First of all, welcome! Seeking to live life abundantly is a challenging endeavor, so congratulations on having the courage to initiate the journey! It may be a challenge, but one that is worthwhile and fruitful! My goal is to work with you in order to create an environment of safety and comfort in which you feel freedom to process your story and be challenged to consider the ways and directions in which God is calling you towards hope and healing! Below are some frequently asked questions posed by new clients or individuals new to therapy. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to call (314) 392-2895 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions By First Time Clients
Q. How can you help ME specifically?
You’re considering making an investment of both your time and money (both precious commodities!) to seek counseling. I get it. You want to make sure your investment is a good one! I tell my clients during their initial phone call that they are encouraged to evaluate whether or not I am a good fit for them, just as I’ll be evaluating whether or not I am the best person to support them. If, during the initial phone call or first appointment, I think you would be better served by another therapist, I will gladly refer you to that therapist. If you feel that I am not meeting your needs, I welcome your feedback and your choice to seek counseling elsewhere if you so choose.
I am a firm believer in client-directed therapy. During our first session, I will ask you what you would like to get out of therapy. Your answer(s) will provide the goals and direction of our sessions. My goal is to get to know you and where you’re at in order to tailor the pace of therapy and the interventions I provide to you specifically. If you are wondering if your concerns fall within my areas of specialty, please refer to my specialty page for more detailed descriptions of what I treat. You can read more about my view of the counseling process and how I work in my blog post, What is Counseling?, as well as my vision and mission on my page, About Abundant Life.
Q. What are your fees?
Fees range from $80-100, and are based on the client’s ability to pay, as well as sliding scale availability. Discounts may be offered to college and full-time graduate students. If you need a reduced rate, please ask me about my current sliding scale spots. While all income levels cannot be guaranteed to be accommodated, I strive to make therapy as affordable as possible for all interested clients.
Payment is due at the time of each session unless other arrangements have been made. Cash and check are accepted at this time.
Q. Do you accept insurance?
Maintaining client’s confidentiality is a primary goal of mine and Abundant Life Counseling St. Louis. Therefore, I am an out-of-network provider, with the exception of some Employee Assistance Program panels (Ceridian LifeWorks, e4, Metropolitan Family Services, and H&H Associates). You may want to contact your insurance provider directly to find out if your insurance plan offers out-of-network reimbursements for therapy services. I will provide you with a monthly statement showing the minimum required information by insurance companies in order for you to obtain out-of-network benefits. This ultimately puts you, the client, in the driver’s seat of how much information you want released to your insurance company.
Here is a form you can use to call your insurance company and ask about your out-of-network benefits:
Q. What is the first counseling session like?
A. When you arrive at the office suite, please ring the doorbell on the right hand wall that has my (Julie) name underneath it. Then, feel free to help yourself to complimentary tea or coffee, and have a seat in the reception area. I will be out to greet you and lead you back to the office. You will be asked to complete an intake form, including demographic information and your reason for seeking counseling. The first session is all about us getting to know each other, and collaboratively discussing what you would like to get out of therapy, topics to be addressed in therapy to help you achieve what you want to achieve, as well as any questions or concerns about therapy that you may have.
Q. Is my information kept confidential?
A. Yes. Your confidentiality and privacy is of the utmost importance to me and Abundant Life Counseling St Louis LLC. Unless you sign a release of information form for me to speak with an outside source, your information will be kept confidential and secure in a locked file. There are some instances in which confidentiality must be broken, including the following: 1) If someone is a threat or danger to themselves or others; 2) Child or elder abuse is suspected; 3) I’m subpoenaed by a court of law.
In following ethical and professional standards, occasionally I consult with other professionals to gain other perspectives and ideas on how to best serve you. Unless you have signed a release form, no identifying information is shared during these consultations.
Q. Do you work with people of all faiths?
A. Yes. I am a Christian and my faith shapes my work, as well as my worldview. However, I happily accept clients of all faiths and religions and deeply respect your own personal belief and values system. I will never force my own faith and beliefs on to you. That being said, if you inform me that you are also a Christian, I will integrate Scripture and biblical principles into our work together.
Q. Do you work with people of all ages?
A. I work with adults and teenagers (over the age of 13). Your reason for seeking therapy (whether it be for you, your family, you and your spouse, or your child) will be discussed during the first session. If I feel, based on your need, that you might be served better by a different therapist with a particular specialty, then I will refer you to that therapist and give you that therapist’s contact information.
Q. What if my spouse doesn’t want to come? Be it for marriage counseling or counseling for our child?
A. It’s very common for one spouse or parent to feel uncomfortable about therapy. I am more than happy to speak with you and/or your spouse regarding your concerns, together or individually. When working with children or on marital issues, it is ideal and helpful to meet with both parents/spouses. However, I realize this may not be possible, and in that case, I’m happy to meet with you individually.
Q. How long does therapy usually last?
A. Each session is 50 minutes long. As far as the total number of sessions, each situation and individual is unique, but after we meet for the initial session and I gain a better understanding of what brings you into the office and what you’d like to accomplish, I’ll have a better sense of that. I’m open to discussing a time line at any point during the counseling process!
Q. What’s my next step?
A. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 314-392-2895 or email email@example.com. I look forward to speaking with you!
Opening Paperwork for Your First Appointment
Please complete the following forms and bring them with you to your first appointment. If you are bringing in your child under age 18, please complete the Child Intake Form instead of the Intake Form. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have at your first appointment!
photo Umberto Salvagnin (flickr.com/creativecommons)