What to expect from counseling/therapy
Counseling or therapy is a process that can be either goal oriented and specific, working with a crisis or problem that has come up in a person's (or couple's) life; or it can be more general, dealing with a person's (or couple's) feelings of dissatisfaction, sadness or general malaise.
Together we try to target what will work best for you to uplift your mood, solve your immediate problem(s) and set the direction you need to be moving in to enhance your life experience.
This process can sometimes work quickly to help you get to where you are comfortable again, or it can take longer, as change is gradual and life is complex.
My sessions are scheduled for 50 minutes. However, I will schedule longer sessions when meeting a couple for the first time or working with a patient in crisis.
Although your insurance company may have mental health benefits there are a few things you should know regarding the use of those benefits:
- if you have an HMO you will need to choose a provider who is contracted with that company. There may not be out of network benefits available.
- if you have a PPO you may or may not have out of network benefits. You will need to contact your insurance company to obtain that information.
- if you use your mental health benefits your insurance company will require that the provider give you a psychiatric diagnosis which indicates a mental disorder. Your diagnosis is gotten from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV). That diagnosis will remain in your medical record.
- should you decide to use your insurance I will provide you or your insurance company with a statement of services rendered.
Health Insurance and Confidentiality of Records
Disclosure of confidential information may be required by your health insurance carrier or HMO/PPO/MCO/EAP in order to process the claims. I have no control or knowledge over what insurance companies do with the information he submits or who has access to this information.
You must be aware that submitting a mental health invoice for reimbursement carries a certain amount of risk to confidentiality, privacy or to future capacity to obtain health or life insurance or even a job. The risk stems from the fact that mental health information is likely to be entered into big insurance companies' computers and is likely to be reported to the National Medical Data Bank.
Accessibility to companies' computers or to the National Medical Data Bank database is always in question as life insurance and health insurance carriers will typically require a person seeking insurance to allow them access; an employer will typically require a job seeker to allow them access; and, in addition, computers are inherently vulnerable to break-in's and unauthorized access. Medical data has been also reported to be legally accessed by enforcement and other agencies, which also puts you in a vulnerable position.
All information disclosed within sessions and the written records pertaining to those sessions are confidential and may not be revealed to anyone without your (patient's) written permission, except where disclosure is required by law. This statement holds true except with respect to an insurance company or a third party payer.
Fees are discussed by phone directly with me. Payment can be made with checks, cash or credit cards. All major credit cards are accepted. If you use your insurance I will provide you with a proper statement for you to submit or I will submit the statement on your behalf. I am an out of network provider for most insurance companies.
Since the scheduling of an appointment involves the reservation of time specifically for you, a minimum of 24 hours (1 day) notice is required for re-scheduling or canceling an appointment. Unless we reach a different agreement, the full fee will be charged for sessions missed without such notification.