Frequently Asked

Questions

You've got questions, we've got answers!

If I receive counseling can anyone find out about it?


The counseling process is confidential, which means that we cannot release any information about you except under certain legally prescribed conditions which include a substantial likelihood of harm to yourself, harm to others, instances of child abuse or elder abuse or if your insurance company requires certain information before paying for your counseling services. If you have concerns or questions about confidentiality, please discuss them with your counselor.




How is therapy different than talking to my friends?


Talking with friends and family is great way to maintain and build your support system. Your suppot system can be instrumental in helping you through some of life’s most difficult times. However, speaking with loved ones is not the same as talking to a professional counselor. Counselors are professionals with specialized training in helping people who are encountering difficulties in their lives. They can also provide an “outside”, objective perspective that is different than what your friends can provide. Also, sometimes people worry that if they talk with their friends about their problems that they will be a downer or that their friends will treat them differently. Since a counselor is a professional whose job it is to help you, hopefully you will feel more comfortable being open about your problems, which will make it easier to get effective help.




How can therapy help?


At Ascension we will work with you to identify your personal goals for counseling. After a discussion about your goals and the most helpful techniques to use, the clinician will listen to any questions and concerns. We also thoroughly explain what to expect during the counseling process. After all questions have been asked and answered we will provide the most appropriate treatment for you and your goals. You can expect that your therapist will listen closely to understand your experience and then find ways to assist you in moving towards your goals. Counseling is a highly personal experience, so each treatment plan created varies from person to person. Counseling will often involve getting a different perspective on your experiences, exploring and discovering things about yourself, making changes in unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving, processing difficult experiences, and learning healthy coping tools.




Can I receive a text reminder for my appointment?


Yes! Ascension Counseling sends out text reminders the day before your appointment. (Friday for Monday appointments).




Can I be seen in person?


Ascension offers the convenience and added privacy of online appointments to help client's effectively progress through therapy without the added stress of traveling, traffic, parking and being in an unfamiliar environment. Online counseling also allows clients to work with a therapist who could be located on the other side of the state, which increases your options for treatment providers if you have not found someone in your area who you would like to work with. Since our initial consultations are free, give us a try with no obligations.




What is an initial consultation?


An initial consultation is a time for you to meet with a counselor through a secure video feed to determine if Ascension Counseling is the best service to address your needs. Once you have scheduled an intake, you will complete intake forms through our secure portal at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. This information is reviewed by a counselor before the appointment, to ensure that we have an accurate, initial first impression regarding your needs. The intake counselor will spend approximately 10-15 minutes discussing your concerns with you. At the end of the appointment, the intake counselor will discuss next steps in regard to recommending services that may be a good fit for you. If Ascension Counseling cannot offer the services that best fit your needs, the intake counselor will provide you referrals to a more appropriate resource.




How much do the counseling sessions cost?


Sessions typically range from $150-$200 per session. The cost of each session depends on the type of service scheduled. At this time Ascension accepts United Healthcare, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. Ascension also serves as an out of network provider for most other insurance plans. What this means is, if you do not have the insurance mentioned above, you will pay the full fee for the session prior to the appointment. At the end of each month, you will receive a receipt which is often referred to as a superbill. You will submit your superbill to your insurance provider and they will reimburse you based on your specific mental health benefits. It is important to check your mental health benefits with your insurance provider to find out your reimbursement rate.




Why do I have to provide my credit card information?


A credit card is kept on file for all clients to ensure payment of services rendered. Your credit card will be charged 24 hours in advance of your appointment if you are self-pay. If you use insurance your credit card will only be charged your co-pay or the fee listed in the informed consent for late concellations and no shows.




Can I use my insurance?


The simple answer is "yes". Using insurance is typically a preference for people seeking medical treatment. While billing your insurance can decrease your out of pocket expenses, there are a few things that are important to keep in mind. When anyone uses their insurance benefits for mental health treatment (both in network benefits and out of network benefits) the insurance company: 1. Requires a mental health diagnosis to be given or they will not cover the service (yes, even for the first visit) 2. Dictates both the number and length of sessions provided 3. Requires that services are considered "medically necessary" which dictates what presenting problems they are willing to cover Ascension Counseling is currently in network with United Health Care, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. If you have another type of insurance, we can provide a superbill for out of network claims for you to be reimbursed by the insurance company. *Ascension is not a Medicaid or Medicare provider*




I want the added privacy and control over my counseling sessions by not using my insurance, but I can not afford the private pay rate. What are my options?


At Ascension, we offer a sliding fee scale for private pay clients based on their income. We also accept payment from your health spending account or health flexible spending account. If you are interested in our services but feel you may have difficulties covering the fee, please contact our office to discuss options.




Why online counseling?


Online counseling is just as effective as meeting with a counselor in person with a few more added benefits. Some of the added benefits of online counseling in Virginia are: 1. Not having to fight traffic to make it to your appointment 2. Added privacy and convenience of being in your own home or office 3. Convenient appointment times that work well with your busy lifestyle 4.The ability to still have your sessions anywhere in the state of Virginia