Frequently Asked Questions
When should I seek help?
Have you noticed yourself:
- Feeling unhappy for longer periods of time
- Feeling unsatisfied with life
- Avoiding the people who care about you
- Unable to keep up with your normal routine
- Experiencing significant changes
- Constantly worried or unable to stop your racing thoughts
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Having trouble at school, work, or home
- Reacting with excessive fear, anger, or tears
- Grieving (i.e. death, loss of job, disability, empty nest)
- Covering your pain with substances, shopping, or electronics
- Feeling constantly stressed
- Lacking the energy or motivation to do your favorite/normal activities
- Constantly thinking about a past trauma
- Thinking about suicide
You may need help when you encounter problems and challenges that are greater than your abilities, resources, or perspective.
How can counseling help?
Counseling can help people recognize problems, learn specific skills to cope with or address the problems, and develop supports or resources to keep them going strong when they face new challenges.
Counseling can offer people the safety to name a problem without judgment, a place to feel known, explore motives or influences, speak with openness, identify values and goals, practice skills, and create a plan.
Counseling can offer people the opportunity to talk about and see their problems in a different light. It is also a place to obtain education and a non-biased perspective that can speak into the situation as well as a place to receive hope and support and identify the sources of the problem.
Counseling can help foster and facilitate relationship reconciliation and repair. Sometimes our greatest hurts happen in relationship and it can also be a place of great healing.
Is counseling confidential?
In general, counseling, counseling notes, and your private healthcare information (PHI) is private and confidential.
There are some important exceptions to confidentiality which may require us to share some of your information. When we are required to break confidentiality, we use the least amount of information necessary in order to protect your privacy as much as possible.
Exceptions to confidentiality:
- If you are using insurance
- If you have signed a written release of information
- If there is suspected abuse of a child, older adult, or a person who is developmentally disabled
- If you are an immediate risk to yourself or others (suicide or homicide)
- If you are a minor
- Other exceptions identified by HIPAA and Washington State law
How often do I go to counseling?
Determining session frequency will be between you and your counselor. Factors to consider will be the stage of counseling (beginning, middle, end), the severity of your problems, assessment of any crisis or safety concerns, your availability, and any other concerns (i.e. finances, insurance).
- Intensive counseling is twice a week and is offered to those who are in crisis or intense distress.
- Regular counseling is once a week and is appropriate for beginning and continuing counseling, problem assessment, goal identification and progress, skill building, and seeking relief.
- Semi-regular counseling is every two weeks and is appropriate for those who have met many of their goals and are applying their skills more independently.
- Maintenance counseling is available once a month or every couple of months to address any remaining concerns, maintain goal awareness and focus, or review progress.
How long will I be in counseling?
In the first session you will be able to work with the counselor to identify the problems, symptoms experienced, and your goals. You will create a plan with the counselor outlining what you want to address, the frequency of sessions, and the estimated length of time to reach your goal.
Counseling can be short-term, 2 to 6 weeks, to address a specific problem.
Counseling can also be long-term, 2 months to 2+ years, to address larger and more complex issues (i.e. self-esteem, identity, restoration, addictions, trauma, abuse).
You may not want to address ALL of the possible problems, as you may notice relief once you start to address SOME of the problems.
What insurances do you take?
OUT-OF-NETWORK benefits with your insurance can be used by all of the counselors with Lacamas Counseling.
IN-NETWORK benefits – You can see which insurances our counselors are in-network with on their individual bio pages.
- If the counselor is “in-network”, you will only need to pay your co-payment, co-insurance, and/or deductible at each of your appointments. The rest of the fee will be billed to your insurance.
- Check with Lacamas Counseling, your individual counselor, or your insurance company to determine if we are “in-network.”
- Please provide your insurance information when you schedule your first appointment so that we can verify your mental health/behavioral health benefits.
Out of Network Benefits:
- If “out-of-network” benefits are allowed with your insurance company, then you will pay the full session fee and we can generate a receipt for your paid service so that you may request reimbursement from your insurance company.
- Deductible – the dollar amount that you must meet before insurance will start to reimburse for expenses
- Copayment – a flat rate (i.e. $10, $20) that you pay for each session
- Co-insurance – a percentage (i.e. 10%, 20%) of the cost of each session that you pay for each session
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – a benefit through some employers that offers employees and their dependents a certain number (usually 2-12) of free counseling sessions per year
What if my counselor is subpoenaed to court?
You will be responsible reimbursing the counselor for all of the time required for preparation, attendance, and follow-up; including time for driving to court, waiting to testify, giving testimony, as well as preparation and/or research time that is required. Payment is required in advance.
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