FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About My Counseling and Therapy Services in Covington, LA

Professional therapy is a collaborative effort between you and your counselor to identify goals and potential solutions to your problems using various forms of psychotherapy. It typically involves working with a mental health provider to gain greater insight into your moods, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. However, it should be noted that a therapist will not “fix” your problems. Rather, you will have the opportunity to look at your life with a new perspective and modify your behavior in meaningful ways.

Here are some questions I often hear from those considering professional therapy.

What happens during a therapy session?

A therapy session is typically a problem-solving meeting in which you describe your current situation and I help you find ways to resolve your issues so that you can move forward with your life. At the beginning of the session, I will invite you to share what has been going on in your life, what is bothering you, and whether you have any goals you would like to discuss. You may want to consider how you will know when you are doing better. You will be invited to speak openly and I will listen, take notes, and never criticize, interrupt, or judge you as you speak. Our conversation will be kept in strict confidentiality and anything you want or need to say will be acceptable.

How often will we meet?

I generally meet weekly with private practice clients on weeknights and weekends from my in-home office in Covington, Louisiana. I am currently only offering HIPAA-compliant teletherapy sessions during the pandemic. Sessions are 50 minutes in length.

What is your role as a counselor?

The role of any counselor or therapist is to confront, push, and guide patients toward developing better cognitive and emotional skills that will reduce symptoms of mental illness and help them cope with life challenges.

What is the difference between a counselor, therapist, psychologist, and psychiatrist?

All mental health providers support those struggling with mental health issues, help individuals suffering from emotional disorders, provide counseling services to families, individuals, and couples, and perform crisis intervention when necessary. However, there are some noteworthy differences between these professionals:

  • Counselors hold a master’s degree or higher in mental health counseling or marriage and family therapy. They offer assistance to those suffering from anxiety, marital issues, eating disorders, sexual disorders, life changes, and substance abuse.
  • Therapists generally have at least a master’s degree. Many are trained to diagnose and treat mental conditions but are not licensed to prescribe medications.
  • Psychologists have doctoral degrees in psychology. They perform duties similar to professional counselors, and also oversee psychological or diagnostic tests and consult with involved medical professionals regarding the appropriate treatment for their patients. As with counselors and therapists, these mental health providers do not prescribe medication.
  • Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors (M.D. or D.O.) who have completed at least four additional years of specialized training in psychiatric counseling. They specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness and are licensed to prescribe medications.

Will counseling fix all of my problems?

No, counseling is only one part of the work you will do – homework assignments, applying learned techniques and strategies on your own, and spending time to reflect on the work done in the session will also be part of the process.

Is online therapy right for me?

Research has found that online therapy can be just as effective, if not more so, than in-person therapy, and I’ve been surprised at how easily my clients have adjusted to live video, with only a handful of prospective clients having declined without even trying it. The best way to find out if teletherapy is right for you is to schedule a free introductory video session.

Do you prescribe medication?

No, but your primary care doctor may. I recommend all patients see their primary care provider for a physical examination if they have not done so in the last year. If you are currently taking medication, I can coordinate care with your doctor.

How long will I have to be in therapy?

Therapy is not an overnight cure. The process can take weeks, months, or even years in some cases, and will move faster the more effort you contribute to your goals.

How will I know when I am doing better?

The process of evaluating whether or not therapy is working looks a bit different for every person. Still, some of the signs that you are doing better are relatively universal – you’re focusing more on the present, self-care has become a priority, you’ve started to apply some of my suggestions and they appear to be working, and you leave each session feeling that your time and money are being well spent.

How much does therapy cost?

The professional fee is $135 for initial assessment and $120 per hour for follow-up sessions, but lower if using one of these contracted insurers: Blue Cross, United Health (Optum), Aetna, Vantage, Gilsbar, Humana, and EAP of Louisiana. Payment can be by cash, check, credit/debit card, HSA account, or PayPal.

To verify your deductible and co-pay, call Therapy Support Services at (504) 309-7844. There is never a guarantee of reimbursement by any insurance company and, in case they do not pay the claim, you are responsible for the total professional fee.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you must cancel or reschedule an appointment, please do so no later than 24 hours in advance, by texting or calling (985) 778-6049, or by emailing me at reiddoster@yahoo.com. Except in case of a true emergency, you agree to a $120 late cancellation fee if you do not cancel within 24 hours of our appointed time.

Covington Patients Can Get the Help They Need With Confidential Counseling

Counseling is effective in treating a variety of emotional problems, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a host of other mental health setbacks. To schedule a free introductory session, contact me or call or send a text to (985) 778-6049.