Counseling is a mental health intervention which is intended for people who have a diagnosed emotional, mental, or behavioral condition which renders them unable to live their lives normally, effectively, or under their own personal control. A mental health issue may be temporary and acute or it may be long-standing or chronic. It may be caused by a sudden change in circumstance, or it may be a manifestation of a genetic predisposition or the result of distant or recent traumatic events. In all cases, a person must exhibit signs and symptoms of a disorder for their condition to be recognized diagnostically and thus be in need of counseling as treatment for the disorder. Counseling, then, is the method by which the “talking cure” is offered to people in pain or who are having abnormal difficulty.
Counseling sessions occur in the office of a therapist for 50 minutes per meeting. These sessions typically are bi-weekly, but might be more or less frequent, depending on the nature of the condition presented. Most people who have insurance have a mental health benefit that can be accessed if there is a legitimate diagnosed disorder.
When using an insurance benefit, here are some important things to know:
Most insurance companies do not cover marital, relationship, or family counseling
- You may surrender some or all of your confidentiality rights to the insurance company
- Your treatment records might be audited by the insurance company
- The counselor may be required to justify treatment and to make reports on your condition and progress
- The insurance company may determine how long and/or how often you can have sessions
- The insurance company may dictate the type and length of treatment
- You are responsible for paying your deductible and copayment at the time service is rendered
- You may need to get a pre-authorization for treatment
Counseling is paid for by a “per session” fee which may or may not be covered by insurance. Call your insurance company to learn the details of your benefit. I am no longer accepting new clients for counseling. My practice as of 2021 is limited to coaching.