the death of a loved one, depression, stress, burnout, or substance abuse. Those losses and stresses of daily living can at times be significantly debilitating. Sometimes we need outside help from a trained, licensed professional in order to work through these problems. Through therapy, psychologists help millions of Americans of all ages live healthier, more productive lives.

What to expect from your first therapy appointment/How therapy helps - a quick guide from APA.  

Is psychotherapy confidential?

The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.

Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.

Are online sessions available?

Online video sessions are available for clients whose permanent residence is in New York or California and live far from the office, travel frequently, or have other reasons that make consistent, in-person meetings not possible. Video sessions can also be utilized when last minute factors jeopardize a particular session (e.g., bad weather, travel problems, illness).  Other video conferencing programs are also options. In case you are not familiar with Skype or similar programs, they are free and very easy to download and use.

What are your rates?

My standard fee is $275 per 45-minute session for individuals and $300 for couples. Reduced fee services may be available for students or those with financial constraints or other special circumstances. If you are not able to pay the full fee, I encourage you to let me know. If I cannot accommodate your financial situation, I will try my best to assist you with finding appropriate referrals.

Do you take insurance?

I do not accept insurance directly, but am considered an out-of-network provider for most PPO plans, and most flexible spending plans typically consider services rendered by a Licensed Psychologist to be qualifying expenses.  Some flexible spending plans may also provide you with a debit card for ease of access for medical/therapy services.

If you have a PPO plan, services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. I can provide you with a statement to seek reimbursement from your insurance company or flexible spend plan.  Please check your insurance coverage carefully by asking the following questions:

  • Do I have mental health benefits?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
  • How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

What forms of payment do you accept?

Multiple forms of payment are accepted including check, all credit/debit, and HSA account cards. 

What is your cancellation policy?

If you do not come for your scheduled appointment, or you have not notified me at least 24 hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of the treatment as scheduled.  Emergent weather situations may be considered.