Throughout her graduate training, Dr. Allain provided assessment and therapeutic services to children, adolescents, and adults in a multitude of settings, including Houston-area private practices, Texas Children’s Hospital, Northwest Community Clinic, the University of Houston’s Counseling and Psychological Services, Houston Independent School District, and Small Steps Nurturing Center. Dr. Allain has worked professionally in private practices in Louisiana, Northern Virginia, and Texas, and worked for 2 years as an assistant professor for Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Allain served the Northern Houston community at Texas Children’s Hospital – The Woodlands, working to establish a community-based behavioral health clinic at that campus. Outside of the office, Dr. Allain is a family-focused dog person who most enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids, and their four dogs. She loves to read, craft, knit, and burn off energy through CrossFit and Pilates. Education background: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Counseling Psychology, University of Houston (2009) Masters of Art (M.A.), Clinical Psychology, West Chester University of Pennsylvania (2004) Bachelor of Science (BS), Psychology, Texas A&M University (2002)
Our Practice Specializes in...
Anxiety (all types)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - ACT
Couples Therapy: Gottman Method Couples Counseling
How much does therapy cost?
Dr. Allain is an out-of-network provider. Session costs are as follows: $275 for a 90-minute intake; $175 for 50-minute individual therapy; $265 for 90-minute couples sessions. Depending on your insurance plan, you may have out-of-network benefits that will cover mental health services. We encourage you to check with your insurance provider to inquire about such benefits; our experience is that many people are pleasantly surprised to learn that their plan includes such out-of-network benefits. At your request, we can furnish you with a superbill; a document that provides all necessary information for your insurance provider to process your out-of-network claims and issue you the reimbursement benefits that may be included in your plan. It is important to note that a diagnosis is usually required to qualify for any medical or mental health coverage.
How long will it take? How often will we meet?
Many people want to know how long therapy will take. The honest answer is that there is not one simple answer. There are many factors that influence progress in therapy. Some factors to consider are: -the length and severity of the presenting symptoms -frequency of sessions -your ability to work on strategies between sessions -other personal factors The initial intake interview usually provides enough information that the therapist and client will have a better sense of how long they may need to work together to see significant improvement in symptoms. Progress in therapy moves slower when attending therapy infrequently or inconsistently. In our experience, this is particularly true at the start of the therapeutic relationship. Initial therapy sessions generally focus on two things: building rapport and laying the groundwork for the interventions and exercises that will be used throughout the course of therapy. This tends to be most effective and efficient when the initial sessions occur on a regular, weekly to every other week basis. Generally, people experience better results when they have a good rapport with the provider they are working with. As is true with most relationships, this type of comfort and ease takes time to develop, particularly when you are sharing some of your most vulnerable experiences. Once things start to improve and you find that you are consistently using new coping skills in your daily life, it may be appropriate to move to less frequent sessions, as-needed sessions, or “booster sessions.” Ultimately, the goal is for you to become your own therapist by gaining insight and learning the skills necessary to consistently feel better independent of therapy services.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
To begin therapy services, we will schedule a 90-minute intake appointment. During this appointment we will: -Sit in a private office with the therapist in a chair across from you sitting on the couch. -Review office policies and confidentiality practices -Discuss the concerns that brought you to therapy/to seek out testing services. -Discuss relevant parts of your personal history that help the therapist to better understand you, your life, and your family. -Discuss a plan for therapy/testing, including how often to meet and the approach we will take to address your presenting concerns. This appointment is really about “painting a picture” of what life has been like for you, and what your current concerns are that brings you to therapy. Depending on your personal preference, this can be accomplished by the therapist asking questions to guide the discussion, by you sharing your story however feels best for you, or some combination thereof. The intake appointment is also a great opportunity for both you and the provider to evaluate “goodness of fit.” You are going to be best served by a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and that you feel understands you. As the therapist learns more about your goals for therapy/testing, the provider will consider whether their particular skill set is a good fit for your therapy goals. If it is determined that you may need services that fall outside their scope of practice, this will be discussed and appropriate recommendations will be made.
What happens after the initial intake appointment?
What can I do to help my child get the most out of therapy?
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come in as a couple?
After the intake appointment, you will begin the appropriate therapy/testing sessions. During these sessions, you can expect: A period of getting to know each other and developing what we refer to as “rapport.” An important aspect of therapeutic work is that you feel a sense of trust, connection, and understanding from your therapist. This will develop and deepen over time. It is natural to feel a need to “warm up” to your therapist as you become increasingly comfortable with sharing your life story and vulnerable feelings with them. It is reasonable to expect this to develop over the first few sessions. What happens during therapy sessions depends largely upon the goals for therapy. Here are some examples of things we may do in a therapy session: Discuss and process your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Identify patterns in your personal past and present experiences that offer insight into your personality, habits, and interpersonal relationships. The therapist may teach specific skills, such as: assertive communication; coping skills; relaxation strategies;, and strategies for managing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Engage in activities and exercises that help develop insight into your own personality preferences and personal values.
-Encourage your child! Therapy can open the door to new feelings and challenge old ways of doing things. -Be involved -Learn the strategies your child is learning -Practice new skills and strategies between sessions -Ask your provider questions and be open to new ways of doing things -Keep your therapist informed of how things are going at home and school.
The most common problems couples face relate to conflict communication, feeling heard and understood by their partner, and keeping their friendship a priority in the relationship. These are issues that typically need to be worked out together, rather than in separate individual therapy sessions. The Gottman Method for couples therapy focuses on improving conflict communication, developing or improving mutual intimacy, respect and affection, and to facilitate better empathy and understanding within the relationship. There are times where one or both partners may benefit from individual therapy separate from couples therapy. Examples may be a partner experiencing anxiety or depression, or past trauma that impacts functioning inside and outside of the relationship. If during the course of couples therapy this becomes apparent, this will be discussed and appropriate referrals made at that time.
How can I pay for services and when are they due?
Payment for services is due at the time of the session. Payments made by cash or check should be brought to each session. Credit card and HSA payments are processed using Stripe via SimplePractice, the EHR service used by our office.
What kind of things can therapy help me with?
-Assertive communication -Improve conflict communication -Reduce symptoms of anxiety and related avoidance behaviors. -Improve mood and energy -Process painful memories and emotions -Increase productivity -Improve happiness -Increase and diversify coping strategies -Increase self-compassion -Decrease stress