What are counseling sessions like? What can I expect?
The typical session is 50 minutes long in an office setting. A session might be longer if you or your therapist decide you need more time to accomplish a particular goal. Clients might meet individually, as a couple, or as a family depending on the needs of the treatment. There is a comfortable waiting area where you can relax if your family member or child is meeting with the therapist.
How many sessions are typical for counseling?
The amount of sessions will depend on the goals of the treatment and the severity of the issue you are challenged with. Your goals for treatment will be defined collaboratively with your therapist at the beginning of treatment. Your therapist will reassess these goals with you on a regular basis. Brief therapy is typically anywhere from 12-16 sessions. Long- term therapy, for more chronic issues, may take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year. Your therapist can give you an estimate of the amount of time it will take to accomplish your goals at the beginning of treatment.
How often are the sessions?
Typically it is best to begin treatment with weekly sessions in order to accomplish a few key components of the therapeutic relationship. First, weekly meetings allow for you or your child to develop a rapport with the therapist. This feeling of comfort is very important. It allows you or your child the sense that you can emotionally “open up” with your therapist. Second, meeting weekly establishes a certain “flow” in therapy. This allows change to be accomplished as soon as possible. In time the client and therapist may decide together that every other week would be sufficient or even once a month. Again this is subjective and depends on the goals of treatment and the severity of your challenges.
Do you provide Christian Counseling?
We provide Christian Counseling upon request. Of course we enjoy working with people from all faiths and backgrounds! However, The Vine is a Christian staff and we believe we have something special to offer those who share our beliefs. First, we understand the Christ-centered morals you are trying to live by. Also, we have found that faith is a key component in the healing process. We have chosen our practice name “The Vine” based on the biblical reference from John 15. Christ says He is the true Vine and we are the branches. He will remain in those who remain in Him. God is the Vinedresser who prunes the unhealthy parts of us that are no longer bearing fruit. When a person seeks counseling they are typically in this process of being pruned by God. Thus, we encourage our clients to seek the support of Christ by remaining in Him as the true Vine.
What if you do not want a Christian approach?
We will not attempt to impose this approach on you. Rather we would respect your beliefs, whether religious or not, and explore how they impact your life.
Doesn’t therapy cost a lot?
Please feel free to call us to discuss our fees. We have attempted to make our sessions cost-effective in several ways. First, we have made sure we are not the highest fee in the Valley for a private -practice setting. And yet, we are confident you will receive exceptional service at our practice! Both Elaine Wilkins and Dr. Christine Duong-Perez have 14 years of experience in counseling.
We also consider reductions in some cases. We do not require proof of income from our clients, rather we ask our clients to be honest with us and we attempt to provide a reduction if we are able to. We also have interns on our staff, and they are able to see clients for lower fees. The interns on staff are under supervision of one of our directors, either Elaine Wilkins or Dr. Christine Duong-Perez.
We also can devise a treatment plan based on your budget. If you know you can only afford a certain amount let us know that up front! We will attempt to devise a plan that meets the needs of what you can afford. Of course some issue may need more time than your budget would allow. We can discuss your options with you.
What is a Psych Assistant or an MFT Intern?
In our profession, an “MFT Intern” or a “Psych Assistant “is someone who has completed all of their under -graduate and graduate schooling and have received their respective degrees. An MFT Intern has a master’s degree and a Psych Assistant has a doctorate degree. They have also been through extensive training in their graduate programs. However before an Intern or Psych Assistant can become licensed they must obtain several thousand hours under supervision of a licensed therapist. They conduct their sessions on their own but they meet weekly with their supervisor to discuss the progress of all of their cases. This can be quite an advantage for the client. The client can pay a lower fee to work with an intern and they essentially know that two therapists are working on their case.
Do you take insurance?
The Vine will accept and do in-house billing for a few insurance companies. However, for the most part, we are a fee-for-service practice that requires payment at the time of service. The good news is that most PPOs will cover all or a portion of the fee, so you may want to contact your insurance company for coverage information prior to your first visit. Once you are seen in our office, we can provide you with a superbill, which is a comprehensive invoice with the necessary medical codes to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
What forms of payment do you accept?
For your convenience, we accept cash, check, and all major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?
Occasionally, you may have to miss an appointment. If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please notify your therapist as soon as possible, at least 24 hours in advance, so that your appointment may be filled. If there is 24 hour notice, you will not be charged. This is necessary because a professional time commitment is set aside and held exclusively for you.