Frequently Asked Questions
Before taking the step to initiate counseling, there are often many questions and concerns individuals have. This can be an uncertain and scary step and my goal is to make this as easy as possible. The following are common questions:
Is counseling right for me?
Taking the step to initiate counseling shows great self-awareness. You reach a point when you realize that you can no longer manage challenging life situations on your own. It can be very difficult to reach out for help when things in life get tough. Scheduling a counseling session shows your ability to accept where you are in life and make a commitment to change your situation.
How can counseling help me?
Counseling provides long-term benefits and support. I work to provide you with the tools and skills that you will need to avoid future triggers, create new cycles of interaction, counteract damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges may arise in the future. People come to counseling for many reasons; some have encountered major life transitions while others feel they are not handling stressful circumstances appropriately. Counseling can provide encouragement and help build skills to get individuals, couples and families through these periods. Counseling can help you meet life’s challenges, as well as learn how to deal with new situations and changes in the future.
What is counseling really like?
Each person has their own issues and goals for counseling, so it looks a little bit different for everyone. In general, expect to discuss current life events, in addition to exploring your life history in relationship to this issue. You will also discuss your progress outside of our sessions and any challenges you face along the way. Counseling can be short-term, dealing with one particular issue or longer-term depending upon the nature of your concern.
It is important to realize that you have to actively participate in counseling in order to be successful. Applying what is discussed in session to your daily life is the key to success in. Talking about challenges for just 50 minutes per week will not help you change patterns that have persisted for years. Sometimes homework will be assigned to highlight in-session work. Homework assignments can include reading a particular book, journaling or tracking behaviors. Again, every session and therapeutic experience is different depending upon the goals and needs of the client.
Does what we talk about remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components of a therapeutic relationship. Successful counseling requires a high degree of trust and usually involves highly sensitive subject matter that is typically not discussed anywhere but the counselor's office. Sometimes you may want your counselor to share information or give an update to someone such as your Physician, Attorney, or School, but by law your counselor cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
Are there limits to our confidentiality?
State law and professional ethics require counselor to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
Suspected past, or present, abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
If the counselor has reason to suspect that the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.
If the counselor receives a court order requiring her to release counseling records.
Can I receive a receipt for counseling?
I'm happy to provide you with a statement of paid services, which you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Please contact your insurance provider directly to explore this option.
Do you offer counseling with sliding scale rates?
Yes, I understand economic times are tough and I do not want money to be an obstacle that stands in the way of clients getting the treatment they need. Please contact me for more information about discounted rates.
Do you accept insurance as payment?
Yes, I am considered to be an "in-network" provider for many Cigna, Aetna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plans. If you would like to use insurance as payment, then I will need a picture, or copy, of your driver's license and insurance card (Front & Back) prior to our initial session in order to confirm your benefits & eligibility. Please contact me for more information about paying with insurance.
What are some considerations for paying for counseling with health insurance?
Insurance may be a great way to participate in counseling at a lower cost, it is important to me that you understand what accepting insurance means for you as a client.
If you use insurance:
I will have to give you a mental health diagnosis. Most clients I see do not need a mental health diagnosis when experiencing very normal relationship challenges.
Billing an insurance company requires me to provide details of our work together to their representatives to decide if they will continue to pay for us to work together.
What are the advantages of private pay counseling?
No contact needed with a third-party payor (i.e. insurance company).
Ability to choose a counselor based on the needs and values you desire, rather than who is available in your network.
Ability to determine the length of treatment and care.
You can be confident that your care and personal information is held to the highest standard of privacy laws and statutes.
Ultimately, I believe you know what is the best choice for you and your family and that you should make that decision once you have explored all of the options available to you.
Feel free to contact me with any additional questions, so I can help guide you through this process.