The decision to make an initial counseling appointment for you or your child is often a difficult one and picking up the phone to schedule the first appointment can be anxiety producing. Take time to consider the credentials and level of experience of the professional you are looking for in working with you and your family. It is also important that you feel comfortable with the psychologist, since your treatment will involve working together as a team. A good rapport with your psychologist is essential. Talking with a few professionals on the phone prior to making an initial appointment may also be helpful to you in finding a good match for your situation.
If you are considering scheduling an appointment, but are not sure if it therapy is right for you, an initial consultation session can be scheduled at no charge to you. This session will allow you to find out how therapy can help you and/or family members and to ask any questions regarding the therapy process. Perhaps most importantly, this will give you and your family members an opportunity to ease your initial concerns and to see if rapport is developed. This consultation is an information session only and is not intended to be an initial treatment session. Initial appointments/consultations may be made via phone or e-mail.
Information to consider before making the first appointment:
Contact your insurance health plan representative to find out exactly what is covered - outpatient therapy, inpatienttreatment, etc.- and what level of coverage you have.
Ask if the full cost of treatment is covered, or only a part. Inquire if there are limits - co-payments, limit on the number of visits, annual or lifetime maximums.
Find out if there is a group of providers, or "network," that you must choose from or if you can choose any qualified provider. If your plan does not have a prescribed network of providers, find out what licenses and degrees he or she must have before reimbursement is authorized.