Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What exactly is therapy?

A: This image is the best definition of therapy that I can give. Therapy is a collaboration. The client has the substance, and the therapist is there to pull things out, ask questions and give perspective, and ultimately allow the client to do the work towards creating and achieving their goal. Therapy is not about being told what to do but is about being supported as you learn.

Q: How will I know if you are the right therapist for me?

A: The only way to know for sure is to come in for a session. Most people have a good sense of whether I am the right professional to help them within the first two sessions. Also, I have attempted to provide a sense of who I am and how I work on this website.

Q: Whom do you work with?

A: My expertise is in working with individuals over the age of 11 needing to address issues with mood, trauma, and/or sexual issues (including gender identity,low desire, pain. etc.). Atlas Therapy is specifically designed for: working class adults/corporate executives, parents, families, high school and college students, people with persistent depression and anxiety, people with mental challenges, and the LGBTQ+ community. I also do not conduct child custody evaluations nor do I provide custody recommendations. I also do not provide treatment for eating disorders, psychotic disorders (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, etc), or personality disorders. Due to state licensing laws, I can only provide therapy and counseling to individuals residing in Indiana.

Q: What happens during the first session?

A: The initial session is the time for you to start to share your story and what you would like to change. You will begin to figure out some goals; I will begin to figure out how to help you get there. During the first session, I will review the opening paperwork (similar to what you sign at most doctor's offices), talk about confidentiality, and begin asking questions to get background and a bigger picture of what is going on. Questions might include things like: What brought you to therapy? What do you feel is wrong in your life? What are your symptoms? We may talk about your history, including childhood, education, career, and relationships (family, romantic, friends). At the end of the first session, we will discuss a plan for future treatment including frequency of sessions. If the client is a minor, the parent is typically present for the first and last part of the session; the client and I will meet one-on-one for a brief time if minor is comfortable.

Q: How long do appointments last?

A: Standard counseling sessions are 45-55 minutes long.

Q: How often will we meet? And how long do I have to be in therapy?

A: To begin, we will meet once a week. It’s important to gain some momentum in the beginning by meeting weekly. Once some of your goals are met, meeting less often will make sense. Most clients report seeing some change after about 8 sessions, and the average duration of treatment is 6-9 months (starting weekly, moving to every other week, then monthly or as needed). The length of treatment is based on your needs and what you want counseling to help with. Some clients have come for a few sessions, followed through with recommendations in between sessions, and felt better and moved on. Other clients come back into treatment as needed, or stayed on to work on more complex issues. While it’s hard to predict how long therapy will take, I promise I won’t keep you for longer than needed.

Q: Can we meet virtually? Do you provide online counseling?

A: During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, I am conducting most sessions online using a secure video system (similar to Zoom or Skype). This is only available to clients who are physically located in Indiana and is not appropriate for clients traveling out-of-state. If using insurance, most in-state plans cover “telemedicine” as a part of your mental health/behavioral health benefit. Please make sure to have high speed internet access and a confidential room.

Q: How does COVID-19 impact treatment?

A: The well-being of you and your loved ones is very important. To that end, our goals are: keeping clients and clients' families free of illness, doing what we can to protect our community, and ensuring that Atlas Therapy remains operational (in that order).

The office is open- Clients will continue to be seen, with the following steps to maintain safety:

  • Increased cleaning of public spaces

  • Masks worn by provider and client

  • Use of provided hand sanitizer is encouraged

  • If client has a fever, cough, or shortness of breath or has a confirmed Coronavirus exposure, please do not come to the office – call or text to switch to telehealth or reschedule

  • Only the client and one caregiver will be allowed into the building for appointments

Q: Do you accept insurance?

A: Yes. Currently I am in network with: Anthem, Cigna, UHC/UBH/Optum, IU Health, and Aetna.

This means Atlas Therapy will bill these insurance companies directly for services provided. For other health plans not listed, we're considered an out-of-network provider. We'd be happy to provide you with a "Superbill" to submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement. It is strongly recommended that you call your insurance company and ask for information about your plan's coverage for mental health in an outpatient office setting; this will help you know if your deductible will apply and what your copay may be. Anything not covered by insurance will be the responsibility of the client.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?

A: I require 24 hours notice of cancellation or you will need to pay for the appointment. An occasional exception may be made in the case of an emergency. This policy is in place because it is important that we meet consistently in order to make progress, this is how I make my living, and other clients may need that time slot.

Q: Do you prescribe medication?

A: No, I am not a medical doctor. Many of my clients find medication is helpful and I often refer to doctors for such assessments, but many of them also progress well in therapy without medication. If you want to be evaluated for psychiatric medication, either contact your primary care physician or a psychiatrist. If you are already taking medication, I can coordinate care with your doctor.

Q: What are your privacy practices?

A: In general your services are confidential but there are many limits to confidentiality including if you are going to hurt yourself, someone else, or children are being harmed. Additionally, information will be disclosed upon request from client. For a full review click here.

ready to schedule?

Complete the request for contact in the "Ready to Schedule" link above - this will help assure we are a good match and began the scheduling process.

Or contact me at sharayah@atlastherapyindy.com.