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Yoga-combined Psychotherapy


What is Yoga-combined Psychotherapy?


            Yoga-combined psychotherapy is a 90-minute psychotherapy session that incorporates yoga practice into the session to provide comprehensive mind & body healing.  Within the course of this unique psychotherapy session, interventions will include empirically supported psychotherapy (“talk therapy”) techniques, but we’ll also incorporate strategies that focus on physiological healing, such as breath work, mindfulness & meditation, and physical yoga poses or movement.  Some clients benefit by talking through their thoughts, emotions, and problems for the first 60 minutes of the session, and then appreciate the calming and healing effects of 30 minutes of yoga before leaving the session.  Other clients benefit from utilizing 30 minutes of yoga to relieve physical tension and clear their mind before engaging in 60-minute talk therapy.  Finally, others need to alternate back and forth between the 2 modalities, as therapeutic content can be so challenging that it requires several shorts breaks to calm and reorient their mind through yoga.  

            This combination of talk therapy and physiological healing through yoga offers the best treatment approach of mind and body.   There are many times when we are acutely distressed and cannot reason our way into feeling better.  Learning strategies to promote greater control over our body to relieve pain, sooth, and calm can be the necessary coping strategies when rational thought is unavailable or our uncomfortable body is completely overpowering our mind. 

            Clients are provided with a video of each yoga practice taught in session, so that they can continue this practice at home for maximum effect.   It is recommended that clients commit to at least 5 weekly sessions of yoga-infused psychotherapy in order to successfully reach some measurable treatment outcomes. 


Frequent Questions & Answers


Is Yoga-combined psychotherapy covered by Insurance?

Yes.  Each session would be 90 minutes.  Dr. Lisson would bill the client's insurance company for a 60-minute psychotherapy session (90837), as traditional and empirically supported psychotherapy techniques would be incorporated for at least 60 minutes of this 90-minute session.  The client may owe a copay for this portion (as directed by the insurance plan), unless the out-of-pocket maximum for the year has been met.  The remaining 30 minutes would be devoted to a yoga practice and this would include an additional $20 charge.  Therefore, the maximum total financial responsibility for this 90-minute service is: $20 + your specific insurance copay (if applicable). 


Please confirm with your insurance plan that 90837 (billing code: 60-minute psychotherapy session) is not subject to your annual deductible.   If you would owe a deductible, please contact Dr. Gail Lisson to discuss payment options. 


What are Dr. Lisson’s qualifications or credentials to practice Yoga-combined Psychotherapy?

Dr. Lisson is a doctoral level, fellowship trained licensed clinical psychologist in the State of North Carolina.  Her private practice for over 10 years has been devoted to working with clients with anxiety, depression, chronic stress, trauma, and coping with medical disease.  She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training with the Kaivalya Yoga Method Academy and is registered with the Yoga Alliance.  She has completed advanced yoga teacher training in Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga. 

What are some medical conditions that benefit from Yoga-combined psychotherapy?

  • Depression and low mood
  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and complex trauma
  • Grief and loss
  • Adjustment to chronic medical illness
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic stress
  • Addiction


Is yoga experience necessary?

No yoga or meditation experience is required.  Most clients that request this service have little to no yoga experience.  The client is always in charge of what we do and what they comfortable exploring.  Dr. Lisson is certified yoga instructor and will teach the client the breathing techniques, mindfulness, and poses, at a pace appropriate for that client. 


Can this service be provided through telemedicine?

Yes, Dr. Lisson can provide this service via telemedicine in a Hippa-compliant portal.  Please visit the Online Video Counseling page of this website for more information on this service.  


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