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About Angela Sarafin, LMFT

Angela Sarafin was trained at University of  Houston-Clear Lake where she graduated with a Masters of Arts in Behavioral Science - Marriage and Family Therapy in 2007.  She is currently licensed in the District of Columbia as a Marriage and Family Therapist and is a nationally certified EMDR therapist.

She has worked in agency and private practice settings during her career.  She has been a therapist, a program manager, a business owner, supervisor for newly licensed therapist, and currently appointed to serve on the DC LMFT board.

She felt called by God to pursue a counseling career while she was working in software design at a major petrochemical company.  Although software design and counseling may seem worlds apart, they actually use some of the same skills:  listening to the client in order to understand the big picture, analyzing the places where things are not working optimally, creating a plan to optimize where needed, and providing guidance and support to implement the plan.

Ms. Sarafin holds an evangelical Christian perspective about life.   You do not have to share her beliefs in order to participate in counseling but, if that is an area of life that is important or of concern to you, Ms. Sarafin welcomes spiritual questions and conversations.

Ms. Sarafin has worked with a variety of different clients, but particularly enjoys working with women who feel disconnected in a variety of ways -  struggling to establish deep friendships, feeling that their values are not honored or respected by the broader culture in DC, feeling emotionally  unsafe with others in their workplace due to competition or gossip, feeling lonely, or experiencing a repeating pattern of failed romantic relationships, high conflict family interactions, and unhealthy friendships.

Ms. Sarafin's goal is to help individuals get in touch with the unique and creative parts of themselves again so that they can build healthy and supportive relationships with others.  She is skilled in both traditional talk therapy and in eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Ms. Sarafin's background in family therapy systems provides a helpful context to understanding what motivates people and how early life experiences can influence our reactions to others as adults.

Frequently asked questions

What is EMDR? 
EMDR stands for eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing.  It can be helpful for a variety of issues including anxiety, past trauma, poor self-esteem, etc.  Learn more at:  
http://www.emdria.org/?page=emdr_therapy

How long is each session?
Most appointments are 50 minutes in duration.
New clients attend once a week or every other week.  Once life is more stable, session frequency often decreases to about once every 4-6 weeks for accountability and relapse prevention.

How much does it cost?
$190 per  50-minute session
$250 per 75-minute session (limited availability)

Cash, checks, HSA debit cards, and all major credit cards are accepted.

Why don't you take insurance?
Accepting insurance creates many dilemmas:
1.  You are giving power to a third-party which sets its own rules about when, whether, and how much to pay for services.  You are also accepting the risk that they may decide that you do not need therapy and choose not to pay at all.
2.  Honesty in diagnosing often results in insurance denying payment.
3.  People who pay for their counseling out of pocket (even on a sliding scale) are often more motivated and invested in the therapeutic process and thus have better outcomes.
4.  Insurance verification and billing takes time away from treatment planning, consultation, continuing education, and collaboration (these are things your counselor should be doing between therapy sessions in order to ensure a high quality of care).
5.  Because insurance rates often barely cover the basic costs of doing business, the therapist must see a large number of clients every week to have a liveable wage and this quickly leads to exhaustion and burn-out.
6.  When insurance denies claims the billing issues often negatively impact the therapist/client relationship.

That being said, I recognize that many people do not include counseling when establishing their monthly budget.  So, while I will not interact directly with your insurance company, upon request I will provide a coded invoice that you can submit to the insurance company.

If you wish to do advanced research, contact your insurance company and ask the following questions:
1.  Do I have have any out of network benefits for in-office mental health services?
2.  Do I have an out of network deductible?
3.  What is the allowed amount for CPT code 90834?
4.  What percentage of the allowed amount will I be reimbursed?

You may use an HSA/FSA debit card to pay for counseling even if your insurance company does not provide reimbursement.