Frequently Asked Questions
Do you take insurance?
Insurance can be confusing and a bit tricky. It is vital that we call to verify benefits before you come in and that you do the same. Some plans do not have mental health benefits, others may have a “carve out” in which the insurance card says “Aetna,” but the mental health benefits are covered by another company. Each insurance policy is determined by the insurance company and the employing company that purchases the policy. The Center does not choose your co-payment. That is determined by your insurance policy. We will work with you to understand your policy and to know your benefits before the first session so that there are no unpleasant surprises or unexpected bills for you.
I have a very busy schedule, are your hours flexible?
Yes, the Center offers day, evening, and weekend appointments in order to meet our clients’ work, school, and life schedules.
How do I make an appointment?
Contact the Center at 610-878-9330 and Ali, Deb or Sandi will be happy to assist you in making an appointment. If you leave a message on our confidential voicemail box, please leave your telephone number and name and you will receive a prompt call back.
What's the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, and counselor?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health disorders. A psychiatrist prescribes medication to help alleviate mental health symptoms. A psychologist is someone with a doctorate degree in psychology who works to alleviate symptoms using talk therapy. The term psychologist is protected so that anyone using the title psychologist MUST have appropriate training. A counselor or therapist is usually someone with a master’s degree in social work or a related counseling field. There are many wonderful therapists and counselors. However, because the term therapist or counselor is unregulated, anyone can call themselves a counselor. It is important that you check the credentials and training of any therapist or counselor you may be working with.
What do all the letters mean?
- Ph.D: Doctor of Philosophy. This degree is the most traditional degree for a psychologist.
- Psy.D: Doctor of Psychology. This degree is similar to a Ph.D., but the training is focused more on direct client care than on research.
- MA: Masters degree. In most cases, a person with this degree is a therapist or counselor.
- MSW: Masters of Social Work. This degree typically focuses ways to intervene directly and identify specific solutions to specific problems. Often it is connected to social service roles.
- CAC: Certified Addictions Counselor.
- LMFT: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist: A psychologist or counselor with a specialty in working with families.
Why does The Center charge for missed appointments?
While it is important to keep your appointments or give us 24 hour notice if you must cancel, we also understand that unexpected things happen in life. You will never be charged for a session because of an illness, accident, or other unavoidable mishaps.
What to Expect
What to expect when scheduling your first appointment:
Calling to schedule a session for the first time can be nerve wracking. Our goal when scheduling a first appointment is to get an understanding of what concern is prompting your call in order to determine which psychologist is likely to be the best match for you.
We will also collect your insurance information along with your date of birth so that we can verify your benefits. It is really important that you also call your insurance company to verify your outpatient “mental health” or “behavioral health” benefits in order to know whether you have a deductible, what your copayment will be and how many sessions you and your psychologist have to work with. Occasionally benefits are quoted in discrepant ways by insurance companies. If we call and get the same information you get when you call, we can be relatively certain we have accurate information.
Ali, Deb and Sandi are available to help schedule new appointments from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Sometimes they are on the phone with another client and will not always be able to answer your call immediately. If you do not reach someone directly, please leave a message and your call will be returned shortly.
What to expect when attending your first appointment:
Parking is free and easily found in the lot behind our building. Please make yourself comfortable in the waiting room when you arrive. Your psychologist may have a session with another client before you, but will be with you promptly. If you forgot to bring the paperwork we e-mailed, you will find some clipboards on the wall in the waiting room with copies of everything we sent.
The first session is a bit more structured (usually) than the sessions that will follow. Your psychologist will be working to understand the concerns that are bringing you to therapy as well as information about your life. We are all affected by our past and present. The better your psychologist understands you, the better he or she can help you find the solutions you are searching for. If there is information your psychologist hasn’t asked about, but that would be helpful to know, please speak up!
What to expect during ongoing therapy:
The therapy process is goal oriented, but often hard to predict. You and your psychologist will begin to develop a rhythm for discussing problems, deepening understanding of patterns in your life, and forging new approaches to difficult situations. Therapy requires active work in session and practice outside of session in order to be most effective. It also requires trust and honest exploration. Match between psychologist and client is vital. You should have sense of whether you connect, trust, and can open up to your psychologist by the third session.
If you don’t feel like your psychologist is a good match for you, please speak up. Sometimes the problem can be addressed in session with a few adjustments. Other times it is better to change psychologists. That’s okay. Finding the right psychologist is like finding a pair of jeans. Some brands fit you perfectly, while others are just not quite comfortable. We understand this and your psychologist will not take it personally.