Thank you for your interest in Identity Counseling Psychology. Taking the first step and starting therapy can be scary and overwhelming. Here are some common questions that people have before beginning counseling. We hope that these are helpful for you! If you don’t see your question below, please feel free to contact us for more information.
How do I make an appointment?
There are a few ways you can go about making an appointment at Identity. These include:
- Use the Contact Us page and fill out the contact form
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call us at (734) 645-8944
What is therapy / psychotherapy / counseling?
Therapy, psychotherapy and counseling are all forms of talk therapy in which a therapeutic relationship between a therapist and a patient is developed with the goal of self-exploration and improving quality of life. Therapy, psychotherapy and counseling all refer to the same process of therapy that allows many people, including adults, teens and children, to build deeper understandings of who they are, cope with difficult emotions, and identify the causes of psychological conditions and distress.
What will the first session be like?
When you come to therapy at Identity, first and foremost you can expect a safe, collaborative environment where you can freely express your thoughts, feelings, worries and fears without being judged. During the first session your therapist will ask you a lot of questions about your background, focusing on learning about you and what makes you who you are. You might discuss things like your childhood, important relationships, and strengths and weaknesses. During the initial session you will also go over what prompted you start therapy in the first place, touching on your primary concerns and your goals.
Is therapy confidential?
Yes, therapy is confidential. There are 3 exceptions.
- Someone is in danger. Clinicians have an ethical responsibility to protect anyone in harm’s way. This includes vulnerable populations, such as children. Mental health professionals are mandated reporters in cases of child abuse or neglect.
- A court order for counseling/therapy records. This would have to come directly from a judge.
- You sign a release giving your therapist permission to disclose your information to someone else (ex. doctor, other counselor, teacher, parent, etc.)
We abide by HIPAA regulations, which means that all information and content regarding the clinical record, including the scheduling of appointments, content of sessions, and any records kept, are confidential as outlined by federal and state law (HIPAA).
How much does therapy cost?
For out-of-pocket payments, each clinician has their own rate, so please inquire directly.
What insurance do you accept?
We directly accept the follow insurance plans:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan – https://www.bcbsm.com/
- Blue Care Network of Michigan – https://www.bcbsm.com/
- U-M Premier Care – https://hr.umich.edu/benefits-wellness/health-well-being/health-plans/u-m-premier-care
- Medicare – https://www.medicare.gov/
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal – https://www.fepblue.org/
Other insurance plans might be accepted if your insurance policy includes ‘out-of-network’ benefits.
What if you don’t directly accept my insurance?
If we do not directly accept your type of insurance, this means that for you, we are an ‘out-of-network’ provider. Depending on your insurance policy and plan, you may still receive benefits and coverage even if we are out-of-network. In order to check, you can contact your insurance company directly and ask them about your out-of-network benefits. You may be eligible for reimbursement. Some clients are able to get reimbursed 100%, and some aren’t able to get reimbursed at all. If this is critical, we suggest confirming with your insurance provider prior to coming in. In order to get reimbursed, you will need to pay out-of-pocket up front, and then we will provide you with detailed invoices for you to submit directly to your insurance company for reimbursement.
How much will insurance cover?
Prior to your first therapy appointment at Identity, we will ask you for your insurance information so that we can verify your insurance benefits before you come in for counseling. This will allow us to find out how much of the payment, if any, you will be responsible for. The amount of coverage varies by insurance policy and company. Some possibilities are:
- You may have a copay per each session
- You may have to pay the full rate until you meet a deductible
- You may be covered in full and not have to pay anything at all
How do I find out how much insurance will cover?
The best way to find out how much your insurance plan will cover is to call the phone number on the back of your insurance card. Each insurance policy has different mental health benefits and will vary regarding the number of sessions covered, deductible, co-payments, and in-network vs. out-of-network provider benefits.
Good questions to ask your insurance provider include:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is my coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
How can I pay for my therapy sessions?
For out-of-pocket payments, we accept cash, credit card, check and FSA.
Where are you located?
We have two locations: IDENTITY East, and IDENTITY West.
What is your cancellation policy?
Each clinician has their own cancellation policy that ranges from 24 to 48 hours. If we do not receive a cancellation notice within the required timeframe, you will get billed for the session. We do not have any exceptions.
This policy is important to us for a couple of reasons. First of all, we believe that therapy is an investment in yourself. We have found that when something is at stake, it adds to the therapeutic process. Full commitment = greater results. Additionally, cancellations within the required timeframe give our therapists the opportunity to allow other patients to take time slots that open up.
How long does counseling take?
This varies client to client, but most therapy sessions are a little less than an hour long. How often you see your therapist, for example, weekly or bi-weekly, as well as how long you continue therapy, depend on your personal goals, needs and preferences, and on your rate of progress.
What are your office hours?
Identity Counseling Psychology is open by appointment. We have 15 dedicated therapists who set their own schedules. Some have evening hours, some have early morning hours, and some have weekend hours. We will work hard to find you an Identity clinician that has availability during the hours that work best for you. Once you are put in touch with your therapist, you will manage your counseling schedule together. Click here to learn more about our clinicians.