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    What happens in the first session and what can I expect from counseling?

    During your first session, your counselor will review your intake paperwork, review informed consent and disclosure, and discuss the counseling process and expectations. You will be able to talk about the reasons you are seeking counseling. You and your counselor together will develop a plan to resolve the issues that brought you to counseling. Many clients feel a sense of relief after the first session. Counseling can be hard work and sometimes clients feel distressed after the initial feelings of relief. This is expected as change is often times uncomfortable and distressing feelings are a normal part of change. You can expect to be respected, heard, and valued.

    Do you accept insurance?

    Services with all of our clinicians may qualify for out-of-network benefits. If your clinician is in-network with your insurance policy, be sure to discuss this with your clinician.

    Depending on your current health insurance provider or employee benefit plan, it may be possible for services to be covered in full or in part.

    Please contact your insurance company to verify how your plan compensates you for counseling services.

    We recommend asking these questions to your insurance provider to help determine your benefits:

    Does my health insurance plan include mental health benefits?

    Do I have a deductible? If so, what is it, and have I met it yet?

    Does my plan limit how many sessions per calendar year I can have? If so, what is the limit?

    Do I need written approval from my primary care physician for services to be covered?

    At this time, we are unable to accept Medicare or Medicaid insurance.

    At your request, this office will provide you with the information necessary for you to submit to insurance. Your insurance may reimburse you directly. Please remember that we may be required by your insurance company to divulge confidential information about you and your case. We do not bill insurance.

    If for any reason your insurance company denies the claim for services, you maintain responsibility for full payment to Boise Counseling Center.

    How long does counseling take?

    This is a great question. How long it takes depends on what concerns you want to work on, how in-depth you want to address the concerns, how much the problems impact you, and for how long they have been bothering you. Some clients come in for a shorter time to consult on a very specific concern, address solutions to less complex problems, or for support with maintaining existing coping skills.

    Other clients wanting to learn new skills, styles of communication or interaction, or with multiple concerns may come in for an extended period of time. Some clients continue to get benefit from longer-term counseling and will come for a year or longer.

    How will I know when I’m done with counseling?

    Though you and your counselor will discuss when to end counseling, it is always up to you to determine when you are done.

    You will be finished with counseling when you have reached the goals you set for yourself and are able to maintain the changes without counseling support. Many clients finish counseling and then return at another time for a ‘tune-up’ or to address new concerns.

    Is counseling totally private?

    State laws and ethical codes require that your counselor keep your information private and confidential. However, there are some exceptions that require your counselor to disclose some information about you. These exceptions are as follows: if your counselor suspects abuse, neglect, or abandonment of a child or vulnerable adult; if your counselor believes you are in imminent danger of seriously harming yourself or others; if you sign a release of confidential information giving permission for your counselor to communicate with another provider (coordinate care with your doctor for example), or there is a court order (from the judge) requiring the counselor to disclose information in a legal proceeding. Additionally, if you choose to use your insurance benefits to pay for counseling, then your counselor may be required to provide confidential information about you to them.

    I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to counseling weak?

    Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. In our work together, we’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of your problems.

    What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

    A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself.

    Counseling is confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

    Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

    Medication can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with counseling. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on the strengths that help you accomplish your personal goals.

    How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

    Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, it will be different depending on the individual. We tailor our therapeutic approaches to your specific needs.

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