FAQ

1)  How does talking to a professional help?  How is counseling different than talking to my friends and family, or working out problems on my own?

First of all, counseling isn’t about “fixing” you.  You’re not broken.  The professionals at Jefferson Street Counseling & Consulting typically see adults, children, couples and families that are basically healthy, but whose lives have suddenly become much more stressful.  Our clients often experience a flare-up of depression or anxiety symptoms after a parenting impasse, marital distress, job changes/stress, a divorce, family illness or losses, or another type of crisis.  Other clients feel themselves or a child is being held back in some area of their life by a chronic condition like ADHD, Bipolar Depression or past traumatic experiences, even if other aspects of life are going smoothly.

Whatever your personal concerns, a trained therapist can often offer a more objective and  knowledgeable perspective than can friends and family.  A counselor or psychologist can help you see your situation more clearly, and offer options or suggestions you hadn’t thought of.  Ultimately, counseling provides a safe and confidential environment to learn new skills, to make good decisions, to improve your confidence, and to eliminate unnecessary feelings of distress.  The result is feeling more free, effective and happy– whether at home, school, work or in your personal relationships.

 

2)  What will happen when I come to counseling?  What should I expect from the first meetings?

Our offices are located inside a comfortable, restored Victorian house.  Upon arriving simply let the receptionist know that you’re here.  Enjoy a coffee or tea along with a garden or mountain view while you fill out a little paperwork, or hand in the paperwork already completed at home.

Your therapist will usually meet with you for 50-60 minutes at the first visit.  At this first meeting, you should already feel heard and understood—and this experience alone often provides some initial relief.  It typically takes one or two meetings just to hear your story and to let you and your therapist get to know each other.

Afterwards, your therapist will want to cooperatively develop a counseling plan that fits you individually.  Our goal is to choose, together, a direction or strategy that both feels comfortable to you and that is known to be effective.  During counseling, we always encourage you to set your own pace and to feel fully supported, while still being challenged to grow from the right amount of objective feedback and from trying out new ideas.

 

3)   What makes Jefferson Street Counseling & Consulting unique?

The therapists at Jefferson Street share some specialty areas (e.g. ADHD, marriage and family therapy), and are unique in others (Bipolar, Parenting, Codependency, Therapeutic Journaling and Poetry Therapy, and Adoption).  Several of these specialties are rare for the Treasure Valley and are underserved locally.

Professionally, we maintain our expertise through continual training, so you can take advantage of the most recent information and research available.  In addition to the many conferences we attend, we additionally dedicate an hour every week for staffing and our ongoing professional education.

Finally, you should know that each of us keeps our caseload reasonable, so we can be responsive and give careful attention to everyone we see.

In addition to our traditional counseling and consulting services, each of us has a former background in education or outreach services.  We continue our dedication to public education each semester by hosting the Treasure Valley’s most extensive series of free mental health and wellness presentations.  These presentation topics regularly include ADHD, parenting, depression, anxiety, adjusting to divorce, healthy communication and marital enrichment.

Additionally, Jefferson Street Counseling & Consulting offers a variety of low-cost groups that can either supplement individual counseling, or provide a less expensive alternative to individual services.  Click here for the complete calendar of workshops and groups.

 

4)  How long will I have to go to counseling?

This question largely depends on the extent and nature of the problems you wish to address, but generally our clients’ needs fall into three categories.

Some clients come in with a single, straightforward concern like consulting on a parenting issue, brushing up on existing coping skills for mild depression or anxiety, or wanting a second opinion after meeting with another therapist or medical provider.  These clients may find their needs met in as few as 4-6 sessions.

Other clients may have more than one concern to address, or need to create more extensive coping strategies truly from scratch.  Research shows that developing completely new strategies or skills can take up to 12-16 meetings to reach lasting success.  This type of counseling could last 3 to 6 months depending on how often you want to meet.  Examples in this category include mastering healthy communication in a distressed marriage or family relationship, providing sufficient relief for more chronic anxiety or depression, or parenting through a more complex situation like alcohol/drug use or chronic, defiant behavior.

Finally, some of our clients find they are still gaining a tangible benefit from counseling after a year or more.  Typically these longer-term clients are no longer coming in on a weekly basis, but they may continue to appreciate the periodic emotional support, structured time, or assistance in maintaining hard-fought gains.

 

5)  What about confidentiality?

Your therapist is bound by both state law and national ethical standards to keep your information private and confidential.  The only common exceptions to this confidentiality are if:

  1. you explicitly give written permission to exchange information (e.g. with your family physician),
  2. the therapist believes you are in immediate danger of committing suicide or otherwise seriously injuring yourself, or you are in immediate danger of physically assaulting another person,
  3. you share information about the abuse or neglect of someone still under 18 years old or who is handicapped, and
  4. if you give permission for occasional professional consultation.  Extremely rare exceptions to confidentiality involve legal proceedings, including if a judge (not just an attorney) orders the therapist to disclose information.

 

6)  What is the cost? What forms of payment do you accept?

The cost for professional services is as follows:

  • $135.00 per 50 minute session for individuals.
  • $220.00 per 50 minute session for couples and families with a co-counselor ($110.00 per therapist)
  • $ 30.00 for copying and mailing of patient records to another professional.
  • $ 90.00 – $150.00 per hour for written reports and prepared documents, depending on type and purpose.
  • $300.00 – $600.00 per hour for preparation and attendance at legal court proceedings, including if your therapist is called by another party.

Jefferson Street Counseling & Consulting accepts cash, money orders, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Check/Debit Cards, and personal checks.

 

7) Do you accept insurance?

The therapists at Jefferson Street Counseling & Consulting are not contracted with any insurance company, and are therefore considered out-of-network providers. At your request, the front desk will submit a claim to your insurance for you, but we do not accept insurance as a form of payment. If your services are covered, your insurance company will reimburse you directly. Payment is always due at the time of service, and we do not carry account balances. If you have questions about whether or not your therapy services will be covered, please contact your insurance company directly.

At this time, we are unable to bill Medicare or Medicaid for services.

 

8)  How do I set up an appointment?

Please call 385-0888 to make an appointment.  Your therapist will return your call within 24 hours (and often within just a few hours).  He or she will talk with you briefly about your concerns to be sure he/she feels like the right therapist for you.  Afterwards, you’ll be transferred to the front desk to choose a convenient time to meet.  Appointments are usually available within a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on which therapist you are meeting with and how much flexibility you have in your schedule.

Please note that email is never a secure form of communication.  To protect your confidentiality, the professionals at Jefferson Street Counseling & Consulting prefer you contact them by telephone where you can leave a confidential voice mail message at your therapists’ extension.