What is counseling?
The purpose of counseling is to help you understand yourself, to make that which is unknown, known.
We cannot see ourselves through the eyes of others, which is why therapists go to therapy as well, to learn about the unknown of their own selves. How does that help? It helps to bring awareness to patterns that have been playing out in and impacting your life, and to find out the "why," which creates insight and awareness.
Have you heard the saying "the first step toward change is admitting you have a problem?" Becoming aware of what we do and why we do the things that land us in the same spot is vital for change. Once you are aware, you have the choice to remain stuck in your past behavior or to implement new behaviors knowing you have options.
Is counseling confidential?
Yes. It is not only a legal and ethical requirement for counselors, but it is a vital part of the effectiveness of treatment. Without confidentiality there is no trust and without trust, growth cannot happen. We live in a small enough town that we could run into each other; I tell my clients that in order to protect their privacy, I am going to be rude and act like I don't know them. Why? Because if I am with a friend or family member, they are going to ask me how I know my client: answering truthfully breaks confidentiality, lying breaks my moral code. My clients have the option to initiate contact with me in public, once they know the risks.
What insurance do you take?
I am a provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (excluding Blue Value). As a courtesy, I can file on your behalf. Prior to your first appointment, please contact BCBS of NC to check on your copay for mental health services.
What if I have a different insurance?
If you have a different insurance, you are responsible for the full price of the session upfront. I am considered an "out-of-network provider" for all other insurance companies. If you want your insurance company to help pay for the cost of therapy, I will provide you a claim form that has all the necessary information to allow you to file the claim for reimbursement of "out-of-network services." Once your claim is processed, the insurance company will reimburse you directly.
What if I don’t want to use my insurance?
Many individuals choose to pay out of pocket for mental health services for various reasons, such as:
Insurance companies choose who NEEDS therapy, what type of therapy, the diagnosis and for how long. Counseling is about YOU; you are unique: you might need 6 sessions or 24 sessions to achieve your goals.
Insurance companies require a diagnosis in order to pay for services. Even with a diagnosis it is not a guarantee that the cost will be reimbursed because it has to be deemed "medically necessary" that the client receive psychotherapy.
Once a diagnosis is made, it becomes a part of the client's medical history. Some employers require disclosure of all past medical issues, including mental health, which might not serve you well.
It is not confidential. Insurance companies require certain information (diagnosis, treatment plan, and/or progress) be disclosed after each session.
How much does counseling cost?
If you are using insurance to help pay for the cost of counseling, the copay established by BCBS of NC is your only responsibility.
If you are choosing to pay out of pocket, the rates are as follows:
Individual counseling session (50 minutes): $80*
Couple counseling session (50 minutes): $80*
First (intake) session (80 minutes): $100*
*Individuals and families who are experiencing financial hardship may qualify for assistance. Please ask me about reduced rates as it is my mission to provide services to anyone who might benefit from them.