Frequently Asked Questions

What to Expect

Please message me if you have additional questions

What happens in the free 15-minute phone consult?

A free phone consultation gives you a chance to ask questions to decide if you would like to work with me.  It also gives me chance to get a sense of what you would like out of therapy.  If we are a good fit, we can schedule a session over the phone and I will send you a link via email to complete initial paperwork over a secured, HIPAA compliant site.  If you call me and I am in session or otherwise unable to answer, I will call back within 24 hours.  If you message me, I will contact you to schedule a phone consultation within 24 hours.


What happens in the first session?

I will prepare for the session by reviewing the answers you submit in your initial paperwork.  In the first session, I will work to get to know you better and get deeper into your goals for counseling.  This first session gives you the opportunity to get a sense of me, my style of working, and whether or not you feel comfortable working with me long-term.


How often will we meet and for how long?

Typically sessions last one hour or 90 minutes depending on your preference.  Couples sessions often choose the longer time period as it gives more time to delve deeper into what is going on and allows everyone ample time to process their feelings.

As I have a very person-centered approach, treatment length also is person-centered.  It depends on your goals, the work you put in, and what you hope to gain from counseling.  I recommend weekly visits for at least the first month and then we can re-evaluate together at that point to see if another schedule might be more effective for you.  Often, after long-term weekly or bi-weekly treatment, clients opt to have monthly maintenance sessions.


What is your cancellation policy?

I ask that you give at least 24 hours notice if you need to reschedule your appointment.  If you do not contact me at least 24 hours prior to canceling, you will be charged a cancellation fee.


Do you take insurance?

I do not take insurance for many reasons.  One of those reasons is that I do not believe that in order to have therapy you have to have a diagnosis, which is what insurance companies require to cover services.  Most insurance plans do not cover couples counseling at this time.  All of my services are paid for directly at time of service.  I do accept Flexible Spending Account cards and Health Saving Account Cards.

I realize that insurance makes therapy affordable for many people.  If you would like to use your insurance out-of-network benefits, I am happy to provide you with what is called a "superbill" which includes all of the information (including diagnosis) required by insurance to cover services.  Submitting for out-of-network reimbursement allows you the possibility of having your out-of-pocket expenses go toward your deductible or, if your deductible is met, being directly reimbursed.  Asch Counseling and Development makes no guarantee of payment, but will provide you as much documentation as possible to assist in the process.  Please see "How do I use my out-of-network benefits?" for more information.


How do I use my out-of-network benefits?

If you would like to use your insurance out-of-network benefits for individual therapy, I am happy to provide you with what is called a "superbill" which includes all of the information (including diagnosis) required by insurance to cover services.  Submitting for out-of-network reimbursement allows you the possibility of having your out-of-pocket expenses go toward your deductible or, if your deductible is met, being directly reimbursed.  Asch Counseling and Development makes no guarantee of payment, but will provide you as much documentation as possible to assist in the process.

There are two ways to get work with insurance companies for reimbursement. 

The first way is to do it yourself.  If you would like to use your out-of-network benefits, I highly recommend contacting your insurance company prior to making an appointment to see what their process is.  Some helpful questions to ask might be:

  1. Does my coverage include out-of-network mental health benefits?
  2. What is my out-of-network deductible? Have I met it?
  3. Are out-of-network services by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker covered?
  4. Do I have co-insurance for out-of-network care?
  5. Do you require pre-approval for out-of-network mental health benefits?
  6. Do you cover procedural code 90837?
  7. Will I get reimbursed the full amount I pay or a percentage?  

If this seems overwhelming or stressful to you, there is an app called "Better" (link below) which assists clients in filing their out-of-network benefits for a 10% fee of whatever they get you reimbursed.  If you do not get paid, they do not charge.  It is one option of simplifying this out-of-network process.


When is payment due?

Payment in full is due at the time of service.  I currently accept cash, check, credit card, debit card, FSA card, and HSA card.  I can also securely store a debit or credit card on file so we do not need to utilize session time for payment.


Do you offer any reduced-rate or sliding scale slots?

If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact me about my reduced-rate slots.  I have a limited number of reduced-rate slots, as I feel that therapy should be accessible to everyone.  I do not require personal financial information and reduced-rate slots are valid for 6 months.  If I am unable to provide services at a rate that is affordable to you, I have an excellent referral list and would be happy to help you find someone who can meet your needs.


Do I have to obtain a diagnosis?

One of the reasons I prefer self-pay is that clients are not required to obtain a diagnosis to seek help.  Sometimes our lives feel stuck and we need some guidance, but that would not automatically qualify someone for a clinical diagnosis.  If you are not using your insurance for out-of-network reimbursement, you do not have to obtain a diagnosis.  If you are using your out-of-network benefits for individual therapy, I will have to provide a diagnosis on your superbill in order for insurance to consider reimbursement.


How does online counseling work?

Online counseling is for clients where office-based counseling does not make make sense for them.  This can be a great temporary option for if you are going out of town, if you are experiencing transportation issues, or when you are sick.  It can be a good long-term option for someone with mobility issues or someone who lives outside the RDU area.  Online counseling gives you the benefits of therapy from the comfort of your own home or office.  I use HIPAA compliant web-based platforms, which means it is easy for you to connect and your information is safely protected.  Contact me if you think online counseling would be a good fit for you and we can go over the details of getting started.  The web-based platform I use is much like Skype, making it very user friendly.


What are your hours?

All sessions are appointment only.  I have several appointments available for online booking, but please contact me directly if you need a different time of the day and I'll do my best to accommodate your schedule.


What if it isn't working?

One of my core beliefs about therapy is that it is all about the relationship!  There is much research that the therapeutic alliance is one of the strongest predictors of successful outcomes.  I will not be a perfect fit for every client, and that's okay!  Once we've started, let me know if you do not feel like we are a good match and I will do my best to refer you to another excellent therapist in the area.  It can take a few sessions for both the client and the therapist to get to know each other and learn each others' styles.  My goal is for you to feel comfortable and safe so that you can be your authentic self in therapy.


Where are you located?

I am located right outside the heart of downtown Raleigh in the Mordecai district.  My office has ample parking and is easy to find, yet privately located.  See my contact page for a map.


I'm ready!  How do I get started?

I am so excited to get started on this journey with you.  You can request an appointment below or message me via my contact page if you would like a free phone consultation or have additional questions.  Looking forward to hearing from you.