Counseling and Psychological Services

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First Steps

Once you have scheduled an appointment, please contact your insurance company to confirm that mental health services are covered (please see Insurance & Forms).

Your first appointment is the intake evaluation, which is usually longer than the regular psychotherapy sessions.  The intake evaluation may last from 60-90 minutes, and is primarily devoted to information gathering and ensuring that you understand the policies and procedures involved in therapy sessions as guided and/or required by professional ethical standards.

It is important that you provide as accurate information as possible to ensure that treatment planning is appropriate to your needs.  If I discover that your needs are beyond the scope of my practice, I will do my best to assist you in obtaining an appropriate referral to another provider.  Please be aware that if you have withheld important information or have provided conflicting or incorrect information, it may become necessary to refer you to another provider when this information becomes known.  I will do my best to provide you with referrals to a provider who can best serve your needs.  Ideally, you need to provide me with accurate information such that I can refer immediately if your concerns are beyond the scope of my practice.

You will need to bring the following items to your intake evaluation:

  • Completed intake paperwork (about 10-12 pages)
  • Insurance card(s)
  • Photo ID
  • Pre-authorization number, with effective and expiration dates of the authorization
  • Payment for co-pay, co-insurance, or deductible

Your individual appointment is 45 minutes, as determined by industry standard. Billing codes for psychotherapy changed as of January 1, 2013. The billing code for a 45-minute psychotherapy session is applied to a session lasting from 38-52 minutes. The billing code for a 60-minute session is applied to a session lasting anywhere from 53-60 minutes, but generally indicates a 55-minute session, to provide time between sessions. This includes time for payment; scheduling appointments; referrals; and signing releases and other forms. Please be courteous to the clients whose appointments are immediately after yours by respecting their time.

I will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your goals for psychotherapy. We will review the treatment plan periodically to ensure that you are continuing to improve. You may modify or add goals at any time during the course of treatment. Treatment plans are set with a specific time limit in order to help you stay focused on your goals.  If I find that you are not improving, we will need to discuss appropriate referrals, as insurance companies may request a refund of payment if your chart is audited.  If this occurs, and you have refused referrals or termination, you will be responsible for any and all refunds demanded by the insurance company.

If you need to cancel an appointment, please contact me at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time.  If you need to reschedule your appointment, you must indicate this in your message to me.

Please be advised that even if you have been meeting with me at a regular time, you must let me know if you wish to schedule your appointment at the same time the following week, as I do not have standing appointments.  I will make an effort to set aside a regular time for you if you are consistently attending sessions; however, because so many clients change their schedules, I cannot guarantee that your usual time slot will always be available.  You must request a new appointment unless we have scheduled specific dates in advance.

If you have any questions regarding my policy on scheduling and rescheduling, please feel free to ask me.

Please be aware that psychotherapy usually requires consistent attendance. The longer period of time between sessions, the more important your motivation and work outside the session becomes.  Meeting once a month may not be effective if you are seeking significant changes. If you frequently cancel or miss appointments, you may not benefit from psychotherapy.

Please feel free to bring in questions about psychotherapy.

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