Discover your inner strength and resilience
Compassionate professional psychotherapy for personal growth.
Compassionate professional psychotherapy for personal growth.
Welcome to my practice! I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 35 years of
experience in providing psychotherapy to children, adolescents and adults. Twenty years
ago I opened my private practice in Boca Raton, Florida after operating for 12 years prior in
I have a BA from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and an MSW from Washington University
in St. Louis, Missouri. I am certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
(EMDR), a highly effective clinical approach to the treatment of trauma-related mental health
I enjoy interacting with people of diverse backgrounds and have many years of experience in
working with varying nationalities, ethnicities, ages and sexual orientations. I strongly believe
that when people are understood in their own unique context, therapy can be customized to
their specific needs, leading to more positive outcomes.
We are the product of our genetic and cultural heritage and of our life experiences. These are the forces that shape our identity and sense of self-worth. Sometimes, setbacks like traumatic events or chronic stress can undermine our confidence, optimism and ability to cope. This may lead to depression, anxiety or other distressing symptoms.
When this happens, an experienced and compassionate professional can help us rediscover our strengths, set new goals and learn more effective coping skills. Overcoming life’s challenges can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and a closer connection with those we love.
Individual therapy is most effective for people of all ages who are motivated to improve their self-awareness and learn more effective strategies to accomplish their personal goals. Family therapy can help in understanding the context of behavioral and emotional challenges. Including a partner, spouse or children in therapy sessions is often very helpful in fostering mutual understanding and support. It also allows us to focus directly on improving specific relationships that may have become overly stressed or fractured.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful approach that has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress. It is based on the understanding that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it ordinarily does. One moment becomes “frozen in time” and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells and feelings haven’t changed. The traumatized brain has not been able to process the incident. Consequently, such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people.
EMDR is a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way. During EMDR the therapist works with the client to identify specific problems they want to work on and any distressing memories associated with them. Following an established protocol, the client calls to mind each memory while the therapist facilitates the directional movement of the eyes or other dual attention stimulation of the brain. This allows the brain to process the memory in a new and productive way so that by the end of the session, most people report a great reduction in the level of disturbance and a new understanding of the incident or problem being worked on.
EMDR was developed more than 25 years ago by psychologist Francine Shapiro and since that time many controlled studies have consistently found that it effectively decreases/eliminates the symptoms of post-traumatic stress for the majority of clients. Clinicians have also found EMDR to be effective for other mental health problems such as panic attacks, complicated grief, phobias, eating disorders, performance anxiety, chronic stress, addictions pain disorders and sexual and/or physical abuse. Many professional health and mental health organizations recognize EMDR as an effective treatment for PTSD, anxiety and depression, including the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization.
Note: The above is based on information published by the EMDR International Association. To learn more about EMDR please visit www.emdria.org
“I struggled with PTSD after the death of my parents for many years. The circumstances of their
deaths left me feeling overwhelmingly sad and guilt-ridden. Meena suggested we try EMDR and for the first time in 16 years I could think about my parents without feeling intense pain and guilt.”
"The day I was referred to Meena Rao who introduced me to EMDR I was given my life back.
Under her direction and a lot of introspection, I have worked to recapture my self-worth &
begin to understand the "why"; so I can start to live a happy and rewarding life again. I would highly recommend her; for her knowledge of EMDR and her ability to assist a person in their quest for closure to issues."
“Meena was referred to me by my psychiatrist who remarked that she was one of the best in her profession. He was right! Meena is a great listener; she's even better at dispensing wisdom. Even more importantly, she helps you to find your own way out of the tunnel...”
“Several years ago, I found myself in the midst of a trauma and did not have the tools to deal with it
appropriately. Meena came into my life and utilized EMDR to help me cope. She has since used EMDR to address my childhood traumas as well. Her caring nature and obvious wisdom from years of experience have been a means of constant support to me and I am forever grateful.”
“I was looking for a therapist to help me navigate health and relationship issues. Meena listened and facilitated a path to healing I could not have found alone. Meena isn't just full of book knowledge; she has experience, is nurturing and understanding. She's been my biggest advocate through my hardest times and in our ongoing work together. “
Your first appointment will last a full 60 minutes and will be billed at $185. Subsequent sessions will last 50 minutes and will be billed at $165 a session. Payment is expected at the time of service. Payment in cash, Zelle or by check is accepted. I accept Medicare and some private insurances.
Please contact me at (561) 866-9522 for additional information.
A therapy session is generally 50-60 minutes in length. Sessions will be held once a week, unless otherwise agreed upon. The first session usually lasts a full 60 minutes and is an important time for us both. I will ask many questions regarding your history and current concerns which you should answer as honestly and completely as you can. Goal setting will be a part of this first session and I encourage you to participate fully in this process. I also encourage you to share with me your thoughts and ideas about the progress of therapy on an ongoing basis so that we can work together to provide you with a useful and rewarding experience.
Yes. Sessions can take place on a virtual platform by mutual agreement. Insurance plans don’t always cover virtual sessions so you will need to check with your insurance provider ahead of time if you want me to bill your insurance. Having a stable wifi connection in the location you wish to use for your session is very important as technical difficulties can negatively impact your therapy experience.
A therapy experience can vary from only a few sessions to several months or years, depending on your goals and how quickly you are able to progress. As you begin to meet your therapy goals and find yourself feeling more confident and competent, your sessions will be reduced in frequency and termination will be discussed. Successful termination may take one to three sessions and will give us an opportunity to review your progress, list the new skills and insights that have been helpful to you, and plan for relapse-prevention.
Only a psychiatrist or other medical doctor can prescribe medication. Many problems can be solved without medication. However, in some situations medication can be a valuable resource. During the therapy process I can help you determine whether medication is indicated. If this is something you wish to pursue, I can refer you to a psychiatrist and collaborate with him or her in coordinating your mental health care.
Confidentiality is key to developing a trusting and effective therapeutic relationship. Your trust and confidence are very important to me. I adhere strictly to legal standards mandated by state and federal governments that protect your confidential information. In the course of your treatment we may determine that it would be beneficial for me to be in touch with other professionals that you see such as doctors, psychiatrists, former therapists, etc. In such cases, you will be asked to sign a release to permit me to contact these professionals.
You should also know that there are certain laws and regulations that require me to suspend confidentiality in a very few specific situations. For example, if you indicate through your actions or words that you are at serious risk of injuring yourself or another person(s), confidentiality will be broken to alert the proper authorities in order to protect you or the other person(s) involved. Also, in situations where a minor or elderly person is being abused or neglected, it is my professional obligation to make a report to the authorities. In addition, a judge may subpoena me as a witness and/or your records as evidence, during any relevant litigation in which you may be involved. Please know that it is my policy to discuss the need to break confidentiality with you prior to doing so whenever this is possible.
When you call my office, I will personally answer the call whenever possible. My confidential voice mail is always on. I will make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Often you will hear from me much sooner.
If you find yourself in a crisis situation in which there is potential for harm to yourself or others, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. Please understand that my schedule does not permit me to spend more than 5 or 10 minutes per phone call. If you are having a difficult time or struggling with an important decision, use your phone call to move up your scheduled appointment, rather than going into detail about the problem. Most important issues deserve to be explored in depth and from several angles; something that is impossible to accomplish during a rushed phone conversation. You may also communicate with me about routine matters by text. I will respond to texts as I am able to but ask that you refrain from texting over the weekend.
Your first appointment will last a full 60 minutes and will be billed at $165. Subsequent sessions will last 50-60 minutes and will be billed at $150 a session. Payment is expected at the time of service. Since I do not accept credit or debit cards, payment must be made in cash, check or through zelle.
If your insurance reimburses for treatment by a clinical social worker, payment is still required at the time of service. You will be supplied with an invoice to submit for reimbursement. The only exception would be if I am on the provider panel of your particular insurance plan. In such situations, I can bill your insurance carrier directly and you will be responsible only for your copay and deductible, if any.
Please note that I require 24 hour notice for cancellation of appointments. When you make an appointment, that time is being reserved for you. When you miss that appointment or cancel without giving me 24hrs notice, I am not always able to offer that time to another client. Therefore, it is necessary to charge you my full fee. There may be times when I may waive the 24 hour requirement in circumstances that constitute a true emergency or if I am able to rebook that time.
Please be aware that insurance companies do not reimburse for missed appointments. If you miss an appointment, you will be responsible for the entire fee for that session, not just your copay.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any specific concerns or questions that you would like to discuss.