SCHEDULING and APPOINTMENTS
How long are therapy appointments?
Appointments are scheduled for 50-55 minutes. During COVID-19, appointments have been shortened to 45-50 minutes to allow time for sanitization of therapy rooms in between sessions.
How many sessions should I expect to have? In other words, how long does therapy last?
There is not a definitive answer, every circumstance is different. For an estimate, talk to your provider.
How frequently should I schedule appointments?
There is not a definitive answer, every circumstance is different. Generally providers will start by scheduling one appointment per week, or one appointment every other week. More frequent appointments require authorization from the provider. Please note, if we do not hear from you for 60 days (via phone, email, or appointment), you will no longer be considered an active client.
Is my appointment a standing/repeating appointment?
No. Unless specifically requested, each appointment must be individually scheduled. The same appointment day/time is NOT guaranteed. If you would like to be put on a standing/repeating appointment, talk to your therapist. Not all providers offer standing appointments.
What is Telehealth? What are the options for Telehealth?
Telehealth is the use of technology to have medical care outside of the physical office. It incorporates the use of audio and video to allow clients and providers to have counseling sessions remotely. We are offering Telehealth through TheraNest – our scheduling and billing platform – due to its HIPAA compliance, accessibility, and security. Any therapist is able to host Telehealth sessions. All sessions are held online through the TheraNest Client Portal, and are accessible via any smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop with a camera and microphone. To establish Telehealth appointments, please call the front office at 253-460-7248.
Can I do telehealth appointments when I am not in Washington?
No, due to therapist licensure, clients must be physically located in the state of Washington for telehealth appointments.
What is the cancellation policy?
Any appointments late cancelled (cancelled within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment) or no-showed (missed appointment without letting the office or your therapist know you are not coming) will be automatically billed a $150.00 late-cancellation fee. We understand circumstances arise that are out of client control which may impact cancellations. Late fees are assessed by your therapist. The front office does NOT have the ability to waive late-cancellation fees.
If you are cancelling within 24 hours of your appointment, please provide a reason to the front office OR leave a voicemail for your provider.
What is the attendance policy?
If you Late Cancel or No Show your scheduled appointment three times your therapist may, at their discretion, refer you to another counseling office that better fits your scheduling needs, and close your case with ITS. Arriving more than 15 minutes after the start of a scheduled appointment will result in your session being cancelled and a late-cancellation fee being charged, unless previously arranged with your therapist.
In the event of unforeseen circumstances or occurrences outside of client control, please explain the situation to your provider via voicemail, email, or in-person at your next session.
The front office DOES NOT have the ability to waive late-cancellation fees.
Does ITS allow emotional support animals in the office?
No, our office does not allow emotional support animals. This is due to our building policy in addition to concerns regarding cleanliness.
How do I contact my therapist in between appointments?
There are two options.
- Call the main number and ask to be transferred to your provider’s voicemail. They will call you back as soon as their schedule allows. Please note that most providers do not have time in between sessions to check their voicemail.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Attn: (Provider’s name)”
What services do ITS providers offer?
Can ITS provide psychological evaluations/testing?
No, ITS cannot provide psychological evaluations and testing. Evaluations can only be completed by a primary care physician (MD/DO), psychiatrist (MD), psychiatric nurse practitioner (ARNP), or a psychologist (PhD). For a list of providers in Washington that can provide a psychological evaluations and testing, click here.
Can my therapist write a letter for an emotional support animal?
No. No providers in our office are able to write letters to recommend emotional support animals. Please check with your primary care physician.
How much does therapy cost?
The cash pay cost for therapy is:
- $220 for the intake appointment
- $150 for all consecutive appointments
If you are using your insurance, the cost of therapy is dependent on your company and your specific plan. For more details, please call the Member Services number on the back of your insurance card.
Is therapy billable to insurance? What ITS services are NOT covered?
Therapy IS billable to insurance IF therapy is medically necessary. This includes individual, couples, and family counseling.
Certain services are not billable to insurance. This includes non-medically necessary treatment. Common exclusions include:
- Couples therapy that is NOT related to a mental health concern (ex. couples therapy to focus on bettering communication skills is not considered medically necessary and, therefore, is not covered).
- Co-Parenting therapy. Even if Co-Parenting therapy is court-ordered, this type of counseling is relational and is never dependent on medical necessity.
- More than one hour per day for one client, including:
- Multiple appointments in one day.
- An individual appointment for a child and a parent-only session in one day. Parent-only sessions are always billed under the client’s name.
- Two hour DBT group therapy – The first hour IS billed to insurance, the second hour is a flat rate of $20.
Does ITS offer sliding-scale?
No, ITS does not offer sliding scale.
How is ITS different from other private practice mental health offices?
Our office values the individuality of our clients and our staff. Because of this, we have designed our practice to be an accepting environment for all; our office is a place designed to feel like home – accessible, personal, and comfortable. Treatment is tailored to each and every client and approached from a collaborative and systemic perspective. Here, you are never a number. From our front office staff to our therapists, we all do our best to understand you, your concerns, and your perspective as completely as we can.
Additionally, our office strives to highlight the strengths of our therapists, including emphasizing their chosen specialties. This allows our providers to develop their passions and provide more informed, specific care for their clients. This coordination of our staff has allowed us to develop programs such as our BLOOM – Perinatal Wellness Program to address perinatal mood disorders and related concerns, our Pride Program to provide support and tailored counseling for the LGBTQ+ community, and our Resilience Group to encourage, support, and bring together LGBTQ+ teens.
Does ITS offer phone consultations prior to scheduling a first appointment?
No, ITS does not offer phone consultations. If you would like to speak to your provider or ask questions prior to your first appointment, the front office can get you scheduled, then transfer you to your therapist’s voicemail to leave a message. They will call you back prior to your appointment.
Do I need a referral?
Overall, referrals are not required. Certain insurance plans do require a referral in order to authorize treatment. These plans include TriCare Prime, USFHP, Kaiser HMO, and Kaiser Core.
Referrals are also extremely helpful for “coordination-of-care” purposes. If you would like your primary care physician, psychiatrist, OBGYN, or other medical professional to be in contact regarding your care, please have them send a referral.
I don’t feel like my therapist and I are a good fit. What can I do about it?
Call the front office! Transferring therapists is not a problem. The relationship between you and your therapist is central to a productive and beneficial therapy experience, and it’s not something that should be taken lightly. If you feel that you and your therapist don’t work as well together as you could, please call the front office and talk to the Client Services Coordinator. She will start the process. Please provide any information that is relevant to helping you find a better fit. This may include preferences such as:
- Therapeutic approach (do you like to lead the sessions or to have the therapist take initiative?)
- Attitude (Ex. bubbly and positive / quiet and non-confrontational / artsy or quirky, etc.)
- Availability (Ex. “I need evening appointments”)
- Age (Ex. “A younger provider that can help me connect with my teenage kids”)
- Telehealth or In-Person appointment preference.
Please note that ITS may not be able to EXACTLY match your preferences. When you call to start the transfer process, the front office will be able to indicate if your preferences align with our staff. If not, we may refer you to PsychologyToday.com to find a provider who is a better fit.
Please also note that transfers may require a waiting period for provider availability to open, so there may be a short lapse in treatment while on the wait list. Typically your original therapist will not schedule with you while you are waiting to be transferred since any work in progress will need to be reiterated to your new provider.
I’m having a mental health emergency. What do I do?
Call the Crisis Line:
Pierce County – 1-800-576-7764
Kitsap County – 1-360-479-3033
National Suicide Hotline – 1-800-784-2433
National Crisis Text Line – Text “HOME” to 741-741 (for any crisis in the U.S.)
Go to your nearest Emergency Room