Frequently Asked Questions About Counseling
Frequently Asked Questions About Counseling
Sessions, including the intake session, are 45-55 minutes in length. This depends on your insurance plan or your private-pay plan.
In the beginning, weekly sessions are encouraged to establish rapport and begin the therapeutic process. Under some circumstances, you may prefer to meet twice weekly or on a bi-weekly basis.
We will discuss together the frequency of our meetings depending on your emotional needs, finances, and availability. To maximize the effectiveness of counseling, it is important to have a consistent schedule.
All Clinicians at Restorative Counseling recognize the importance of the therapeutic relationship.
We see counseling from a strength-based perspective meaning we will look at how to make meaningful changes rather than stigmatize or emphasize the difficulties you may be experiencing.
Our clinicians come from diverse backgrounds of clinical training and utilize many different approaches to therapy. You can learn more about each clinician’s unique approaches by visiting our Meet Us page.
Your privacy is important to us, and confidentiality is an important piece of the therapeutic process.
All your information is kept strictly confidential. However, there are specific exceptions:
- With your signed permission, we may collaborate with other providers such as your psychiatrist or primary care physician
- By law, we are required to break confidentiality and report to the appropriate authorities if we learn that you are a danger to yourself or others or if we learn of actual or threatened harm to those who are vulnerable such as children, elderly, or those with special needs.
Our paperwork details the limits of confidentiality, and we will discuss this more fully during our first appointment.
Often, people think they must be in crisis or that things must be “really bad” before they go to counseling. Counseling can help offer support and validation, determine if and how to make necessary changes, and achieve goals.
Maybe you worked with a counselor in the past but feel like things are becoming difficult again. This happens; life happens.
Just as with many things in life, we, too, may require ongoing maintenance to deal with new struggles or to continue managing ongoing stressors.
We work together to learn about your experience and determining what may be most useful for you.
After we schedule your first appointment, you’ll get an email with instructions on how to fill out required paperwork online. This is done through a confidential and HIPAA-secure website.
All forms must be completed in their entirety at least 48-hours prior to your first appointment. We will review the forms and policies during your first session.
Your clinician will answer any questions you may have at that time.
Please be sure to bring your insurance card to your first appointment.
We offer counseling services only, not medication management. However, we are happy to refer you to psychiatrist, or you can ask your primary care physician to assist you with medication management.
With your written consent, we can collaborate with your psychiatrist or physician regarding your mental health care.
We gather information about you and what you are looking for to determine who might be the best fit. You are also welcome to tell us if you have any preferences.
Given the importance of the relationship in the therapeutic relationship, it is very important you feel comfortable with whomever you select. You are our main priority!
If something does not feel right for you, tell your current therapist how you feel. We do not take this personally, and we will work with you to find someone who is a better fit for you.
You can transfer within the practice or receive referrals for other providers.
We understand that insurance can be confusing. Although Restorative Counseling will handle most insurance-related tasks on your behalf, it is helpful for you understand terms related to your policy.
We are in-network with a variety of insurance options. As an “in-network” provider, we have a contract with the insurance company so you are able to utilize your in-network health insurance benefits. A few of the many plans accepted by Restorative Counseling are:
- Aetna Student Health (Northwestern University students)
- BlueChoice PPO
- Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO
- Golden Rule
- Meritain (not Meridian)
- United Behavioral Health
- United Healthcare
- United Healthcare Student Resources (for Loyola University Chicago students and University of Chicago students)
- United Medical Resources (UMR)
There are many types of insurance plans within a network, so it is advised to call your insurance company to see if Restorative Counseling is covered in your network.
If we are not in-network with your insurance, you still have options! In many cases, if your clinician is not a participating provider with your insurance company, you have the option to utilize out-of-network benefits. When using out-of-network benefits, Restorative Counseling offers two options:
- submitting claims on behalf of our clients
- providing Superbills to our clients
In either case, clients are responsible for payment at the time of service and reimbursement, if any, is provided directly from the insurance provider to the client.
We are out of network with Cigna, Magellan, and HMO plans.
We do not accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have either plan, you are encouraged to utilize provider finder tools to find someone who accepts your plan.
A deductible is the amount of money you will pay for services before insurance will begin to reimburse. Once your deductible has been met, you may owe a co-pay or co-insurance rate per session. Not all plans have a deductible that must be met.
A co-pay is the amount of money you will owe per session (e.g., $20). Co-insurance is a percentage of the fee (e.g., 80%) that insurance covers on your behalf and you owe the remaining amount (e.g., 20%).
The amount of money you paid toward yearly deductibles and co-pays or co-insurance fees all contribute toward your out-of-pocket maximum. Once you have paid the out-of-pocket maximum for services covered by your plan, the remaining services covered by your plan are usually free of charge.
Some plans limit the number of sessions allowed per week or per year while others do not have any limits.
Any questions or concerns regarding your policy should be addressed by calling the toll-free number for Customer Service or Mental Health Benefits on the back of your insurance card; ask to verify your benefits for mental health services.
All payments are due at the time of service. Payment options accepted include:
- Credit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and JCB)
- Health Savings Account
- Flexible Spending Arrangement