This is a great question and the answer is YES! Now, here are some important things to know, because utilizing your health insurance for mental health is DIFFERENT than for your other health needs. You see, health insurance companies are allowed to subcontract out your behavioral health. Behavioral health is underlined because that is the term you need to use when asking your insurance company questions. This means that while your card may say "Blue Cross," your behavioral health could be a completely different insurance company. Thriving Lives is currently in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Care Network. We are actively working on being able to provide more in-network coverage. If you currently have a different provider, then we still can accept your insurance, we will just be considered "out-of-network" for you. We also take HSA and FSA.
That is another really great question and one that you should take some time to think about. One of the benefits and reasons many people choose to use their insurance is because it pays for part, and sometimes all, of your session fees. However, utilizing your insurance means that a diagnosis is required for all services, and we cannot give you a diagnosis that you do not have. However, many people who seek psychotherapy do fall into one of the diagnostic categories set forth by the DSM-V. Another piece to consider is that once a diagnosis is placed on your insurance record, it is there for a long time. This means that if you are applying for certain jobs, life, or disability insurance, it may have some impacts. Insurance companies also have the right to limit the length of sessions, the amount of sessions, and whether they will pay for sessions they feel do not meet their frequently changing requirements. Many people who seek counseling for its truly confidential nature find that paying without insurance offers them more control of who has access to their information.
Did you know that while there are many different therapeutic techniques that can be used to help treat a variety of problems, it is actually the therapeutic relationship built between a client and therapist that creates positive change? That is why finding the "right" therapist is so important. While there are different personalities and styles that each of us is individually drawn to, there are certain key features you should notice when choosing your therapist:
1. You feel comfortable with her/him. Even if you are extremely nervous or shy about meeting for the first time, the right therapist should, by the end of the session, make you feel like you could talk to her/him about anything.
2. You don't feel "worse" when you leave their office. Each session should bring about a sense of self-discovery, empowerment, a new realization, new skills to use, new comfortability with the therapy process, or a step forward towards one of your goals. While there will be times (just like in exercise and weight loss) that you feel like you've hit a plateau, the right therapist will help you understand why, and work with you to figure out how to move past this stage.
3. The right therapist will be professional. This means that they will maintain certain boundaries and practices that help create an environment of safety and respect.
Much research has been done showing the effectiveness of psychotherapy or "talk therapy" as it is sometimes referred. It works by activating the connections within your brain and changing them to a more neutral or positive emotional response. Put simply, when you talk to a licensed mental health therapist, she or he has had years of training learning specific ways to phrase questions and state things to you, to help your brain recognize connections it hasn't recognized before. A mental health therapist is also trained in different techniques, tools, and education to help you change unwanted behaviors. This is MUCH different than talking to a friend or family member, although many people feel just as comfortable talking to their therapist as they would a good friend.
This is a tough question, because it depends on a couple factors. First, it depends on your goals. For instance, someone whose goal is to decrease anxiety due to recent stressors at work will typically find they need fewer sessions that someone who has struggled with generalized anxiety most of their life and are trying therapy for the first time as an adult. Secondly, and in our minds most importantly, length of therapy will depend on YOU. What does that mean? Well, it means that the more motivated you are for positive change, the more open to discussion you are with your therapist, and the more you work on the things you learn at home, the faster you will begin to see results. If you have more specific questions regarding length of therapy, this is something our clinicians are trained to help you figure out from your very first session. Here at Thriving Lives we believe knowledge is power, and the more we can provide you, the better prepared you will be.
Easy! We are here to help you get your questions answered and make informed decisions. Contact us by email with our easy-to-use email form listed on our contact page, call us by phone 248-283-3703, or ask us at your next appointment!