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    FAQs ~ Counseling

    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 our Main Number at (770) 648-2500 where our Intake Specialist will be able to schedule you for an Intake with your preferred therapist, or the best therapist to meet your needs. A lot of our therapists offer flexible and/or evening and week-end hours to accommodate the needs of your family.

    For information about scheduling a Coaching Session, please visit our FAQ ~ Coaching page.

    What can I expect in the first counseling 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 and c) release of your requests upon request from the insurance company.

    Do you accept health insurance? 

    Our practice operates largely on a private pay system. We prioritize quality, excellence, transparency and confidentiality.  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 or your child at any time in the future. Private pay also allows you and your therapist to determine the type, length, and frequency of sessions rather than being limited to the restrictions put in place by insurance plans. Most insurance plans reimburse at a significantly lower rate and determine medical necessity of treatment; therefore your therapist cannot guarantee that all your sessions will be covered. The insurance company may determine upon an audit that your services were medically unnecessary and request a refund from our practice – even up to months or years later.  If a client loses coverage or changes insurance, often the initial insurance company will continue to pay claims but then months later retroactively deny the claims and recoup money from our practice.

    Sometimes out of network benefits are close to in-network coverage. If you are seeing an Associate or Licensed Clinician, we would be glad to give you a superbill so that you can submit to your insurance for reimbursement. However, by using your insurance, you are consenting for us to provide you with a mental health diagnosis which will go on your permanent health record. You will be responsible for paying our self-pay rate at the time of service, regardless of whether your insurance decides to reimburse you or not.

    How much do counseling sessions cost?

    The initial intake session with a fully Licensed Professional Counselor costs $175.00. The following individual 50 minute sessions cost $150.00.  Associate Professional Counselors (APC) charge $150 for the intake session and $125 for following sessions. Masters Level Counselors charge $125 for Intakes and $100 for following sessions. Interns charge $75 per session.

    Some therapists provide couples counseling. Licensed Clinicians charge $175. Associate Professional Counselors $150. Masters Level Counselors $125 and Interns $75.

    We accept check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover or HSA Cards. We do not accept American Express or cash.

    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 48 BUSINESS hours in advance so that your therapist can fill that slot with another client. Cancellations that are not made at least 48 BUSINESS hours in advance will carry a $75 late cancellation fee. For Interns, this fee is $30. 

    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. The GA Crisis and Access Line can be reached at 1-800-715-425. Please dial 911 for immediate assistance.