Frequently Asked Questions
MAY I RECEIVE SERVICES IF MY INSURANCE IS NOT LISTED?
It is the responsibility of the client to contact their insurance company to verify services covered under their individual plans. However, I will assist with authorizations for services from your insurance company as an out-of-network provider, if possible. Generally, most insurance companies are lenient with authorizations to ensure services. Please do not hesitate to send me an email, text or call if I may be of further assistance in this matter.
HOW DOES THE PAYMENT PROCESS WORK?
Assurance Counseling, LLC has a biller that will process payments to ensure payment from your insurance company. It is the responsibility of the client to pay if their insurance has lapsed; and, you desire to continue services.
Again, if you are not sure if behavioral health is a part of your plan, please contact your insurance company directly and inquire regarding any concerns. Information to provide to your insurance company, business name: Assurance Counseling, LLC or Latresa Williams are listed in your network. Your insurance company will also inform you of your co-pay responsibilities; if any. co-pay amounts will vary from company to company based on chosen plan, you will be responsible for co-pays at each visit.
When speaking with a representative, important questions to ask: Your insurance card has the number located on the back of your card, to determine if your insurance offers coverage for behavioral or mental health services. After contacting your insurance carrier, confirm your coverage carefully; and, make sure you understand their answers. Common questions to ask your insurance company:
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover annually?
- How much does my insurance pay for out-of-network provider?
- Does my insurance allow services with out-of-network providers?
- Does my insurance have a co-pay?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician for behavioral health services?
- What is the process for EAP payments?
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
There are several benefits available from participating in therapy. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills and enhance coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many clients find that therapy may be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. The goal in therapy is to provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem while pointing clients in the direction of a solution by utilizing the best mode of therapy. There are many benefits from therapy; however, that depends on how clients are committed to the process. Most clients that put into practice the tools learned during therapy will experience lasting change.
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Working with individuals, groups, and communities to improve mental health
- Encourage clients to discuss emotions and experiences
- Examine issues including substance abuse, aging, bullying, anger management, careers, depression, relationships, LGBTQA issues, self-image, stress, and suicide
- Working with families
- Help clients define goals, plan of action and gain insight
- Develop therapeutic processes
- Take a holistic (mind and body) approach to mental health care
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
HOW DO I KNOW IF I REALLY NEED THERAPY?
Everyone at some point in life goes through challenging situations in life, the question is how you will face the next challenge. Perhaps, you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you have faced in the past. However, if the same issues continue to resurface again and again, you may be stuck. (i.e. often going from job to job, bad relationship after bad relationship, not getting 8 hours of sleep, panic attacks for years, afraid to speak up, problems overcoming the loss of a loved one); to name a few; the question becomes why? There is nothing wrong with seeking a mediator or additional support when we are stuck in life’s transition. Albert Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result;” that sounds insane.
In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are “Here and Now,” in the moment. If you are reading, you are more than likely considering treatment, or perhaps at a crossroad in life. Therapy is an awesome tool to assist you with making a commitment to change your current situation by seeking therapy with an objective opinion. In therapy, the objective is to work towards measurable goals by providing tools that may lead to long-lasting benefits and change. Every comment does not deserve a response, there are tools to assist (i.e. It is okay not to respond). It’s possible to learn how and when to walk away and/or avoid triggers, learn to re-direct damaging patterns, change negative thinking. Learn to manage self-doubt by perhaps overcoming life’s many challenges in a constructive manner, so that you are afforded an opportunity to live your best life. Let us celebrate you. You have a unique gift that only you can give to the world. What is your purpose? It is time to build your extraordinary life, not your husband or wife, not your family; just you.
WHY DO PEOPLE GO TO THERAPY? HOW DO I KNOW IF IT IS RIGHT FOR ME?
There are many life events that motivate therapy. Some individuals may be experiencing a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, empty nesters, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well; Corvid-19, an unexpected change, fear of the unknown. There are many areas to seek support, feelings of low self-esteem, depression, sexual identity, anxiety, addictions, gambling, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts; angry with God after the loss of a loved one, married but living single, toxic relationships. Therapy can help provide some much-needed encouragement to assist with navigating while learning healthy skills and tools to get through tough times. Some individuals may be at a crossroad in life and feel the need to understand the whys? (i.e. why do I keep taking him or her back? Why do I let my family run my life? Why am I afraid of leaving this job I hate? Therapy is an avenue to assist with learning more about our history and why we are stuck, so that they we may reach our hopes, dreams, and desires in life. Seeking therapy, typically means “I am tired of being on this rollercoaster, going in circles, I am ready to make a change and meet the “whys” head on and make changes in life. “
WHAT IS THERAPY LIKE?
Therapy is what you make it, the more you put in by being committed, by keeping your appointments, remain committed to the process, utilize the tools learned in between sessions, complete homework assignments, you will see a change. We must get away from saying what we do not like and try new tools and approaches. I strongly encourage my clients to start weekly therapy and as they progress; we transition to bi-weekly sessions and transition towards case closure. The key component is it takes time to build a rapport and trust with your therapist (i.e.) discussing family history, trauma and completing intake forms. You must allow the therapist to assist you in identifying family patterns and dynamics. The goal is to gently address identified patterns that typically cause various behaviors. It depends on the client’s individual needs; however, therapy may be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to address broader challenges to learn personal development. We typically discuss current events, personal history, family dynamics, that appear relevant to the issue while identifying barriers to change. The goal is to report progress, new insights, identified healthy behaviors from your sessions.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, it is imperative that you utilize the recommended tools to support your process (i.e.) work sheets, journaling, reading, role play to support in problematic situations, while noting particular behaviors, triggers, while taking action on your goals. Typically, when clients are seeking therapy, it is the first step to change. If you are open to new techniques and perspectives that is the first step to making a positive change in the right direction.
WHAT IS BEST FOR ME, MEDICATION VS. PSYCHOTHERAPY?
It is well established through research that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Medication can lead to addiction and a crutch; it is often like putting a Band-Aid on an infection. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy helps clients to learn to address the cause(s) of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. As a team we may work in conjunction with annual check-ups and medication compliance, so that you are able to determine what’s best for you, and in most cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
DOES THE THERAPIST SHARE MY INFORMATION, OR DOES IT REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with extremely sensitive subject matters, that are not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. You will be provided clear instructions with regards to HIPAA and the few exceptions to disclosure, which is often referred to as an “Informed Consent”.
If you have been referred to therapist via anger management or perhaps substance abuse, you will also be provided a consent form which is to provide verification of services; however, therapy remains confidential. Please keep in mind by law, you are protected, your information and/or discussions will not and cannot be released without prior written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
- Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
- If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
TRAINING AND AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
I have 20 plus years of experience working with people from all walks of life, children, teens, adults, and the mature. I have had intensive training and experience in using different therapeutic techniques including: DBT, Play Therapy, CBT, EMDR, Motivational Interviewing; (see descriptions below for detail).
My areas of specialty treatment with extensive training and experience are as follows: Addiction, Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Play Therapy, Pre-marital and marriage Counseling, Family problems, Relationship issues, School issues and/or concerns, Self-esteem, Self-harm, Suicide and Trauma. There is no one mode of therapy for clients, we are all unique and require various modalities for change.
Additional treatment areas for which I have experience and training: Adjustment Disorder, Adoption, Assertiveness, Attachment, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, End of life, Life Transitions, Future Planning, Faith Based Counseling, LGBTQA, Military, Mood Disorders, Organization, Parental Support, PTSD, Severe Emotional Disturbance, Serious Mental Illness, Substance use, Survivors of Abuse, Veterans, Violence, Women’s Issues, and many other therapeutic needs.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF EVIDENCED BASED THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTIONS UTILIZED IN TREATMENT:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that focuses on modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts by interrogating and uprooting negative or irrational beliefs. It is considered to be a “solutions-oriented” form of talk therapy, CBT rests on the idea that thoughts and perceptions influence behavior. Feeling distressed, in some cases, may distort one’s perception of reality. CBT aims to identify harmful thoughts, assess whether they are an accurate depiction of reality, and, if they are not, employ strategies to challenge and overcome them.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an effective combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies. The goal of DBT is to transform negative thinking patterns and destructive behaviors into positive outcomes. The effectiveness of DBT has been shown to help clients diagnosed with an eating disorder and personality disorders to regulate their emotions, build self-management skills, reduce anxiety and stress, and control destructive behaviors.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – EMDR began as a form of trauma treatment meant to reduce symptoms such as hyper-vigilance, intrusive memories, and related disturbances for returning soldiers from the Vietnam war and women who have been raped. Children of abuse and who witness abuse are also known to suffer from trauma due to feeling defenseless. The goal is to assist with trauma, self-image as well as memories and how the have an impact on thinking and coping.
- Motivational Interviewing – (MI) is a method that helps clients resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change behavior. It is a practical, empathetic, and short-term process that takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes. Research has shown that this intervention works well with clients who start off unmotivated or unprepared for change.
- Play Therapy – is an approach primarily used to help children ages 3 to 12 to explore their lives and freely express repressed thoughts and emotions through play. Therapeutic play is best in a safe, comfortable playroom. It is most productive when there are minimal limits imposed on the child to encourage free expression which allows the child to be observed the child’s choices, decisions, and play style. Play therapist helps children learn to express themselves in healthier ways and become more respectful and empathetic and discover new and more positive ways to solve problems.