FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR INITIAL INTAKE
Prior to coming to the office, you will receive an email confirming your appointment, along with access to the intake forms which you will be able to fill out online and send back before your first appointment. Our office manager will walk you through any questions you may have about what is needed to get started. Please make sure you complete the online patient forms prior to arriving in the office so your clinician can review your case ahead of time.
When you arrive at our office, you will be greeted by a member of our administrative staff. If you have not completed your paperwork ahead of time, new clients will have to complete the paperwork prior to their appointment so we ask that that patients arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time, so please plan your arrival accordingly.
The first session is a time for you to get to know one another and to gather as much information necessary to best help you and to reach your goals. Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable sharing certain information, we can go at your pace.
IS THIS COVERED BY MY INSURANCE?
This will be determined by your specific insurance plan. It is likely that if you are in network with one of our providers, you will either be responsible for a copay, possibly working towards fulfilling your annual deductible, or you may have a plan that is considered out of network. Prior to scheduling, you are advised to contact your insurance carrier to see if you are in network with your therapist.
Here are some helpful questions to ask to see if your plan has in-network benefits:
Does my plan cover mental health benefits? (Ask about in-office counseling as well as telehealth counseling.)
Is pre-authorization required for in-office counseling?
What is my responsibility per session? (Does it go towards my deductible or do I owe a copay?)
What is my deductible and out-of-pocket maximum?
After my deductible and/or out-of-pocket is met, what do I owe?
Is there a maximum number allowed for visits per year? What happens if I go over that allotted amount?
When does my plan renew (calendar year vs contract year)?
Are there any exclusions on my plan (some plans do not cover marriage therapy, family therapy, or therapies pertaining to Autism Spectrum, ABA therapy, etc.)?
What percentage of the cost will be covered if I see an out-of-network provider?
Your insurance company may provide a level of reimbursement for out-of-network charges. If that is the case, we will provide you a superbill that you may submit for reimbursement.
We will also verify your benefits prior to your first session. Please have your insurance information available when you are calling to make an appointment if you desire to use it.
It is your responsibility to keep your clinician and informed of any changes to your insurance plan. The Wellness Counseling Group and its members will not reimburse or backtrack claims through insurance due to negligence of updating insurance information in a timely manner. All denied claims from your insurance company will be your responsibility.
OTHER IMPORTANT INSURANCE INFORMATION
Insurance will not pay for missed or late-cancel sessions. In these cases, you will be responsible for the full session fee. A minimum of 24-hour’s notice of cancellation is required. If your insurance company requests a report to process your claim, you are responsible for payment for the report writing service. We will notify you of this requirement in advance of writing and billing for the report.
Since scheduling an appointment involves reserving a time specifically for you, a 24-hour advance notice is required for cancellations. If you cancel less than 24 hours before your appointment, you will be considered a “no show” for that visit and you will be charged the full fee for that session. If you have two consecutive no show appointments, you will be required to secure any subsequent appointments with a credit card. We cannot bill insurance for missed appointments, so in these cases you will be billed directly for the contracted amount that has been agreed upon by your therapist and the insurance carrier.
HOW DOES CONFIDENTIALITY WORK?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. You can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Psychiatrist, Dietician), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.
*If records have been subpoenaed by an attorney or judge
TREATMENT TEAM APPROACH
Sometimes the remedy for getting to a better place in life is working closely with your therapist. Other times it is effective if you have what we call a “treatment team approach”. Is medication something you are curious about or need assistance managing properly? Could you benefit from seeking advisement from a dietician? Finding the right team is a critical part of some individuals’ journey to recovery, connection, and authenticity. While working with your therapist it may come up to consider a treatment team approach, to fit more pieces together for your success and happiness.
THOUGHTS ON MEDICATION
The job of medication is to assist in treating symptoms. Your collaboration with your therapist is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior, and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy. Although we do not prescribe medication in our office, we often work closely with trusted physicians and psychiatrists whom we can refer you to for a treatment team approach. Our philosophy is that medication can be effective, but it alone cannot solve all issues. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals.
HOW CAN I GET THE MOST OUT OF THERAPY?
Honest truth? Research indicates that the key factor to getting the most out of your therapeutic experience is first and foremost- your rapport with your therapist. It is crucial that you feel a sense of safety and connectedness with your therapist. That’s why The Wellness Counseling Group takes the time to tailor your needs with a clinician who best fits your personality, understands your goals, and supports you every step of the way. The rest of the journey unfolds from there.
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE A MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY?
Unfortunately, we do not provide crisis care. If you are in need of assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room or psychiatric facility.
Here are some facilities in the Greater Houston area:
1. Woodland Springs Hospital
15860 Old Conroe Road
Conroe, TX 77384
2. Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital
2801 N. Gessner Road
Houston, TX 77080
3. Cypress Creek Hospital
17750 Cali Drive
4. Harris County Psychiatric Center
7200 North Loop East Freeway, Houston, TX 77028
3737 Dacoma Street, Houston, TX 77092
1502 Taub Loop, Houston, TX 77030
5901 Long Drive, Houston, TX 77087
5. Tri-County Psychiatric Emergency Treatment Center
706 FM 2854, Conroe, TX 77301
24/7 CRISIS HOTLINE
WHAT CAN I EXPECT MY THERAPY EXPERIENCE TO BE LIKE?
Because each person has different goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. Your active participation and dedication are crucial to your success. It may take time to feel comfortable enough to talk about the tough stuff, and we understand that.
Think of yourself and your therapist as a team, working together to get to know your habits, your reactions, relationships, and areas of life that feel challenging. Therapy often includes gentle and supportive nudges to help you grow as an individual, learn about yourself and the world around you. Sometimes a therapist will assign “homework”. It’s what you do outside of your sessions too, that will really help you see your personal growth and development.