Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you accept insurance?
We currently accepts several major insurances and is In-Network with Anthem, BlueCross BlueShield, CIGNA, Husky (Medicaid), and United Healthcare. To utilize your insurance benefits, our office will need to contact your insurance company to find out what your behavioral health benefits are. Insurance companies offer different coverage based on your particular plan. We are happy to contact your insurance provider to determine your benefits if you provide her with your insurance information.
With all other insurance companies, we are considered as an Out-of-Network provider. This means that you need to contact your insurance company before your first session and ask them how much they will reimburse you for an Out-of-Network licensed professional counselor. Insurance companies offer different coverage based on your particular plan. As an Out-of-Network provider, we will give you a receipt that you then submit directly to your insurance company. When the reimbursement check comes, it will go straight to you.
2. How much do you charge if I don’t have insurance? What is a sliding scale?
Lapde’s full price out-of-pocket fee (not using insurance) is $200; however, she works on a sliding scale, which means you may negotiate the rate of your session. The LPCA’s charge $100 because they are not fully licensed yet and interns charge $25. If you have financial limitations and cannot afford the full price fee, take a look at your budget and let us know how much you are able to afford and we can come to an agreed upon rate that you are comfortable with. We have never turned away a client due to finances so rest assure that you two will be able to work something out.
3. What can I expect during my first session?
Your first session or consultation is a time where you can get to know the therapist and she can get to know you. We will first ask you to complete a 5-minute informational sheet that involves some basic demographical information. During our first session, we will introduce ourselves and explain to you a little bit about our work experience, therapeutic style, and applied techniques. We will also go over the practice’s protocols and expectations for therapy. We will then ask you about the reasons why you are seeking therapy and what goals you have for therapy. There will also be time to discuss scheduling, fees, and other logistics.
4. How do I know if you’re the right therapist for me?
Finding a therapist is a very personal matter. You truly need to meet the therapist to see if she is a good fit for you. During your first session, keep these questions in mind:
- Do I feel comfortable talking to her? Can I be honest and open?
- Do I think she can help me?
- Is she listening to me?
- Do I like her?
5. How long will therapy take?
This is a difficult question to answer because it is not the same for everyone. Some clients feel better in a matter of a few sessions. Others want more and are in therapy for many years. The answer really depends on you. Are you satisfied with your progress? Do you feel better? Often times, clients think that being in therapy will magically solve your problems and automatically make you feel happy. The real work, however, is done by the client. Progress happens gradually over time when a client reflects on the points made during therapy, utilizes the skills and tools learned in therapy, and consciously makes an effort to change his/her behavior, thoughts, and attitude. Without a client actively putting to use what was discussed during therapy, change cannot occur.
6. How often do we meet? How long are each sessions?
Typically, clients meet once a week with their therapist. In certain cases, clients may meet twice a week for more intensive therapy or every other week due to finances, scheduling conflicts, or simply because things are calm and stable. It is recommended to meet with your therapist at minimum once a week initially to help build a relationship and create consistency for at least the first month. Scheduling is flexible so frequency of sessions is mostly up to the client.
7. Can you prescribe medications?
No, we are not authorized to prescribe medication to clients. We are familiar with psychotropic medications and can help refer you the right psychiatrist or physician in order to get the medication that you need. We can continue to communicate and collaborate with your psychiatrist or physician should you feel that would be beneficial to you. In order for us to speak to this psychiatrist or physician, you would need to sign a release granting us permission to do so.
8. Why do I need a therapist? Can I just talk to a friend?
The therapeutic relationship is different than a friendship. Therapists are professionally trained and well educated on how to handle your specific problems. A friend can usually only tolerate listening to a person’s problems for so long before they get bored, annoyed, or overwhelmed. In therapy, the time is spent focusing on you and working through your problems, exploring your life, relationships, concerns, fears, thoughts, feelings, and future.
9. What kind of therapy do you do?
We primarily utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing.
- CBT is an approach that is problem-solving oriented and scientifically proven. It is focused on the present and is based on learning specific skills to identify distorted thinking, modify beliefs, relate to others in different ways, and change behaviors.
- Solution-Focused Therapy is future-focused, goal-directed, and focuses on solutions rather than problems. You learn from your past and look for patterns to gain insight and prevent negative behaviors from repeating themselves.
- In Person-Centered Therapy, the therapist is not the expert. Focus is on the client feeling understood (empathy), accepted (unconditional positive regard), and genuine/authentic.
- Motivational Interviewing focuses on exploring and resolving ambivalence and supports change in a way that is respectful of a person’s values and concerns.
We like to think of therapy as collaborative and gear our therapeutic style towards the needs of a particular client. We like each session to be a conversation with a back and forth dialogue.
10. What are your specialties?
Each clinician has their own speciality but overall, we specialize in issues related to relationships, identity, self-esteem, self-confidence, depression, anxiety, family conflict, and multiculturalism. Some of us are also experienced in addictions counseling and issues related to drug and alcohol abuse. Many of us have worked with women on gender specific issues for a number of years and specialize in working to empower women or issues surrounding feminism, sexual identity and the LGBT community, pre-martial counseling, and new mothers.
11. What ages do you work with?
We work with a wide age range from adolescents (ages 14-17), young adults (ages 18-30), and adults (ages 30+). We work mostly with individuals but at times will also accommodate couples, family, and groups.
12. What do you do besides being a therapist?
Some of us are mothers, most of us enjoy traveling, and many of us do artwork or are musically inclined. In addition, we try to practice self-care by reading, listening to music, watching movies, exercising, or going to the beach.
13. How do say “Lapde”? What kind of name is that? What about Mieke?
Lapde is pronounced “lap” like a laptop and “dee” like the letter D. Lapde is Chinese-American. She was born and raised in southern Illinois outside of St. Louis. Her parents are from Hong Kong, and her family speaks Cantonese in addition to English.
Mieke is pronounced “mee-kuh”. She was born and raised in South Africa but spent some time in New York, London, and South Korea after college. Her parents remain in South Africa so she travels back and forth to visit throughout the year.