Frequently Asked Questions
How much will counseling cost?
Each mental health professional has a set fee for cash pay (If you don’t have insurance or do not want to use insurance). Please ask your mental health professional about their rates.
If you are choosing to use your insurance to help pay for your counseling, the amount you pay out-of-pocket will be determined by the insurance company. If your chosen therapist is an “in-network” provider with your insurance company you will probably pay less than if your therapist is an “out-of-network” provider. You should contact your insurance company ahead of your first session to find out an estimate of your out-of-pocket cost and to make sure your therapist is a provider.
If using your insurance there is no way we can be 100% certain of your part to pay until the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) comes back to us.
What do I need to ask my insurance company when I contact them?
- “I would like to verify my outpatient mental health benefits.”
- “Is _________________ a covered network provider?”
- “Do I have a deductible and if so, what amount has been met already?”
- “Do I have a copay or co-insurance payment at the time of session?”
- “Do I need to get an authorization for this service?”
- “Where do I tell my therapist to submit the claims?”
What is a deductible?
The deductible is the amount you have agreed to pay out-of-pocket for healthcare services before your insurance company will begin to pay as well. This amount varies depending on your individual plan. You are to pay this amount to your provider directly at the time of service or at the time your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) comes back to the office showing the claim has been processed. Please CHECK YOUR BENEFITS before you come in. If you have trouble with this, please contact Teresa Wright in our billing office and she will assist you.
What about Billing concerns I may have?
Healing Grace provides administrative and management services to mental health professionals. As an independent practitioner, your provider is solely responsible for all matters concerning your clinical care and all questions about that care should be addressed to her/him. You may be contacted by Shannon Stenstrom who works closely with each therapist to make sure billing measures are being taken care of and paid appropriately. If you need to make a payment or payment arrangements contact Shannon directly at 816.944.3251. For all other questions or concerns you may have speak directly with your mental health professional.
What do I need to bring to my first session?
Your completed intake paperwork if you have filled it out already. If you have not completed your paperwork, plan on needing 10-15 minutes prior to your session to complete the forms.
Your insurance card.
Your payment for services which may include cash, check, debit or credit card. Payments are collected at the window before you proceed to your session.
How long do the sessions last?
The typical session is 50-minutes in length. Occasionally you may schedule a 60, 30, or 75- minute session if you and your therapist agree this is necessary. Most sessions are scheduled at the top of the hour.
How often will I need to come in?
The answer to this question will depend on a few things. You and your therapist will determine the frequency of your treatment based on your symptoms, availability, insurance limitations, and out-of-pocket costs.
In the beginning of treatment it is common for sessions to be more frequent with the length of time between sessions increasing as one improves. High frequency in the beginning allows for you and your therapist to bond more quickly and for you to experience relief.
How long before I feel better?
Most people experience relief early on in their treatment. It helps to have someone who is trained to listen and understand your problems. If you need, your counselor may refer you to a medical doctor (psychiatrist) who specializes in psychotropic medications to help with your symptom relief if you are not improving as quickly as we hope.
HOWEVER . . . do not be surprised if you feel worse before you feel better. Oftentimes in the process of therapy we discuss painful experiences and we learn to feel all of the feelings involved. This is not pleasant. It may be that you and your family are trying to change some relationship patterns. That too can be a very painful experience which may result in an increase of negative symptoms before positive change occurs.
With consistency and perseverance however, one can make it through the most painful part of healing to come to the other side where there are “more good days than bad.”
We do not want anyone to think that counseling and psychotherapy is an easy path to happiness. Sometimes it is, but often it is not. We are with you along the way to assist you through the hard parts of this journey and to give you tools that will help you find peace.
When will I know when counseling is done?
You and your counselor will determine when you no longer need counseling services. This is often done gradually as you progress in treatment and your symptoms subside and you reach your therapy goals.
Some people continue “maintenance” sessions once a month or so for several months before discontinuing treatment. This wide spaced method of treatment allows you to go on your own with accountability as you need to maintain your progress.
What is expected of me (you) in the sessions?
While it might be nice if we could “read minds” we cannot. We need you to talk and to talk opening and honestly in your sessions in order for therapy to be successful. This may take a while if you are the quiet or “shy” type of person. Give yourself time to get to know your therapist and get used to hearing your own voice. You have to be humble, open, honest and willing to try new ways of thinking and communicating for therapy to be successful.
It is also important that your efforts to change are not limited to the therapist’s office. You will sometimes have “homework” that you and your therapist decide you should do between visits. Be willing to work with your therapist and be willing to risk making changes and you should see your life improve.
What if I don’t feel comfortable talking to my counselor?
Be willing to give your relationship with your therapist time to grow. You may feel comfortable right from the start, or it may take a few sessions to feel like you can trust and open up.
However, if you have given it time and you still are not able to communicate freely and openly then you may need to find another counselor. We don’t all work the same and we realize you need to find the right “fit” for you. Just let your counselor know if at all possible before you leave without saying a word and she or he will help you locate another provider who might work better for you.
What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is a form of counseling or psychotherapy that uses play to communicate with and help people, especially children, to prevent or resolve psychosocial challenges. This is thought to help them towards better social integration, growth and development, emotional modulation, and trauma resolution. Play therapy is generally employed with children aged 3 through 11 and provides a way for them to express their experiences and feelings through a natural, self-guided, self-healing process. As children’s experiences and knowledge are often communicated through play, it becomes an important vehicle for them to know and accept themselves and others.
What is a Counselor in Training?
All our Counselor’s in Training have a Master’s degree in Psychology/Counseling. In order to receive a Master’s in this field you must attain over 700 hours(differs depending on University) in session with clients. Once the Master’s degree is attained many people go straight to trying to receive there Current State Licensure. In order to become what is termed a Preliminary Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC) a graduate must first pass the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification, the State must do a background check, oral boards, computer tests, and much more which can take some time to complete. Before the status of PLPC is given a professional in the field of Counseling is termed a Counselor in Training. In all respects Counselor’s in Training are professionals in the field of Counseling/Psychology.