FAQsCan therapy help me?
Therapy is effective in dealing with many of the discomforts of life such as couples counseling, anxiety, depression, stress, abuse, addictions, or life-stage issues. It can help a person grow in relationships, gain insights, and improve coping skills. Psychotherapy can often ward off more expensive medical treatments or hospitalization or be used in conjunction with psychiatry and other medical treatments. Effective counseling requires your effort, honesty and openness. I welcome your feedback about your progress. Because of individual differences, it is very helpful for me to know what is working and what is not helpful to your specific goals for counseling. As such, this is a collaborative process.
There are some risks associated with counseling. Some symptoms can get worse before they get better. Making changes in interpersonal relationships may be uncomfortable for you or viewed negatively by others in your life who prefer old patterns. Long-standing patterns may not change quickly. It will help us both if you share any concerns you may have about our process together.
How long will I need to be in therapy?
Much depends on your goals and willingness to work towards them. If you choose to use someone paneled on your insurance your policy can be limited to a certain number of sessions. You can end our work together at any time, for any reason. People often stop the counseling relationship for a time and return at a later date. When we feel goals are achieved, we’ll talk about where you are now and assess your comfort in leaving. My door is always open to return should the need arise.
What about using my insurance and confidentiality issues?
Carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of using insurance for counseling. Many who have insurance assume that they must use it, but such is not the case. Your mental health benefits may function differently from physical health benefits on your particular policy. To use insurance for counseling, you must have a diagnosis of a mental health disorder. (If you are seeking couple’s counseling, the primary client must have a diagnosis.) This becomes part of your permanent medical record and may affect your premiums on future life and health insurance plans and programs. For this reason, many persons elect to pay out-of-pocket. Self-pay is the only way to insure confidentiality.
Many providers, myself included, elect to not to be on insurance panels. This is because many of my referrals come from past clients, pastors, colleagues and physicians. I believe strongly in confidentiality and a client’s decision to choose the therapist best for his or her particular concern(s).
If your plan provides out-of-network benefits and you want to use your insurance, I am an out-of-network provider. This means I work for you and not your insurance provider. Payment is expected at each session, but I will be happy to provide a diagnostic receipt for you to submit to your provider. You may then receive partial reimbursement for counseling after meeting your insurance deductible. You’ll want to make sure you ask questions of your company and thoroughly understand the provisions of your particular mental health plan. If you are interested in exploring this topic further you may want to read my more in-depth post on using insurance in my blogpost dated May 31, 2012.
How do we get started?
Getting started is easy! Simply contact me. Once we have spoken over the phone, I will answer any questions you may have and get you started with your paperwork. I use a practice management system which makes that extremely easy before you walk in my door. If you have any additional questions, just call me at 314.249.5444, or send me an email through the Contacts page of this website.
What does therapy cost?
My current rate is $140 for a 45-50 minute session. I will provide a good faith estimate prior to services. I am an out-of-network provider meaning that I am not on insurance panels. Your insurance policy may offer some reimbursement for out-of-network benefits, so you may want to look into it. Much depends on your diagnosis and whether or not you have met an annual deductible (see above information about the benefits/risks of using insurance). A portion of my practice is devoted to providing for clients with financial needs. Unless prior arrangements are made, clients pay through a credit card on file in a secure portal end of each session. Major credit cards and most health savings account cards are accepted for your convenience.