Frequently asked questions

What can I expect in my first appointment?

In our first appointment, we will get to know one another, talk about your concerns, strengths, and goals for our time together. We will review paperwork and policies and review payment options. We will have the opportunity to talk about questions and opportunities for timing and scheduling future appointments.

Where is your office located?

My physical office is located on the East Side of Milwaukee, near Cathedral Square, at 827 N Cass Street. Right now, due to the continued pandemic, sessions continue to happen on the Simple Practice Video session platform.

Can I come to sessions online?

Yes! All sessions are happening online due to the pandemic. Right now, insurance companies all continue to reimburse for behavioral health services provided virtually. However, it is always helpful to call your insurance to confirm coverage. Lumos Wellness will not contact your insurance for you, and you may do so to assure coverage.

Can I use my insurance for services with you?

Yes, I am in network with many insurances which include the following; Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Partners in Behavioral Health United Health Care United Behavioral Health UMR Cigna Avera Optum All other insurances accepted out of network rates, or you may choose to utilize my sliding scale if you wish to keep your diagnosis confidential from your insurance carrier.

What if I don't have insurance, are there other payment options?

Your comfort and access to help is important to me, and that's why I offer a sliding scale. The sliding scale is often helpful when the services I provide are out of network with your insurance, or you may not have coverage at this time.

How long can I expect to attend therapy?

I practice Solution Focused Brief Therapy, which often provides results within 6-8 sessions. You may attend therapy for a shorter time, or for longer as long as it is helpful to you.

What is a Perinatal Mood or Anxiety Disorder (PMAD)?

Perinatal or postpartum mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD) is the term used to describe distressing feelings that occur during pregnancy (perinatal) and throughout the first year after pregnancy (postpartum). Feelings can be mild, moderate or severe. Although the term “Postpartum Depression” is often used, there is actually a spectrum of disorders that can affect mothers during pregnancy and postpartum. These include:  Depression/Anxiety in Pregnancy: It is estimated that 15-21% of pregnant women experience moderate to severe symptoms of depression or anxiety (Wisner KL, Sit DKY, McShea MC, et al. JAMA Psychiatry 2013).  Postpartum Depression: Approximately 21% of women experience major or minor depression following childbirth. (Wisner KL, Sit DKY, McShea MC, et al. JAMA Psychiatry 2013) Low income women and teens have rates up to 60% (Earls, M. Pediatrics 2010). Symptoms differ for everyone, and may include: feelings of anger, fear and/or guilt, lack of interest in the baby, appetite and sleep disturbance, difficulty concentrating/ making decisions, and possible thoughts of harming the baby or oneself.  Perinatal Panic Disorder: This is a form of anxiety that occurs in up to 11% of new mothers. Symptoms include: feeling very nervous, recurring panic attacks (shortness of breath, chest pain, heart palpitations), many worries or fears (Wenzel A. 2011).  Perinatal Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: This is the most misunderstood and misdiagnosed of the perinatal disorders. It is estimated that as many as 11% of new mothers will experience the following symptoms: obsessions (persistent thoughts or intrusive mental images often related to the baby), compulsions (doing things over and over to reduce the fears and obsessions) or avoidance, and a sense of horror about the obsessions. These mothers know their thoughts are bizarre and are very unlikely to ever act on them (Miller ES. J Reprod Med 2013).  Postpartum Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: An estimated 9% of women experience PTSD following childbirth (Beck C, et al Birth 2011). Symptoms typically include: Traumatic childbirth experience with a reexperiencing of the trauma (dreams, thoughts, etc.), avoidance of stimuli associated with the event (thoughts, feelings, people, places, details of event, etc.), and persistent increased arousal (irritability, difficulty sleeping, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response).  Perinatal Bipolar Disorder: Over 70% of women with bipolar disorder who stop medication when pregnant become ill during the pregnancy. Twenty-two percent of depressed postpartum women are suffering from a bipolar depression (Wisner KL, Sit DKY, McShea MC, et al. JAMA Psychiatry 2013).  Postpartum Psychosis: occurs in approximately 1 to 2 of every 1,000 deliveries (Sit, et al, 2006). The onset is usually sudden, most within the first 4 weeks, with symptoms including: delusions (strange beliefs) and/or hallucinations, feeling very irritated, hyperactive, decreased need for sleep, and significant mood changes with poor decision-making. There is a 5% suicide rate and 4% infanticide rate associated with Psychosis and thus immediate treatment is imperative (Sit D, et al, JWH 2006).  Without appropriate intervention, poor maternal mental health can have long term and adverse implications for mother, child and family.  A mother’s mood and anxiety symptoms have a direct impact on her partner as well. Her partner may feel overwhelmed, confused, angry, and afraid she will never be well. This may place a strain on the couple’s relationship. About 10% of new dads have depression, mood or anxiety problems, as well (Paulson & Bazemore, JAMA 2010).

What is Art Therapy? How could it help me and do I have to be an artist to do it?

Art therapy enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and experience of the healing relationship. Art therapy, facilitated by a professional art therapist, supports personal and relational goals. Art therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensorimotor functions, nurture self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress. You don't have to be an artist to enjoy art therapy. Many of us sing along to our favorite songs, or dance enthusiastically at weddings without having professional training. Akin to those experiences, making art can be a joyful and playful outlet in our lives. Scribbling and collage are as welcome in the art therapy studio as sophisticated mark making of a practiced hand.

How long would my session be?

Our appointment for our first meeting is 60 minutes, to give us more time to get to know one another, and complete administrative tasks like reviewing paperwork and policies. Follow up appointments you can expect to be for 53 minutes.