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New TherapyClients


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started?

Potential clients should read about exposure therapy with me and also look over the Helpful Tidbits below that cover logistics, such as payment and office hours. They can then fill out the form on the Contact page with the requested information. My office will reach out to you to schedule an initial session. 

What is your approach to therapy?

I treat anxiety using exposure therapy from an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy perspective. This means that we will move toward those valued things that contribute to a life with meaning, connection, and hope. The path to a meaningful life takes you straight into those things that you have been avoiding. You can read more about exposure therapy here.

Do you offer an initial consultation?

This question has been a struggle for me for quite a while because I understand the desire to have an initial conversation with your mental health provider before paying for a session. There are problems that come along with this practice, though. One is that it can be traumatizing for people to summarize what is going on for them and then not be able to process it. The second is that it is hard for me to keep these phone calls short and, although I would love to provide free services, this is a very fast pathway to burnout for providers. Lastly, the questions that clients have are usually answered somewhere on my website and that can also get a good sense of my personality by watching my videos. In the end, I decided to not offer an initial consultation and to instead have an intake session where we have time to explore in a quality manner. 

What happens in the first session?

The first session is our opportunity to see if we are a good fit - both in purpose and personality. You will be able to tell your story, I will offer information about how I think we can proceed forward, and at the end, I usually give homework. You or I may decide that we are not a good fit, and that may be due to an incompatibility between the way I work and what you are looking for or more subtle and vague reasons. 

What happens in a typical therapy session?

We will usually start each session with a mindfulness exercise in order to help you be present and shift to a self-aware mindset. Next, we will review your homework from the previous session. We will then take up to 30 minutes for an exposure treatment (with or without the use of virtual reality) and/or hypnosis. After debriefing, we will discuss the new homework assignment and then end the session. 

Do I need a lot of special equipment for VR?

Virtual reality exposure therapy is accessible for most people. You will have to buy a "VR universal headset" that your phone will fit into. Do not worry about buying a fancy one - the cheapest ones online (<$20) will do just fine. In addition to your phone, you will also need another device with a camera (laptop, tablet, etc.) so that I can watch you during the treatment. Finally, it is preferable for you to be sitting on a chair with wheels so you can turn around. I will instruct you as to the free app you should download and I will take care of the rest!

Am I the type of client you work with?

I largely serve clients of color due to the lack of providers who can competently work with these populations and because the BIPOC community is experiencing record-levels of need right now. 

The best type of client for me is one who is highly motivated and committed to a better quality of life, in the Active stage of change, and able to take responsibility for their own choices.​ I am currently only seeing adults.

Please note that I do not work with clients who have active and untreated substance abuse or recent/chronic suicidal thinking or behavior. 

Is this a place where I can vent?

Although there is short-term relief when you go into a therapy session and talk about your day and the most recent problems, in the long-term, this often seems to trap clients in their current unhelpful habits. Also, our treatment is very focused on using exposure therapy to address anxiety and regain a sense of meaningfulness. 

Are you seeing couples?

I am not seeing couples; however, as a board-certified couple and family psychologist, I see relationships as a foundation to wellness. If you've ever caught yourself thinking, "If my partner would only do XYZ, my anxiety would be so much better!" then it's pretty likely that the anxiety is contributing to distress in the relationship and VRET can be a helpful treatment for you.

What if I want traditional talk therapy?

You can engage in exposure therapy with me at the same time as traditional talk therapy with someone else; however, this requires collaboration between me and your other provider so that our efforts do not work against each other. 

Please note that I do not provide referrals or assistance for anyone who would like to transition to another provider for traditional talk therapy.

What about insurance and payment?

I am in-network with Aetna (in Washington only) and BCBS PPO plans until SEPTEMBER 1, 2023 - after that, I will be out-of-network for all insurance plans. You will have a credit card on file that will be automatically charged for the full session fee the morning of your session. You can then file for reimbursement under your healthcare plan's out-of-network benefits. 


What states do you work in?

I am licensed in North Carolina and Hawaii and, with my PSYPACT designation, I can work with clients in almost 40 states! These are the states in which I CANNOT see clients: AK, CA, IA, LA, MA, MS, MT, NM, NY, ND*, OR, SC*, SD, VT*. (*states that will soon be covered by PSYPACT)

Helpful Tidbits Anchor

Helpful Tidbits

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All treatment is currently online


Computer Keyboard



HI Psychologist: PSY-1915

NC Psychologist: #6337

ABPP Board Certification:



Dr. Dug's Info

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Monday - Friday

9am - 6pm Eastern


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Currently, I am in-network with Aetna (WA only) and BCBS PPO plans. After 09/01/2023, I will be out-of-network with all insurance plans.


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Initial Session (90 mins)

$250 individuals/ $300 couples

Follow-up Sessions (45 mins)

$200 individuals / $250 couples

Clinical Supervision

$80-$200 / 1 hour meeting


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