Q & A

When do people seek counseling and is therapy really necessary?

It is helpful to consider counseling when your distress and symptoms consistently and persistently get in the way of your living a life that you desire. Counseling may also be helpful if the intensity of your distress extends beyond a certain period of time (two weeks or more), regardless of the efforts you have made to try to change.

Many people also find that therapy can be advantageous to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marital issues, and the hassles of daily life. A therapist can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem and help to point you in the direction of a solution.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated other difficulties that you have faced in the past, there is nothing wrong with seeking extra support now. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and helps to give you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

What is the initial consultation like?

Every consultation is unique, catering to each individual and his/her specific goals. The initial evaluation focuses on the reason for the visit; the history of the present illness; a review of past psychiatric, mental health, and medical history and treatment; as well as family and social history. After reviewing this information together, we will develop a treatment plan. At the conclusion of the first meeting, we will agree to a course of treatment and frequency of visits. It is common for therapy to begin on a weekly basis and then to taper gradually depending on your clinical needs.

If I take medication, do I really need therapy?

It is well established that the long-term solution to mental, emotional and behavioral problems cannot be solved exclusively by medication. Unlike medication which solely treats the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of each person’s distress as well as the behavior patterns that curb progress. An integrative approach to wellness including both medication and therapy is often recommended. Together, myself, your medical doctor or psychiatrist, and you will determine what the best course of action is in order for you to achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being.

If I am taking medication, will you communicate with my doctor?

Yes, with your permission. Care coordination is essential and valuable for every person’s treatment. A treatment team approach to any mental health concern is always ideal. A release of information will be necessary for this to occur.

Do you take insurance, and how does that work?

I am in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Carolinas Behavioral Health Alliance. I am out-of-network with all other insurance companies. If you want to submit for reimbursement at your out-of-network provider rate, I can provide you with a Super Bill for you to submit to your insurance company.

In order to determine what your in-network or out-of-network mental health benefits are, please call the member services number listed on the back of your insurance card. Some helpful questions you can ask are:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • Do I have a co-pay?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an in-network versus out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

Once you have the answers to these questions, we can determine the next best steps. It is important to remember, though, that it is your choice whether or not to file for reimbursement with your insurance company.

What if I need to cancel a session?

Life happens and schedules change. If you need to cancel or reschedule a session, please do so at least 24 hours in advance of your appointment. If you cancel within 24 hours of your appointment, you will be charged the full cost of the missed session.

Does what I talk about in therapy remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of therapy. Successful treatment requires a high degree of trust between us. Before treatment, you will have access to an electronic copy of the confidentiality disclosure policy. This is called ‘Informed Consent.’ If you wish for me to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team e.g. Psychiatrist, Physician, Naturopath, Attorney, etc., you will have to provide me with written permission to do so.

North Carolina state law requires that confidentiality be maintained except for the following situations:

  • Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders must be reported to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement agencies, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
  • If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.

Rebecca in the Press

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