Common Questions

What happens on my first visit?

At your first visit we will begin by you telling me what problems you are noticing and the concerns you are having. I will ask lots of questions so that I can understand your situation. By the end of the session, I will discuss my initial assessment of the situation and how we can work together to create positive change. Depending upon the problem, you may complete a questionnaire that may help me to better assess your problem. Sometimes my evaluation can take more than one session to complete in order to facilitate treatment and provide you with a more comprehensive understanding of the problem.

What happens on my child's first visit?

For children, I usually see the parent(s) first to obtain observations and background information to help in my assessment. Then I meet with your child to complete my assessment, and begin the important process of establishing rapport with your child and fostering motivation for treatment. At the end of the session, I advise parents about my assessment and treatment plan. Sometimes my child/adolescent diagnostic evaluation can take more than one session to complete. I may ask for your written permission to talk to your child's pediatrician, school or other physician so that I can obtain or provide information that helps me to provide the best quality of care to you. Through my extensive experience treating children and adolescents, I have learned that close communication and collaboration with parents, schools and pediatricians is essential to fostering positive behavior change.

What happens on subsequent visits?

Each therapy visit is 45 minutes long. Therapy visits can be shorter or longer in some cases. In our first session, we will begin working together collaboratively on treatment goals. When I see children, I may spend the last 10 minutes of each session seeing the parent(s). At that time, I discuss what was being worked on in therapy, what treatment recommendations I may have, and how parents can help their child to make progress in treatment.

Where is your office located?

See my Contact Me page which provides a google map of my location where you can input your address for directions. My office is located in the heart of Princeton near Princeton shopping center.

Do you do teletherapy?  

I offer teletherapy using a HIPAA compliant platform (private and secure).  I also see clients in my office on certain days.

What is therapy like?

My orientation to treatment is cognitive-behavioral. See my Cognitive Behavioral Therapy FAQ page for more information. This type of therapy is highly collaborative - which means we work together as a team in a supportive environment to help accomplish your goals. The goal of treatment depends upon the specific problem.  For example, one goal of treatment might be to decrease social anxiety by working to decrease social avoidance.  Another goal of therapy to address chronic worry might be to identify and change specific thinking patterns and to provide positive coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. Much support, acceptance and encouragement is provided in your journey towards change.

Do you take insurance?

I am not on any insurance panels. My clients pay for treatment at the time of service and are provided with a statement (with all information required by insurance carriers) to facilitate reimbursement. Clients pay for services via credit card, check or cash. Many clients receive insurance reimbursement for therapy sessions by using their "out of network" therapy benefits. To learn more, contact your insurer to learn about mental health coverage and potential "out of network" benefits. By not contracting with HMO's and PPO's, I am better able to provide the highest quality of professional care and privacy for my clients.

What is your cancellation policy?

Consistency of attending appointments is important for clinical success. When you schedule an appointment with me, I reserve that time for you. Cancellations or missed sessions with less than 24 hours notice are billed at the session rate. Insurance does not cover missed sessions. If I can reschedule your appointment within the next day or two, I will not charge you for the missed session.

Is therapy confidential?

It is important for you or your child to have a private place to speak about your concerns. Communication between a therapist and client are confidential with a few exceptions as required by law. Those exceptions will be discussed with you if we begin working together. You may choose to give me written permission to share your information, including my assessment and treatment plan with a doctor, therapist, psychiatrist or pediatrician. Obtaining information from other treatment providers or schools often allows me to design more effective treatment plans. Be assured that I will not disclose your information without your written permission unless required by law.

What type of training do you have as a Ph.D. level Psychologist?

See the section "About Me" for more information. As a psychologist with a Ph.D., I have completed a masters degree and Ph.D. including a dissertation (independent research study). My academic training included advanced courses in assessment, therapy, psychological testing and health psychology. Psychologists typically do several years of pre-doctoral internship hours at mental health clinics, following by a year of post-doctoral internship hours. My licensure requirements included a written examination and oral examination. Psychologists are the most well-trained of psychotherapists. Psychologists do not prescribe medication. If medication might be indicated in your situation, I can coordinate referrals to psychiatrists as needed.

For psychiatric emergencies

If you are having a clinical emergency, please call 911 for emergency assistance or go to your local hospital emergency room.

Notice to users of this site: Use of this website is for information and educational purposes only. By using this site, there is no implication, establishment or guarantee of a doctor-patient relationship. No promises or guarantees of services are given or implied in any form, regarding any information on this site nor guarantees of benefit from treatment should future treatment begin. My full name is Madhu Sheila Josephs, Ph.D.