Your initial session is mainly a time for information gathering. We’ll spend some time getting to know one another and reviewing relevant information that you’ve listed on your New Client Intake Form. We’ll discuss the reasons why you’ve decided to begin counseling. From there, we’ll come up with a list of goals and a plan to help you achieve those goals.
How do I know if counseling is “working’?
While therapy isn’t always “pain free”, you should typically notice a reduction in symptoms after a few sessions. You should start to gain a sense of “being on the right track”. When you have insights or opinions about going in a different direction in therapy, you should voice these to your therapist. Counseling is a collaborative relationship, and both you and your therapist are responsible for making sure your time is productive. Attending therapy is hard work! And it typically involves some discomfort. But when you begin to feel the gap closing between where you are and where you want to be, it is most definitely worth it.
How long does counseling take?
The length of therapy largely depends on the issue(s) you want to discuss and work on. Most individuals experience some symptom relief within a few sessions, but lasting change takes more time to build. On average, clients are in therapy for 6 to 10 weeks. Depending on the issue at hand, clients typically come once a week, though some come every two weeks. Issues such as infidelity or trauma often require a longer therapy duration. Each session lasts approximately 50 minutes.
How much does counseling cost?
The cost of a counseling session is dependent upon several factors. One determining factor is the education level and experience of the therapist. Your fee pays for more than the counseling hour. It also goes toward the therapist’s time preparing for session and file processing after session. In southern Louisiana, a typical fee for counseling ranges from $45-155 per session. Our therapists are committed to serving the community and offer a competitive and a reasonable rate.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes, I am an in-network provider for most Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. If you wish to use your BCBS benefits for your therapy sessions, you’ll need to fill out the BCBS form found on this page. Since there is such variety among health care plans, there is no “one size fits all” answer to what your portion of payment will be. Calling BCBS and asking the questions from the form given above will let you know if you have a copayment, how much is it, etc.
It should be noted that in order to use your insurance benefits, your therapist is required to give you a mental health diagnosis. For this reason, some people may prefer to pay out of pocket.
For all other insurance carriers, I am an out-of-network provider. Depending on your particular policy, you may be eligible for reimbursement for some or all of your counseling expenses. Payment is made to the therapist at the time of service and you will be provided with a receipt to submit to your insurance company. In some instances, a separate deductible must be met for behavioral/mental health. In those cases, if the course of therapy is not expected to be too long, many clients find that it may not be worth it to involve their insurance company. If a client chooses to use their insurance it should be noted that a mental health diagnosis is required to be given.