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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO SEEK ASSISTANCE FROM A PSYCHOLOGIST?

Most people seek a psychologist when they or their children are concerned about issues such as family conflict, excessive stress or anxiety, depression, behavior problems, or other concerns about their daily functioning. Often, parents seek services due to uncertainties about their child’s emotional functioning, behavior difficulties with their child at home or at school, concern about their child’s learning abilities, or childhood anxiety or depression.

 

ARE THERE RISKS TO PSYCHOTHERAPY?

Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. Since therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you or your child may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, psychotherapy has also been shown to have benefits for people who go through it. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress.

 

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FIRST SESSION?

In our first session, I will listen to you and attempt to develop an understanding of the difficulties that have brought you to me.  I will usually take many notes during this session and ask many questions. At the end of the evaluation, I will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our work will include and a treatment plan to follow, should you decide to continue with therapy. This will include how often I believe we should meet, possible psychological testing that may be recommended, the goals for the psychotherapy sessions, and the type of psychotherapy that I believe will be most effective in helping you resolve your concerns.

 

HOW LONG ARE APPOINTMENTS?

Therapy appointments are 50 minutes in length. Psychological testing sessions typically last for one to three hours.

 

HOW OFTEN ARE PSYCHOTHERAPY APPOINTMENTS SCHEDULED?

Appointments are generally scheduled once a week or once every two weeks.

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WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL AN APPOINTMENT?

If you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment, please call to cancel as soon as possible, not less than 24 hours in advance. Failure to cancel with a 24-hour notice will result in your being charged one-half of the normal rate.

 

WHAT IF I MISS AN APPOINTMENT?

The above policy also applies when you fail to show up for an appointment. Failure to cancel with a 24-hour notice will result in your being charged one-half of the normal rate.

 

WHAT ARE MY PROFESSIONAL FEES?

My fee is $130 per 50-minute therapy sessions. The first appointment includes a diagnostic assessment and this session is usually billed at a higher rate. In addition to weekly appointments, I charge this amount for other professional services you may need, though I will break down the hourly cost if I work for periods of less than one hour.

Billing for psychological testing is different. While fees are also based on my time, this includes time spent scoring, interpretation, and write-up of a report. Typically the charges will be between 1½ - 2 times the amount of actual face-to-face contact. The fee for psychological testing is $130 per hour.

Other services include report writing, telephone conversations lasting longer than 10 minutes, attendance at meetings with other professionals you have authorized, preparation of records or treatment summaries, and the time spent performing any other service you may request of me. If you become involved in legal proceedings that require my participation, you will be expected to pay for my professional time even if I am called to testify by another party. Because of the difficulty of legal involvement, I charge $200 per hour for preparation and attendance at any legal proceeding.

 

HOW DO I PAY FOR SERVICES?

All deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance amounts will be billed to you. In circumstances of unusual financial hardship, I may be willing to negotiate a fee adjustment or payment installment plan. You will be expected to pay for each session at the time that it is held unless we agree otherwise or unless you have insurance coverage, in which case I will bill your insurance.

 

CAN I PAY WITH A CREDIT CARD?

I am not able to accept credit cards.

 

WHAT IF I CHOOSE TO SEEK INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENT FOR SERVICES?

In order for us to set realistic treatment goals and priorities, it is important to evaluate what resources you have available to pay for your treatment. If you have a health insurance policy, it will usually provide some coverage for mental health treatment. I will fill out forms and provide you with whatever assistance I can in helping you receive the benefits to which you are entitled; however, you (not your insurance company) are responsible for full payment of my fees.

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© 2009 Roger A. Olsen, Psy.D. | Eagan, MN 55122 | (651) 882-6299 | Email
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