Questions You Might Have - and Answers

  • Can we meet just one time to see if we can work together?
    "Yes, of course. Our ability to work together will be based on how we interact in the first visit or first several visits.  Therapy is a mutual, collaborative process, so we need to get a sense of one another - and it's important that you, as the patient, feel like we can work together."

  • Do you have evening or weekend appointments?
    "I schedule appointments throughout the day, Monday through Friday.  In addition, I see patients into the early evening, Monday through Thursday.  I do not schedule weekend appointments.  In case of emergency, I am available by phone."
  • How long do people see you?
    "That depends on the needs of the patient.  I see some people for fairly brief therapy, 6 to 8 sessions.  And I may work with others over a number of years.  The length of treatment depends on the severity of problems, available supports to patients, productive fit between my patients and me , and the availability of other forms of treatment."
  • What ages do you work with?
    "Generally, my work is with adults of all ages, including seniors.  I also work with college-age students and, occasionally, a very mature, articulate high school student."

  •  Do you tend to work mostly with men or mostly with women?
    "My practice is fairly equally divided between men and women patients.  Overall, I have slightly more women in my practice."

  • When you do "couples" therapy, do you tend to take the man's side or the woman's side?
    "My job with couples is to understand how the relationship is working - and not working.  Each partner in a couple contributes to the success and the difficulties in the relationship.  There are no "innocent bystanders" in a couple.  Assisting couples requires that I remain as neutral as possible."

  • Do you deal with just personal and family issues or do you deal with work issues as well?
    "I try to help people deal with their problems - - no matter what the arena or context.  It could be a family or relationship problem (children, spouse, parent, etc.), social relationship issue (friends, dating), or work difficulties (problems with bosses, coworkers, subordinates).  Some individuals may have problems in a number of areas, so we may work on various issues sequentially or simultaneously over time."
  • Is what I tell you really kept confidential?
    "Confidentiality is important to my patients and me.  I believe that our work is most effective if it is private and safe--with as few other people involved as possible.  My confidentiality policy is in line with national HIPAA regulations.  (Please click here to view my confidentiality policy.)  I try to share information with other health care providers on only a 'need-to-know' basis.  My stance is to share the minimum, but most helpful with others, and I make every effort to obtain prior consent from my patients before disclosing sensitive information."

  • If I need medication as part of my therapy, can you prescribe it?
    "As a licensed clinical psychologist, I cannot prescribe medicines.  And that's true for all non-medical therapists.  However, since some of my patients can and do benefit from medications, I maintain ongoing collaborative relationships with psychiatrists, internists, family doctors, and nurse practitioners - all of whom can, under law, prescribe psychiatric medicines.  I typically team up with those medical professionals who prescribe medications for my patients to help monitor progress.  In fact, there is a psychiatrist conveniently located next door to my office who can, if patients wish, provide additional support and medications as appropriate."

  • Do you accept insurance?  Do you bill insurance for me or do I have to pay you directly and then submit my claim?
    "I try to make this as easy as possible for my patients.  I do not expect patients to file their own insurance claims or to pay the full charge in advance.  My billing staff files each patient's insurance claim.  But patients are responsible for their copayment at each visit.  I work with most major health insurance companies and managed care organizations such as Medicare (for seniors), Anthem, Cigna, Optima, Coventry, Aetna, United Healthcare, and others.  I am 'in network' for those companies and on their accepted provider panels."
  • What about Medicaid?
    "I do not accept Medicaid."

  • What do you charge per session?
    "You can click here to see a summary of what I charge." 

  • Do you provide emergency services? Urgent care?
    "I can generally be reached by phone for urgent problems that may arise.  If for some reason I cannot be reached, I ask people in severe distress to go to the nearest emergency room.  I keep my appointment schedule flexible enough that I can usually see someone who needs time with me within one or two days.":

  • What do I need to do before I see you?  And what forms do I need to bring to my first meeting with you?
    "Please click here to see what forms need to be filled out.  You can download them and have everything ready for when we meet.  And please also bring your insurance card, if you have one."


Brian C. Hocking, Ph.D.
154 Hansen Rd, Suite 103
Charlottesville, VA 22911
Phone: 434-202-5263
Fax: 434-296-1195

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