I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations - one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it - you will regret both.
What is therapy like?
For some, therapy can be intimidating at first. To sit with another person and begin to think through troubling thoughts, feelings, and realities can provoke powerful emotions. The process, once decided upon and entered into, is fairly straightforward. When we sit together we will simply talk about what you see as your troubling issues. Your therapist will listen intently, asking many questions along the way to try to determine what kinds of things need attention and further exploration. As we progress, we will both begin to form a better idea as to how to proceed, how long we might need to meet, and what might need to happen in your life and the way in which you meet your struggles. Take a look at our Philosophy page for a further explanation of how we see the counseling process. At the end of our first session, we will both have a beginning idea as to whether we are a good fit for working together and, having agreed that we would like to begin the process in earnest. At that point we will meet weekly until you feel that the process is complete. Again, feel free to ask any questions you may have about the process.
How often is best to meet?
For most clients, we will meet for counseling once per week. There may be times when it will be important to consider meeting more often than this for a short time. There are times when we are asked if we can meet less often than once per week. We do not generally do this given the nature of the counseling process. It becomes difficult to create and maintain continuity in the process if we meet infrequently. If this is not possible for you, please speak to us about this. Normally our sessions last 50 minutes. If we are meeting with couples, we schedule the first meeting to last 1:40. This provides a more relaxed amount of time for concerns to be expressed in the first meeting.
We charge $150.00 per 50 minute session for individual and couple counseling. Group counseling is $50.00 per session. We take checks, cash and all major credit cards.
Do you take insurance?
We often receive calls from potential clients asking if we accept insurance benefits. We do not contract with any insurance companies, HMO's, PPO's, etc. to be part of their panels that they will classify as "in network" for their insurance company. There is a chance that our services will be a reimbursable medical expense under your insurance company's "out of network" coverage policy. If you wish to seek reimbursement from your insurance coverage for our services, please let us know and we will be happy to provide you with a receipt detailing information, which the insurance company requires for reimbursement. However, please consider what the ramifications of submitting such a claim to your insurance company might be. In order for your therapy to be considered a covered medical expense, your counselor (or "provider" in insurance parlance) must give you a mental illness diagnosis. When this information is submitted to your insurance company, it becomes part of your permanent medical record. As you might imagine, there are hazards associated with this submission. More and more insurance companies are outsourcing their claims processing around the world. Your insurance company may share your information with all sorts of other entities - true privacy and confidentiality is not possible when an insurance company is involved. Ask yourself if you want a mental illness diagnosis on your record. If you are applying for life, disability, or other health insurance, these companies require access to any prior health information which can impact your premiums as well as whether or not you will even qualify for insurance. For counselors that do contract with insurance companies to be "in network", consider that they must communicate intimate details of your therapy to the insurance company to justify further treatment than the already paltry number of sessions the insurance company may at first allow. The fact that we, as therapists, can give clients a DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) diagnosis is mostly a reflection of the medicalization of the practice of counseling rather than a reflection of our clients' condition. Diagnosing a broken bone is a simple matter. Diagnosing a person's soul does not lend itself to medical approach - it is full of mystery and subtlety. It is a wise practice to look at counseling as a non-medical enterprise in that you are likely seeking help for your own personal growth and spiritual health. If you have any questions about any of these issues, don't hesitate to ask us.
8600 Wurzbach, Suite 1021
San Antonio, TX 78240