FREQUENTLY
ASKED
QUESTIONS



COMMON QUESTIONS
This document is designed to help you get the most benefit from our work together. Your job is to create your own individual objectives for being in therapy. Like a good coach, our job is to help you reach them. We have many, many tools to help you become a more effective partner, happy individual, productive family member- they work best when you are clear about who you aspire to be.



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1.  What are your hours?
  • TPG has convenient hours that fit most busy schedules. We offer morning and evening hours, as well as limited weekend hours.
    Monday-Friday: 8 am – 8 pm
    Saturday: By Appointment


2.  What can I expect?
  • Your therapist should be timely, respectful, responsive, and tuned-in to your experience, your feelings, and your point-of-view.

    You will receive:

    • Initial Consultation
    • Diagnosis when necessary
    • Treatment recommendations for addressing specific problems
    • Medical referral and consultation with experienced wellness professionals when necessary
    • An active treatment program to promote behavioral and emotional change
    • Appointments conveniently arranged as quickly as possible

    Remember, your therapist works for you. You have a right to professional services and you may elect at any time to “fire” your therapist. As part of an engaged participant, you should discuss any concerns immediately with your therapist.


3.  Isn’t therapy an expensive luxury?
  • While some view therapy as a luxury that is just too costly, many people in today’s world see therapy as a necessary component of a holistic and healthy approach to life. The majority of our clients fall into this latter category and experience therapy as a basic tool to enjoying life. They see typical therapy items like happiness, relationship enrichment, and defining a life purpose as necessities for a fulfilling life ---not luxuries.

    In regards to costs, consider the following:

    • A typical physician visit (15 minutes) $75 - $100
    • Plumber’s house call (Parts extra) $90
    • Haircut $25
    • Style, Color, Perm $50 - $300
    • Dinner and Movie $50 - $75
    • Starbucks Coffee $5 x five days = $25
    • Golf Game: $50 –$100

    When we consider the cost of many items that we routinely purchase---items that many would argue add to their quality of life---it is difficult to consider therapy as a luxury. Therapy truly enhances our quality of life!

    Reasonable Cost.
    Affordable fees make psychotherapy an investment worth making. In addition, clients do not need to have health insurance to see a therapist.


4.  How Long Does Therapy Take?
  • A common question asked by new clients is “How long will therapy take to ‘fix’ my problem?” While different challenges require different amounts of time, you can be assured that your therapist will work in your best interest to find a timely solution. Some clients may only see a therapist for one or two sessions while others spend several months.

    We typically work with clients 6-18 months, depending on the nature of the concerns, the depth or duration of the struggle, and a myriad of other life factors that make it too difficult to offer simple predictions. However, you should know within 3-4 sessions whether there is a ‘good fit’ between you and your therapist or if you are going in the right direction. You should discuss any concerns with your therapist to maximize results.

    Upon reflection, many clients recognize that it has taken them some time to end up at this point and that it will take a commitment of time and energy to make a positive turn in their journey. A typical client dedicates himself or herself to one session per week. If they spend the next year working to improve themselves and their situation, they may expect to spend approximately forty hours in therapy or the equivalent of one workweek.

    Is your life—are you …worth the investment?


5.  Do you work with couples or individuals?
  • We work with both couples and individuals.


6.  What if my spouse won’t attend couples counseling?
  • While optimum therapeutic benefit happens when both partners attend therapy (After all you are partners, sharing in the relationship benefits and work – right?), sometimes one partner is not ready to do the work. Individual partners may use this opportunity to bring back some helpful information to the relationship. Individual therapy can be a great resource to kick-start the healing in a relationship.


7.  But how can you help me, I’m a _________________ ? ...
  • (Fill in your demographic identifier: gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, religious identity, etc).

    As we explain to clients, our therapists have a rich history of working with diverse clients and there isn’t much they have not heard. Our experience includes working with people with disabilities, and the LGBT community and their families. We have worked with clients who are alcoholic, clients who have been raped, and clients who are parents.

    We have not looked like all of our clients, nor have we experienced the same life journey, but it is our promise to provide each client with quality therapy and help to support them in their personal journey towards healing and growth. If our therapists at any time suspect that they cannot support a client or do not possess adequate expertise in an area they will discuss this point with a client a make necessary arrangements which may include referring one of our trusted colleagues.

    Our therapists are dedicated and qualified professionals skilled in helping many in their challenging life’s work. However, we respect each client’s search for the ideal therapist and will gladly discuss any concerns or doubts that you may have regarding our ability to help you. If we do not meet your criteria, as part of our commitment to customer service, we will gladly make recommendations and referrals.


8.  What is sex therapy?
  • Sex therapy is a specialized form of counseling that focuses on sexuality issues, and:

    • is usually brief, very directive, and specific around sexual problems
    • addresses a range of sexuality issues, from sexual problems to enhancing already good sexual relationships
    • Sex therapy is talk therapy, therefore, no touching will occur and at no time will anyone have their clothes off
    • Generally a sex therapist should be chosen over other helping professionals, when the issues are very specifically sex related, or when sexuality seems like a central part of the issue.

    For a list of common topics, click here.


9.  How often do we meet? (Appointments)
  • Weekly appointments allow for maximum therapeutic benefits. It provides clients with a consistent and structured approach to the issues and challenges before them. It also ensures a strong therapeutic bond between you and the therapist, providing an alliance that promotes deeper work.

    On occasion, more intensive work (two sessions per week) may be helpful or even necessary, and your therapist will discuss this with you. We will not work with you less frequently than once per week, except when clinically indicated as part of ongoing treatment. We find that such infrequency is usually counter-therapeutic.


10.  How long are sessions?
  • Generally, individual sessions are 50 minutes of face-to-face contact and 10 minutes of charting, which allows the therapist to record any notes on the session and highlight your treatment progress. Couples counseling and family conferences follow a similar pattern, but are longer to allow all parties the opportunity to participate. These sessions are typically 90 minutes (80 minutes face-to-face/ 10 minutes charting). The initial consultation is allotted 1.5 hours in order to allow sufficient time to fill out the necessary forms, answer questions thoroughly, and to gather all the information that is necessary.


11.  What if I am or my therapist is running late?
  • If you are late, you may expect that your session will end at the scheduled time (in order to be fair to those who may be scheduled after you). Please keep in mind that you may be charged for the full time, that we cannot bill insurance for services that were not provided, and that you may be responsible for payment of services not billed to your insurance company.

    If the therapist is running late, you may expect to receive your full time, or your fee will be adjusted accordingly.


12.  How do I cancel an appointment?
  • If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment you must give 24 hours advance notice. If less than 24 hours notice is given, you will be charged for the time reserved for you. Your appointment is reserved for you and cannot be otherwise scheduled without advance notice. Insurance cannot be billed for late cancellations or no-shows and you may be responsible for payment. In the event of unforeseen circumstances such as illness, emergency, or bad weather, please discuss the situation with your therapist. Repeated cancellations will need to be discussed with your therapist, in order that better accommodations can be considered.


13.  Can we do therapy over the phone or through email?
  • We sometimes will make arrangements with a client to do phone sessions as added support, or during an extended break in treatment. We do not do any therapy or consultation with clients through email, for security and ethical reasons.


14.  Do you have a sliding scale for fees?
  • If you are unable to afford therapy, you may want to discuss this with your individual therapist. Each therapist sets his or her own fees. Your therapist can often suggest other more budget conscious options that might include group therapy, enhancement seminars, or other self-development resources which are more affordable. And if you need a therapist with lower fees, we suggest you contact your county’s Family Service or Community Mental Health Center. They are listed in the front of your telephone book by county.


15.  What if I have an emergency, do you have a pager?
  • We do not use pagers, and we do not, as a rule keep any emergency hours. Being an effective therapist requires a great deal of energy and self-care. In order to provide consistently good service to our clients, we set limits on our availability.

    We try to return phone calls within a few hours when possible. However, for true emergencies, we advise people to call 911 or go to their nearest emergency room for safety and to ensure they get immediate attention. Many therapists operate this same way; however, if you need more availability than this you should make this point a matter of your ‘interviewing’ process when selecting a therapist.


16.  Will you try to put me on medication?
  • No. In our experience, even very long-standing and “treatment-resistant” problems do not require medication in the vast majority of cases. We view the use of medication as a last resort for extreme circumstances, not as the “standard treatment” as portrayed in advertisements. We are first and foremost concerned with safety, and on rare occasions, medication can increase safety (e.g., for prolonged sleep deprivation or extreme agitation). Yet, as frightening and painful as life can be, passing through a deep or overwhelming crisis can yield clarity and much-needed change. Will taking medication help or interfere with therapy?

    An increasing number of people are obtaining medications from their primary care doctors for psychological problems, and begin taking the medication prior to entering psychotherapy. We never advise a client to stop taking medication without first consulting with their physician and determining how or whether to discontinue that medication. Sometimes, psychiatric medication may interfere with obtaining therapeutic goals by numbing a client’s emotional response, when we are trying to connect with certain emotions to work on them. Other times, a client may have a mild or serious reaction to medication that is counter therapeutic, such as anxiety, agitation, or sedation. Occasionally a client may need medication to treat a diagnosis that if left untreated would leave the client unavailable to benefit from talk therapy. Each situation and each person is different; so we cannot give a simple answer to this question.





4010 Washington Street, #405 Kansas City, MO 64111    phone: (816) 931-8255    fax: (816) 931-1874
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