Note:Responses to the following questions are Dr. Rodriguez-Siuts’ opinion and should not be construed as representative of all mental health professionals.
When should I initiate therapy?
Problems and emotions can range in intensity and severity so it's always better to seek therapy as early as possible, avoiding going into a crisis, as it can be more challenging to address the symptoms. However, if a situation has occurred suddenly or you have waited to seek therapy (many factors can lead to this), it's never too late to work on your concerns and see improvement in your symptoms. Many people seek counseling to address symptoms such as: sadness; hopelessness; feeling disconnected from others or activities that one previously enjoyed; nervousness/anxiety; feeling unhappy with life; relationship difficulties (e.g., friends, family, romantic partners, co-workers); changes in attitude/mood (e.g., irritability, anger, indifference); increased substance use; and difficulties adjusting to life changes. This list of symptoms is not comprehensive and hopefully, you will see that therapy is not for "crazy people."
How long will I need to go to therapy for?
With therapy, there usually is no set length of treatment. Therapy can last anywhere from one session to several months or even years. It all depends on what a patient wants and needs. Some people come to therapy with a very specific problem they need to solve and find that one or two sessions is sufficient to work through the problem. Other people come to therapy with more complicated issues and may feel they need a few months or more to understand and resolve their concerns. Other people come to therapy with long-standing problems or difficult feelings and may benefit from longer-term therapy.
How often should I go to therapy?
Again, this varies for each person. Most patients choose to come to therapy once a week and then adjust to bi-weekly or monthly as symptoms/concerns improve. Dr. Rodriguez-Siuts will provide recommendations at the end of the first appointment and then the patient can decide how they would like to proceed, as each patient comes with different needs and financial ability.
How will a psychologist help me?
Working with a psychologist to work through your concerns is different than talking to a friend. A psychologist can listen and offer feedback with an objective perspective, whereas a friend is more likely to “tell you what to do.” Additionally, a psychologist has extensive training in treating your symptoms based on empirically-based research. In other words, a psychologist will use different techniques and strategies that have been shown to help particular symptoms and concerns.
What should I expect the sessions to be like?
During the initial assessment, Dr. Rodriguez-Siuts will review the paperwork that the patient has completed and clarify any questions that may arise. She will then ask the patient to briefly discuss their primary concerns and then gather broad information regarding: patient’s mental health history; family and romantic relationships; friendships; work/school satisfaction; substance use; medical and medication history; and cultural factors. Getting an overall view of a patient’s life is necessary to better understand how these different areas may be connected and impacting the patient’s primary concern(s). During the initial assessment, Dr. Rodriguez-Siuts will also provide treatment recommendations. If the patient chooses to continue with therapy, therapeutic goals will be collaboratively identified. Dr. Rodriguez-Siuts predominately utilizes Cognitive-Behavioral techniques, which focuses on exploring connections between a person's thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Dr. Rodriguez-Siuts and the patient will actively work to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs. By addressing these patterns, the patient and Dr. Rodriguez-Siuts can work together to develop constructive ways of thinking that will produce healthier behaviors (e.g., healthier coping strategies, more effective communication strategies) and beliefs. Additionally, Dr. Rodriguez-Siuts’ approach focuses on examining the quality of a patient’s relationships (e.g., family, friends, romantic relationships, co-workers, etc.) and how those relationships may be impacting the patient’s concerns and symptoms.
What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist has an M.D. degree (Doctor of Medicine) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) and has chosen to specialize in the branch of medicine that focuses on mental health issues. A psychiatrist treats patients by talking with them as well as by prescribing medication (if needed). Psychologists have one of these degrees: Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology), or Ed.D. (Doctor of Education). In the state of Arizona, a clinical psychologist also needs to maintain an active license to practice in a private practice setting. A psychologist treats patients by talking with them but usually does not prescribe medication (in some states psychologists can obtain a license to prescribe medication; Arizona does not permit a psychologist to prescribe medication). If medication is needed, a psychologist will refer the patient to a psychiatrist or a family physician.
How much does therapy cost?
Dr. Rodriguez-Siuts currently accepts Aetna insurance plans (no EAPs). The amount a patient is responsible for varies for each individual. Some plans require a copay or payment of the contracted rate if a patient has not met their deductible. Our office will call to verify benefits the day of your first appointment but it’s advised for you to call your insurance company before the first appointment to have a clearer understanding of what you will be responsible for. Please see page titled “Rates and Insurance” for a list of questions to ask your insurance company when verifying benefits. If we are not contracted with your insurance carrier or wish to pay for services out-of-pocket, Dr. Rodriguez-Siuts’ rates are $200 for the initial intake appointment and $175 for the subsequent individual therapy appointments.
SANDRA RODRIGUEZ-SIUTS, PH.D., LLC
8585 E Hartford Dr., Suite 120 Scottsdale, AZ 85255 Phone: (480) 473-5411 Fax: (480) 436-6900