How do I know if you are the right therapist for me?
This is such a great question! We believe it is really important that the therapist you decide to work with, be one you feel right to be with! To find out whether we have the right therapist for you, be sure to ask questions related to your needs when we first talk about scheduling an appointment. We promise we will do our best to be open to whatever concerns might bring you to treatment and if we are unable to assist with your concerns, we would be happy to refer you to another therapist who might be more right for you. If you feel great about us in our initial talk, feel free to continue to evaluate our fit for your therapeutic needs. Ask questions in therapy or let us know of any concerns you have. Also, one of the best ways to know whether a therapist is a good fit or not is by talking about whether your goals in treatment are being addressed.
How do I access my client portal?
We now store records securely online through Simple Practice. Online storage meets HIPAA compliance standards. This portal allows you to login with a personal assigned ID to fill out paperwork, schedule appointments, pay for sessions, and to receive alerts for upcoming appointments. If you are a current client, please use the emailed invitation link to access your account. If you would like to opt out of eRecords in favor of paper records, please let us know. We value your opinion!
How do you protect my privacy?
We take your right to privacy seriously and take steps to make sure your personal and private health information is kept confidential. Files are kept behind two locks, computers are encrypted, password protected, backed up and have firewalls to protect from attack. Security compliance measures are also in place in case of accident or natural catastrophe. There are many other ways we work to protect information including password protected secure phones/fax/email, SSL secure website, and more. If you have concerns about the privacy of your confidential health information, and want to know more about my privacy practices, please inquire!
Do you provide telehealth therapy sessions?
Telehealth utilizes HIPAA-secure video conferencing platforms to allow therapists and their clients to connect without having to meet in person. Telehealth expands the counseling options to include video and telephone therapy sessions. Virtual sessions are held using Zoom technology and do not require you to have any additional software. Phone therapy sessions are possible if the internet is having connectivity problems, or under extenuating circumstances. Teleheath sessions cost the same as the in-person session fee and prorated according to the time spent on the phone.
What is your opinion about the use of medications for mental health concerns?
Your treatment depends on your particular mental illness, its symptom severity and what you and your doctor think will work best for you. Psychiatric medications do not cure mental illness, though they can alleviate symptoms. In some cases, a combination of treatments works best and medications may assist symptom management in the short term until you are better able to manage symptoms on your own. Whether you are on medications, considering their use, or against their use, psychotherapy can be utilized to more effectively manage your symptoms.
How long will I need to be in therapy?
Change can occur in as little as one session. Though the length of therapy is generally determined by your goals and needs at the time. It is especially important that therapy is helping you to reach your goals. While some clients are satisfied with a few sessions, others may remain in therapy for much longer. It is also common for a client to establish a working relationship with a preferred therapist to assist with treatment options at any given time throughout their lifespan.
How long is a therapy session?
A therapist generally bills for one hour increments of time, or therapy hour. For the therapy hour, 45-50 minutes of the hour is your session time and 10-15 minutes of the hour is utilized for paperwork and processing. It is possible to have longer and shorter sessions. For instance, 30 minute sessions are common for young children and 90 minute sessions are sometimes helpful for families and partnerships.
How often will we meet?
It is fairly common for therapy to occur once a week, though some clients prefer to come biweekly, triweekly or monthly. How often we meet with clients is client dependent so feel free to inquire.
Your Rights and Protections Against Surprise Medical Billing
When you see a therapist in network with your health insurance, you may owe certain out-of-pocket costs, like a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible. This facility isn’t in your health plan’s network. Only one provider at this facility is in network with BCBS and is not taking new insurance clients at this time.
If you would like to work with any of our therapists when you have insurance and you chose to pay privately, you will need to sign a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) waiver to be clear that you have insurance: That you know you can get this service covered somewhere else by an in-network provider, but that you are choosing to use the provider and facility to pay privately. We can still provide Superbills for out of network services.
You have the right to choose to get care from a provider or facility in your health plan’s network, which may cost you less.
While we recognize many clients chose to work with us without using their benefits, because it is difficult to find an in network provider or to protect their own privacy. You can contact your health plan to find an in-network provider or facility. If there isn’t one, your health plan might work out an agreement with this provider or facility, or another one.
Standard Notice: Right to Receive a Good Faith Estimate of Expected Charges” Under the No Surprises Act
No Surprises Act
What is the No Surprises Act?
With the No Surprises Act, you have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical care will cost.
Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the bill for medical items and services.
- You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency items or services. This includes related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment, and hospital fees.
- Make sure your health care provider gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing at least 1 business day before your medical service or item. You can also ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or service.
- If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill.
- Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate.
For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises or call our office at 512.850.2287.
What are your session fees and payment options?
As with any course of treatment, there are fees associated that must be paid before any session can begin. All fees are due on the date of your scheduled session with us.
A 45-minute session is $140 — $175 depending on your clinician, for individuals, partnerships, and families. Double sessions are available as needed.
Payments can be made via cash, check, or credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Alternatively, you can pay online with a credit card via Paypal, a nationally recognized payment processor that allows you to pay safely and securely.
Do you take insurance?
Due to the demand for our services, we are not currently accepting insurance. While Melissa Hargrave is a Blue Cross Blue Shield Provider at this time, she is unable to accept new insurance clients and will be getting off the panel by next year. For any other insurance panels, some will reimburse for out of network services, though you will need to verify your benefits first. We are happy to provide you with a specific session receipt, called a superbill, for you to submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement.
Do you offer discounts or reduced rates?
In an effort to make our services more accessible as well as ethical, we provide sliding scale services through the Sims Foundation and Open Path Psychotherapy Collective.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you need to cancel an appointment for any reason, we require 48 hours notice. Otherwise, you will be responsible for any fees incurred for missed appointments.
Late Cancels/No Show- If you don’t show for your scheduled appointment and you have not communicated with our office regarding the issue, you are considered a no-show and will be responsible for session fees and co-payments.
What is your theoretical orientation?
Our theoretical orientation is a mixture of Narrative and Collaborative theory. Our orientation is strengths based in approach, which recognizes an individual’s unique, subjective reality as they are constructed through our interaction with socio-cultural beliefs and values. We honor clients as experts of their own lives and as a therapist, we serve as consultant to talk about client concerns with a non-judgmental, non-value assertion approach. Conversations are collaborative toward creating change through a conversational process that serves to emphasis client strengths and resources and enhance personal agency. In fostering self-agency, we tend to be present-centered, solution focused, and to work with clients in fewer sessions.
What is a Marriage and Family Therapist?
For more information about MFT specializations, visit AAMFT:
What is Sexology?
Clinical Sexology is the study of human sexuality in all of its facets; how individuals think, feel, and what they do sexually. Clinical Sexology recognizes and honors the richness and diversity of human consensual sexual expression and maintains, advocates, and educates a sex-positive attitude. Clinical Sexology is a multidimensional field that incorporates a bevy of disciplines, such as psychology, medicine, sociology and biology. Sexology incorporates the many attributes that comprise or contribute to human sexuality, such as the socio-cultural implications of sexology; sexual anatomy and physiology; health perspectives; sexual dysfunction; legal/ethical issues; and erotology. Sexuality is an integrated part of the human personality and identity and can affect overall mental health and happiness as well as interpersonal and social well-being. Maintaining sexual health includes upholding the sexual rights of all people and not simply the absence of sexual dysfunction.
—adapted from aasect.org 2008
The World Association of Sexology (WAS) developed the sexual bill of rights, as abbreviated below. These include the individual rights of all persons, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence, to:
- The right to sexual freedom.
- The right to sexual autonomy, sexual integrity, and safety of the sexual body.
- The right to sexual privacy. The right to sexual equity.
- The right to sexual pleasure.
- The right to emotional sexual expression.
- The right to sexually associate freely.
- The right to make free and responsible reproductive choices.
- The right to sexual information based upon scientific inquiry.
- The right to comprehensive sexuality education.
- The right to sexual health care.
Sexual Rights are Fundamental and Universal Human Rights!
ADOPTED IN HONG KONG AT THE 14TH WORLD CONGRESS OF SEXOLOGY, AUGUST 26, 1999
RETRIEVED FROM HTTP://WWW.WORLDSEXOLOGY.ORG/ABOUT_SEXUALRIGHTS.ASP
What is Sex Therapy?
Clinical Sexologists who are also trained as psychotherapists, and who work with the treatment and diagnosis of sexual concerns and dysfunction may be referred to as sex therapists. Sex Therapy represents a subspecialty of psychotherapy that focuses on the concerns of human sexuality. In most states and provinces, Sex Therapy is not specifically regulated as a profession as a subspecialty profession. People of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, partnered or single, and health status may benefit from working with a psychotherapist who specializes in this area.
Clinical Sexologists bring a unique perspective to psychotherapy that provides a sex-positive, compassionate environment for addressing the diversity of sexual expression, issues, and concerns.
– adapted from aasect.org 2008
What kinds of problems can benefit from Sex Therapy?
Clients who experience concerns with arousal, performance, guilt and shame, as well as knowledge and understanding of one’s own body are likely to have some benefit from a sexologist. Although many functions of couple’s relationship satisfaction as well as individual personal satisfaction may be related to overall sexual health and well- being. Increased, decreased, mismatched and discrepant levels of desire or interest in sexual intimacy may result in the overall relationship satisfaction or quality of living. Sexuality issues are not age or gender specific and can occur at any age and with men, women, and transgender.
Additionally concerns about sexual trauma in one’s background, medical conditions that affect one’s sexuality, sexual pain disorders, concerns about gender identity or sexual orientation, and issues around sexual compulsivity or addiction are also further concerns for discussion with a Sex Therapist.
– adapted from aasect.org 2008
What can a Sex Therapist do for you?
Clinical Sexologists approach issues in human sexuality in similar ways as psychotherapy. A clinical Sexologist may further include education on how to achieve improved sexual health and well-being. Clinical Sexologists work from a bio-psycho-social model and in some cases, clinical Sexologists will work closely with a client’s physician or nurse to establish a greater understanding of the problem. Sexologists also consider and explore the social aspects of sexual problems such as underlying cultural implications that may influence an individual’s sexual well-being and satisfaction.
Depending on the diagnosis, a Sex Therapist may utilize various forms of education materials towards facilitating change and in conjunction with therapeutic discussion. Education materials may include reading materials, watching audio-visual materials, and attending workshops. Homework and exercise assignments are also useful for couple’s or individuals to practice in the privacy of one’s own home.
Sometimes having more information will allow the problem to resolve. Sometimes more specific or intensive therapy will be needed. Homework may focus on communication exercises or specific sexual experience. This will depend on the progression of therapy and the individual level of comfort.
It is essential to inform that it is unethical and in some states a crime, to engage in any kind of sexual activity with a therapy client at any time or place.
– adapted from aasect.org 2008