The first session typically covers general information your therapist needs to know. Questions will help the therapist gauge your areas of concern, how long these have been issues, family background and history, support systems, and other information that might prove helpful in evaluating your problems. Prior treatment history, if it has occurred, is important to discuss with your counselor to help identify what has or has not worked in the past. Your therapist may take notes during the first session, while subsequent sessions will be more interactive. In certain cases, you may even be given handouts and/or assignments to further educate and provide you with more resources to help address your problems.
It is recommended that all parties involved attend the first session. If you’re coming for couples counseling, the therapist will see you both for the first visit, then individually for one or more additional appointments in order to gather relevant background. From then on, you will likely be together for all other appointments. The same would apply for parent-child concerns. This allows everyone to feel like they’re starting on equal footing. Each party will have the opportunity to discuss their concerns with everyone present. There may be exceptions in cases involving young children. The child therapist may wish to see the parents first and then have an appointment with a parent and child together at the next visit. Please check with the office or your counselor if you have questions.
Sessions are ordinarily scheduled on the hour and last 55 minutes. Therapy is a very individual process. There is no set number of sessions it takes to complete or come to a stopping point. You and your therapist will work together to identify treatment goals, understand the triggers to undesired feelings and behaviors, learn new coping skills, and draw upon existing strengths and skills. Some people choose to come more frequently, others less. We work together for a mutually agreed upon treatment interval.
Payment (co-payments, deductible and coinsurance) is due at the beginning of each session. We accept cash, checks and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express & Discover). We are also on most insurance panels [link to Participating Insurance Companies page]. We do our best to operate our office efficiently and when necessary, will use both attorney and collection services (and forward these particular costs to the delinquent account as an additional charge) to secure payment for services rendered. Accounts will be considered delinquent if payment is not received within 60 days of service, and a statement fee of $15 per month will be charged. We will bill your insurance carrier on your behalf after each visit. However, your insurance is a contract between you and your carrier. Our primary relationship is with you, not your insurance company. We will cooperate with you and with them to expedite payment of your claims. If they deny all or part of your claim, you are responsible for payment of the account. Remember, you are a customer of your insurance company and you pay the premiums either directly or indirectly. Therefore, your insurance company must be responsible to you and answer your questions or complaints about your insurance coverage.
We understand that emergencies do arise. Please discuss the nature of the emergency with your counselor to avoid a late cancellation charge. Unless appointments are cancelled at least 24 hours in advance of their scheduled time, there will be a full fee charge for all missed or late cancelled appointments at the rate of a normal office visit. Insurance will not reimburse for missed sessions. Sunday appointments must be cancelled by Friday no later than 5 p.m. and Monday appointments must be cancelled no later than Saturday at 5 p.m.
The adult accompanying the child to the appointment is responsible for the payment. Payments must be sent with an unaccompanied child or a credit card number can be given to the billing office to be used for the unaccompanied child’s visit.
Goodman Psychologist Associates looks to the adult who has brought the child in for the appointment to be responsible for payment of services rendered. We also expect the parents to be able to work out payment arrangements with each other and not involve our office in any disputes that may arise.

Email

Goodman Psychologist Associates uses email communication only with your permission and only for administrative purposes unless you have made another agreement with your therapist. Email exchanges with the office should be limited to things like (1) setting and changing appointments, (2) insurance changes, (3) billing matters, and other related administrative issues. Please do not email the office regarding clinical matters, as email is not a secure way to contact your therapist. If you need to discuss a clinical matter with your therapist, please call and leave them a voicemail and they will return your call or wait to discuss it during your next therapy session. The telephone or face-to-face communication is a more secure mode of communication.

Text Messaging

Because text messaging is a very insecure and impersonal mode of communication, neither the office nor the therapists communicate through text messaging, except for automated appointment reminders.

Social Media

The therapists do not communicate with nor contact clients through social media platforms, such as Twitter or Facebook. The office has a Facebook page, which you are free to peruse; however, the therapists do not respond to Facebook comments or messaging.

Website

The office website is used for professional reasons to provide information to others about the practice and to post blogs. There is also an email button that sends a note to the office that prospective patients use to request a contact to set up a new appointment. The email from the website can be used to communicate administrative changes, appointment questions, insurance or billing matters, but not clinical concerns.

Our website also has buttons that take you directly to our Google and Yelp web presence. After therapy is concluded many patients who have had a good experience with a therapist use those buttons to write a review of the practice, which we appreciate. If a patient has been unhappy for any reason, we would ask that they contact the office at 630- 377-3535 to resolve any issues. We ask that clients not rate their work with the therapist while in treatment together on any of these websites, as this may have the potential to damage the ability to work successfully together. Also, mental health professionals ethically cannot respond to comments and related errors on any website because of confidentiality restrictions. If you encounter such reviews of the office or any professional with whom you are working, please share it with us so we can discuss it and its potential impact on your therapy.