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1312 E. Burnside Street       Portland       OR        97214       503-875-5011        [email protected]

  Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept insurance?
Acuity Mental Health is contracted with the following insurance* plans:
  • Beacon
  • Cigna
  • Providence
  • Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Reliant
  • United HealthCare

*It is your responsibility to contact your insurance provider (the number on the back of your insurance card) to confirm coverage, deductible and co-pay, prior to attending your first session. Insurance coverage is always "estimated" and not guaranteed. Your insurance provider may reject your claim for reasons outside of you, or your therapist's control. If this is the case you may be responsible for the contracted session fee.

What are your fees?
Current Fees* (07/01/18):
Individual Psychotherapy: $150 (45-50 minutes)
Psychiactric Dianostic Assessment: $200 (up to 60 minutes)
Group Psychotherapy: $75 per session (typically 90 minutes)
​Couple/Family Active Listening Session: $200 (up to 90 minutes)

*The "contracted" insurance fee is typically lower than the fees listed above.

How do I pay?
The preferred method of payment is via automatic deduction from your credit card, debit card or HSA/FSA account. At your initial session, your therapist will enter your credit card into Stripe, a level 1 PCI Service Provider (level 1 is the highest security grade) and your fee or copay will be set up for an automatic deduction at the end of each session.
Accepted methods of payment:
  • Credit card (including Care Credit)
  • Debit card
  • FSA and HSA accounts
  • Personal check or money order
  • Cash (exact amount only)​

Payment is required prior to each session. If you are using insurance to cover the session, Acuity Mental Health will bill your insurance provider directly. Your monthly statements are available via the client portal.

Do you offer discounted rates or a sliding scale?
Acuity mental health accepts a limited number of clients at a discounted rate. Please contact Acuity via email ([email protected]) or text (503-875-5011) to inquire further.

     Clients who are struggling financially may be eligible for the payment plan option. In a nutshell, the client agrees to have a monthly           fee automatically deducted from their bank account or credit card. This monthly payment will continue to be deducted from the 
     client's account after treatment goals have been met and/or the client or therapist end (or suspend) therapy, until the balance is paid
     in full.

Do you offer a free consultation?
In order to free up my schedule so that I can spend as much time as possible with my clients, I am no longer offering a free, in-person or phone consultation. You are welcome to contact me via email or text and ask me as many questions as you’d like prior to scheduling your initial consultation. You can also watch this video in order to get to know a little about me and my own personal history, or you can read my blog (or scroll down) to find out more about my approach to therapy.

Why don’t you offer a phone consultation?
Well, there a few reasons for this:
  1. My  primary focus is spending face-to-face time with my clients and this takes up the majority of my work day. I also offer after-hours support for established clients. Then there’s the required paperwork, phone calls with insurance companies, continuing education/trainings, etc. All of this adds up very quickly and leaves little free time.
  2. I have found that attempting to set up a consultation typically results in a frustrating game of phone tag which inevitably leads to a referral to the online registration process in the end, so I chose to make this the beginning instead.
  3. I receive A LOT of phone calls and emails. Depending on the time of the year (and the state of the union), I can receive up to 30 calls and emails per week. 
  4. I am hearing impaired. Though I am not completely deaf, I do wear hearing aids and I have to remove them order to use the phone. I can get by without my hearing aids (I use my “good” ear when I’m on the phone), but it’s my least favorite way to communicate as I am afraid will miss something important. I do much better via text, email or face-to-face and those are my preferred methods of communication.

What is DBT?
DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) was originally developed in the early 80's as a year-long treatment program to treat severe emotion dysregulation (chronically suicidality, impulsivity, frequent psychiatric hospitalizations, extreme emotional outbursts, etc). It is now recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population. In addition, ongoing research has shown that DBT is effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger management and eating disorders.
The goal of DBT is to help clients build a life that they experience as "worth living." In DBT, the client and the therapist work together to set goals that are meaningful to the client. Often this means they work on ways to decrease behaviors that cause distress and replace them with effective, life-enhancing behaviors.
DBT has five components that work together that make up a standard DBT program (Individual therapy, skills training, coaching, case management and therapist consultation). This is different than many other psychotherapies that consist of just one mode or aspect of treatment such as anger management groups or individual therapy alone. Each component or mode of treatment is intended to meet a specific function.

What are the components of DBT?
Components of DBT:
Skills Training
DBT skills training focuses on enhancing clients’ capabilities by teaching them behavioral skills. Skills training is usually taught in groups; the group is run like a class where the group leaders teach the skills and assign homework. The homework helps clients practice using the skills in their everyday lives. Groups meet on a weekly basis and it takes about 24 weeks to get through the full skills curriculum, which is often repeated to create a 1-year program. Briefer schedules that teach only a subset of the skills have also been developed for particular populations and settings.

Individual Therapy
DBT individual therapy is focused on enhancing client motivation and helping clients to apply the skills to specific challenges and events in their lives. In the standard DBT model, individual therapy takes place once a week for as long as the client is in therapy, and it runs concurrently with weekly DBT skills training.

I offer text and email coaching to provide support and help clients use skills in order to effectively cope with difficult situations that arise in their everyday lives. Clients can contact me between sessions to receive coaching when they need help the most.

Case Management
Clients are taught and encouraged to use case management strategies help them manage their lives, such as their physical and social environments. The therapist applies the same dialectical, validation, and problem-solving strategies in order to teach the client to be his or her own case manager. This lets the therapist consult to the patient about what to do, and the therapist will only intervene on the client’s behalf when absolutely necessary.

Consultation Team
The DBT consultation teams are typically focused on the people who provide treatment including individual therapists, skills training group leaders and others who help treat clients. The consultation team is intended to support DBT providers in their work (therapy for the therapist). The consultation team is designed to help providers stay motivated and competent so they can provide the best treatment possible. This is especially important when treating people with severe, complex, difficult-to-treat disorders so the team can help one another manage burnout and share their knowledge.

Do you offer a full DBT Program?
A full (to fidelity) DBT program consists of weekly individual therapy along with weekly skills training as well as after hours coaching (typically for one year). I do offer weekly individual and group therapy, as well as limited after hours coaching, but I know that it's not always possible for clients to make this commitment (for financial and other reasons). During the initial assessment we can discuss the options that work for you and develop a plan for treatment.

Though I have experience working in a fidelity DBT program, the program I currently offer is a "modified" DBT program. Because I am a private practitioner, I am not able to meet all of the guidelines to fidelity (I meet bi-weekly with a consult team rather than weekly, for instance). I've also added components such as active listening and self-compassion that I don't feel are given enough attention in the standard program.

What is a DBT Skills Training Group and how does it work?
DBT skills training focuses on enhancing clients’ capabilities by teaching them behavioral skills. DBT groups are run like a class where the group leaders teach the skills and assign homework. The homework helps clients practice using the skills in their everyday lives. Groups meet on a weekly basis: Tuesdays: 6:30PM - 8PM or Saturdays: 11:30AM to 1PM. There are 4 modules in DBT Skills training (summarized below). Each group session is 90 minutes. New groups begin approximately every 8-10 weeks. You may attend one or all of the modules listed below based on your specific needs and/or therapist recommendations.

Here's the breakdown:
1. Interpersonal Effectiveness (8 sessions): Assertive communication skils. How to ask for what you want and say no effectively
2. Emotion Regulation (8 sessions): How to improve awareness of thoughts and feelings and reduce the intensity of severe emotions
3. Distress Tolerance (6 sessions): How to tolerate pain in difficult situations by balancing  thought distraction and  emotion acceptance
4. Mindfulness (6 sessions): The practice of being fully aware and present in the moment

Do you meet with individuals before they start group?
I require a diagnostic assessment (60 minute session) prior to the start of group. 

What are the people like in group?
The majority of the people who attend DBT groups are human beings (very few are robots). All kidding aside, group members range in age (16 to senior citizen), gender, socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds. Some of the group members are there because DBT was recommended by their therapist. Some just attend group and do not meet with an individual therapist. Some meet with me for individual therapy on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or as-needed basis. The common thread (other than human) is a desire to learn coping tools for managing stress and improving relationships. 

What is your approach to therapy?
You can click on "about Charmagne" (below), watch this video or check out my blog in order to get to know a little about me. If you have additional questions, feel free to email me directly at: [email protected]

About Charmagne
Fees and Insurance

If you have further questions that cannot be answered via one of the links above, please feel free to
text (503-875-5011) or email ([email protected]).