Do you accept insurance? If so, which ones?

Our goal is to be as accessible as possible to the Big Island community. We aim to accept most insurance or funding sources such as

  • Commercial plans*
    (e.g. HMO or PPO through your employer or purchased on the healthcare marketplace)
    • Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA)
    • UHA Health Insurance
    • UnitedHealthcare (UHC)
  • Government plans
    • Traditional Medicare (Part B)
    • Medicare Advantage Plans*
      (e.g. HMSA Akamai Advantage, UHC Community Plan, etc.)
    • Medicaid* (in Hawai’i that would be anyone with a Quest Integration Plan)
    • VA, TRICARE, TriWest
  • Employer Assistance Plans
  • Private Pay

Please note: Depending on your type of insurance, we may need prior approval from your insurance before we can schedule the first appointment. The approval process by insurance plans vary, but we we will make every effort to schedule your appointment as quickly as possible. If we are unable to reach an agreement with your insurance within a reasonable time frame, we will inform you, as we are committed to helping you access care as soon as possible, including referring you to other therapists also accepting new clients as needed.

*Note: We are unable to accept any clients with Kaiser Permanente insurance at this time due to our therapist maintaining employment with Kaiser.

Will I have a co-pay?

Generally speaking, anyone with a Medicaid only plan or are dually eligible having both Medicare and Medicaid will NOT have a co-pay. If you only have a Medicare plan, it is possible you may have a co-pay.

Be advised, we will run your insurance beforehand & inform you of any co-pays, so you can decide if you’d still like to proceed with scheduling your first appointment. All co-pays will be collected when you check-in for your appointment. We accept cash, check, debit, and all major credit cards.

I’ve never been to therapy. What should I expect?

After all the logistics are handled, we will schedule your first appointment. Client registration and intake will usually be handled beforehand via our website or over the phone for those without Internet access.

When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by your therapist, Pamela Torigoe, LCSW. For those unfamiliar with the LCSW credential it stands for Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She will guide you to her office and the session will begin.

The physical space
There is no couch in the office, so you may want to forget about any movie images you have in your head of therapy clients having to recline on their back as they share their thoughts or concerns with their therapist.

Our goal is to make our clients feel more at ease. Laying back can sometimes feel more vulnerable for people in an unfamiliar environment, particularly for those who may have trauma history or chronic pain issues or physical limitations that make laying back incredibly difficult. Instead, both you and the therapist will be seated upright, directly across from each other.

In general, sessions will last about 45 minutes. It is important you arrive on time, so the therapist has adequate time to discuss the topics that matter the most to you. After the session has ended, the therapist will spend at least 15 minutes “charting,” meaning they’ll be updating your client record to document each session.

Session Topics
Therapy can vary from person to person in that what you (the client) take away from it depends greatly on what you’re willing to share during the session. People come to therapy for a variety of reasons, but usually it’s because they’re feeling “stuck” in some way and would like help to figuring things out.

However, it’s also important to understand that your therapist will not tell you what to do, but rather will try to reflect back your thoughts or will help you reframe some of your thoughts, so that you can come to your own decisions or conclusions.

All joking aside, while therapy is a team effort, your therapist can never do the work for you. Your participation is essential to make any progress.

Therapeutic Approaches
Your therapist approaches therapy from a strengths-based perspective and is committed to practicing with a culturally sensitive lens. She will use a combination of therapeutic approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and mindfulness practices to help guide the session.

From the client’s perspective, the terminology describing the therapy may not be so important. It may be easier to just understand these approaches involve talking and sometimes homework assignments.

And when we say “homework,” we don’t mean in the sense you’ll be tested on anything later. Rather, homework will usually involve a task or goal you’ll need to complete to help reinforce what you’re learning during session. For example, journaling or picking a handful of small tasks to complete to achieve a goal.

Is everything we talk about confidential?

Please review our “Informed Consent for Psychotherapy” form. The form will be provided to you when you first register as a new client. It can also be found here on the client portal.