Michelle Desmond, LICSW, MSW, MPH

Good Faith Estimate

You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical care will cost.

Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have
insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the bill for medical
items and services.

• You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total
expected cost of any non-emergency items or services. This includes
related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment, and
hospital fees.

• Make sure your health care provider gives you a Good Faith Estimate
in writing at least 1 business day before your medical service or item.
You can also ask your health care provider, and any other provider you
choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or

• If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith
Estimate, you can dispute the bill.

• Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate.
For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit
www.cms.gov/nosurprises or call me to discuss at 818-971-7155.

What does a session with you look like?

I'm pretty active on the spectrum of therapists, which means that I will ask you questions, follow-up on past items, and bring up things for us to discuss as well as listen and take cues from what you'd like to discuss. I offer tools and practice exercises as well during session time. 

What if I cry?

Like I say, crying is just water on your face. It is a very wonderful nervous system release but if you are uncomfortable crying in front of me, I am happy to look away while remaining present and engaged with you. 

What if you say something I don't like?

Please tell me. Part of being in relationship together means that we practice things like healthy conflict, repair and conversations about hard things. 

What do I expect?

The first session will be a little bit of a mix of business and sharing, sorta like going to a new doctor for the first time, you will do a bit of paperwork,  I will share some information with you (like about confidentiality) and I will leave enough time for you to share what's on your mind that week. Some clients feel relieved after the first session even though we are just getting started it feels like forward movement, some clients feel a bit of an emotional hangover sharing and being vulnerable with someone new. Both responses and anything in between is ok and normal, I ask that you just bring that experience back and let me know about it the 2nd session. 

If you are concerned if I'm the right therapist for you, I offer a 20 min free phone consultation which can help you get a bit of a sense of who I am and if it feels like a good connection, but I also ask new clients to commit to 3 sessions plus the first session to work on if it's a good fit (just like you probably wouldn't jump into a long-term relationship after a 20 min phone date, you want to spend some time together to see if it will work out).