1. When should I seek out a therapist?
I believe awareness is essential in identifying when someone needs to seek out therapy. When you begin to see or notice marked changes in behaviors, appearance, mood, sleeping habits, eating habits, activities, and/or friends, I suggest you seek out a therapist. If you are a parent/guardian, you know your child better than anyone. Be mindful of these changes and schedule an initial appointment for your child. Mental health and the field of psychology comes with a stigma that one must be “crazy” to be in therapy. However, according to the latest statistics with SAMHSA, around 20% of adults and 10% of youth meet criteria for a mental health diagnosis(es), yet only 39% of them entered treatment of some sort. You, your child, or significant other may be going through a tough transition, have lost a significant person in their life, or struggling to identify their life goals, which all makes for a perfect therapy candidate.
2. What is the duration and frequency of therapy?
That depends is the short answer! For adults (18+) Your first appointment, the Comprehensive Clinical Assessment, will last an hour. I will initially discuss patient rights, confidentiality, and gather historical information. Each ongoing session will last 50 minutes. Frequency of therapy usually starts off at once a week. Symptom severity typically guides how many sessions you need.
For adolescent therapy, your first appointment will last an hour. I will meet with the teen and guardian/parent first to discuss patient rights, confidentiality, and gather initial information. I will then meet with the child/teen individually, then the parent/guardian individually, and then bring everyone back together. Each ongoing session will last 50 minutes. Frequency of therapy usually starts off at once a week. Symptom severity can guide how many sessions a teenager needs to see improvement.
3. For those -18 years old, what does parent involvement look like throughout the therapeutic process?
I understand that though the identified patient is the child/teen, this does not mean that the family should not participate or be made aware of the goings on while in therapy. My family-centered approach involves the parent(s)/guardians while safeguarding the patient’s rights. In the initial session, I will explain the terms of confidentiality and how they may break confidentiality if there are significant concerns of safety. As the parent(s)/guardian, you will understand what your teen has been diagnosed with, what their treatment plan looks like, as well as opportunities to discuss concerns with me on a consistently regular basis. In addition, I understand how the teen’s presenting issues may have a ripple effect to the rest of the family or the teen’s presenting issues may be a result of family discord.
4. What should I do if I or my child/teen is having suicidal or homicidal ideation?
If you are concerned about your or your child’s ability to remain safe, please go to CMC-Randolph Behavioral Health Center for an immediate psychiatric evaluation to assess risk and danger to self or others. You can also contact their 24/7 hour call center at (704)444-2400. You can also contact Mobile Crisis Team at (704)566-3410 and someone from the team will come to your home or other identified safe location to assess for risk and danger to self or others.
5. What is your cancellation, no show policy?
I require a 24 hour notification for it to be considered a cancellation of the appointment. If it is within the 24 hour period of your appointment, it is considered a no show and you will be charged for that session. If you cancel more than 3 appointments, then you may lose your requested time slot for future appointments, and I will want to discuss engagement at that time.
6. What Insurance Plans do you accept?
Oak Family Counseling accepts Aetna, Cigna, and Optum/United Healthcare plans. I will conduct an eligibility check prior to your first session to ensure that you are in-network with me. You are responsible for your deductible, co-payment, or co-insurance at the time of the session. I will submit the claim to your provider. You will receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance provider when the claim has been processed. It will identify what you paid/your responsibility, what insurance covered or did not cover, and the difference in the contracted rate. Please contact me if there is a discrepancy or if you have questions about it.
7. How much are your sessions?
Self-Pay Clients: Your first appointment, a Comprehensive Clinical Assessment, is a 60 minute appointment and my cost is $200. Each additional therapy appointment is a 50 minute appointment and my cost is $150. At the end of each month, I create a Superbill (an itemized invoice) which will be sent to you on the 1st day of the following month. This Superbill can be submitted to your insurance provider. That amount will be applied towards your deductible, as well as you may be eligible to receive reimbursement depending on your out of network benefits. I always encourage you to contact your insurance provider and inquire about your out of network benefits, so you have a better idea of the cost of these services. Some of my clients end up paying very little for these services, while others' insurance providers do not cover any of it.
Insurance Clients: The easiest answer is It Depends. While I charge $200 for the initial assessment and $150 for each ongoing session, I have a different contracted rate per insurer. It then further depends on your insurance coverage. Let's say for example, my contracted rate is $120. I automatically know I will be getting paid $120 instead of my cost of $150. For you the cost of the session depends on your deductible (which would be the full cost of $120 until you hit your deductible), a co-payment (an exact amount determined by the insurance provider that you owe per session, like $30), or your co-insurance (a percentage of the contracted rate, so if it is 30% you would owe $36 per session). I am happy to answer any questions you may have about insurance, but please know if a claim is denied, you are the responsible person for paying for that session in its entirety.
If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me!