Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I go to a therapist?
Going to therapy can help you cope with current stressors, improve your mood, improve relationships, increase your emotional skills and abilities, and help you to grow in a number of ways. Therapy can help you to find new perspective and develop coping skills to handle life challenges. It can increase communication and conflict resolutions skills, increase self esteem, and improve your mood. It is very validating and empowering to work with a professional counselor who can help you to process difficult feelings like grief, loss, and trauma, but also help you continue moving forward. Therapists can help you deal with emotional crises, but can also help with personal growth. If you are feeling at all stuck, therapy could be very helpful for you.
Can’t I just talk to my friends or family?
While it is great to have people in your life who can support you through hard times, therapists are highly trained in helping you through the use of clinical skills to help you heal, grow, and change. Additionally, as a person not immediately involved in your life, your therapist can often offer insights and new perspective on your situation that friends or family may not have. The therapy relationship is about you, so it is a safe place for you to come and share all of your thoughts and feelings without worrying about repercussions in your relationships or a need to consider the feelings of the listener.
What makes therapy successful?
You will reap the greatest benefits by taking your sessions seriously by arriving on time with ideas about areas you might like to address (although your therapist can certainly help you sort through this based on your concerns). Therapy is most effective when you use what you have learned outside of sessions and commit to the difficult emotional work of making changes in your life. This may mean completing therapy homework in between sessions, thinking about what was discussed during the week, practicing new skills you have learned, seeking support and accountability when appropriate from loved ones, and investing in your health through self-care.
We encourage you to look at therapy as an investment in your mental health and your future. Lastly we encourage you to give yourself grace and recognize that personal growth is a process and may happen differently for different people.
How long do counseling sessions last?
Sessions typically last 45 minutes, for some special cases if you need longer sessions your therapist might be able to offer longer sessions; this can be particularly helpful for family sessions.
How frequently will I need to come?
This depends based on your goals and situation, but most people find it helpful to start out with weekly appointments and as things improve to taper back to every other week, then monthly, until you no longer feel the need for services.
How long will I have to be in counseling?
Every client’s needs are different, so the length of counseling can vary from a few sessions to more long term. This is something that will be based on goals and needs discussed between you and your therapist. Our goal is always to help you achieve your goals so you can feel that you no longer need to see us.
What are your hours of service?
We have therapists available in the office between 8am and 9pm Monday through Friday. Occassionally a therapist may schedule sessions outside of these hours if needed, but these are based on the therapist’s availability. If you are hoping to get a hold of our office manager to schedule an appointment or ask further questions you can always leave a message on our confidential voicemail.
What types of clients do you serve?
We have therapists who can see children as early as age 3 up through seniors. We have counselors who specialize in a wide variety of areas, if you’d like to know more about our therapists or what we can offer you can read more in our Meet our therapists page or our Specialties page. If you are looking for something you cannot find on our site, please ask us as the list is not exhaustive and if we do not have a therapist who can meet your needs we can often help with a good referral. When you call to set up an appointment our office staff can help you determine who would be a good fit for you based on your preferences, schedule, and situation.
What if I don’t feel like my therapist is a good fit for me?
Each therapist has their own style and personality just like each client. It’s important that you feel comfortable with whomever you choose to work. If you don’t feel your therapist is a good fit for you we’d be happy to try someone else or offer you an outside referral if you’d prefer. We always appreciate feedback and you can leave it confidentially if you prefer with Jenny Beall.
How soon can I get an appointment?
Depending on which therapist you are going to see and the urgency of your situation, we can often set up appointments as early as the same day or by the end of the week.
What should I expect on the first visit?
On the first visit we need to collect intake forms from you. We encourage clients to complete these online in advance of the first session, but it is not required. You session fee is expected before the start of your session. We should let you know over the phone what the amount will be before coming in to the office, but if you have any questions about this you can feel free to ask us. Your therapist will then take you into the private office and discuss any questions you may have about the professional counseling agreement. Then you will have the remaining time to share your concerns and let the therapist get to know you and start developing goals.
Do you prescribe medications?
While we do support the use of medications in some situations, we do not have any psychiatrists on staff. You would need to speak to a family doctor or psychiatrist about medication needs. We can certainly coordinate care with your prescribing provider and help you to monitor the success of any medications.
Do you take insurance?
We are in-network with many major insurances and are always open to becoming in network with new companies. We have learned that many people do not fully understand how their insurance works, so if you are unsure or need help navigating your benefits, please contact us and we'd be happy to help you ask the right questions and understand the complicated language of the insurance companies.
We are currently in network with:
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield
- Medicaid/ Medical Assistance
- Hennepin Health
- Several Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
Many of the other insurance plans such as Health Partners, United, Cigna, and Medica have closed their networks and refuse to contract with smaller agencies like us. We may be able to bill for out of network benefits. Unfortunately, the only way they will change their policies is if enough clients like you call or write to file complaints about the limits to your choices of where to seek services. If you wish to be heard on this, you can either contact your insurance company directly or file a complaint with the insurance commissioner of the state, the link is included in the image here for your convenience.
We also offer a sliding scale based on income. Most people find that with the sliding scale we offer they are able to budget for therapy, and many appreciate the increased freedom and privacy that private pay affords. Additionally, all fees are collected prior to any sessions, so there are no surprise deductible bills later.
Will you keep what I share in sessions private?
Absolutely, all therapy is confidential with a few exceptions. We will only release information about you or your sessions with a signed release from you or in the following circumstances:
- If you tell your therapist that you intend to go harm yourself or someone else, we are required by law to intervene to keep you or the other person safe.
- If you tell your therapist about abuse to a child or vulnerable adult, we are mandated reporters.
- If we were subpoenaed by the courts we might have to release records.
- If you choose to seek reimbursement from your insurance for services, we would have to release certain information to your insurance carrier.
Do you offer therapy by phone or online?
Yes. Insurance carriers will not offer any reimbursement for phone sessions, although they may cover online sessions as they are considered face to face. We are happy to offer these modes of therapy if they are more convenient for you.
How is family or Relationship counseling different?
When more than one person is in the office the therapist can work more on family dynamics and relationship issues. These may include focusing on conflict resolution and communication skills. It can be very helpful to have a neutral mediator who can help each person understand and acknowledge the other party’s point of view. In family counseling the therapist always aims to avoid taking sides so they can treat the relationship rather than one individual. For this reason, it is usually not recommended to get individual therapy and family therapy from the same counselor, because people can feel like the therapists’ loyalty is with one person over the other. If you desire to seek both family and individual counseling (which is often a very effective approach especially with more pervasive concerns or family issues) we can offer different therapists to meet with you through threads of hope. In this way you have the convenience of coming to the same office for all your needs as well as the ability to have your therapists very closely coordinate care to ensure we are working on the similar goals and understanding the needs of your whole family.
What is different about group counseling?
Group counseling is different from a support group in that the therapist is still a trained professional and always incorporating clinical skills and goals into the therapy sessions. Counselors will always make expectations for participation clear on the first session for any group, and therapists screen all potential clients to be sure that they are a good fit for the group based on the group treatment goals and the issues that those clients wish to address. We do encourage all participants to be respectful of each other and others’ privacy, but we cannot guarantee confidentiality in these settings as the therapist cannot control other group members.
What does child and adolescent therapy look like?
Unlike adult talk-therapy, kids often do not have the verbal or processing skills to just share their problems and make necessary changes in their behavior and thinking. Therapists usually use art and play therapy to help children process their feelings, learn to express them, and develop coping strategies. Additionally child therapy is much more effective when the family gets involved to support the child in achieving their goals. We encourage meetings with family members in order to teach parents’ skills and/or help you to respond in a way that fosters your child’s growth and therapeutic progress.
What if my child or teen doesn’t want to come?
We welcome kids and teens even if they are a bit resistant to the idea of therapy. Often adolescents relax as they get to know their therapist and realize that the therapist is there to support them and help them deal with life rather than to join the parents to gang up on them. We work with the family to find solutions for everyone, but it is important for adolescents to feel validated and that their therapist is an advocate for them.