Frequently Asked Questions

Do you prescribe medications?


No, I do not. A physician (an M.D. or D.O.) is licensed to prescribe medications, and a psychiatrist is a physician that specializes in psychiatric medications. If you work with me, we will decide together whether you should speak with a psychiatrist, based on your situation. I regularly collaborate with psychiatrists to maximize benefits for my clients who are engaged in both therapy and medication treatment. Of course, I only communicate with your psychiatrist if you give written permission for it to happen.




Do you take Medicare or Medicaid?


No. I currently am not enrolled as a provider for Medicare or Medicaid.




What types of payment methods do you accept?


I accept payments in the form of cash, checks, all major credit cards, debit cards, and contactless payment (like Apple Pay and Android Pay). You may also pay with a Health Savings Account (HSA) card or your Flexible Spending Account (FSA).




Can I use my health insurance?


I do not work directly with insurance, and am considered an out-of-network provider. Therefore, payment in full of our agreed-upon fee is expected at time of service. Many insurances reimburse for a portion of the out-of-network therapy costs, though the percentage varies and you may need to meet your deductible first. If you have out-of-network benefits and would like to use them, I do email or provide hard copies of a detailed bill for each session, which you can then submit with your out-of-network claims to your insurance company. You will be responsible for communicating directly with them should any issue arise. Please be aware that utilizing health insurance requires I give a psychiatric diagnosis, which becomes permanent on your medical record. This may or may not affect your future eligibility and cost if you wish to make changes to your insurance plans. It is also possible that your insurance company may only allow reimbursements on a limited number of sessions, which may or may not meet your personal goals or needs.




How much do you charge? And what if I can't afford it?


My average fee is $160 per 50-minute session for ongoing individual therapy, with variations for other session lengths, couples therapy, and groups. Please contact me to get specific quotes as it may differ based on your needs. If you cannot afford my full fee, I do reserve a few reduced fee spots for qualified clients. Please feel free to ask me about this during our initial phone consultation. As always, I will do my best to provide appropriate referrals when I am not able to see you myself.




What's the difference between a psychologist, a counselor, and a therapist?


In Texas, terms like "therapist" and "psychotherapist" are used more generally to describe a mental health professional who conducts some form of talk therapy under a state license. Licensed psychologists hold a doctorate degree, which generally requires about 6-7 years of education and training following a 4-year bachelor’s degree. Psychologists provide evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment for various concerns. In addition, they are typically trained in designing and applying psychological research, as well as conducting formal psychological assessment. Licensed Professional Counselors (or LPCs) receive a master’s degree, which generally requires 3-4 years of education and training following a 4-year bachelor’s degree. The training focuses more specifically on counseling, rather than research and testing. Counselors provide psychotherapy, and diagnose and treat a wide range of issues. In most cases, it’s more important that you are matched with a therapist that you feel comfortable with and who specializes in your specific issues, than one with a particular degree.




Do I really need therapy? Can't I just talk to my friends or family?


I view therapy as a tool to be utilized whenever you need a helping hand during rough patches in life. Is there a persistent pattern or negative feeling that has been bothering you for a while? Is there something that you want to change in yourself, your relationships, or your career? Are you tired of thinking or complaining about the same things over and over? Are you finally ready to address something that happened in the past? If your answer is "yes" to any of these questions, it is likely that you could benefit from therapy. As a therapist, I value my clients' social connections and always encourage you to develop and maintain supportive relationships. However, if you have reached out to friends or family members, they probably have provided the best emotional support and/or advice they could give. A trained therapist is a neutral person who can be honest with you about your difficulties in a way that a friend or family member cannot be. In addition, I have found that most clients actually do not feel comfortable sharing their deepest thoughts and feelings with friends or family. Within the special, confidential environment of a therapist's room, you can explore your concerns without worrying about altering or damaging important social and family relationships.




Are there issues or populations that you do not treat?


Yes. It is important to me as a psychologist that I practice within my clinical training and expertise. Here are some common concerns that fall outside my scope of care: -severe addiction of alcohol and/or other substances; -sex therapy; -treatment for offenders of child abuse; -moderate to severe OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder); -active, severe eating disorders; -neuropsychological assessments; -couples who are actively engaged in divorce proceedings and/or child custody processes.




How do I find the right therapist?


A very important question, since research shows that success in therapy heavily depends on the quality of the relationship between you and your therapist. You would benefit most from therapy if you feel safe opening up to your therapist, and trust that they will treat you with respect and care. I recommend that you speak with any potential therapist over the phone first, since most offer a free phone consultation. Tell them a brief summary of your concerns and ask any questions you have. Pay attention to how it feels to talk with them, and let your intuition guide you. If you feel comfortable, then you can schedule a first appointment to meet with them face-to-face. Again, pay attention during the first meeting to your feelings and whether you can see yourself meeting with them regularly to help with your issues. Know that you have the right to stop a session or change therapists any time you wish.





Dr. Cressy Wang, 469-416-4882, DrWang@serenitypllc.com

© 2018 by Serenity Psychological Services PLLC