Frequently Asked Questions

The Frequently Asked Questions below cover many of the questions clients ask me before starting therapy. If you have additional questions, please send me a message.

Click on the questions to view the answers.

What happens when I call you?

When you call me and I am not in session or otherwise busy, we will chat for about 10-15 min about your concerns, what you are hoping to achieve in therapy, and whether and how I will be able to help you with that. It will be a very brief discussion just to make sure we are a good fit. At the end of the conversation we will schedule our first session called assessment/intake. If you are looking for couples therapy, I will call your partner as well to have a similar conversation with them to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Watch this video to learn more about what kind of things we usually talk about during the initial phone consultation call.

When you call me and I am in session or otherwise unavailable to pick up the phone, you can leave me a voice mail and I will call you back (usually within 24 hours).

What happens during the first session and after that?

During the first session we will be discussing many different topics (e.g. how you grew up, your relationship history etc.) and you will probably feel that we are all over the map, jumping from one place to another. It’s very normal and I will do my best to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Often times, I am deliberately more quite during the first session in order to allow you the space to tell your story. Watch this video to learn more about what happens during the first session.

I ask my individual clients and couples to commit to a 6-month program with me where we jump in and work hard to help you move from a place of uncertainty and disconnect to a place of confidence and security. If you are looking for a short term therapist who will fix your problems in 5 sessions, I am not your therapist. Do not expect to walk into a forest in 10 minutes and get out in 5. 

Do you take insurance?

I do not accept insurance for several reasons.

  1. I have to diagnose you (on the first session) to get reimbursed and these labels will be part of your official record permanently. This may impact you if you have security clearance, look for a new employment or need to purchase new benefits (health insurance, life insurance etc.)
  2. Your records are not protected and the treatment will be dictated by the insurer. This may impact you if you want certain information to be held confidential or if you need longer or a specialized treatment (like Emotionally Focused Therapy)
  1. I will not be able to focus on our treatment (my favorite part!) as much as I like to because I will have to deal with constant insurance related issues/changes, which I don’t like.

However, I would be happy to provide you with a receipt that can be used for reimbursement, using your out-of-network benefits.

What happens if I have to cancel my session?

If you need to cancel your session, you need to do so within 48-hour window. This will allow other clients to use the canceled time slot when needed. If you cancel in less than 48 hours, you will be charged a full session fee.

If I am ready to make an appointment, how do I get started?

Just call me at 703.347.3200

email me at

or schedule your appointment online


Can you guarantee that I will benefit from therapy?

It would be unethical for me to promise you will fully recover from whatever you are struggling with. However, what I can promise you is to listen carefully with an open mind, reflect back honestly what I hear, be a sounding board for you without a hidden agenda, stand behind your goals when possible, and stay constructive and practical throughout our time together. And we will probably laugh and curse too. A lot.

Who do you work with?

I work with adults (over 21) and couples throughout all stages of life. I do not work with children. I have a sweet spot for helping distant couples and anxious adults build more meaningful relationships with themselves and their partners. This is my specialty and passion!


My specialities include couples where partners feel like roommatescouples where one or both partners feel anxiouscouples who are unsure about whether to commit long-term, and couples who come from families where relationships were unhealthy.


Do you do online counseling?

Yes, and my clients love the convenience of it. Read more about whether online counseling could be a good fit for you. Or watch this video instead!

What if I don’t like you?

If you do not like me or my style, that’s perfectly okay. I believe that the relationship between the therapist and the client is very important and is one of the major predictors of successful treatment. I will probably ask you for some feedback if you are open to it at all, but I will not take it personally. There are a lot of amazing therapists out there, and I would be happy to refer you to some of them.

Your name sounds Russian….Are you Russian?

 Yes! Learn more about me here

How long and how frequent are the sessions?

It depends on your individual concerns and situation, but it’s important to understand that consistency brings the best results.

Most couples typically start with one (75 min) session per week for about 6 months and then gradually reduce frequency once things improve.

Individual clients usually start with one (50 min session) a week for 6 months before switching to every other week.

All in-home sessions are 120 min or longer.

We will discuss the preliminary treatment plan and it’s length during the initial session.

When is payment due?

The full fee for your session is collected at or before the time of service via cash, credit card, debit card or check. I can also securely store a debit or credit card on file so you will not have to take time for payment during your session. I do not bill for services, or carry account balances.

What Questions should I ask my insurance about my out of network benefits?
  • Do I have out-of-network mental health benefits?
  • Are services rendered by a licensed clinical social worker covered? My license in the state of VA is 0904009547
  • Is any pre-approval required before obtaining out-of-network mental health services in order to be reimbursed?
  • If I have out-of-network benefits, will I be reimbursed the full amount I paid or a portion?
  • Do I have a deductible and if so, what is it?
Do you work with individuals as well or just couples?

Even though couples work is my specialty, I do provide individual therapy as well. Most of my clients are struggling with relationship issues and/or anxiety, whether it’s unhealthy pattern of dating, divorce recovery, tendency to overthink, or being preoccupied with what could happen.

Make your appointment today and to explore how therapy can support you during this challenging time.