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703-938-6100
243 Church St, NW, Suite 300-A
Vienna, VA 22180

The best way to reach me is to call my office (703-938-6100). Be sure to leave a telephone number below where you can be reached. Because email is not a private and confidential method of communication, I look forward to contacting you by phone in response to your message.

Client information

View resources for Dr. Patricia Velkoff's clients. If you have any questions please use our contact form. We look forward to speaking with you.

Introduction to Therapy

Therapy for children and adolescents is usually considered when we notice problems with their relationships, their ability to perform in school, their feelings about themselves, or other signs of behavioral or emotional difficulties.

Therapists are able to help adults and children to address a wide variety of problems, including but not limited to:

  • aggressiveness
  • lying
  • stealing
  • poor peer relationships
  • poor parent-child relationships
  • developmental delays
  • severe shyness
  • defiance
  • depression
  • anxieties and fears
  • difficulty paying attention
  • overactivity
  • poor school performance
  • learning disabilities
  • sibling rivalry
  • family-of-origin issues
  • clinging behavior
Most problems are identified not by the child or adolescent but by parents, teachers, pediatricians, or others involved with them. Getting help early can help prevent later difficulties.

INDIVIDUAL SESSIONS: Depending upon a child or adolescent's concerns and interests, activities are chosen for individual therapy sessions to help them understand themselves and their relationships, and change problem behaviors. Activities may include discussions, drawing, play, and practice of changes in behavior and thinking. Through all of these activities, the therapist is observing your child, asking questions, and making comments and suggestions to establish and reinforce changes in behavior, thinking, or handling emotions. Play is more common with younger children, while talk is more common with adolescents.

When a child is in individual therapy, contact between the therapist and parents is a crucial component of effective therapy. This will sometimes take place during part of your child or adolescent's session and sometimes involve separate parent sessions or phone conferences. You will then have an opportunity to inform yourself on your child?s progress, discuss your concerns, update the therapist on your child's behavior in other settings, and discuss parenting techniques. Specific books or other resources may be recommended relevant to your child's particular concerns. Children and adolescents understand how and when parents are kept informed on their progress, and the purpose of these contacts.

FAMILY THERAPY: Family therapy is often an important part of a child or adolescent's therapy, not because parents are to blame for their difficulties but because through their close relationship, love and daily involvement, parents play an important role in influencing their child toward constructive change. Family therapy can also help parents to develop skill in parenting that will be useful long after therapy ends. When parents can work with a child outside the therapy room in a way that supports the family's goals for therapy, the process is more effective and often shorter than when individual therapy is pursued alone. Sometimes family therapy is the primary recommended treatment, and sometimes it is recommended in addition to individual therapy.

LENGTH OF TREATMENT: The frequency and length of treatment varies from individual to individual, depending upon the severity of the problem and their response to treatment. Therapy can last 3 to 5 sessions for crisis intervention or 10 to 12 sessions for relatively specific or situational problems. For problems that are relatively severe, longstanding, or affect many areas of a child or adolescent's life, therapy may take much longer.

MEDICATION: While medication can ameliorate symptoms of depression, anxiety, poor concentration, and the like, it is a consequential intervention that is not recommended casually. Health improvements (sleep, diet, and exercise) will typically be recommended first. Any discussion of medication recommendations will fully respect the decisions made by adults and by parents for their children. If a trial of medication is pursued, a referral for consultation will be made to your pediatrician, family doctor, or a psychiatrist.

Fees & Insurance

  • Diagnostic Evaluation (75-90 minutes) $280.00-400.00
  • Psychological Testing, Full $2,856.00
  • Therapy (Individual or Family, 50 minutes) $180.00
  • Psychological Testing, Partial varies
  • Forensic Fee (testimony: 4-hour min) $575.00/hour
  • Additional services (telephone minimum) consultations, letter writing, etc.) $180.00/hour
  • School Observation (including travel) per hour $180.00 
  • Late Cancellations & Missed Appointments time:, (these are not reimbursed by insurance) $180.00/hour

APPOINTMENTS & CANCELLATIONS
Therapy appointments are 50 to 55 minutes. Testing appointments, particularly for children, are scheduled early in the day to optimize performance. Please call 24 hours in advance if you need to cancel an appointment so that the time can be made available to someone else. You will be charged at full fee for any missed appointments or late cancellations, and your insurance carrier will not cover these charges.

EMERGENCIES
As a solo practitioner, I am not available 24-hours a day for emergency coverage. If you have a psychiatric emergency after hours, please leave a message at (703) 631-0247 (home office answering machine) and then contact your local emergency room or community mental health center. Their well-trained practitioners are available 24-hours a day.

MEDICAL INSURANCE
Insurance policies vary widely in coverage of mental health services. As I am not a provider for any insurance plans, please call your carrier to understand your coverage. Some common questions to ask are whether:
  • you have coverage for mental health services
  • precertification is needed for therapy or testing
  • your insurance company uses an exclusive panel of preferred providers
  • you will receive any coverage for an out-of-network provider
  • there are limits on diagnoses covered for testing and/or therapy
  • your insurance company covers individual and/or family therapy
  • you have met, or need to meet, an annual deductible
Identifying this information will allow us to plan your visits so that you are not surprised by any out-of-pocket expenses. You will receive a monthly billing statement with all of the information needed to file your insurance claim, and I will only file your claims if this is required by your insurance carrier. I am willing to make additional phone calls or complete additional forms if this helps you get reimbursement. Payment is expected either at the time of service or within the first 10 days after receipt of the billing statement, unless other arrangements have been made in advance.

Federal (HIPAA) and state regulations protect the privacy, security, and transmission of private health information. These regulations permit only the following information to be released to your insurance carrier: dates of service; session start and stop times; type of therapy; results of clinical tests; and summary of diagnosis, functional status, treatment plan, symptoms, prognosis, and progress to date. Requests for additional information will require your written permission. I will gladly assist you in obtaining ethical and legal insurance reimbursement. I maintain safety and security measures that keep your health information safe from unwanted or accidental disclosure. Measures include: locking file cabinets; password-guarded computer files; regular external computer backups; use of a land-based telephone and a cordless telephone with Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) Technology; and written instructions to a professional colleague for the disposition of all paper and computer records in the event of an emergency.

I will work with you to understand your goals in therapy and to determine how you can best work toward them. Please let me know at any point in out meetings if you have any questions or concerns.

Directions

Directions From I-66:

  • Exit I-66 at Nutley Street, going North toward Vienna. Nutley Street is the first exit from I-66 outside the Beltway. Continue approximately one mile.
  • Turn right onto Maple Avenue (Route 123).
  • Turn left at the second intersection, Pleasant Street.
  • Turn right at the first intersection, Church Street, which is just past the Vienna Arts Center.
  • We are in the three-story brick building on the left.

Directions From Tyscon's Corner:
  • Take Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) South (toward Vienna, away from McLean).
  • Continue past the Town Green.
  • Turn right on Pleasant Street (first street after Lawyer's Road)
  • Turn right at the first intersection, Church Street, which is just past the Vienna Arts Center.
  • We are in the three-story brick building on the left.

Directions From Reston:
  • Go South on Lawyer's Road toward Vienna
  • After entering the City of Vienna, turn right on Windover (second street past Malcolm St.)
  • Turn left at the fourth intersection, Pleasant Street (second street past Orchard Street)
  • Turn left at Church Street (before Maple Avenue)
  • We are in the three-story brick building on the left. Our offices are located on the third floor of The Windover Building. There is ample free parking.