FAQs

 


WHAT IS COUNSELING?

 

Counseling is a collaborative process which involves the development of a unique, confidential, therapeutic, helping relationship. In this relationship, the therapist acts as a facilitator in helping the client to more accurately understand themself and the world around them, and to better understand their feelings and behaviors. Discussion of whatever is important and impacting someone’s life can enable an individual to grow toward greater freedom in making mature choices and taking responsible action.

WHAT KINDS OF CONCERNS BRING PEOPLE TO COUNSELING?

Many different things bring people to therapy including: difficulties with life transitions, poor coping, history of stress and trauma impacting functioning, depressive symptoms, anxiety, conflictual relationships, parenting struggles, infertility, grief/loss, etc.

WHAT IS COUNSELING LIKE?

Counseling will be a different experience for different people. Our therapists will strive to meet your individual needs based on your unique set of circumstances. Initial appointments will consist of gathering history, as well as identifying personal goals and hopes for counseling. It is my job to ensure you are receiving quality care. If, by chance, I am not a good match for you and your needs, I will refer you to a trusted colleague with specialization in your area of need. I pull from many modalities, all with a trauma-informed approach.

WHAT IS COUPLES/FAMILY COUNSELING?

Couples and family counseling are opportunities to work with your partner(s) or other family members on issues that may be negatively impacting your relationship. You may focus on communication skills, conflict resolution, intimacy, or making decisions about your future together.

WILL WHAT I SAY IN COUNSELING BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL?

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I abide by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics. This means that information about your counseling sessions is not shared with anyone without your express written permission. There are some exceptions to confidentiality, however. If there is the possibility of harm to the client or another person, or in cases of child or elder abuse, our staff is required — as a mandated reporter — to report certain information to the appropriate authorities. Please see the NASW confidentiality standards here. If you therapist has a different license (LMFT, LMHC, etc.), they will have a similar code of ethics, and will have the same limits to confidentiality.

HOW OFTEN WILL I MEET WITH MY THERAPIST?

The frequency of therapy will be discussed on an ongoing basis. Sessions as often as twice weekly are available, as well as monthly “check-ins” as your treatment needs grow and evolve over time.

It is very important that you arrive early or on time for your scheduled appointments. Regular, timely attendance to therapy will be instrumental in achieving your therapeutic goals. If, for some reason, you are unable to make it to your scheduled session, please contact me 24 hours ahead of time to avoid no-show fees.

HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO BE IN COUNSELING?

There is no magic number or formula to determine how long one might be in counseling. For some, counseling is a brief relationship to help manage a present, isolated situation. For many, therapy involves addressing issues which span over one’s lifetime. We will speak regularly about your progress, and my hope is that you will feel comfortable discussing this on an ongoing basis.

WHEN WILL I START TO FEEL BETTER?

Symptom relief may come from increased use of a variety of skills, including changing thought patterns, behaviors, relationships, and choices. Some feel better during their initial or first few sessions just because they know they are no longer alone in their struggle. Please remember: It is important that you communicate if there are concerns related to your progress so that we can determine what changes may need to be made.

WHAT IF I DON’T FEEL LIKE MY THERAPIST IS A GOOD FIT?

TELL US! Many therapists have different therapeutic approaches or personalities that might not be the right fit for you and that’s okay! If you let us know, we can offer you alternative options for linking with other professionals that may better suit your needs.

WHAT DOES THERAPY COST?

We do accept some commercial insurance plans, however we can not guarantee coverage. If utilizing your insurance, dependent on the plan, your session may cost you anywhere from $0-$200. Some insurance plans require a copayment, a coinsurance, or are high deductible. You will be advised of what your financial responsibility will be prior to your first appointment. It is YOUR responsibility to update your therapist on changes in insurance. Private pay (non-insurance) clients will be responsible for $150 dollars per 50-55 minute session. Superbills will be provided if requested by client to submit for reimbursement if there are out of network benefits.

DO YOU OFFER A SLIDING SCALE?

At Ott Counseling, LCSW, PLLC, we believe in supporting our community by offering some lower cost options for those who are truly unable to afford our rates. We do this through linking our clients with Pre-Licensed Clinicians and Graduate Students in their pursuit of their NYS licensure with weekly supervision, case consultation, and regular trainings.

DO YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?

At this time, we can accept many commercial insurance plans through: Highmark/BCBS, Independent Health, Cigna, Aetna, and United Health Care.

At this time we are UNABLE to work with Medicaid/Managed care plans. Please note that if you plan to use your insurance, a diagnosis is REQUIRED for treatment. If you a member of a partnership and receiving relationship therapy, one individual must be considered the “primary client” and will carry a diagnosis.

HOW DO I PAY?

Forms of payment accepted include: cash (exact change only), personal check, or credit. A credit card is required on file to schedule an appointment and will be used for all appointment fees and missed session fees. Any coinsurance, high deductible payments and copays are expected at the time of service unless other arrangements have been specified ahead of time. In the event you are unable to make it to an appointment, failure to provide 24 hours notice will result in a no show/late cancelation of $75.00 (or up to 50% of full private pay rate).

WHAT IF 50-55 MINUTES DOESN’T FEEL LIKE ENOUGH?

Intensive extended sessions are available at an hourly rate for private pay clients if clinically appropriate.

 

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