I've never done this before. How does therapy work?
Counseling doesn't have to be scary. Counselors are just real people who happen to have received training and specialize in helping other people navigate their problems. In therapy, you drive the car. Your counselor can help you get back on the right path when you get lost or help dig you out if you get stuck in the mud. But, your therapist doesn’t decide where you go or how you get there. You do that work yourself during a weekly session that usually lasts about 50 minutes. Your commitment to that appointment and making an effort to incorporate your goals from those sessions is how you make therapy "work" for you.
Am I "crazy" if I see a counselor?
Going to see a counselor doesn't mean you're "crazy." While is true that some people who have severe mental illnesses work with counselors to manage symptoms, counselors also help people work through everyday problems, such as adjusting to new surroundings; juggling responsibilities such as work, school, and family; coping with anxiety; struggling with low self-esteem or a lack of assertiveness; addiction recovery; and relationship problems. Counselors also work with the military, the LGBTQ+ community, and in disaster zones, among others. They hold a non-judgmental space in which people are encouraged to be open and honest about their situation so that they can help through an understanding of the whole picture. In addition, some people seek counseling services to improve their already great lives or become their best selves. Seeking counseling is, put simply, a way to proactively manage your problems.
Can Counselors prescribe medication?
The short answer is no. Licensed counselors hold advanced graduate degrees in mental health fields. They do not prescribe medication, but counselors can work with psychiatrists, who are medical doctors when creating collaborative treatment plans for people who need medication. Psychiatrists prescribe medication to address biological aspects of managing mental health, and counselors work with clients to address the psychological aspects of mental health.
How long will I have to be in therapy?
No one can tell you how long you will need to be in therapy; Certainly not before you ever go! There are no quick fixes when it comes to mental health. It's like strengthening your muscles through exercise but you're strengthening your brain by learning new skills to cope with life. It takes time, practice, patience, and persistence. Each person who enters counseling is unique, so there's no universal formula to determine how long it will be before you feel better. It's an investment in YOU that will take as long as it takes and no less.
Do you accept my insurance?
All of our counselors can accept most Blue Cross insurances. A few of our counselors are credentialed with Select Health, Regence, Cigna, Pacific Source, or others. We cannot accept EAPs, Medicaid, Medicare, United Health Care, or TriCare at this time. When you call to inquire about setting up an appointment, you will be asked about your insurance and only offered the option of seeing someone who can accept it. Note that not all insurance plans cover mental health services. It is up to you to know your health benefits, including if you have a deductible that will need to be met before your sessions are covered. Ultimately, you are responsible for anything that your insurance does not pay.
What if I don't have any insurance?
When clients approach us without insurance, we offer the option of either seeing an Intern on staff who will offer therapy pro-bono while gaining the hours of experience necessary to obtain their license or the option of cash payment. The cost per hour of therapy varies depending on the counselor from $100 to $125 per hour. Some providers offer a cash discount for services paid at the time of service. When scheduling an appointment, you will be given the cost per hour of the counselor for whom you plan to see ahead of time. Any discount offered by a provider is solely between yourself and the counselor, and not something our office staff can or will negotiate.
What if there aren't any appointments available?
Sometimes, all of our counselor's schedules become full. If this occurs, you will be offered to be put on a waitlist for the first available opening. If you seek a particular counselor, you will be offered to be put on a waitlist for that particular counselor. As soon as an appointment time comes available, our staff will attempt to reach you via your preferred method of contact. You will only have two days to contact us before we offer the open appointment to the next person on the list. Wait time will vary and is unpredictable, but leaving your option open for the first available counselor is generally the faster option.
Do you offer online therapy?
Since the recent health crisis, we’ve made our counseling program available to our clients using Doxy.me, an online, HIPPA-compliant website dedicated to Telemedicine. In addition to the flexibility of meeting online due to unexpected circumstances, we’ve also made Telehealth sessions available to new and existing clients who want to meet remotely out of concern for their own health and safety. If using insurance, most plans will cover “Tele-Mental Health” as a part of your mental health benefit but you should always contact your insurance provider to confirm your policy.
What about online therapy if I'm not in Idaho?
Telemental health service via Thrive's counselors is only available to clients who are physically located in Idaho and is not appropriate for clients traveling or living out of state or outside of the country. The laws regarding counseling restrict a licensed therapist in one state from counseling anyone across a state line if they are not also licensed in that state. (This was relaxed during the recent health crisis, but the emergency orders that relaxed the restrictions have since expired.)