Frequently Asked Questions
What to expect when you call for a first appointment?
When you call us, you’ll be greeted by our Virtual Receptionist who will take your basic information (name, phone number). This information will go to our Intake Coordinator, who will call you back within 2 business days to answer any questions you may have and to schedule you for an intake appointment.
During the first call with our Intake Coordinator, you will be asked for some additional basic information (insurance info, reason for calling) to expedite your intake process. Our Intake Coordinator will then work with you to get an intake appointment scheduled that meets your scheduling needs.
Before this first appointment, the Intake Coordinator will get you some initial paperwork to review, and will be checking your insurance benefits. During the intake appointment, the Intake Coordinator will orient you to our practice, discuss your insurance benefits and payment information specific to our practice, complete a brief measurement survey, collect the intake paperwork, and answer any remaining questions.
Within the next 2 business days, you can expect a call from your assigned therapist to schedule your first appointment.
What to expect when you call for a first appointment?
During this first call with our Intake Coordinator, they will get some additional basic information (insurance info, reason for calling) from you, so that we can expedite your intake process. They will then work with you to get an intake appointment scheduled that meets your scheduling needs.
Before this first appointment, the Intake Coordinator will get you some initial paperwork to review, and will be checking your insurance benefits. During the intake appointment, the Intake Coordinator will orient you to our practice, discuss your insurance benefits and payment information specific to our practice, complete a brief measurement survey, collect the intake paperwork, and will then answer any questions you may still have.
Within the next 2 business days, you can expect a call from your assigned therapist to get scheduled for your first appointment with them.
What hours are you available?
What insurance plans do you accept?
We no longer accept Medicaid, however we do offer scholarships for folks who are eligible for Medicaid or Medicare or who are uninsured.
We also participate on the Blue Cross/Blue Shield provider panel, so we are able to bill them directly for payment.
At this time, we do not participate on any other managed care insurance panels. With only a few exceptions, however, we can file health insurances as an “out-of-network provider”. Since payment is due at the time of service, we will request that the insurance company reimburse the client directly. In North Carolina, insurance companies are required to reimburse you within a set number of days. Please check with your insurance company prior to scheduling. Ask your insurance company about their “out-of-network coverage”, yearly deductible, percentage they will reimburse, and whether a prior authorization is needed.
Do you accept debit-credit cards?
What if I don’t want to use my insurance?
Is there someone there who prescribes medication?
How long do appointments last?
Is therapy right for me?
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life. You’ve probably successfully navigated through many difficulties, but there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand. This is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and committing to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
Psychotherapy has many benefits. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find counselors to be a tremendous asset in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Gain a better understanding of yourself, your goals, and your values
- Develop skills for improving your relationships
- Find resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learn new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Manage anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improve communication and listening skills
- Change old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discover new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improve your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around an hour. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking therapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy and how is it different from other treatments?
Good question! I frequently speak with folks who have been in “talk therapy” for years, and they’re very frustrated by the time they are sitting across from me. They’ve spent a lot of time, money, and usually relationships and self-worth, along the way…without much to show for it. The really unfortunate thing is that many of them have been “fired” from treatment, or have been told that they weren’t progressing, or other such devastating horror stories. And the reality is (usually), it’s the treatment that has failed these folks, not themselves or their lack of trying. After we jump into it, and folks see a much different approach, they often feel hope, self-worth, empowered…and often times, like they’ve finally found the key. Now, don’t let me give you the wrong impression…DBT takes work! For both of us, actually; but that’s part of the deal…I’m in it if you’re in it.
Here’s a brief video that does a good job giving an overview of “What the Heck is DBT?” by Esme Shaller at UC San Francisco:
National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder
NEA.BPD was initially created as a resource and support group for the families of the BPD diagnosis. NEA.BPD has grown to be a large community of both people and information. You don’t have to travel this path alone. There is hope.
DBT and Supporting Research
Research has shown DBT to be effective in reducing suicidal behavior, non-suicidal self-injury, psychiatric hospitalization, treatment dropout, substance use, anger, and depression and improving social and global functioning. For a review of the research on DBT, go to this website at Behavioral Tech.
There’s also a short video, in which DBT Developer and Behavioral Tech founder Dr. Marsha Linehan describes the amazing changes she’s seen in people who have received DBT and gotten out of hell.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and therapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
What do I look for in a DBT Therapist?
This will take you to an article written by a recovered individual who used to meet criteria for a diagnosis of BPD. However, after getting DBT treatment, she no longer meets criteria.
Here is her list of what to look for in a DBT therapist. I absolutely agree with all of this…and would add that, in addition to these criteria, you should also look for an individual that is Certified, or at the very least, has been Intensively Trained (which means that they have completed 65 hours of additional DBT-specific training by trainers approved by Dr. Marsha Linehan).
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