Do I have to schedule an appointment?
Yes, all counseling appointments need to be scheduled ahead of time. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call one of our therapists. At this time, it is preferable to call your therapist directly – Katie Ellison, LPC at (470) 798-0539, Natalie Enter, APC at (770) 858-5667 or Rebecca Muyres, LPC at (770) 648-2500.
What can I expect in the first session?
In the first session, we will meet with you to gather personal and family history. For all teen sessions and family sessions, we initially meet with parents and children. For young children, we meet with the parents alone for the first session in order to assure that you feel comfortable with us and we can gather relevant family history, as well as answer all your questions without the child having to be present. The following session, we will meet with your child alone for their initial counseling or play session. From there, we will all work together to formulate a treatment plan and decide on the frequency of sessions, individual and/or family sessions, as well as the treatment modality.
When does a child need therapy?
All children exhibit what adults might call “abnormal behavior” from time to time. Many times these behaviors are nothing to worry about and sometimes go away as quickly as they came. However, sometimes these behaviors signify that a child is in distress or has a more serious underlying problem. Some children may experience difficulties coping with events like a move or a change in schools, and some life events like divorce, death of a loved one, and trauma, are almost always difficult for a child.
If your child appears to be struggling for a long period of time, has intense or frequent problems with a particular issue, appears depressed or angry much of the time, or if grades and school performance are getting worse, these are indicators that your child may need a little help with whatever is bothering them. Play therapy is usually the best tool to use to help your child.
What should I tell my child about play therapy?
When bringing the child for the first session, you can tell your child that he/she will be coming each week for a little while to play in the playroom. If the child questions further as to the reasons for coming, you can state that it usually helps to have someone to play with about things and best of all, “most kids find it really fun!” Children love to play and usually enjoy themselves during play therapy.
What if the parents are divorced?
If you have joint legal custody of the child, we will need written consent from both parents unless the child may be in danger from one of the parents. If you have sole legal custody, then we can proceed without consent. However, it may be beneficial for the other parent to be involved in treatment in order for the child to progress and heal, as well as both parents to be most helpful to the child.
Is everything confidential?
All information you share with us, whether in sessions or over the telephone, may become part of your clinical record. Communications between client and therapist are confidential. Such information will not be released to anyone, including other agencies, without your written consent. There are some exceptions to a client’s confidentiality, which are 1) we believe that your life or someone else’s is in danger, 2) we suspect abuse or neglect of a child, elderly or disabled person, 3) we have your signed written consent to release information or 4) we are ordered by a court to disclose information. In addition, if you choose to use your health insurance to cover part or all of the cost of treatment, you are consenting for us to reveal: a) the fact that you are a client and b) the primary diagnosis for which you are receiving treatment.
Do you accept insurance?
Our practice operates largely on a private pay system. Participating in counseling through private pay keeps your health record confidential and prevents the use of a diagnosis in your permanent medical file from impacting you at any time in the future. Private pay also allows you to determine the type, length, and frequency of sessions rather than being limited to the restrictions put in place by insurance plans.
Please check with your provider first as not all providers are in the same networks. The insurances that we are currently in network with are ACS Benefit Services, Aetna, Amerigroup, Administrative Solutions, Alliant Health Plans, Anthem, Ambetter, Benefit Support, Blue Care Network, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Healthgram, HealthPartners, HealthSCOPE Benefits, Multiplan/PHCS, NGHS, Peachstate, S & S Healthcare and UMR. We also accept HSA cards. Both Katie Ellison, LPC and Natalie Enter, APC, offer flexible much sought after early morning or evening hours as well as weekend appointments.
Sometimes out of network benefits are close to in-network benefits. We would be glad to submit claims to your insurance for reimbursement.
How much do sessions cost?
For those using their insurance benefits, there are many variations for individual insurance plans including deductibles, co-pay amounts, and co-insurance amounts. Creative Family Counseling will contact your insurance company to learn what amount you are responsible for per session and will process insurance claims on your behalf. Ultimately, however, you are responsible for payment if for some reason your claim is denied even if you are no longer receiving services at Creative Family Counseling. For those clients with CMOs (Amerigroup, Caresource and Peachcare) please confirm your insurance is active prior to setting up an appointment, or you will be responsible for full payment.
For those who are non-insured, or choosing not to file insurance (self-pay), the initial intake session currently costs $150.00. The following 45-50 minute sessions cost $100.00.
Katie Ellison and Natalie Enter will offer some sessions at reduced amount, based on availability and need.
Can I cancel my sessions?
Therapy is most beneficial with regularly scheduled sessions – most of the time, weekly or bimonthly. However, if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please notify your therapist at least 24 BUSINESS hours in advance so that she can fill that slot with another client. Cancelations that are not made at least 24 BUSINESS hours in advance will carry a $50 late cancelation fee.
What If I show up late for my session?
We are scheduled to see clients hourly. Therefore, it is necessary to be prompt for your session. If you arrive late for your session, only the remainder of the scheduled session time will be utilized. If you are more than 20 minutes late, the appointment will be rescheduled and you will be charged a missed appointment fee.
What if I have an emergency?
If you are in a medical or mental health emergency situation, you are advised to contact your local hospital or Northeast Georgia Medical Center at (770) 219-9000, where emergency mental health personnel are available 24 hours a day. Please dial 911 for immediate assistance.