Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Information

What is counseling and how do I know if I need it?
Counseling,  also called therapy or psychotherapy, is the process of meeting with a  professional to resolve problematic beliefs, thoughts, feelings, or  behaviors. It can be individual counseling to change destructive  behaviors and habits or resolve painful feelings, family counseling to  improve communication and relationships, or group counseling to improve  interaction and provide support.  Some common reasons people consider  counseling are feelings of unhappiness, anxiety, or distress in a way  that interferes in every-day life, facing a transition, or experiencing a  loss. A good rule of thumb is if you're asking yourself this question,  you may already have your answer.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist and a counselor/therapist?
A  psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor (M.D.) who has graduated from a  medical school, where they focused on general medicine. They then  completed a 3-4 year residency, specializing in psychiatry. For the most  part, the preform psychiatric evaluations for the purpose of  determining the need for treatment with medications. If so determined,   the psychiatrist prescribes the medications and then follows the  patient for medication management.

A psychologist is a clinician  who holds a Doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.) or a Doctor of Philosophy  in Psychology (Ph.D.). They must have 5-6 years of graduate work  studying psychology, 1-2 years of internship, and  1-2 years of  supervised clinical work experience before qualifying for the right to  sit for the licensing examination. A psychologist does not prescribe  medication. Instead, they provide psychotherapy through an extensive  knowledge of  psychological theory, therapy, research and diagnostic  testing. Psychologists also specialize in psychological testing and are  the only group of clinicians trained to do so.

Licensed Mental  Health Counselors (LMHC’s) hold Masters degrees in counseling. They have  2 years of graduate training and 1-2 years of supervised work  experience. LMHC’s provide counseling to individuals, families and  groups. They can partner with or refer to a psychiatrist if medication  is needed for treatment.

How do I choose the right counselor?
This  is an important and personal decision. The counselor you see should  have relevant experience and expertise for your difficulty and goals.  Please peruse our counselors section  for their individual education, experience, and specialties. Beyond  that, the relationship is the most important factor in an effective,  rewarding counseling experience. You should truly feel comfortable with  and trust your counselor as you need to feel safe sharing with them.  It  is your choice who you decide to work with and we have multiple  counselors on staff you may try if you so choose.

What will my first appointment be like?
Upon  arriving at the office for your first counseling appointment, you may  be asked to sign in. You'll be given an intake packet containing  information regarding our policies and privacy practices for you to read  over and sign to acknowledge that you accept them. It will also include  a form for you to give consent for us to bill your insurance if you  have so chosen. You will also be asked to fill out a biographical form  with personal, medical, and family history. We will make a copy of your  ID and insurance card for our records. Your first session with the  counselor will be used for the two of you to get to know each other.  They may tell you about their counseling style and experience and  background. They'll ask you about your presenting condition and  symptoms, as well as your relevant history. You'll discuss your reasons  for seeking counseling and what your goals are. At the end, you'll  discuss if and when you'd like to come back and your counselor will  recommend how often. Think of the first session as an introduction and a  chance for you to begin a connection with your counselor. You should  feel safe, respected, and comfortable, however, keep in mind that it may  take some time. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is a trusting  relationship with your counselor.

At the end of the session, your  counselor will accompany you out to the front where payment will be  collected and another appointment can be scheduled. Your concerns will  most likely not be dealt with in one session, so it is important that  you continue to see your counselor regularly based on what was  discussed.

How much does therapy cost?
Our  rate is $150.00 per 1 hour session. We accept many of the major  insurance companies. If you decide to use insurance, your fee will  depend on your specific policy and coverage. For those who do not have  insurance, we offer a sliding-scale fee that is an adjustment of the fee  based on a gross yearly income less than $70,000. Please contact the  office from more information on our sliding-scale fee. You may also  choose to use an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for a limited number  of free sessions. Please contact your employer for more information on  EAPs. It is customary to pay for services when they are rendered.

What insurance do you accept?
We currently have counselors accepting plans from the the majority of insurance companies.

Unfortunately, we are currently not able to accept Medicaid or Medicare Advantage programs.

Upon  calling our office, you will be asked what insurance company you have.  We will then refer you to a specific therapist who works with your  presenting problem and is also covered by  your insurance. We will take  care of filing the claim to your insurance company. Please be aware that  as there are so many insurance companies with numerous plans, a  particular therapist may be on one plan covered by your insurance  company and may not be on another.  Also, your particular insurance  policy may not offer benefits for mental health services. It is  recommended that you check with your insurance company about your  individual benefits before scheduling. 

For more in-depth information on insurance coverage for mental health services, the APA has a useful guide you can find here

What is your cancellation policy?
We  require 24 hours notice for cancellations, unless an emergency. Should  you need to cancel within 24 hours of your appointment, a late  cancellation fee of $25 will be added to your account. There will be a  charge to your account of $65 for  a "no-show", or not coming to your  appointment without giving us prior notice. The rates for the Psychiatrist & ARNP is a fee of $85 for a late cancellation and $125 for a no show fee unless it is a 1st time appointment, the fees are increased to $325 for a no show appointment for your initial consultation.  Voice mail is available to  take messages if we are not in the office. 

How will my information be used and protected?
Your  Protected Health Information (PHI) includes any personal information  you provide to use and any notes or records made by your counselor. The  HIPAA law requires us to keep your PHI private and to give you notice of  our privacy practices. You may read our practices in full here. We only share your PHI with your knowledge and consent unless otherwise required by law.

Learn More

You can always call our office at (407) 423-3327 and we will gladly answer any questions you may have.

Find out more