Frequently Asked Questions

What types of therapy services do you offer?

At Holding Hope MFT, we offer both individual and couples therapy. If you're interested in learning more about the common presenting conditions we treat, navigate to the "Services" section in the main menu bar.

Do you offer online therapy options?

Yes, we currently offer exclusively online therapy. In response to the pandemic, we closed our physical offices and transitioned to this online model. We've found that therapy remains just as impactful and meaningful in this format. Many clients have also expressed appreciation for the convenience of not having to commute to the office. Given the positive feedback and continued success, we've decided to maintain this model for the foreseeable future.

What platform do you use to conduct online therapy sessions?

At Holding Hope MFT, we utilize SimplePractice for our online therapy sessions. All video consultations are seamlessly conducted through the SimplePractice portal, ensuring a secure and user-friendly experience for our clients. This platform is chosen for its robust security measures and its compliance with HIPAA guidelines, prioritizing the privacy and safety of our clients.

In which states are your therapists licensed to practice?

All therapists at Holding Hope MFT are licensed to practice in New York. Additionally, we have therapists who hold licenses in New Jersey, Connecticut, and California.

Do I have to live in a state where my therapist is licensed?

Due to telehealth regulations and professional licensing standards, therapists can only provide services to clients residing in the states where they are licensed. This ensures that therapists are abiding by the legal and ethical standards set by each state's licensing board. So, if you reside outside of New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut, our therapists may not be able to offer services to you. Always ensure that your chosen therapist is licensed in your state of residence.

What happens if I move to a state where my therapist isn't licensed?

Should you move to a state where your current therapist is not licensed, Holding Hope MFT will assist in connecting you with a therapist who is licensed in your new state, ensuring a smooth transition of care.

How can I schedule, cancel, or reschedule an appointment?

Once you've booked your initial session, you will receive the direct email address of your therapist. For all scheduling matters, including setting, canceling, or rescheduling appointments, it is best to communicate directly with your therapist via email. You can also call our practice at (917) 740-7199.

What is your cancellation policy?

At Holding Hope MFT, we understand that life can be unpredictable. However, in order to ensure that we can accommodate all our clients and maintain a smooth scheduling process, we have the following cancellation policy in place:

  • Clients must cancel their appointments at least 48 hours in advance.
  • If an appointment is cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled session, the client will be charged the full fee for the session.
  • In the event of a short-notice cancellation, our therapists will make every effort to reschedule a make-up session during the same week.
  • If rescheduling within the week is not possible due to either client or therapist availability, the session fee will not be refunded.

This policy helps us maintain a high level of commitment and ensures that we can continue to provide quality care to all our clients. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

What protocols are in place for clients in crisis or experiencing severe distress outside of session hours?

CALL or TEXT 988

It's essential for clients to know that Holding Hope MFT is not equipped as a crisis hotline and, as such, cannot provide immediate assistance for those in emergent crisis situations. If any client, or someone they know, is experiencing an emergency or a severe crisis that needs urgent attention, we strongly recommend calling a dedicated crisis hotline.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7 confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress. You can call or text 988 for help. You can also call 911 or go go to the nearest emergency room for help.

We also urge clients to keep their therapist informed via email. We understand that communication is essential in times of crisis. During regular business hours, our therapists can be available to communicate with the client and other health professionals, when appropriate and with the client's consent, to ensure continuity of care and that necessary supports are in place.

Are there any resources or reading materials you recommend for clients?

Absolutely! At Holding Hope MFT, we believe that complementing therapy with additional resources can be beneficial for our clients.

During the course of therapy, our therapists will provide individualized recommendations for specific resources tailored to the unique needs and presenting issues of each client. Below are just a few types of resources we might recommend for couples:

Book Recommendations for Couples:

Worksheets for Couples:

Relationship-Building Exercises for Couples:

We encourage clients to discuss any topics of interest or specific areas they'd like to explore further with their therapist, who will be more than happy to offer recommendations for additional reading and resources to explore outside of therapy.

How do I stay updated with news related to Holding Hope MFT?

Staying informed about what's happening at Holding Hope MFT is important to us, as it ensures you're always in the loop regarding your care and other relevant updates. Here's how you can stay connected:

Direct Email Communication: Any essential information that could impact your clinical care will be sent directly to you via email. This ensures that you're promptly informed about anything that's crucial to your therapeutic journey.

Mailing List: For general news, updates, and non-clinical information related to Holding Hope MFT, we have a dedicated mailing list. To join and receive these updates, simply use the sign-up form provided below.

Do you offer therapy for younger individuals, such as children or teenagers?

No, our expertise is focused on serving adults. We provide therapy exclusively to individuals aged 18 years and older.

How do I contact my therapist at Holding Hope MFT?

The most direct way to reach your therapist at Holding Hope MFT is through email. Upon starting therapy with us, you will be given your therapist's direct email address for easier communication. This allows for a more personal and prompt connection with your therapist. Please ensure that you use this contact method responsibly and remember that email should not be used for emergencies. If you're facing an urgent situation or crisis, seek immediate assistance or contact emergency services.

Do your therapists have the ability to prescribe medications?

No, therapists at Holding Hope MFT do not prescribe medications. If medication is a consideration, we can collaborate with or refer you to a medical professional, such as a psychiatrist, who has the appropriate credentials to prescribe medications.

What types of therapy services do you offer?

No, therapists at Holding Hope MFT do not prescribe medications. If medication is a consideration, we can collaborate with or refer you to a medical professional, such as a psychiatrist, who has the appropriate credentials to prescribe medications.

How do I select the best therapist for my needs at Holding Hope MFT?

Choosing the right therapist is a pivotal part of your therapeutic journey. While many of our therapists at Holding Hope MFT have foundational training, each one also possesses distinct expertise and specializations. Here’s how you can select the best match:

Identify Your Needs: Start by understanding what you aim to achieve from therapy and any specific conditions or challenges you're aiming to address.

Consult with Mara: As the practice owner, Mara is dedicated to ensuring every client finds the best therapeutic fit. After hearing about your story, she will recommend a therapist she believes aligns best with your needs.

Research Therapist Profiles: We encourage you to delve into the profiles of our therapists on our website. These provide an insight into their backgrounds, specializations, and therapeutic philosophies.

Consider Specializations: If you're grappling with specific issues like trauma or require couples counseling, it might be beneficial to opt for a therapist with specialized training in those areas.

Trust Your Gut: After gathering information, consider who you feel most drawn to. Building a therapeutic relationship is rooted in trust, so it's essential you feel a genuine connection.

If you ever feel uncertain or have additional queries, please don't hesitate to reach out. Our utmost priority is to ensure you find the best fit for your therapeutic journey at Holding Hope MFT.

What can I expect during my first session with Holding Hope MFT?

During your initial session at Holding Hope MFT, you can expect a warm and welcoming environment where the primary goal is understanding your unique needs and circumstances. This session typically involves:

Building Rapport: The therapist will start by creating a comfortable space for you to express yourself. It's essential for both the client and therapist to establish a foundation of trust.

Information Gathering: The therapist will ask questions to get a clear picture of your current situation, any challenges you're facing, and your reasons for seeking therapy. This could include discussing your personal history, current life circumstances, and specific issues or feelings you're experiencing.

Goal Setting: While this might not be finalized in the first session, you'll start to discuss your therapy goals, what you wish to achieve, and what your desired outcomes are.

Therapeutic Approach Introduction: The therapist might introduce you to the therapeutic modalities they employ and provide an overview of how future sessions might be structured.

Logistical Details: There will be a brief discussion about practical aspects such as session frequency, fees, confidentiality policies, and any other logistical details relevant to your therapy process.

Addressing Concerns: The session will also provide you an opportunity to ask any questions or voice any concerns you might have, ensuring you feel informed and comfortable moving forward.

Remember, the first session is as much about you getting to know the therapist as it is about them getting to know you. It's a collaborative effort to ensure the therapy process is tailored to your unique needs.

How long is a therapy session at Holding Hope MFT?

A typical therapy session at Holding Hope MFT lasts approximately 50 minutes. There may be times when you or your therapist request a "double session", which is two back to back sessions and lasts about 100 minutes.

What happens if I don't feel a connection with my therapist? Can I switch to another one?

Building a trusting and comfortable relationship with your therapist is foundational for a successful therapeutic experience. If you ever feel that you're not connecting with your therapist, we genuinely encourage you to communicate your feelings. One of the unique aspects of Holding Hope MFT is that Mara, the founder of Holding Hope MFT, personally conducts all the initial consultations. This hands-on approach ensures that every client is paired with a therapist that aligns best with their needs and goals from the outset. It's part of our commitment to offering personalized care and stands as a significant advantage for our clients. However, if at any point you believe another therapist could better serve your needs, we're dedicated to understanding your concerns and will work with you to find another therapist that aligns more closely with your preferences and goals.

What should I do if I have concerns or feedback about my therapy experience?

Open communication is crucial for a successful therapeutic relationship. If you have any concerns, feedback, or suggestions about your therapy experience at Holding Hope MFT, we encourage you to:

Speak Directly with Your Therapist: Addressing any issues or feedback directly with your therapist can be beneficial. They value your input and are committed to adjusting and refining the therapeutic process to better suit your needs.

Reach Out to Mara, the Practice Owner: Mara is dedicated to ensuring that every client has a positive and impactful experience at Holding Hope MFT. If you're more comfortable discussing your concerns with her, she's always available to listen and assist. Call the practice at (917) 740-7199 and leave a message for Mara or email her directly with your concerns.

Provide Written Feedback: Sometimes, it's easier to articulate your thoughts in writing. If you prefer, you can submit your feedback in a written form, ensuring that we understand and address your concerns comprehensively.

Schedule a Review Session: Consider setting aside a session to review your therapy journey so far. Discussing your progress, challenges, and any areas of concern can help realign your therapeutic path.

Your feedback is invaluable to us. It not only helps enhance your therapy experience but also contributes to the continuous improvement of our services for all clients.

What is the process for ending therapy, and how will I know when it's time?

The journey of therapy is a deeply personal one and, much like our individual life paths, it varies for each person. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to when therapy should end, as the duration and process depend on various factors like the nature of the issues being addressed, personal goals, and the pace at which progress is being made.

At Holding Hope MFT, our therapists collaborate with clients to design a roadmap for their therapeutic journey. Think of this as charting a course through unexplored terrain. Together, you'll identify significant landmarks or milestones that signify progress and growth. Regular discussions are held between the client and therapist to revisit and assess these milestones, ensuring both are aligned on where they're at in the therapy process.

When a client approaches or achieves many of these milestones, it may be an indication that the intensive phase of therapy can be reduced or concluded. However, this decision is always made collaboratively, with the well-being and long-term growth of the client as the primary focus.

Remember, ending therapy isn't about rushing to a finish line; it's about reaching a point where you feel confident in your newfound skills and understanding, ready to navigate life's challenges with the tools and insights gained during the therapeutic process.

What credentials do therapists at Holding Hope MFT have?

Every therapist at Holding Hope MFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) in the state of New York, unless otherwise specified on their profile page (e.g. we occasionally support post-graduate MFT trainees who are working toward their licensure). LMFTs have completed graduate degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and have undergone rigorous post-graduate training and have passed the state licensing examination to earn their licensure. For a more comprehensive understanding of the qualifications and expertise of an LMFT, please refer to next 4 questions in the FAQ section below which cover topics related to what marriage and family therapists are all about.

What is Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)?

Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) is a distinctive type of psychotherapy that addresses the intricate dynamics of relationships, encompassing families, couples, and wider relational networks. It delves into and remedies disruptions in interpersonal connections, offering a comprehensive approach that extends beyond the singular perspective.

What is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)?

A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) embodies a blend of expertise in individual psychotherapy and intricate family systems. This unique training allows them to help clients navigate and address the multifaceted dynamics of relationships, and provides them with greater insights into family structures and their inherent challenges.

What qualifications do LMFTs have?

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists have completed a master's degree or higher specifically in Marriage and Family Therapy. After earning their graduate degree, prospective MFTs in New York are required to pursue a supervised internship, during which they must complete a minimum of 1,500 hours of supervised clinical practice, and pass the state-approved licensing exam to achieve the status of a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

What sets LMFTs apart from other mental health professionals?

While many therapists center their approach on individual well-being, LMFTs prioritize the broader context of each individual's relationships. Their training emphasizes the interconnectedness of individuals within familial and relational systems, making them particularly effective in addressing relational issues and dynamics. They not only address individual challenges but dive deep into the intricate patterns of interactions within families and couples to bring about holistic healing.

Are your services covered by insurance?

Holding Hope MFT does not directly accept insurance; we are considered out-of-network providers. However, many clients find that they can receive reimbursement for sessions if their insurance plan offers out-of-network benefits.

Here's how it typically works:

1. After each session, we provide clients with a detailed bill (often referred to as a "superbill"). This document contains all the necessary information required by insurance companies.

2. Clients can then submit this bill to their insurance provider for reimbursement.

3. It's worth noting that usually, PPO plans offer out-of-network coverage or benefits. However, it's always a good idea to check with your insurance company about the specifics of your plan.

4. To get an estimate of potential reimbursement amounts based on your insurance, you can visit:

We encourage clients to explore their out-of-network benefits, as many find they can recoup a significant portion of their therapy costs. Always consult with your insurance provider to understand the specifics of your coverage.

How is billing handled?

Clients are asked to provide a credit card upon starting therapy with us. Following each session, this card will be charged for the full fee amount. This ensures a smooth and hassle-free payment process for both our therapists and clients. If there are any billing questions or concerns, clients are encouraged to reach out directly to our administrative team for clarification and assistance.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards for payment. For the convenience and security of both our clients and therapists, we do not accept cash or checks.

Do you provide a sliding scale fee structure for individuals facing financial challenges?

Yes, we recognize that everyone's financial situation is unique and believe that financial constraints should not be a barrier to receiving quality therapeutic care. Each therapist at Holding Hope has a limited number of slots available in their schedule specifically for clients who qualify for sliding scale rates. The determination of these rates is done on a case-by-case basis, reflecting the individual's financial need. If you believe you might qualify or have questions about our sliding scale rates, please mention this during the initial intake call, and we'll be more than happy to discuss its applicability to your situation.

Are there situations where information from therapy might be shared?

At Holding Hope MFT, client confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Information from therapy is never shared without the client's explicit consent. The only potential rare exception to this would be if records were ever subpoenaed during legal proceedings (see below for more information).

Can my records be subpoenaed?

While this would be extremely rare (to date, no therapist at Holding Hope MFT has ever received a subpoena for client records), it's important to realize that in rare legal situations, such as divorce and custody proceedings or criminal lawsuits, client records can be subpoenaed. In this scenario, we would prioritize client confidentiality and take steps to protect it based on discussions with / the wishes of the client. Our primary goal is to ensure that client information remains confidential and is treated with the respect and sensitivity it deserves. Always remember that our commitment is first and foremost to our clients and their privacy.

How does Holding Hope ensure my privacy and confidentiality during online therapy sessions?

At Holding Hope MFT, we prioritize the privacy and confidentiality of our clients, recognizing the profound trust placed in our care. Here's how we ensure your privacy, especially during online sessions:

HIPAA-Compliant Telehealth Platform: We use SimplePractice, a platform that's fully compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This ensures that your personal health information is protected with the highest standards of data encryption and security protocols.

Secure Connection: All online sessions are conducted over encrypted connections. This means that the data transferred between us cannot be easily intercepted or decoded by unauthorized parties.

No Recording Policy: Online sessions are never recorded to ensure that there's no stored video or audio that could be potentially accessed or breached.

Data Retention and Disposal: Any notes or records from our sessions are stored securely, with access limited to necessary personnel only. We follow best practices for data retention and disposal to ensure client information is protected at all times.

Consent and Awareness: Before starting online therapy, we ensure that our clients are fully aware of the tools we use, their rights regarding their data, and any potential risks associated with online sessions. We obtain written consent from all clients prior to starting therapy, ensuring transparency in our practices.

Your privacy and comfort are paramount to us. We're committed to maintaining the highest standards of confidentiality and are always open to addressing any concerns or questions you may have about your privacy during online sessions.