Why don't you accept insurance?
You pay a lot for your insurance and it’s understandable that you want to use it when you see your doctor. What you may not know is how troublesome insurance companies can be when it comes to mental health: it’s invasive, it’s costly, and it strips me—your doctor—of my autonomy of care. Let me explain how.
Insurance companies require me to fax personal information about my patients on a regular basis, and this creates a vicious circle: the more sensitive the information sent, the more sessions the insurance will allow. However, the more sensitive the information, the more uncomfortable I am in releasing it. Furthermore, the extensive paperwork required by insurance companies translates to a higher cost of care for patients because of the office staff required to manage it. And finally, insurance companies dictate the number of sessions and time frame allowed for a patient to improve. This takes the care out of my hands and places it under the authority of the non-practitioner.
To not accept insurance is a choice I have made in my practice after much experience and consideration. For more information, read How Much Privacy is Enough Privacy for Mental Health Patients? on the Psychology Today website.
Most doctors prescribe pills after a 10-minute consultation. Is that what you do?
I get the feeling that the psychiatric medication craze from the last century has come full circle—people are realizing they aren’t a cure-all. In fact, I prefer to start therapy first to see if it’s effective before adding medication. It is the safer course and there are no side effects. Later, we can always add medication, if necessary. The long-term goal is to become, or remain, medication-free.
How do appointments work? What can I expect?
My staff provides a free, 15-minute consultation to every person who calls our office. Then, if we believe we can help, we will set up a 45-minute evaluation. This evaluation, conducted by a member of my team, provides me with important details about how you, as an individual, function in relationships and process emotions. It also provides important information related to the problems that brought you in. This is more than a diagnosis. Our evaluation identifies the root cause of your problems, which will be explained to you. From there, we will make a plan together on how to proceed.
New patients often come to my office unsure of what to expect from the therapy experience. Hollywood depicts therapy sessions where the patient does all the talking and the therapist sits silently with a notebook in hand. Contrary to that image, my therapy discussions are very interactive. I am committed to making our time together as productive as possible and I believe that being an active, engaged therapist is an effective way to do that.
Occasionally, a problem is best solved by someone other than me. If that happens, I will refer you to a trusted colleague.
How often do you see patients?
I see patients from one- to five-times per week. How often I see a patient is a very personal decision that I make with each individual, and it is dependent on several factors.
What are your office hours?
8 to 4, Monday through Friday.
What if I don't live in Virginia Beach?
Even if you don’t live near Dr. Dabney’s office, you can still seek her care through her Live & Online Skype therapy offering. In fact, thanks to Live & Online, Dr. Dabney now treats patients in more than a dozen cities across the U.S. It’s just as effective as an in-office visit. Video therapy has even been called the future of mental health care.
How does Live & Online Skype therapy work?
You can work with Dr. Dabney from anywhere in Virginia. Online therapy is quick, safe and simple. In fact, online therapy has been called the “future of mental health.” The results are identical to traditional, in-office therapy and patients report no difference in experience. If you’re interested in taking advantage of Live & Online, Dr. Dabney’s staff will help you set up an account in a matter of minutes. Call 757-340-8800 for more information.