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frequently asked questions


What insurance does USP accept? Does USP accept my insurance?

USP is an out of network private practice. However, some insurance companies provide a range of reimbursement options for out of network mental healthcare.

Our Clinical Coordinator will work with you to help answer any questions you may have regarding your mental healthcare insurance benefits. Please visit our insurance navigation page to learn more.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

One essential difference is that a psychiatrist can prescribe medication and a psychologist cannot. However, the real difference is in their training and preparation.

Both have specialized training in the practical application of psychological knowledge. In general, this training focuses on training in psychotherapy.


  • Attended medical school for 4 years
  • Have MD degrees
  • Completed a 4-year residency in psychiatry
  • Some do additional fellowships after residency for more specialization
  • Trained in hospital and clinical settings in the use of psychiatric medication and psychotherapy


  • Completes a PhD (doctor of philosophy in Psychology) or a PsyD (Doctor of psychology) usually taking between 4-8 years
  • Year-long, hospital-based internship
  • Many go on to even more specialized areas of psychotherapy or research

We see psychiatry and psychology as having synergies but also with differences that allow for different perspectives and treatment options.

Many of our clinicians, including our nurse practitioners, social workers, and mental health counselors, have additional training after they obtained their particular license.

How do I know what type of therapy is right for me?

USP offers many types of therapies. We begin with a 60- or 90-minute evaluation to understand what type of therapy will likely be most effective for you.

The type of therapy is one piece of the treatment. Our strong belief is that your connection to the therapist is equally important. We have a diverse team of experts ready to help you.

How do I know which USP doctor or therapist is right for me?

Of course, you can look at our bios and come to us with your preference.

Or you can call our Clinical Coordinator and have a ‘smart screening’ conversation. This is our screening process to find you the best match based on your preferences, needs, and goals.

When and why does USP recommend medication?

USP has psychiatrists (MDs) and nurses who have extensive training in mental health medication prescription and management.

We pride ourselves in guiding people through the process of figuring out what works for them. Medication can be one of many treatment options available.

We might recommend medication if it is most:

  • Likely to help
  • Likely to improve results of psychotherapy
  • Cost effective

What is USP’s Smart Screening process?

Union Square Practice believes that a great connection between you and your therapist makes for the most successful outcome.

  • First, you’ll talk with our Clinical Coordinator about your needs, preferences, and schedule.
  • Then, we recommend a clinician (psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, mental health counselor, or nurse practitioner) who we believe will work for you.
  • Next, you’ll meet with a clinician for a 60- or 90-minute initial evaluation.
  • After reviewing your situation, the clinician will recommend a specific therapy style, medication, or some combination of the two.
  • After a clinician has mapped out a series of options, it’s up to you to choose.

What can I expect to happen in USP’s initial evaluation?

USP believes in a 60- or 90-minute evaluation focused on your history to help us evaluate and identify how to help you feel your best.

It is most productive when first-time patients come with the following:

  • Significant events in your life that have contributed to the issue(s) that brings you to us
  • What you want to achieve
  • Feelings and/or behaviors around issue(s)

If you have taken psychiatric medication in the past please take some time to write down your medication history. This should include:

  • The medication and reason why you took/take it
  • The dosage
  • The effects
  • Any side effects
  • Length of time you took/take the medication
  • If you stopped, why?

For children and teens, do parents attend the sessions?

For an initial evaluation, we ask that the parent(s) attend a 90-minute evaluation session first, without their child or teen present. Then the child or teen will be seen for their own 60-minute initial evaluation on a different day. After these initial evaluations, sessions are usually attended by the child or teen alone.

For child and teen psychology or psychiatry, will you speak to my child’s schools?

We will only communicate with a child’s school if the parents request it and give us signed consent to do so.

Should my child see a psychologist or psychiatrist?

One essential difference is that a psychiatrist can prescribe medication and a psychologist cannot. However, the real difference is in their training and preparation.

We are happy to discuss your family’s needs and challenges to figure out what sort of treatment plan will work for you. USP employs both child and teen psychiatrists and psychologists, and many families appreciate the ability to explore both options under one roof.

For example, children or teens whose mental health is medically complicated (for instance, when anger management or depression is influenced by chronic pain, diabetes, or other medical conditions) may prefer to see a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists may be better able to address the medical component of these mental health concerns, and work with a child’s other medical providers.

How Can Non-Athletes Benefit from Sport Psychology and Performance Coaching?

Problems that athletes face in the big leagues are overwhelmingly similar to problems people face in their professional and personal lives: choking under pressure, lack of motivation to achieve a set of goals, an inability to perform well under stress, or just not being able to go that “extra step.” Sport psychology has developed a number of evidence-based methods to tackle these issues – such as visualization techniques, self-talk, and confidence building.

Sport psychology is applicable for many because, in some ways, we are constantly asked to perform – mentally or physically.

How Can Athletes Benefit from Sport Psychology and Performance Coaching?

The science is clear: sport psychology helps athletes perform better. Mental toughness, for instance, has been correlated with significant reductions in race times for runners. In another study, with collegiate basketball players, a package of imagery rehearsal, self-talk, and relaxation also led to substantial performance improvements. Coaches and team-owners are taking notes of the benefits.

Successful mental skills training can help athletes push themselves harder, perform consistently under pressure, and better their overall performance.

Is a diagnosis important?

Sometimes! Our job is to work with you to understand past patterns and experiences. Sometimes these patterns and experiences are most important in their uniqueness to you and your experience. Sometimes, however, these patterns are familiar to clinicians from our training and from previous clients we have treated and then fall under the heading of a diagnosis. Some diagnoses are harder to treat and some easier but it is often the case that a diagnosis can be very helpful in explaining current difficulties and guiding efficient and effective treatment. Sometimes a diagnosis is clear and obvious but often we think of a diagnosis as provisional in that we use it as a model to guide treatment but only continue to feel that the diagnosis is accurate if this proves to be a helpful model for understanding a patient’s experience and helpful in guiding treatment. We do our best not to over diagnose and reduce a complex situation to a simple one but we also do our best not to under diagnose and thus leave a situation more complicated than it need be.

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