Dr. Kapua’s Frequently Asked Questions
Scroll down and click on the question boxes to learn more about what therapy is like. I also answer common questions ranging from what therapy is like, what to expect and how long you should be in therapy to questions on scheduling and insurance.
All Your Mental Health Therapy Questions Answered Here
What is therapy like?
During your first session, I may ask a lot of questions initially to ensure my understanding. But ultimately, my approach is to walk alongside. Sometimes you lead, other times I lead or nudge, other times I follow.
In our sessions we will laugh, we might cry. If you enjoy digging deep, or if you have a tough time digging deep without someone to hold space, that is what therapy can offer.
It is an organic, semi-structured process and practice of letting your guard down, and letting yourself be seen. Through this process comes self-acceptance, and ultimately, self-love.
Who do you typically see in therapy?
I strongly believe that therapy is for ordinary people. People who come to see me for help are people from all walks of life and typically of diverse backgrounds. Many of my patients are working professionals, full time parents, women, college students, and working mothers.
What kinds of things do people see you for?
I see people for a wide variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons are:
- adjustments or life transitions,
- feeling stressed or overwhelmed,
- relationship issues,
- issues of identity,
- depression or feeling down or sad,
- anxiety or feeling on edge,
- difficulty with focus or concentration,
- inability to change patterns in your behavior,
- difficulty dealing with a traumatic event,
- grief or loss of a loved one,
- substance use issues and more.
I also often see people who may not have a specific mental health concern, but feel stuck and want help getting to the next step, either personally or within their career. Therapy is a great place to begin the inner work that often catapults us to the next phase in life.
How do I know if therapy is for me?
If you have been struggling to make changes in your life, feel stuck, feel you need help with coping, or are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, therapy is a great first step.
I ask for a certain level of commitment to the work we do with one another in session, as well as to yourself outside of therapy. If you are ready to begin to uncover what might be keeping you from living more fully, therapy is for you.
Surprisingly though, therapy is not for everyone, because if you aren’t motivated to engage in therapy or set aside the time needed for sessions, then you may not be ready right now.
How do I know if therapy is working?
Therapy is working if you notice a change in your thought patterns, a shift in your emotions, or a change in your behaviors. Therapy may also be working if you find yourself being less reactive but more responsive and adaptive when under stress.
Other times we may also rely on a short assessment or screener that will tell us the level of symptom severity. There are many ways we will know if therapy is working or not, but the ultimate “test” is being able to engage in honest feedback with your therapist. Feedback allows us to talk about what is or is not working, and change course in order to meet your goals.
Lastly, I always tell patients, do not feel that you are stuck with your therapist (or any provider for that matter). If it is not working, engage in an honest discussion about why you feel it is not working. Your therapist should be open to this honest feedback about your progress, and if it is ultimately not the right fit, your therapist can assist with referrals for other therapists who may be able to help you make lasting change.
How many sessions should I see you for?
The time we spend together on average is around twelve sessions, though we may decide to continue based on progress and goals. We may see each other weekly when therapy first begins.
I typically assess for symptoms during our first session together, and as things improve we may reduce frequency. Even when things are going well, many patients find continuing to engage in the process of therapy enriches their life and helps to maintain the changes that they worked hard for.
The Nitty Gritty on Working Together
How do I book a consultation?
Please send me a secure message via my website, or call me at (808) 798-6792. If you reach my voicemail, please leave me a message with your name and contact number and allow at least 1-2 business days for a call back. I look forward to talking with you!
What should I expect from my first appointment?
Therapy with a psychologist or other mental health provider starts with an intake session where you and your therapist get to know one another. Think of this as your chance to ask questions, and gauge goodness of fit between you and them.
Your therapist should also talk to you about limits of confidentiality and your right to privacy. They will ask you to sign forms such as a HIPAA form (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). They will review them with you to make sure you understand them. Once these things are taken care of, the intake can begin!
A lot of this session involves history taking, understanding symptoms and stressors, and setting goals for therapy. Your therapist may ask a lot of questions during this first session.
If you both feel it is a good fit, you will decide together the frequency of appointments, which most often begins at a rate of once per week for approximately one hour.
How do I pay for sessions?
Most of my patients utilize their health insurance coverage. Others prefer to pay out of pocket. I am currently accepting some of the most common insurances in Hawaiʻi: HMSA, HWMG and UHA, however, I am in the process of credentialing with additional insurance companies. My website will be updated as I am approved.
I use SimplePractice, a portal where you can save your credit card and it will auto pay copays that your insurance may not cover. Most patients prefer this as it saves time. Certain insurances may require you to pay for your sessions up front and obtain a receipt for reimbursement. Please let me know if this is the case, and I am happy to provide a receipt or superbill.
What if I need to reschedule or cancel an appointment?
If you need to reschedule, please contact me as soon as you can, or a minimum of 24 hours in advance. I can’t promise to be able to reschedule at your preferred day and time – but will do my best.
For appointments you are unable to keep, I ask that you please call to cancel at least 24 hours in advance at (808) 798-6792. I’ve set aside this time in my schedule for each individual as every patient I work with is very important to me. My goal is to provide excellent, patient centered care to all of my patients. “No-shows”, and late cancellations inconvenience other patients who also need access to care. In an effort to uphold this standard of care for all patients, I have implemented an Appointment Cancellation Policy as follows:
If you do not show up for any 2 (two) appointments without advance notice, I may ask that you find care elsewhere.
Mahalo for your understanding and consideration.
Will my sessions be private?
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a patient is threatening serious bodily harm to another person or people, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim(s).
- If a patient intends to harm themself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.