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What type of Psychology Professional should I be seeing?
This is probably the most common question we hear when one begins the search for help. First, attending an appointment with any psychology professionals does NOT mean you are "crazy". The stigmas created through society are some of the greatest detractors toward achieving overall mental health. A Counselor or Therapist (Psychotherapist) is a professional who has the degree of a masters and a state license. Therapists commonly provide the service known as "talk therapy". The therapist and client typically meet weekly or bi-weekly to communicate and create an understanding and new focus surrounding an issue(s).
A Psychologist is a professional who has a doctoral degree (PhD) or (PsyD). Generally speaking, a psychologist will provide testing and more of an analytical view from a calculated perspective. These professionals can and do provide counseling services for people with varying psychological needs. Psychologist can behaviorally and physically test for ADHD, Autism, etc and can also provide counseling.
Finally, the Psychiatrist is an MD and has studied medicine providing them with the credentials to prescribe medications specifically studied in the effects of psychotropic medication. When clients are needing a medical opinion and to treat symptoms with medicine, the Psychiatrist will be the answer.
How do I know when is a good time to start therapy?
If you have read this far, there is a good chance that you might benefit from therapy. That said - and this is very important - the right time to start therapy is when you have decided that the time is right. Like anything in life, you will get out of therapy what you are willing to put in!
Who should attend the session(s)?
Initially, you should decide who you want / need to attend sessions with you - those intimately involved with you are often very helpful in the process. But again, it is ultimately up to you if and when you would like others to attend sessions with you.
How often should I attend sessions?
The treatment schedule will be discussed upon the completion of the initial assessment. The typical schedule for clients is once a week, however treatment can vary depending on personal schedules and goals. I will typically recommend for all client's to begin therapy once a week to establish a therapeutic relationship and focus on the clients symptoms and goals. When symptoms are understood and managed, positive coping skills can be created, and goals can be evaluated. When the client feels comfortable with progress made toward achieving stated goals, therapy sessions can / should often be reduced.
How long will therapy take until it is complete?
I do not put a timeline on therapy for clients because - as in life - therapy is impossible to predict. Therapy is an individual process that a therapist guides objectively in line with the client's needs. The client's ability to reveal certain personal discoveries to themselves is only as timely as the client moves into it. That being said, an average client attends therapy from six months to two years. There are no time constraints from the therapists perspective unless goals are not being met and there is no consistent movement towards goals. Contrary to popular belief, a good psychotherapist wants their clients to achieve goals in as short a time as possible - as you achieving your goals is the ultimate measure of our success.
How will I know when I am done with therapy?
Goals will be continuously re-evaluated throughout treatment. Ultimately, you will enter therapy for specific reasons and with specific goals. As you move toward achieving those goals, you should also begin to have your own thoughts as to how close you are to "being done" with therapy.
What should I do if I don't feel comfortable after the initial session?
The first most important factor to consider upon beginning treatment is comfort in treatment. It is difficult for majority of client's to face their struggles, so bringing inferior parts of yourself to someone you are uncomfortable with will not be successful. That said, certain levels of anxiety and apprehension when beginning the process is to be expected - so you will want to try to separate the process from the provider in making your assessment.
What should I expect for cost of treatment?
Self-pay (paying out of pocket) rates are $175 for the initial evaluation sessions ( 2 sessions) and $150 for all sessions following.
Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage varies depending on your insurance plan. If you have not met your deductible, the cost will be determined by your insurance providers contracted rate. You will need to contact your insurance provider for the exact rate. If your deductible has been met or waived you may have a co-pay (ranging from $20-$60) or no co-pay.
Out of network coverage pertains to all other insurance companies besides Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO. All sufficient paperwork from treatment is provided to client, and client waits for reimbursement from insurance company. Client is required to pay providers rates at time of service.