FAQs

What is a first session at Desert Wise like?
Who can come with me to my first appointment?
Can I bring my child with me?
How do I set up my first appointment?
Will I have to take medication as part of my treatment?
What’s the difference between the different types of mental health professionals?
Who will be able to find out that I’m in mental health treatment?
How much does therapy cost?
What insurance do you accept?
Where can I go to find a support group?
What do I do if I have a concern about how a psychologist or other mental health professional is conducting business?
Are there free or low-cost counseling options in Albuquerque?
Is Desert Wise open on the weekends?
Is Desert Wise open for evening sessions?
What if I don’t feel my therapist is the right fit for me?
How do I find a good therapist in the community?
What do I do if I’m feeling suicidal or am worried about a loved one taking their life?


What is a first session at Desert Wise like?

    • The first session will heavily focus on who you are, what your concern is, your background, and what you hope to accomplish in treatment. This session is designed to efficiently gather a lot of information. 
    • You will be given the opportunity to ask questions, state preferences, and address concerns.
    • Subsequent sessions are more like what we traditionally think of when we think of therapy.


Who can come with me to my first appointment?

    • You can bring any legal adult with you, but your therapist will ask that they remain in the lobby for the duration of your face-to-face appointment time.
    • Bringing someone else to your therapy sessions, in general, is something that you and your therapist should discuss and agree upon beforehand, to ensure that it is clinically appropriate, useful, and in your best interest to do so.


Can I bring my child with me?

    • Dr. Henrie does not permit minors to sit in your therapy session, as this can be disruptive, and the content of the session isn’t likely appropriate for a child.
    • Since we do not conduct child therapy, there are rarely circumstances in which you should bring children to the clinic. Children should never be left unsupervised in the lobby. Desert Wise is not responsible for the safety of a child left unattended on the premises. Your therapist may ask you to reschedule your appointment if you bring your child.
    • If childcare is a problem, talk to your therapist about problem-solving potential solutions.


How do I set up my first appointment?

    • Call Dr. Henrie at (505) 361-1957. She may be in session when you call, so you are encouraged to leave a voicemail with your contact information. How quickly she returns your call will vary based on patient care and other obligations, but she will make every effort to return your call expeditiously.


Will I have to take medication as part of my treatment?

    • No. Dr. Henrie is not a prescriber and is not collocated with any prescribers. Your primary care doctor or an independent psychiatrist can consult with you about whether you should consider medication.


What’s the difference between the different types of mental health professionals?

Title Typical Degree Type Typical Practice Functions
Regulatory Authority
Psychiatrist (MD) Medical doctor with specialized training in mental & emotional illnesses Prescribing psychiatric medications, Diagnosis
New Mexico Medical Board
Clinical Psychologist (PhD, PsyD) Doctoral degree in psychology Psychotherapy, Psychological testing, Diagnosis
New Mexico Board of Psychologist Examiners
Clinical Social Worker (MSW, LCSW) Master’s degree or higher in social work Psychotherapy, Diagnosis
Board of Social Work Examiners
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner  (NP, DNP) Master’s degree equivalent or higher Prescribing psychiatric medications, Diagnosis
New Mexico Board of Nursing
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC, LPCC) Master’s degree or higher in psychology, counseling, or related field Psychotherapy
New Mexico Board of Counseling and Therapy Practice
Marital and Family Therapist (LAMFT, LMFT) Master’s degree or higher with specialized training in marital & family therapy Psychotherapy
New Mexico Board of Counseling and Therapy Practice
Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) Master’s degree or higher in counseling or related field Psychotherapy
New Mexico Board of Counseling and Therapy Practice
Licensed Professional Art Therapist (LPAT, ATR) Master’s degree or higher Uses forms of art to aid patients in emotional exploration
New Mexico Board of Counseling and Therapy Practice
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC) Associate’s degree or higher in an Addictions Counseling related field Substance abuse-related Psychotherapy
New Mexico Board of Counseling and Therapy Practice
Licensed Substance Abuse Associate (LSAA) Tier 1: Associate’s Degree; Tier 2: Bachelor’s Degree; Tier 3: Master’s Degree Substance abuse-related Psychotherapy; must have a clinical supervisor
New Mexico Board of Counseling and Therapy Practice
Pastoral Counselor Associate’s degree or higher in an ecclesiastical field Spirituality-based counseling
Ecclesiastical groups
Mental Health Technician (MHT) High School Diploma or GED or higher Ancillary paraprofessionals; may conduct limited, supervised clinical interviews, co-facilitate groups, administer screeners & psychological tests, & manage administrative tasks
Employer responsible for proficiency
Certified Peer Support Worker (CPSW) High School Diploma or GED or higher; is a current or former mental health consumer Providing support & skill-building
Office of Peer Recovery and Engagement


Who will be able to find out that I’m in mental health treatment?

    • Generally, your treatment status and information are only available to the people you disclose it to. Exceptions include:

       

        • When a patient reports intent to harm themselves or someone else
        • When a patient reveals abuse to a vulnerable population (e.g., children, elderly, disabled)
        • When there is a court order, subpoena, or other lawful demand
    • Except for the situations above, your mental health therapist is not authorized or permitted to release any information about you without your written permission.
    • Your mental health information is protected by the federal Privacy Act of 1974 (5 USC § 552a), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, and the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
    • Some employers, graduate schools, professional boards, or regulatory agencies may ask you for counseling records. It is the patient’s decision to acknowledge whether he or she has received therapy.


How much does therapy cost?

    • Cost varies based on a number of factors, including: level of training of the therapist, type of facility, availability of sliding scale fees, etc.


What insurance do you accept?


Where can I go to find a support group?

    • There are many support groups available in the Albuquerque metro area. The links below provide a good start in your search for a support group:


What do I do if I have a concern about how a psychologist or other mental health professional is conducting business?

    • If both possible and safe, you should first speak directly to your therapist about your concerns, as mental health professionals are trained to expect and respond appropriately to patient feedback.
    • If speaking to your therapist is not possible or turns out to be ineffective, you can consider requesting another therapist (i.e., if your therapist is in a group practice) or speaking to the agency’s Patient Advocate. If your therapist is a solo practitioner, you might be best advised to seek another therapist in the community.
    • If you feel your therapist is conducting business unethically, engaging in inappropriate billing practices, or violating your rights, contacting their licensing or regulatory board might be the next best step. (Links to these boards are provided in the question above about different types of mental health professionals.)  
    • If you’re not sure about whether you should be concerned, you might take the time to review the Ethics Code of your therapist. The Code will vary based on which type of professional you see, but their respective Ethics Code should be easy to find on the internet.

       

    • Additional resources for concerns are included below:

       

      • New Mexico Protection & Advocacy System
        Phone: (505) 256-3100
      • Disability Rights New Mexico
        3916 Juan Tabo Blvd., NE
        Albuquerque, NM 87111
        Phone: (505) 256-3100
        Toll Free: 1-800-432-4682
        Website: http://www.drnm.org/
    • If you feel your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the agency below:

       


Are there free or low-cost counseling options in Albuquerque?

    • There are, and some of these options are listed below, though Desert Wise does not maintain a comprehensive list.

       

      • Alamosa Health Center (First Choice Community Healthcare)
        Eligibility: Uninsured, Underinsured, Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid
        Cost: Sliding scale of fees based on income
        Phone: (505) 831-2534
        Website: http://www.fcch.com/index.php?page=alamosa-center
      • Albuquerque Rape Crisis Center
        Eligibility: Victims of sexual assault
        Cost: Free
        Phone: (505) 266-7711
        Website: http://rapecrisiscnm.org/
      • Children’s Grief Center
        Eligibility: Ages 5-25 & grieving the loss of a loved one
        Cost: Free
        Phone: (505) 323-0478
        Website: https://childrensgrief.org/
      • First Nations Community Health Source
        Eligibility: Native American individuals
        Cost: Free
        Phone: (505) 262-2481
        Website: http://www.fnch.org/
      • National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI)
        Eligibility: Unknown
        Cost: Free
        Phone: (505) 256-0288
        Website: http://naminewmexico.org/
      • New Day Youth & Family Services
        Eligibility: Unknown
        Cost: Unknown
        Phone: (505) 260-9912
        Website: http://www.ndnm.org/
      • New Mexico AIDS Services – Albuquerque
        Eligibility: Uninsured, Underinsured, Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid
        Cost: Free or low cost
        Phone: (505) 938-7100
        Website: http://www.nmas.net/page/testing/
      • Rio Grande High School Clinic (First Choice Community Healthcare) (open during school year)
        Eligibility: Uninsured, Underinsured, Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid
        Cost: Sliding scale of fees based on income
        Phone: (505) 873-0220
        Website: http://www.fcch.com/index.php?page=rio-grande-hs
      • UNM Student Health
        Eligibility: UNM students
        Cost: Varies
        Phone: (505) 277-4537
        Website: http://shac.unm.edu/
      • Vet Centers (US Department of Veteran Affairs)
        Eligibility: Veterans & service members who served in any combat zone & received a military campaign ribbon (& their family members)
        Cost: Free
        Phone: (505) 346-6562
        Website: https://www.vetcenter.va.gov/Vet_Center_Services.asp
      • Villa de Paz
        Eligibility: Unknown; assistance available for immigrants (both legal & illegal)
        Cost: Sliding scale of fees
        Phone: (505) 766-5197
        Website: Unknown


Is Desert Wise open on the weekends?

    • No.


Is Desert Wise open for evening sessions?

    • No.


What if I don’t feel my therapist is the right fit for me?

    • The quality of the therapeutic relationship is the single best predictor of therapy effectiveness, which means that how well you fit with your therapist can significantly impact your response to treatment. If you believe that your therapist is not a good fit for you, you should talk with them about seeing someone else. Therapists are trained to help and support patients in this situation and will refer you to another therapist and/or modify their own approach to meet your needs.


How do I find a good therapist in the community?

    • Given the importance of the fit between you and your therapist, finding the right therapist is paramount.
    • You can ask trusted friends and family members. The right therapist for them might not be the right therapist for you. Nevertheless, members of your inner circle know your personality and may know of a therapist that would be a good fit.
    • You can ask your primary care doctor or another professional source. These professionals are likely well-connected to the local professional community and generally have experience referring patients to mental health professionals. Your primary care doctor can be a vital hub for recommending tried-and-tested specialists.
    • You can check with your insurance company to get a list of covered (i.e., in-network) mental health professionals. From this list, you can research the professional’s online reviews, website content, and other information available.
    • The therapist’s website content can be critical for determining if they would be a good fit for you. From reading the site, what do you think about what they have to say? Do their approaches and philosophies fit what you need?

If you contact a therapist who isn’t currently taking new patients, consider asking them:

        • If they have a waiting list
        • If they can recommend another therapist
    • Perhaps most importantly, don’t settle. If you meet with a new therapist that isn’t the right fit, continue your search. Therapy isn’t an osmotic process; you have to be actively engaged and motivated. A poor therapeutic fit can derail your engagement and motivation.


What do I do if I’m feeling suicidal or am worried about a loved one taking their life?

    • Seek immediate assistance.
    • You can call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Room.
    • Albuquerque residents can also call:

       

        • AGORA Crisis Center (505) 277-3013
        • Bernalillo County Crisis Line 1-855-NMCRISIS (1-855-662-7474)
        • New Mexico Statewide Crisis Line 1-866-HELP-1-NM (1-866-435-7166)
        • US National Suicide Hotline 1-800-784-2433
        • US National Crisis Hotline 1-800-273-8255
    • You can text:

       

      • Crisis Text Line by texting “Go” to 741741
    • Desert Wise does not provide emergency services. If you are experiencing an emergency, use an appropriate option listed above.