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Frequently Asked Questions about Counseling

Q:  I thought that only people who are hospitalized or have serious problems get counseling?

A: The type of problems people who come to us for varies greatly.  Some people have complicated psychiatric problems, while others have conflicts and life events that all of us sometimes have to deal with.

Q: Is it difficult and complicated to get started?

A: Not at all.  It is as simple as calling my office and talking with our secretary.  Most insurance plans do not require a referral and we can verify your coverage.

Q: What are the most common areas that people seek help for?

A:  The majority of individuals who start counseling are experiencing either anxiety or depression.  In addition, many people are dealing with situational problems, such as:  family conflicts, marital conflicts, child and parenting issues, loss of a loved one, and job stress.

Q: Will my insurance cover counseling?

A: Most insurance policies offer mental health benefits.  We accept most major insurances carriers: Anthem, Optima, TriCare, Aetna, United Behavioral Health, as well as Healthkeepers Plus, Sentara Family Care, Humana, and Medicare.  Our office staff can verify benefits and determine your approximate co-payment.

Q: What about confidentiality?  Should I be worried?

A:   All healthcare providers have strict government and professional guidelines to follow to ensure confidentiality.  Unless a written request is made, this extends to family members and employers.

Q:  Is there therapy for family members also?

A:  Yes. Psychotherapy is available for individuals, couples and family members.  This can be part of a treatment plan you may discuss with your counselor.

Q: Can’t most people benefit from just being prescribed medication?

A: Medication may be beneficial for individuals suffering from certain types of Depression, Anxiety OCD, Mood Disorders, and ADHD.  Research has shown that most people benefit the most from a combination of medication and talk therapy; and your Therapist will often coordinate with the Nurse or Doctor who is prescribing medication.

Q:  If I need medication, where do I go?

A:  Many practices, including ours, have a Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatrist available for Medication Evaluations.  This provides convenience for our patients as well as collaboration with your therapist.   The office staff can assist in setting up an appointment.

Q:  How time consuming is it to participate in counseling?

A:  Most people start by scheduling appointments on a weekly basis, which are usually 45-50 minutes.  Then, depending on progress and treatment needs, appointments may gradually be reduced to every other week or one time per month.  We try our best to accommodate most people’s schedules.

Q:  Do counselors help in other ways besides talk therapy in an office?

A: The counselors in our office often offer support services in a range of areas.  We are interested in the total well-being of our patients.  This may include assistance in, for example:  filling out FMLA papers, helping with disability papers, or providing documentation for school IEP plans or requesting accommodations for college students diagnosed with ADHD.


Q:  Are there any resources that could be helpful?

A: We have provided several resources below:


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Helpline: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI): 1-800-950-NAMI

National Mental Health Association: 1-800-969-NMHA




This website is for informational purposes only. It does not replace psychiatric or counseling services, or constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information on this website is not a substitute for counseling or psychiatric advice. Do not use information here to diagnose or treat any mental, relationship, or psychiatric condition.

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