We’re so happy you found us! The first step of reaching out can be intimidating but we want to help make it as easy as possible for you. Here are some frequently asked questions about the counseling process at Kalamazoo Therapy Group. We work with individuals, couples, families, and children over the age of 12. Please contact us with any other questions you may have!
How do I make an appointment?
There are a few ways to make an appointment with a new therapist:
- Use the “Contact” form at the bottom of each therapist’s page or on the contact page to send us information about who you are and what type of support you’re seeking
- Call us at (269) 225-5148 and leave a message
We do not offer same-day appointments or crisis interventions.
How much does therapy cost and can I use my insurance?
Our therapists each accept different insurance plans and have their own self-pay rates. At this time, we do not accept medicaid. Currently, we have therapists who are able to accept the following insurance plans:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Blue Care Network
- ASR Health Benefits
If you are covered by one of these insurance providers, contact us to see which therapists are able to accept your insurance. You will be responsible for learning about the “behavioral mental health” coverage through your insurance. Coverage for counseling services are determined by your insurance company and not by Kalamazoo Therapy Group. Possibilities of coverage may include:
- You might be responsible for paying a copay or coinsurance for each session
- You might have to pay the full rate set by your insurance provider until you meet your deductible
- You might be covered in full and pay nothing for your sessions
- In some cases, your mental health coverage might be contracted out to a separate company and may not be covered at all (call your insurance to verify your coverage)
You may alternatively choose to pay out-of-pocket (also known as self-pay) for your counseling services. Many clients choose this option if we are unable to accept their insurance. Our therapists each offer their own sliding scale based on annual household income. If you are interested in knowing your self-pay rate based on the sliding scale, please contact us.
According to the No Surprises Act, you have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate from any healthcare provider who is not in-network with your insurance. This Good Faith Estimate ensures that you are aware of the estimated annual cost for your services. If you have questions about the Good Faith Estimate that you receive from us at the time of scheduling, please contact our office and we will be happy to help.
For both insurance or self-pay options, payment is due at the time of service.
Can I do individual and couples therapy with the same therapist?
No. If you’re looking to start both individual counseling and relationship counseling, we encourage you to seek two different therapists to support you. This is ethically considered best practice in the field of counseling.
Kalamazoo Therapy Group believes in providing high-quality services from professionals trained and experienced in their specialties. We believe that couples therapy should only take place with therapists who are MFT (marriage and family therapy) trained as the dynamics in couples work (and the skills required by the clinician) vary greatly from individual work.
Do I need to be a Michigan resident?
Yes. Our therapists are licensed mental health professionals in the state of Michigan and you must therefore be a resident of Michigan (and currently residing in Michigan) to receive counseling services.
Kelsey Nimmo offers relationship coaching for couples who reside in other states. This is different from counseling. If you’re interested in relationship coaching, please contact Kelsey to inquire about the differences, cost, and scheduling.
Are my appointments in person or virtual?
All of our therapists offer virtual sessions through a HIPAA compliant telehealth platform. These video counseling sessions are confidential and you’ll use a HIPAA compliant “Client Portal” online to access your appointments.
At this time, some of our therapists have returned to offering in-person appointments. Please contact our office to learn who is available for face-to-face counseling.
Is therapy confidential?
Your privacy is one of the most important parts of the counseling process, so we take it very seriously. Everything in therapy is confidential, with three exceptions:
- Someone is in danger. All of our therapists are licensed professionals and have an ethical responsibility as mandated reporters if the client reports a plan or intent to harm themself or another person. We also have a special duty to protect vulnerable populations, such as children.
- A court order from a judge requiring a copy of your counseling records.
- A signed release (by you) to give your therapist permission to disclose information to someone else, such as a doctor, parent, or other therapist.
Kalamazoo Therapy Group adheres to HIPAA regulations and stores all of your information confidentially, as outlined by the federal and state law (HIPAA).
What do I need to do before my first session?
Before starting the counseling process, we legally and ethically are required to collect intake paperwork from you. After scheduling your first appointment, you’ll receive an email to set up your confidential “Client Portal” where you will be able to access the intake forms. There are two ways for you to complete the intake documents:
- Fill them out electronically and upload them back into the “Client Portal”
- Print them, fill them out by hand, and scan them back into your computer to upload them into the “Client Portal”
If we do not receive your intake paperwork at least 24 hours before your first appointment, we will have to reschedule your first session for a later date. If you have difficulty using the portal or accessing the documents, contact us and we can offer assistance.
What will the first session be like?
All of our therapists have different styles and approaches to counseling but there are three main goals for the first session:
- Identify whether or not your therapist is a good fit to support you in your needs
- Discuss what you are wanting out of therapy, including your goals and primary concerns
- Begin exploring parts of your history that might be related to helping you be successful in your therapy process
To learn more about the different approaches of each therapist, you can read our “Meet the Therapist” articles.
How can I pay for my therapy sessions?
As part of the intake paperwork that you’ll receive before your first session, you will complete a payment processing form. This form allows us to store your credit/debit card information in our secure and confidential software, adhering to all HIPAA laws and regulations. Your card will be charged automatically for each session that you attend and for any sessions that are missed or cancelled without proper notice. We welcome HSA or Flex accounts to pay for your therapy.
What is the cancellation policy?
Similar to many other professionals, we hold a 24-hour cancellation policy. You will be charged the full session rate for all sessions missed or cancelled within 24 hours notice. This late cancel fee is either:
- Your full self-pay rate
- The contracted rate that is determined by your insurance company (note: your copay is not the full session fee)
We know that the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist is crucial and it can be uncomfortable to recognize that there is a financial exchange for this relationship. Unfortunately, this cancellation policy is important because for many of our therapists, there are other clients seeking support on a given day or week. The cancellation policy allows us the opportunity to offer open appointment times to other clients who desire or need them.
How long does counseling take?
Each session typically lasts 50-60 minutes. How long or how often you continue therapy depends on your goals, needs, and rate of progress. According to research, your progress will likely depend heavily on how comfortable you feel with your therapist and how frequently you can meet in the beginning of the therapeutic process.
Usually, you can plan to start with weekly sessions to build rapport with your therapist and benefit from your motivation and momentum at the start of the process. Earlier sessions will also start covering some important educational information that could be relevant to your presenting concerns. After that, your sessions will eventually space out to every two weeks, monthly, and then a simple check-in every few months (or as needed). You and your therapist can determine the right plan for you during your first few sessions.
What if I don’t feel like my therapist is a good fit for me?
We believe that the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist is one of the most important factors in supporting you in experiencing “successful therapy.” Usually, you will intuitively know if your therapist is a good fit within the first few sessions. If you aren’t sure what to look for, you can read some helpful tips about how to choose the right therapist.
If you discover that you don’t feel comfortable with your therapist, we encourage you to talk with them about it! Perhaps there is a better style or approach you would like them to take. If they still aren’t a good fit, we’ll help you explore some other options. The most important thing is to keep you engaged in the counseling process.
To get a better feel of a counselor before making an appointment, feel free to read their “Meet the Therapist” articles and check out their individual profiles where you can understand their approach and style.