CREATIVE PSYCHOLOGY WITH DR. DUG
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get started?
Potential clients should read about brief therapy with me and also look over the Helpful Tidbits below that cover logistical matters, 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.
Do you offer an initial consultation?
This question has been a struggle for me for quite a while. I understand the desire to have an initial conversation with your mental health provider before paying for a session, but these initial consultations have posed multiple difficulties for me in the past. The biggest problem is that it can be very traumatizing for people to summarize what is going on for them and then not be able to process it. The second issue is that it can be difficult to keep these phone calls short and I then end up basically providing a free session. Although I would love to provide free services, this is a very fast pathway to burnout for providers. Lastly, I have found that it is very difficult to determine goodness-of-fit in that initial call and the questions that clients have are usually answered somewhere on my website. For these reasons, I have determined that it is in the best interest of all 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 after the first session?
The first session is our opportunity to see if we are a good fit. If not, that may be due to an incompatibility between the way I work and what you are looking for. It also could be due to more subtle and vague reasons.
What can we actually accomplish in 25 minutes?
I also used to be doubtful about the effectiveness of short sessions, but my mind has changed over the last year. I have noticed that during shorter sessions, we use the time more effectively and get into substantial topics faster. More importantly, though, because many of my clients tend to suffer from anxiety, the shorter sessions also prevent them from going into "thought spirals" and too much meta-analysis. The final huge benefit of shorter sessions is that clients have to do their own work between sessions in order to facilitate movement; thus, encouraging independence and self-trust.
Are you seeing couples?
I see a small number of couples for brief (25 minute sessions, up to 6 months) therapy. I am board-certified in Couple and Family Psychology and take a systemic and empowering approach to relationships. That means that I look at the big picture - patterns and cycles - that is impacting your relationship and empower you to move toward a more desired version of that relationship. I do not provide referrals for continuing treatment beyond our work together.
Do you take insurance?
I am in-network with most major health insurance plans in Washington State, but not in any other states. You will have a credit card on file that will be automatically charged for the full session fee and you can then file for reimbursement under your healthcare plan's out-of-network benefits.
What is your approach to therapy?
Sessions last 25 minutes and we may meet for up to six months. I approach therapy with a systemic lens; I look at the big picture, patterns, and interactions. I care less about the details of a particular event, and more about how that event fits into your story. I also am a Cognitive Behavioral practitioner, which means that I am curious about people's perceptions and how their core beliefs impact their everyday. Additionally, I often integrate creative and artistic strategies into treatment, which help people think less, and experience more.
What is your specialty?
I specialize in relationships, relational stress (not just romantic relationships), and high/overly functioning anxiety. I incorporate creative strategies into treatment to help move people from thinking to experiencing. These themes are evident in my YouTube channel, Creative Psychology with Dr. Dug.
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 for improvement, ready for 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. I also do not work with relationships that are dealing with an ongoing affair.
Is this a place where I can vent?
I have found that "venting" sessions often leave the client feeling worse and usually has very little benefit. My style of therapy focuses on what is, rather than what isn't; on your strengths, rather than deficiencies; and and what could be, rather than what was. For those clients who desire a therapy where you can hash out your daily struggles, you would be better served by another provider.
What if I want longer-term therapy?
There are a couple of reasons why I am limiting therapy to six months for each client. One reason is that I think it is beneficial for clients to be exposed to different therapists' perspectives. The second reason is that I want to have turnover in my availability to help the current immense amount of unmet need.
During the course of treatment, we may decide that long-term therapy is more appropriate for you; you may end up transferring to another provider mid-treatment or after the six months. In the latter case, the work we do can create a strong foundation upon which you can start work with a new provider.
Please note that I do not provide referrals or assistance for anyone who would like to continue with long-term therapy and will not work with clients beyond the six month maximum.
All treatment is currently online
Dr. Dug's Info
Washington Psychologist License: PY60415676
Hawaii Psychologist License:
Georgia Psychologist License: PSY004561
ABPP Board Certification:
PSYPACT APIT #9761
Mon 3-6 PM Eastern
Tuesdays 5-6 PM Eastern
Thurs 10-11, 3-6 PM Eastern
Wednesdays 5-6 PM Eastern
Sessions are 30 minutes.
WA: In-network provider with major health insurance plans.
All other states: Out-of-network
Please note that health insurance plans do not cover couples/family therapy.
Can I See You?
Dr. Dug works with clients in Hawaii and with her PSYPACT designation, she can also see clients in more than 30 states.
AL, AZ, AR, CO, DE, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, ME, MD, MN, MO, NE, NV,
NH, NJ, NC, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI
If you are not located in one of these states, you can look at the PSYPACT site for more information about when/if your state is considering joining the interstate compact.