Acupuncture and Clinical Psychology in Beaverton, Oregon 2 Roads Crossing Healthcare
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FAQ

Psychotherapy

1. What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy, sometimes referred to as "talk therapy," can help you acknowledge and manage your mental and emotional issues more effectively and efficiently. During a psychotherapy session you meet with a trained psychologist in a private setting. The goal of the therapy is to help you become more aware and accepting of yourself and your feelings. When needed, the psychotherapist can help you learn new skills to feel less stress and happier with your life. I believe that much of human suffering comes from our difficulty in objectively knowing and accepting ourselves. By using a process such as psychotherapy much of this suffering can be relieved.
2. Are there different types of psychotherapy?
There are many schools of psychotherapy and all of them have the goal of helping people feel better emotionally. Some of the more common are: psychodynamic or psychoanalytical therapy, cognitive and cognitive behavioral therapy, Gestalt therapy, and behavioral therapy.
3. What can I expect in the therapy sessions?
The sessions are about you. In the first visit I will spend time getting to know you, your situation, and what led you to come in for help at that particular time. As we continue to work together we will go into more detail about your situation and related issues in order to understand and address the source of your distress. 
4. How long are the appointments?
Individual and couples psychotherapy appointments are 50 minutes. Group therapy appointments are 75 minutes.
5. How many appointments will I need?
I conduct both long- and short-term therapy. The number of times we meet depends on how long you have been struggling with the issue for which you've come into therapy, the nature of that issue, the type of work you want to do in the therapy (short-term and focused, or a longer more exploratory process, symptom relief or changes in more deeply rooted aspects of your personal and interpersonal functioning), and finances.
6. How much does therapy cost?
I charge $175 for a 50 minute session (for both individuals and couples), payable in check or cash at the end of each session. While I do not accept insurance at this time, at the time of payment I provide you with a Superbill that can be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement. The Superbill is a printed statement that contains my provider information and procedure and diagnostic codes. Reimbursement depends on your policy and what services it covers.
7. Do you accept insurance?
I am happy to announce that I am a preferred provider and now accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield for psychotherapy services. While I do not accept insurance for any other psychological or Chinese Medical services at this time, at the time of payment I provide you with a Superbill that can be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement. The Superbill is a printed statement that contains my provider information and procedure and diagnostic codes. Reimbursement depends on your policy and what services it covers.
8. When should I consider psychotherapy?
Among the most common reasons are: 1. you want to experience emotional healing and emotional growth; 2. you are in the midst of a particularly difficult time in your life and you do not like the way you are handling things; 3. you are struggling with negative thoughts and feelings that have not improved with other treatments or efforts; 4. you have done therapy before and it was helpful to you; 5. you want to learn new personal and interpersonal skills.
9. What conditions can psychotherapy help?
Issues commonly addressed in psychotherapy are: 1. anxiety; 2. depression; 3. relationship problems; 4. work problems; 5. sexual disorders; 6. grief; 7. history of trauma; 8. sleep problems; and 9. stress.

 

Traditional Chinese Medicine

1. How is TCM different from traditional Western Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is more than 5000 years old, rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism. TCM takes a holistic approach to health and healthcare. In Western medicine a diagnostic workup is performed and the patient is diagnosed with a specific condition or disease; then that condition is treated. In TCM a diagnostic workup is performed and a descriptive syndrome differentiation is made, based on the nature of the movement of qi (energy) through the body. Then a treatment is devised that addresses imbalances in the energy flow.

In TCM, there is a saying: "One disease, many treatments; Many diseases, one treatment." This means that from a TCM perspective there can be many different causes for a patient's presenting symptoms and that the nature of these causes determines the treatment. Similarly, since no two people are exactly the same, similar imbalances in different people may result in different "diseases," but the treatment of the underlying imbalance in both individuals might be the same. This speaks to the individualized nature of TCM treatments and that is one of the real strengths of this medicine. Each person is seen as unique and treated accordingly. For a more detailed discussion, please see "Western and Eastern Medicine Compared" on the Gancao.net Web site, Chinese Medicine for a Restless World.
2. What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It involves the placing of very thin sterilized needles into specific points on the body in order to help the body move toward a more balanced state.
3. How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is based on a model in which there are specific energetic pathways in and on the surface of the body through which qi moves in a specific pattern. When the qi is balanced in these pathways, it is like water flowing freely through an irrigation system. All of the plants are equally nurtured and are healthy. In the case of the human body there is a state of optimal health. However, when there are blockages in this system, the qi does not move smoothly and equally throughout the body and this results in an imbalance. This imbalance can then lead to the development of discomfort or disease. By inserting the acupuncture needles into specific points in the body, based on the nature of the "imbalance," the acupuncturist assists the qi in moving more smoothly and evenly. This in turn assists the body in moving back toward a more balanced state, thereby diminishing or alleviating the discomfort or disease.
4. What is qi?
Qi (pronounced "chee") is frequently thought of as a type of energy, sometimes referred to as "life energy." Another way to understand qi is to view it as vital substance that animates and sustains living beings. As it moves through our bodies in its predetermined pattern, it nourishes and sustains all functions of the human body. When it is abundant and flowing freely there is pain free, radiant good health.
5. Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is very safe. I use each individually sterilized needle only once. An important part of the training for a licensed acupuncturist is in Clean Needle Technique and needling safety. According to "Clinical Research on Acupuncture" (an article by Birch, et al, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Volume: 10 Issue 3: August 25, 2004) while tens of millions of acupuncture needles are used annually in the United States, there were only about 50 cases of complications resulting from acupuncture reported in the medical literature over the previous 20 years.
6. Does acupuncture hurt?
Most people report very little discomfort when acupuncture needles are inserted. Occasionally someone says it feels like a mosquito bite, but most people do not find the insertion of acupuncture needles to be painful. Acupuncture needles are very fine (sometimes only slightly thicker than the diameter of a human hair) and are solid.
7. How long do treatments last?
The first visit lasts from 1 1/2 to 2 hours and includes a detailed diagnostic workup and a treatment. Subsequent treatments typically last from 45 minutes to an hour.
8. How many treatments will I need?
Most patients begin to notice changes in the first 3-5 treatments, and more substantial changes in 8-12 treatments. As a general rule, the longer the person has had the condition for which they are seeking treatment, the longer it takes to effect the change. Some acupuncturists have suggested that for every year a person has had the condition, they should allow 4-8 treatments to address it. The bottom line is that these are all just general guidelines. One of the real strengths of TCM is that it is an individualized medicine. Each patient is unique and their treatment plan is developed based on their needs and unique attributes such as constitution and age.

Remember that acupuncture is a cumulative process and each treatment builds on the previous treatments. So while changes may be noticed after only a few treatments, it is important to continue for the full course of treatment in order to adequately address the underlyng imbalances that produced the symptoms initially.
9. How often are the treatments?
Typically treatments are once a week. However with certain situations, such as acute injuries, more frequent treatments result in faster recovery.
10. I see that you use a computerized assessment tool. Why is that necessary?
Using the AcuGraph is not necessary, but it can be very beneficial. It is another tool that I can use to better understand and treat my patients. It is very helpful in situations where an individual's presenting pattern of symptoms is very complicated or unclear. It is also useful for objectively monitoring and tracking the changes that are taking place. Many of my patients appreciate the detailed printouts from the AcuGraph assessments for their informative value and as a "memory aid" to what we discuss and are working on during treatment sessions.
10. How much does an acupuncture treatment cost?
The initial visit is $150 and follow-up visits are $85, payable in check or cash at the end of each visit. If we decide to use herbs, there is an additional charge, typically about $20 - $25/month. While I do not accept insurance at this time, at the time of payment I provide you with a Superbill that can be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement. The Superbill is a printed statement that contains my provider information and procedure and diagnostic codes. Reimbursement depends on your policy and what services it covers.
11. Do you accept insurance?
While I do not accept insurance at this time, at the time of payment I provide you with a Superbill that can be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement. The Superbill is a printed statement that contains my provider information and procedure and diagnostic codes. Reimbursement depends on your policy and what services it covers.
12. How much does an AcuGraph session cost?
Each Acugraph session costs $25. I use the AcuGraph as a means of ensuring that we are on the "right track" with our treatments. It does not take the place of my clinical knowledge, skills and experience; rather I use it as an adjunct to these.
13. What do I need to do to prepare for an acupuncture treatment?
Eat a light meal or snack about an hour before your treatment to help ensure that your body is sufficiently energized to make optimal use of the treatment. Bring any questions you have to discuss with me. Also, wear or bring with you some loose fitting clothing to allow the needles to be comfortably placed. Generally I need to be able to get to the areas from your elbows to your fingers and from just above your knees to your toes. If you are coming in for a problem or injury to a specific area of your body, I may also need to be able to get to that area as well.

Following the treatment drink plenty of water and try to take it easy to get the most benefit from your treatment. Avoid alcohol, drugs, sexual activities, or other types of exertion for at least 6-8 hours after the treatment.
14. Do I have to believe in acupuncture in order for it to work?
No, you do not have to believe in acupuncture for it to work. One of my teachers used to say that the proof of the effectiveness of acupuncture is in the success with veterinary acupuncture; because you can't tell a horse what you expect to have happen when you perform the acupuncture. Many people try acupuncture for the first time neither believing in nor understanding it, and then they return because it was helpful.
15. What conditions does acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can treat a wide number of health issues (see our section on conditions approved by the WHO for treatment by acupuncture). TCM is about helping the body return to a more balanced state in which your qi is moving unimpeded throughout your body. As a result acupuncture is often able to help with many conditions that are not amenable to traditional Western medical approaches.
16. Will I need to take herbs?
Chinese Herbal Medicine is another of the five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine and can be very useful in helping the body return to a more balanced state. Not all patients need herbs to accomplish this. However, for many patients taking herbs can facilitate their progress.
17. Are the herbs safe?
Yes. All the herbs I use are safe. Herbs come in three main forms: bulk or raw, granules, and patent medicines. I always use the highest quality bulk herbs available. Whenever possible I use organic herbs. All the herbs are monitored for accuracy and purity by independent labs. I typically do not use granules in my practice.

Patent medicines are traditional formulas that are pre-made into pills or capsules. These are subjected to rigorous testing to ensure that there are no contaminants in the product and that each patent contains only the herbs it is said to contain. I obtain these patent medicines from companies with the highest manufacturing standards.
18. Can acupuncture help me even if nothing is wrong?
Acupuncture is very effective in helping a person maintain their good health because it helps to keep a person's qi balanced and flowing freely. In this way it can serve as a form of preventative medicine. So even when there is "nothing wrong" getting an "acupuncture tune-up" can be valuable. Also, acupuncture is very relaxing and as such can be very helpful to a person's overall well being and stress management.
19. Where can I find out more about acupuncture and traditional Chinese Medicine?
To find out more about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, please refer to our resources page.
20. I see a lot of acupuncturist's web sites that have testimonials from their patients. Why doesn't this site?
There are two main reasons that I do not use testimonials on my website. First, I strongly believe that I am here for my patients and not the other way around. Asking them for testimonials is outside the scope of and contrary to our therapeutic relationship. Second, because we have a doctor-patient relationship I respect and protect my patients' confidentiality and so do not ask them to break confidentiality by writing testimonials for my website. I think that if my patients are happy with the treatments they receive, then they will tell their friends and family about me.

 

© Stephen D. Saeks, PhD, LAc
2 Roads Crossing Healthcare, PC
15455 NW Greenbrier Parkway, Suite 240
Beaverton, Oregon 97006

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503-617-0450 (office)
503-617-0475 (fax)
dr.saeks@2roadscrossing.com