Q: What will my first appointment consist of?
A: Your first appointment will be a consultation visit lasting approximately 50 minutes. You will be asked many questions about your current problem and symptoms, as well as your family history, education, employment, physical health problems, etc. Together with your input, an initial treatment plan will be developed at the end of the consultation.
Q: Will I be taking psychological tests?
A: All patients undergo paper-and-pencil psychological tests or questionnaires as part of the initial assessment phase as a way to help the doctor most thoroughly understand the patient. Tests are used to confirm the initial diagnostic impression, to learn about the patient’s strengths and weaknesses, and to guide the treatment plan.
Q: How long are therapy sessions?
A: Sessions are typically 30-50 minutes long. Under some conditions, patients may have shorter or longer sessions.
Q: How long will I need to be in therapy?
A: Some people report benefiting from even a single session. However, most people attend a minimum of four to six sessions. Keep in mind that if you want to change life-long patterns, you may need several months or more of weekly psychotherapy to make headway. The length of your treatment depends on the issues that you need to address and how much you want to change. At the completion of the assessment phase, you will be provided with a suggested length of time for your therapy. As you make progress, the option of maintenance sessions can be discussed. These can be conducted monthly or even every other month and are designed to monitor the changes and continue the growth and progress you will have made.
Q: How often do I come for therapy?
A: Typically, sessions are once weekly. However, in the beginning phases, some people may need more therapy in order to feel better. As the person progresses, the sessions can be less frequent.
Q: Is what I share with my therapist confidential?
A: Yes. Your confidentiality is protected by state law and by professional rules of conduct. All information concerning patients is held confidential and is released only through procedures consistent with the law and professional ethics.
Q: How will I know if I'm getting better?
A: After our first session together we will identify the goals that you would like to accomplish during therapy. We will continue to measure your progress by evaluating these goals. We may decide to add additional goals throughout the course of therapy if and when appropriate.
Q: What if I think I need to be evaluated for medications or I am already prescribed medications?
A: I often consult with medical practitioners who prescribe medications for psychological problems. An initial consultation and/or continued medication management can be arranged. Also, our sister clinic, Wellpointe Family Medical Clinic, has practitioners who came assess your medication needs.
Q: I heard that some mental health providers assign homework. Can you tell me more about that?
A: Therapy is not a process that takes place solely during the therapy session. It is important that you apply what you learn in therapy to your everyday life. Therefore, we will decide on "homework" assignments that you can work on between sessions. Homework consists of activities such as reading assignments, tracking your moods, thoughts, behaviors, changing the way you communicate with others and more.
Q: Who will answer my phone calls?
A: Your therapist will personally respond to all phone calls within 24 hours.
Q: Where can I go to learn more about psychotherapy?
A: Here is an overview of types of psychotherapy:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/psychotherapy/MH00009. For more information on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, visit the National Institute of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists: http://www.nacbt.org/whatiscbt.htm
Questions About Payment
Q: Do you take insurance?
A: Yes, as well as Medicaid and Medicare. With some insurance companies we work as an in-network provider. With other insurance companies we work as an out-of- network provider. The process is simple and our office staff will be happy to help you with it. As a service to you, we contact your insurance company, inquire about your mental health benefits, and file your claim. Generally, insurance companies can reimburse anywhere from 50% to 100% percent depending on your plan and deductible. You will be responsible for all deductibles and co-pays.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have additional questions or would like to discuss any of the above issues in greater detail.