FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

How do I know if you’re the right therapist for me?

Finding the right therapist is essential to benefit from your experience in therapy. It has to be a good fit. I am happy to offer a 10-minute, complimentary phone consultation prior to scheduling an appointment to answer any questions that you may have.

 

What will the first session be like?

During our first appointment, we’ll get to know each other. Rather than a formal intake process, I’ll ask questions about your life and how I can be helpful to you. Together, we will come up with a plan to address what you want to work on.

 

I’m nervous. 

That’s totally normal. Most people are nervous before their first appointment. Therapy can be uncomfortable. Rest assured, I’m here to support you along the way. I won’t push you outside of your comfort zone. It’s your choice to share as much or as little as you like.

How long is a typical session?

Sessions are 50 minutes in length. This clinical hour is designed to allow transition time for the therapist to complete the required documentation which is monitored and audited by the insurance provider and ensures the coverage of payment.  

How often should I attend therapy?

This depends entirely on you and what you think feels right. Most clients are seen once a week in the beginning and then, as time goes on, less frequently. You’re in charge and I will trust you to tell me what you need.

Will I be in therapy forever?

Only if you want to be! Therapy is a very unique and highly individualized experience. The frequency and longevity of our work together are entirely up to you. It’s normal to meet anywhere between a handful of sessions to much more long-term. Everyone needs something different.  My goal is to be able to help guide initially to a place where the discomfort that brought you to seeking therapy is removed.   Then from there, I will review with you the options and potential continued areas of focus.  Most often it is agreed upon to simply take a break from therapy and begin the maintenance of it all and navigate through daily living with the reassurance that the option to re-engage in therapy is available.

Do you prescribe medication?

No. However, I do regularly work with clients to determine whether medication may be beneficial. If you decide that you want to seek medication assistance, I’m happy to offer a referral to a psychiatrist or primary care physician.

 

Do you take insurance?

Yes, I am an in-network provider with Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, Blue Choice, Humana, Cigna, Beacon Health/Value Options, United Healthcare/Optum, and Medicare.

If you have an alternate insurance type, you are welcome to self-pay and I am happy to provide a receipt for reimbursement to your insurance company.

 

How do I know if my insurance covers my appointments?

Each individual insurance plan is different. You can verify your specific coverage by logging in to your account via your insurance website or by calling the 1-800 # on the back of your insurance card.

 

How do I make an appointment?

To make an appointment, you can browse available times and schedule online by clicking on my scheduling page.  You may also reach me by phone at 773-504-5930 or email me at james@mystorycounseling.com.  I will do my best to respond to appointment requests within 48 hours.

 

What do I need to bring to my first appointment?

If you plan to use your health insurance, please bring your insurance card to your first appointment. Ahead of our meeting, I will send you some intake paperwork. You will be able to submit those forms via the client portal for me to review prior to your appointment.

 

How do I get to your office?

I actually no longer have an office due to the Covid 19 pandemic and structuring the practice to be remote. I am offering telehealth appointments which are provided on a HIPPA compliant web platform for video sessions allowing us to connect from the comforts of your own home. If there is some barriers to this form of engagement there are alternative options available which can be in person appointment from my home office or an in home visit to your residence that I will travel for. Any times that would be in person are under strict guidelines and safety protocols as outlined by the CDC and IDPH, often adjusting due to the fluctuations of the COVID-19 virus. 

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

Sometimes canceling or rescheduling an appointment is necessary, and I am happy to work with you to reschedule our appointment to best fit your needs.  Please note that due to a limited number of sessions available per week, cancellations must be made no less than 24 hours in advance. Cancellations made outside of this time frame will incur an out-of-pocket fee of $100. The fee is not a monetary value assigned in response or punishment, but rather to uphold the respectful awareness of my time and my ability to maintain an affordable salary which is impacted when an appointment is overlooked and missed.  I am often able to use vacant time for an appointment with a patient that is on my waiting list and keeps my salary more stabilized.

James Hallberg, LCSW

My Story Counseling

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