VICTORIA STRANGE, M.A., LPC, NCC (License No. 68589)
Telehealth/Online Counseling: Texas
I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to be of help to you. The below information answers some questions clients often ask about my practices. I believe our work together will be most helpful to you when you have a clear idea of what we are trying to do. After you read this information, we can discuss how these issues apply to your situation.
Please write down any questions you think of, and we can discuss them when we meet.
I expect to plan our work together. We may find it helpful to list areas to work on, goals, time, and money commitments, to name a few. From time to time, we will look together at our progress and goals.
Most of my clients meet with me every week at first. After that, we meet less frequently and will eventually terminate therapy. If you wish to stop therapy at any time, I ask that you agree to meet for at least one session to review our work together.
Benefits and risks of counseling
As with any treatment, there are some risks as well as many benefits in therapy. Thinking about both is important for the process of counseling. Major life decisions are sometimes made, including decisions involving separation within families, development of other types of relationships, changing employment settings, and changing lifestyles. In therapy, there is a risk that clients will, for a time, have uncomfortable levels of sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness, helplessness, or other negative feelings. Clients may recall unpleasant memories. Clients may have problems with people who are important to them. Family secrets may be told. Therapy can sometimes lead to divorce. These decisions are a legitimate outcome of therapy as a result of individuals calling into question many of their beliefs and values. As your therapist, I will be available to discuss the possible side effects of our work together.
While you consider these risks, you should also know that the benefits of therapy can be many. People who are depressed may find their mood lifting or improving. Others may no longer feel afraid, angry, or anxious. In therapy, people have a chance to talk things out fully until their feelings are relieved or the problems are solved.
Clients’ relationships and coping skills may improve greatly. There may be more satisfaction from social and family relationships. Personal goals and values may become clearer. It is my hope that my clients grow in many directions—as persons, in their close relationships, in their work or schooling, and in their ability to enjoy their lives.
I do not take on clients I do not think I can help, so I will enter into our relationship with optimism about our progress.
If you could benefit from a treatment I cannot provide, I will help provide resources and direction to receive an alternative therapy or treatment that may progress you toward your goals. You have a right to ask me about such other treatments, their risks, and their benefits.
FEES AND FINANCIAL POLICIES
You should be aware that your contract with your health insurance company requires that you authorize your therapist to provide it with information relevant to the services that they provide to you. If you are seeking reimbursement for services under your health insurance policy, I will need to provide such information. I will routinely be required to disclose your clinical diagnosis and dates of sessions. Sometimes I am required to provide additional clinical information such as treatment plans or summaries, or copies of your entire Clinical Record. In such situations, I will make every effort to release only the minimum information about you that is necessary for the purpose requested.
Financial responsibility with insurance
If I am in-network with your health insurance company, you are financially responsible for the fees that go towards your in-network deductible. Insurance companies permit up to a certain amount per full fee transaction that will go towards your in-network deductible. Not all of what you pay out-of-pocket for services rendered will be counted towards your deductible. The same is true for fees paid towards services rendered if I am out-of-network with your insurance company. A capped allowable amount will go towards your deductible each time you make a payment for services. You are responsible for all fees to be paid to the provider in order to meet your deductible whether in-network or out-of-network. Once your deductible has been met, if you are in-network, you will begin to pay your contracted co-payment. If you are out-of-network, you will begin paying a percent of the full fee for services rendered. I will file insurance claims for you in both circumstances – in network and out of network. Co-payments paid to the provider must be paid in check or cash form.
If you have overpaid due to your deductible being met, I will hold that amount and allocate those funds to pay for your co-payments each visit.
Cost of counseling services
All fees are as listed, unless previously discussed.
$200.00 Initial Intake Session for Individual, Family, or Couples (60 minutes)
$160.00 Individual Therapy (60 minutes)
$175.00 Family/Couple Therapy
$2/Page Copying & Mailing of Patient Records to another Professional
$175.00 per hour for written and prepared documents (depending on time, type, and purpose)
$900.00 per hour for preparation and attendance at legal court proceedings (including if I am called by another party)
If a session due to individualized circumstances needs to exceed in time beyond what is allowable by your insurance company, you will be financially responsible for the prorated time based on the full fee amount listed above.
PaI accept credit cards, debit cards and hsa/fsa cards. These standard fees apply to all appointments with your therapist. They include the therapist’s time for the preparation of counseling sessions and for record keeping. My standard fees do not apply for longer or shorter visits, co-therapy sessions, clinical services outside the office, or special programs and workshops. Phone sessions may not be covered by your health insurance plan. If you are in need of this in between sessions, it may be considered an out-of-pocket expense for you and will be charged at the start or end time (depending on circumstances) of the phone conversation.
Additional fees and payment information
Services that a) do not involve client contact, b) are non-clinical, which means something other than therapy, or c) require travel or time outside our office, are billed at a hourly rate of $200.00. Additional professional services need to be pre-paid unless different arrangements have been made in advance. Examples of additional professional services include, but are not limited to the following: writing of reports or verification letters, providing counseling in your home, attending meetings on your behalf, filing out-of-network insurance claims for you, or contacts with other professionals. There is no charge for “check-in” telephone calls lasting 5 minutes or less. Consultation calls longer than 5 minutes are billed at the normal service rate of $175.00, prorated for the time utilized. By signing this service contract you specifically agree to pay me for all additional professional time spent on your behalf, including preparation and travel time.
In cases of limited financial resources or lack of insurance coverage, adjustments to the regular fee may be negotiated at the initial consultation. Our office provides a limited number of openings for reduced fee clients, typically reserved clients who present a financial need (i.e., temporarily unemployed, etc.). Reduced fees are based on a client’s financial situation. A reduced fee may be re-evaluated every two months that the client is being seen by a clinician or based on changes in the client’s financial situation.
While I have rarely raised professional fees during the course of counseling, there may be an occasion where this will be necessary. Should this occur, I would contact you in writing with at least 30 days’ notice and let you know by what percentage the fee would increase.
Professional counseling, although personal in nature, is a professional relationship. As a licensed professional counselor, I will not barter for services or accept gifts or invitations. You will be best served by these professional standards.
Appointments and contacting me
Office hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Services are by appointment only and are made by calling (713) 562-8130 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your call will go directly to voicemail. Always leave a message including your name and a phone number where I can reach you. I make a reasonable effort to return any call made during normal business hours, 24 to 48 hours from when it is received. I do not return calls, emails, and texts on weekends, holidays, and when I am on vacation. Calls received late in the day may not be returned until the following day. Messages left after hours or on weekends or holidays will normally be returned the next business day. If you have an emergency or crisis, you or your family members should call 911 or your nearest hospital emergency room.
On July 16, 2020, the FCC adopted rules to establish 988 as the nationwide, easy-to-remember 3-digit dialing code for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.
If you need to contact me between sessions, please leave a message on my voice mail. I am often not immediately available; however, I will attempt to return your call within 24 to 48 hours. Please note that face-to-face telehealth and online sessions are highly preferable to phone sessions. However, in the event that you are out of town, sick, or need additional support, phone sessions are available. If a true emergency situation arises, please call 911 or 988 (the mental health emergency line) or any local emergency room.
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