Frequently Asked Questions

“The greatest gift a parent has to give a child—and a lover has to give a lover—is emotionally attuned attention and timely responsiveness.”
– Sue Johnson

Do You Take My Insurance?

The Couple and Family Clinic accepts CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield. For all other insurance companies, we are considered out-of-network providers. We strongly advocate for our clients to utilize their benefits. All new clients are advised to call their insurance carrier prior to their first appointment to see what out-of-network benefits may be utilized. If you do decide to use insurance, you may want to ask your insurance company:

What are my out-of-network mental health benefits?

Do I require a referral from my primary care physician?

Is there an annual limit to psychotherapy sessions?

Many of our clients receive reimbursement for the services they have paid for. Upon request we’ll provide you with an insurance ready statement that can be used for reimbursement. If you would prefer to use in-network benefits, there are many qualified therapists in Bethesda, MD and surrounding areas that can see you. We recommend doing a search on PsychologyToday, scroll down a therapist’s profile to where it says Accepted Insurance Plans and see if your carrier is listed.

How Much Do Counseling Sessions Cost?

For a standard session (50 min) the fee is $175.
For an extended session (90 min) the fee is $275.
PREPARE/ENRICH premarital counseling sessions can be 50-min or 90-min and are billed at the respective session rate. There is a one-time fee of $35 for the accompanying online assessment. Clients keep all hard copy materials e.g. Couple’s Workbook.

Cash, checks, and most major credit cards are accepted.

How Long Does Counseling Last?

This is a difficult question to answer, in truth. For example, research has shown that couples who are treated by a provider who is competent to practice from an Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy approach generally experience significant improvement within 8 – 20 sessions. However, it is important to curb your expectations as there are other factors to consider. We may only meet for a few weeks to help you cope with a short-term problem. Treatment may last longer if you have long-term challenges. 

The length of therapy will depend on the following factors:

The severity of your symptoms
How much support you receive from family members and others
How much stress you are experiencing
How much your situation or mental health concerns interfere with day-to-day life
Your specific personal situation or whether there is a mental illness
How long you have had symptoms or have been dealing with your situation

How Do I Know Which Therapist is Right for Me?

Finding the right therapist is critical for therapy to be effective. I’ve compiled an extensive list of questions to ask the therapist (and yourself) while searching for a therapist. Every therapist has a different style. Every mental health discipline has it’s own strengths. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I find that people experience a deeper change when couples or families attend therapy together. One of my strengths as a therapist is how comfortable people feel after talking with me over the phone. I offer a free initial phone consultation to all new clients so that you can make an informed decision as to whether therapy is right for you. We will discuss your reason(s) for seeking therapy, your potential goals for therapy, and decide together whether therapy is the best fit for you.

I've Never Done This Before - What Will Therapy Be Like?

Your first session will be an opportunity for both you and I to get to know each other. You can ask me any questions you’d like. I am going to want to get to know you as a person first, before talking about what problems bring you in. 

So expect questions like:
“What do you enjoy doing in your free time?”
“How did you two meet?”
“What do you enjoy doing together for family fun?”

I will also likely ask you questions like:
“How would you like things to change?”
“As of today, what problems are causing you the most distress?”
“How have you attempted to solve these problems before considering therapy?”

I want to gather information about you so I can determine how best to meet your needs and goals. I will want to know the history of the problem that brings you in. I will want to collaborate with you in setting mutual expectations for how long we will meet and what you will accomplish. This is also an opportunity for you to interview me to see if my approach and personality are going to work for you.

What If I Don't Think I Need Counseling?

Carefully read over the following questions:

Are you concerned about your own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, and, you’re not sure you want to talk with a close friend about it?
Have your thoughts, feelings, or behaviors gotten worse in the past month?
Have you attempted to stop these thoughts, feelings, or behaviors from occurring on your own? Have these attempts been unsuccessful?
Are you finding it harder and harder to cope with things in your life?
Are you having trouble concentrating on school or work?
Have you thought about talking to friends, family, or even your doctor about these concerns?
Have you searched the internet or read specific books trying to find help with what’s troubling you?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any one of these questions, it is a potential cause for concern. You may want to consult a physician or licensed therapist if these thoughts, feelings, or behaviors persist. You may also be interested in taking the 20-item questionnaire on our blog that assesses your mental health hygiene.

What’s the difference between “Therapy”, “Counseling”, and “Psychotherapy”?

For all intents and purposes, in the context of mental health, the words “Therapy”, “Counseling”, and “Psychotherapy” all describe the same basic concept – Talk Therapy. Some in the mental health community will make a distinction that Counseling is more brief and Therapy, or Psychotherapy lasts for years. This is simply not true. Important factors on how long therapy can last are outlined under “How Long Does Counseling Last?” further up the page. 

There are, however, very important differences between the types of mental health professionals you can choose to be treated by. A Psychiatrist, for example, is a medical doctor and is trained to identify psychiatric symptoms and prescribe medications. Typically they do not meet patients for weekly counseling, though some will. If you are looking to talk with a licensed therapist for weekly sessions, you will most likely be looking to set up an appointment with either a Licensed Professional Counselor (LCPC), a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-C), or a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). You can learn more information about a licensed professional therapist by checking their board’s public records to find out whether their license has been revoked, suspended, reprimanded, or put on probation.

For more information about Counseling in Bethesda, MD

Call 240-390-6381