Questions

We receive a number of questions about our services. Here are a few of the questions we’re most often asked:

  • What is Psychotherapy?
  • Does therapy always work?
  • What happens on my first visit?
  • How often do I come to therapy?
  • What are the fees and is therapy covered under my insurance plan?
  • How can I pay?
  • What if I can’t pay the full amount?
  • Are you a participating provider with my insurance company?

What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the personalities of the counselor and client, and the particular problems you bring forward. There are many different methods used to deal with the problems you hope to address. Psychotherapy is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part.

Does therapy always work?
Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. Since therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, psychotherapy has also been shown to have benefits for people who go through it. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress.

What happens on my first visit?
Your first session, or “intake”, will be structured to help your counselor understand the problems you are facing. Your counselor may also ask you to take one or more tests or other assessment tools to assist him/her in more quickly and thoroughly understanding you, your problems, and how best to work with the problems you are facing.

The beginning stage of counseling involves clearly identifying the problems you are facing. The second stage involves gaining insights into patterns of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors related to your problems. You will be able to use these insights to begin making changes. In order for the therapy to be most helpful, you will have to work on things discussed during your therapy sessions. In the last stage you will be encouraged to actively apply or solidify new insights and skills to make change in yourself and your life situation.

How often do I come to therapy?
Typically, your counselor will schedule to see you weekly during a standing appointment time. If you need to change your appointment from time to time, we ask that you verify your next appointment with the secretary at the end of each session. If the secretary is not on duty, confirm your next appointment with your counselor. Changes in appointments can also be made by phone. If you see your counselor at one of our other locations, please call our main office at 803-731-4708 for any changes in appointments. Appointment changes during non-business hours should be made via messages on our voice mail.

What are the fees and is therapy covered under my insurance plan?
Our fees are consistent with the moderate prevailing rates in this area. Initial visit with psychologist – $155, initial visit with therapist – $120. Follow-up sessions with psychologist or therapist – $110. A session is 45 – 50 minutes in length. There is an additional charge for testing, and the cost varies with individual tests taken.

If you have questions about whether your insurance policy covers counseling services, you need to call your insurance company. For a list of insurance companies we currently service, please see the list below. Our office staff is familiar with the coverage on some policies. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or Email.

How can I pay?
We ask that charges for each session be paid in full at the time of service. You may pay by check, cash, VISA, MasterCard, or Discover.

What if I can’t pay the full amount?
If you are not covered by insurance and you have a limited income, please discuss your situation with our office staff at the time you are scheduling your first appointment. We have certain providers who will reduce their fees to assist you; however, the demands are often greater than our practical ability to meet. In this case, we encourage you to seek assistance from your church or other community agencies.

If you should experience financial difficulties while you are an active patient, we ask that you immediately discuss it with the office staff so that we can arrange a payment plan to accommodate your needs. Once you become an inactive patient and still have an outstanding balance, we ask that you continue to honor your payment plan. If at any time you choose to ignore your obligation, you will be referred to an outside collection agency.

If there is a financial problem, please discuss it with us. We can arrange a plan of payment to accommodate anyone. However, we will not accommodate persons who continually ignore their obligations. Inactive patients who are not actively paying on their balance are subject to being referred to commercial collection agencies and reported to credit rating bureaus.

Are you a participating provider with my insurance company?
We are participating providers with the following insurance companies:

  • Aetna
  • Anthem BCBS EAP
  • BCBS Fed
  • BCBS PPO
  • BCBS State
  • Blue Choice
  • Ceridian EAP
  • Cigna
  • Cigna EAP
  • Compsych EAP
  • First Sun EAP
  • Magellan
  • McLaughlin Young EAP
  • Medicare
  • Palmetto EAP
  • Planned Administrators
  • SuperMed
  • Tricare Prime
  • Tricare Standard
  • UBH
  • Value Options

Patient information forms:
Adult Intake Packet
Adolescent Intake Packet (13-17)
Child Intake Packet (4-12)

Email: kelly@columbiacounselingcenter.net
Phone: 803-731-4708
Fax: 803-612-1206