How do I setup an appointment?
There are several ways to schedule an appointment, so you can choose the option that’s easiest for you.
You can call me at 256.499.2608. I do my best to answer phone calls, but if you get my voicemail that means I’m either in session or simply away from the phone. Please feel free to leave a message on my confidential voicemail, and I will return your call as soon as possible.
Send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact me through my online form.
What happens during the first session?
After initial contact has been made, your first appointment can be expected to feel overwhelming. It is my job to help you feel safe and secure enough to dig into your background. If you are the guardian of a child present, I will incorporate both you and the Client in session to explore background. It is my opinion that the more the Client feels in control of the setting, the quicker rapport can be established. Through intake, a series of questions will be asked to obtain pertinent information that will help us both establish workable treatment goals. Treatment planning is agreed upon and your next appointment will be set. Generally, appointments are scheduled weekly. The more frequent you appear in session the quicker safety is established and the quicker we can work on getting to the heart of the issue. I have found that we have to take time peeling back the layers of our lives. Please be patient as therapy is not often a “quick fix.”
Upon scheduling your first appointment, you will be sent the forms to complete and bring with you to your session. These forms will provide me with some information about you, but also give you additional information about the counseling process with me. When you arrive, please have a seat in our waiting room. At your appointment time, I will greet you and invite you into my office. Here you will be invited to share your story and we will begin to identify why you are seeking help at this time. I will find out from you what is not working and help identify ways we can work together to make it better. Our first session will primarily be a time to identify what brought you to therapy as well as to establish your treatment goals. This early time is significant as I come to understand your history and any other contributing factors related to your therapy goals. If all goes well, we will then decide how often we will meet and what issues we will work on together. Keep in mind that therapy is a team effort, and as a team our purpose is to accomplish the goals you desire to reach. I want to encourage you to be realistic and patient about this process as therapy is rarely a quick fix, but rather a rich process that requires time as well as a trusting relationship built between us.
How long does counseling take?
The length of time you may spend in counseling is dependent upon your particular circumstances. Some Clients achieve their goals after only a few sessions, whereas other Clients need more time and may require several months or years of counseling. As a Client, YOU are in control of this decision and have the right to terminate or take a break from counseling at any time without my permission or agreement. If you decide to exercise this right, I encourage you to talk to me about your decision so that we can bring sufficient closure to our work together. Additionally, we can review your progress and explore ways in which you can continue to utilize the skills and knowledge that you have gained to assist you in the future. We may also discuss appropriate referrals at this time.
How much does it cost?
Counseling sessions are 55-minutes in length and cost $140 per session. Acceptable forms of payment include check, cash and all major credit and debit cards. Your payment will be taken upon arrival and before session begins. There is a discount for those who opt to pay with check or cash.
Do I take insurance reimbursement?
I understand that having health insurance can be important when you have medical issues and expenses. However, I strongly encourage you to consider the long-term implications before using your insurance for your counseling sessions. Using your medical insurance for counseling has some risks involved. In order to use your medical insurance for counseling, you must be given a mental disorder diagnosis and that diagnosis will become a part of your permanent medical record. Having a mental diagnosis on your record may carry long-term implications and may hinder you from being able to obtain life insurance, disability or health insurance in the future. Additionally, filing an insurance claim means your diagnosis, dates of service, etc., are no longer totally confidential, and your insurance company will be aware of your treatment and diagnosis.
Some therapists accept insurance for reimbursement without informing their clients of this crucial information. I want you to be fully informed of these risks and implications before you make a decision to use your insurance for counseling. Hopefully, this knowledge will help prevent any unwanted emotional, relational and financial stress that may be caused by having a mental disorder diagnosis on your medical record.
For individuals who completely understand the risks involved with being given a mental diagnosis, and who still want to use their insurance for counseling, I can provide a statement for insurance reimbursement for out-of-network counseling.
What if I need to cancel?
If you need to cancel your appointment, please do so at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled session time. You will be responsible for the full fee and charged for the time reserved when cancellations are received less than 24 hours in advance. Failure to keep appointments and failure to cancel with appropriate notice may result in the following consequences:
- Notification to your DHR caseworker, when applicable.
- Loss if preferred appointment time.
- Termination of services.
Will my sessions be confidential?
Yes. Confidentiality is a key component of the counseling relationship, allowing you a safe place to work through personal issues. Your right to confidentiality will be carefully maintained and will not be disclosed without your written permission, except in the following cases:
- I have reasonable suspicion that you are a threat of harm to yourself or others.
- You disclose abuse or neglect of a child, elderly, or disabled person.
- I am ordered by Court of subpoena.
- You have a case with DHR, I must report your progress, or lack thereof, to your caseworker.
You may communicate with me through text messaging or telephone. I ask that you keep your correspondence to “housekeeping,” type issues as I have no ability to ensure your confidentiality through any means other than face to face.
Your files will be kept electronically and maintained through secure password only software. Should you find that you need a copy of your record, I will gladly provide that. There will be a $15.00 administration fee plus $0.50 per copied page.
Does seeing a therapist mean I am weak or flawed?
Entering into a therapeutic relationship is one of the STRONGEST things you can do. Mental Health continues to suffer due to the collective stigma that encompasses the profession. We live in a society that tells us we need to “have it all” while appearing to “have it all together.” I urge my clients to view therapy as a healthy way to invest in themselves and their relationships, just as one might invest into a 401k or a college education to be better equipped for the future. Therapy is no different. It is a choice to make a proactive change in order to better yourself, your life and your relationships. Therapy is an investment in yourself that allows you to heal from past wounds, grow into the person you aspire to be and thrive in your life and relationships.