Frequently Asked Questions
There are many reasons why people make the choice to come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes and/or stressors that seem overwhelming. Many seek the support of a therapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges.
Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives. Oftentimes people are curious about therapy and may have some questions. Making that initial phone call can be difficult if you have no idea what to expect or the right questions to ask. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and answers. You are also more than welcome to call me at 281-480-0200 or email me at Brandi.Tarver@houstonbayareacounselor.com
How long is a session and how often will I see you?
Sessions are typically 50 minutes long and are often scheduled weekly, especially in the beginning. Most people have been struggling to deal with difficult situations by the time they come to therapy. Weekly sessions will help to keep you accountable and motivated to work towards your goals in an efficient way. As therapy progresses, we can work together to determine if weekly sessions will continue to be useful. Some people will find that as they begin to heal and grow, fewer sessions are needed. The frequency of sessions can be adjusted in order to best meet your needs and maintain positive change.
How long will therapy last?
Every client or couple is going through a unique situation, so length of treatment will vary. Most people attend therapy an average of 8-20 sessions, but it is always up to you how long you want to meet. Some clients will get what they need in 4-5 sessions, whereas other people attend therapy for 6 months to a year. There are many factors that will help determine the length of therapy, including the complexity of the issue, how much growth and change you want to make, how deeply you would like to explore the issue, and your commitment to making and maintaining the positive changes. I will work with you in determining the appropriate schedule for therapy.
What forms of payment do you accept?
I accept all major credit cards, HSA, and FSA cards.
Do you accept insurance?
I am currently in-network with some insurance companies. If I am in-network with your insurance company, I will be happy to accept it as long as the service that I am providing is covered under your plan. My hesitation with using insurance is that they often dictate the duration of therapy as well as how we are able to work together; for example, many insurance plans simply do not cover marriage/relationship counseling. Furthermore, insurance companies require a mental health disorder to be diagnosed which will not be appropriate in all cases, especially when it comes to couples counseling. By not going through insurance, you have more control and flexibility in regards to your care and the therapy process, as well as greater privacy. If I am out of network with your insurance company, you would simply pay my hourly rate and may be able to seek reimbursement from your insurance company.
What is your fee?
Individual and couple therapy sessions are $150 for a 50-minute session. To some this may seem expensive, but you also have to remember that when seeing a therapist, you are placing what’s most important (your individual self or your relationship) in the hands of someone that is supposed to help. It is worth every penny to find someone that has extensive knowledge and training in this field. To put it into perspective, therapy is less expensive in the long run than other medical outcomes (having a heart attack, stomach ulcers, conditions requiring psychotropic medications, etc.) or relationship outcomes (mediation, attorney fees, divorce, etc.).
How do I make an appointment?
Making the decision to come for your first appointment was probably a difficult one, so I try to make the process as easy as possible. You can call me at 281-480-0200 or email me at Brandi.Tarver@houstonbayareacounselor.com to make an appointment. If I am unavailable, please be sure to leave a message and I will get back to you within 24 hours.
What kind of clients do you typically work with?
I prefer to work with clients that are ready and eager to make positive changes in their lives and will do so through a willingness to open themselves up to new ways of thinking. My clients may be struggling with certain aspects of life, including depression, anxiety, stressful events, relationship struggles or changes, etc…People that work with me are looking for meaningful and lasting change in their lives.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
Therapy sessions are 50 minutes and will focus on you and your needs. The initial session will be an opportunity for me to get to know and understand you and your situation, as well as determine whether our relationship is a good fit. We will work on setting goals for therapy as well as formulating ways to begin working on those goals. Every small step you take is a step in the right direction, and I am a believer in taking action. There may be times that you are asked to complete an exercise outside of session. This is only for your benefit. The work we do inside session should translate to your life outside of session, improve your self-worth and relationships, increase self-awareness, and directly address the initial problems you brought into therapy.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
• Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
• If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
• If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
• By using insurance, the client allows their insurance company to access confidential information. This is the only way insurance will pay for sessions.