I understand that the decision to enter therapy can be a difficult one. Here are some questions that are commonly asked by prospective clients.
Why don't you take insurance?
There are many reasons I have chosen not to accept insurance at Insight Mental Wellness, based on my experience of years of accepting it at my group practice in Philadelphia.
Insurance companies, while off-setting some of the costs associated with therapy for clients, may impose obstacles to clients getting the full breadth of help needed. Depending on the plan, companies may require clients to get pre-authorization and may cap the maximum number of sessions allowed. Most notably, using insurance benefits means that you have to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder that then stays in your permanent health record. This is especially problematic for someone with no significant mental health history who wants to learn better ways to handle stress or communicate with their partner, or for children who are going through a difficult, yet temporary, transition.
In order to be able to provide therapy in the way that I feel is most ethical and helpful to my clients, I do not take insurance. However, I do provide clients with invoice statements they can submit to their insurance if they wish to access out of network benefits. Please note though that these statements do require a mental health diagnosis in order to be reimbursed.
I want my child to participate in therapy, but I share custody with my former spouse. Can I just give consent since I am the parent paying for sessions?
If your child is under 16 years of age, it is necessary for both parents to consent to treatment of any medical or mental health issues, regardless of who is paying or who has the majority of the physical custody. Please refer to your custody agreement to determine if your ex-spouse has legal custody if you are uncertain.
What can I expect during the first session?
My main goal is to help you feel relaxed and supported during our first meeting. Yes, there will be some paperwork to fill out and some history to go over together, but most important is that you leave the first session feeling like you can breathe easier and have a clear sense of the steps we will take to bring you relief. If you are able to, please write down a list of any medications or supplements you take as well as any pertinent medical history you wish to share.
Do I have to come every week?
Maybe, but not definitely. It depends how severe your level of distress is. Coming weekly ensures that you are working on decreasing your level of discomfort consistently and will lead to quicker relief. I usually recommend that people plan to attend weekly at the beginning of therapy and then change to every other week once they feel they can manage their stress more effectively. Once clients are feeling much better, many elect to come in once a month for maintenance before ending therapy.
When is video conferencing available?
Video conferencing sessions are for NJ and PA residents only in accordance with professional licensing standards. Potential clients may choose to opt for video conferencing instead of in-person meetings due to scheduling and logistics. Additionally, if you are unable to physically attend the occasional appointment due to weather or illness, video conferencing can allow you to continue treatment as well as avoid any same-day cancellation fees. I use a HIPAA compliant video conferencing system in order to protect your privacy.
Can you treat my substance abuse disorder? Mental health issues and substance abuse issues are often known to co-occur. While I do work with clients with co-occurring disorders, I require they also participate in addictions treatment to help support their recovery.