Free, No Commitment Consultation

Free, No Commitment Consultation

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It is important to connect with a therapist that fits, to meet your needs. For this reason, The Mind Body Counseling Center, PLLC offers free 15 minute consultation via phone call or zoom, to give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. It can be difficult to know what questions to as, so we offer a list of questions to consider asking at your consultation. 

Questions to Ask:

1. What qualifications do you have? How long have you been practicing therapy?

Knowing all the acronyms with professionals can be challenging. Credentials differ based on the levels and types of education received by professionals as well as state to state. Understanding what these acronyms mean can help ensure you're choosing an appropriate professional for addressing your specific need.

My credentials include the title of LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) with the state of Arizona. That means I had to earn a valid Master’s degree (Masters of Science in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling from Walden University), complete extensive post-graduate clinical work, as well as pass the required exam and apply for licensure. Licensure level does NOT reflect years in practice.

Here are a few of the most common credentials:

  • LAC (Licensed Associate Counselor, receives supervision)
  • LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)
  • LAMFT (Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, receives supervision)
  • LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist)
  • LMSW (Licensed Master Social Worker, receives supervision)
  • LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)

2. How do you approach treatment? What clinical modality do you use?

The therapeutic method/approach that a licensed professional utilizes and specializes in is important to know before you choose your therapist. Asking this question helps you understand how they approach treatment and if it aligns with your needs, beliefs and expectations. Remember there are countless ways to approach therapy and the key is finding the one that fits you. This link takes you to an outside resource that offers a list to some therapy styles. 

A professional's selection of certain methods can be driven by factors such as personal experiences, breakthrough research findings, or mentorship during their educational or clinical training years. It is important to find a therapist that is trained to effectively handle your specific needs. It can be helpful to be aware of a therapist's approaches so you do not find yourself misaligned with the modality of treatment being provided. 

3. What are your policies around cancellations, insurance, and payments?

To protect yourself from unexpected charges, it is helpful to know this information. When you begin therapy, this information should be included in your intake paperwork. However, you might want to know this information before you get started in treatment. Licensed professionals typically maintain specific guidelines for cancellations. These policies aim to honor both your time and that of the mental health professional.

Cancellations often result in an unoccupied slot that could have been utilized by another client requiring support. For that reason therapists generally require 24 to 48-hour notice if there’s a need to cancel or reschedule your therapy appointment.

Insurance eligibility and requirements differ from therapist to therapist, so be sure to take a note if the therapists you’re considering accept your insurance or not. If they do not, be sure to check with your insurance provider to see what out-of-pocket expenses you would be responsible for. It is also important to discuss what payment options are accepted by the therapist you are considering.

Be sure to ask:

  • What duration of advance notice do you require for no-fee cancellations?
  • If I miss an appointment due to unforeseen circumstances (like sudden illness), will I still be charged?
  • If the start of our session is delayed due to unforeseen circumstances on my end, how long would you wait before marking me absent?

4. How much will it cost?

If the cost of services are NOT covered by your insurance, then you need to know what your out-of-pocket cost would be. The cost of services, for self-pay/out of pocket pricing can be found here. If psychotherapy services are covered, it is still important to contact your insurance provider to better understand if there might be any potential additional costs.

It can also be helpful to ask the therapist you're considering if you can use HSA and/or FSA funds. A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a type of savings account that lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. A Flexible Spending Account (FSA, also called a “flexible spending arrangement”) is a special account you put money into that you use to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs.

You should also know that certain professionals might provide sliding scale fees depending on different income levels while others maintain fixed charges per session. During your initial consultations with potential therapists, it's important to inquire about their fee structure.

For example, at The Mind Body Counseling Center, PLLC, payment is due at the time of service. I can provide you with a Superbill — a receipt for your session — that you can submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement. Your Superbill will reflect the service date, the service codes needed for your insurance, the billed amount, and my credentials.

In certain circumstances, out-of-network billing may be available. You’d need to contact your insurance provider to ensure they’ll cover your session. If they do, I’ll create an invoice for you as an out-of-network (OON) provider for your insurance. This allows you to be reimbursed at your plan’s established rate once your mental health deductible is met.

Being well-informed about the financial aspect of working with a therapist can help you strategize effectively, ensuring that hiring a therapist doesn’t turn into an additional stressor.

5. How will I know it's working?

The first sign of change are typically reflective of the reason you sought out therapy. You and your therapist, once you begin services, collaborate on what change will look like. The outcomes of therapy are very individualized. What changes can look like include: increased understanding of self and others, reduced judgement, responding differently to triggers, constructing a better life balance, managing relationships more effectively, or navigating life transitions with more ease. You can even consider keeping a journal along your treatment path to track what you have learned, gained, and how you have grown.

Your therapist should provide feedback toward observations that reflect progress toward, or regression of, achievement of treatment goals. Feedback from others can also be an indicator of progress toward your desired goals. 

Photo Credits: obtained from, artist: Suriyawut Suriya


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We also have a list of text and phone outreach numbers on our "Resources " page.