FAQs - Portland Mindfulness Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the ability to be present, to be fully engaged with whatever is happening right now. It is a skill that involves paying attention to each experience in a non-judgmental, non-reactive, and gentle way. Doing so allows one to “keep doing what works, and stop doing what doesn’t work” in order to live a full and vibrant life.

Do you accept insurance?
We are accepting BlueCross BlueShield / Regence, Pacific Source, Moda and First Choice health insurance plans. Those without insurance may enquire about sliding-scale fee reduction. We are able to offer a sliding scale fees and also can give you a detailed receipt to submit to your insurance company. See “Why would I want to see a therapist who is not in-network with my insurance company?” on right of this page, for detailed reasoning behind our policy.

What are your classes like?
Our classes are designed to de-mystify the practices of meditation and mindfulness. Mindfulness is something we all have access to. Our classes are beneficial for beginners and experienced alike to respond with wisdom to the practical realities of life.Mindfulness and meditation practices, many of which have roots in various spiritual traditions, are well-researched and are presented here from a scientific and evidence-based perspective.
503-222-2361 for more details.

What should I expect to happen in therapy?
In contrast to seeing a medical doctor, where the treatment involves taking medicine, therapy is based on communication. This is why therapy and counseling is sometimes called “talk therapy.” In the context of a supportive relationship with the therapist, you will learn skills to respond differently to stress and to function more effectively.

What kinds of problems does mindfulness-based therapy help with?
Mindfulness-based therapy is helpful for problems with emotions and mood, relationships, stress, chronic pain, grief, life transitions, problem behaviors, and drug abuse.

What evidence is there in support of mindfulness-based therapy?
There have been numerous well-designed clinical studies supporting various forms of mindfulness-based therapy. Click here for links to summaries of these studies.

How do you work with people from diverse backgrounds?
Our therapists and class instructors are experienced and trained to provide sensitive, appropriate, and effective therapy that considers each person’s culture, ethnic background, religious and spiritual beliefs, gender, sexual identity, age, and socioeconomic status, as well as issues of disability, mental or physical illness, or discrimination. We value diversity and believe that all people have the right to be free from discrimination and oppression. We also recognize that we are not “experts” at every existing culture or subgroup, and take time to educate ourselves and learn what we need to in order to serve each client.

Why would I want to see a therapist who is not in-network with my insurance company?

1. Insurance companies may intrude on psychotherapy services, and can disrupt the work you and your therapist are doing together. They may limit the number of sessions or demand to see your private, specific, therapy-related information, withholding payment if the private, privileged information is not provided.

2. Insurance companies keep their panels as small as possible; panels include many therapists who are no longer accepting new patients. That’s why it can be hard to find a therapist, despite the very large number of therapists in the area. The insurance companies do this in order to limit your access to services so they keep their expenses down, and their profits high. Since the public is generally unaware that insurance companies are regulated by the state Insurance Board, the board rarely receives complaints from the public. And, the Insurance Board is interested in complaints from the public, not from healthcare providers. So the insurance companies get special privileges (e.g., exemptions from anti-trust law) and minimal supervision, with very little accountability (see item 3).

3. Insurance companies may reduce your payment to a copay that appears to be low and reasonable. However, they also cut by 50% or more the fees received by the therapist, and such cuts continue to become larger. That may seem like something that is “not your problem,” except it becomes your problem when therapists cannot stay in business, or must compromise the quality of their services in order to remain viable. Again, the insurance companies have been granted exemptions from anti-trust law. That means they are essentially free to “fix” prices for psychotherapy, and lower them gradually to the lowest possible rate, in order to maximize their profits. That process in turn results in fewer experienced therapists who accept insurance, and more problems for you in finding a therapist whose skills match your needs.

4. Out-of-network therapists such as Dr. Rhinewine will be starting this November, can offer you detailed receipts that contain all information needed by the insurance company. This can amount to therapy which is not more expensive than in-network, but is also much more confidential, and for which ALL decisions are based on YOUR clinical needs — NOT the profit motive of the insurance companies and their corporate boards.

5. Dr. Rhinewine will be happy to answer any further questions you have about insurance and the “in-network” (or “preferred provider”) status versus “out-of-network.” In our experience, insurers, for understandable reasons, do not provide accurate or full information regarding the procedures, laws, and ethics of insurance.