We are here to help
What is the first step?
The first step is to contact us. You may want to contact a particular counselor, if so, click the email link on your potential counselor’s individual page. Your counselor will follow-up with an email containing a link to establish your client portal. In your portal, you will have electronic versions of all necessary forms. You will also be able to schedule yourself on the counselor’s online appointment calendar. If you are not comfortable with technology, or do not know which counselor to choose, you may click on the email@example.com link or call 618-792-8256. Whether through your client portal or with physical forms, we will gather some information from you about your specific needs, and a little about your situation, and some of your background. The intake process also includes a consent for treatment, our practice’s policies and procedures.
What information will I need to complete my intake forms?
We will ask for some basic information, such as your name, phone number, email, date of birth, and address. If you know which counselor you would like to see, you can sign up with that counselor through his or her page on our website. your preferences for days and time of day, whether you have a preference of the gender of your counselor, and most importantly, we will ask a little bit about what brings you in for counseling.
We will also ask you to provide the name of your insurance company, and your member ID, so that we can match you with a counselor who takes your insurance plan. When possible, we will find out your benefits before your first session. If you do not have insurance, we also offer a sliding fee scale option. The sliding fee scale is based on two things: 1) your total annual household income 2) the number of people within the household.
What is the initial session going to look like?
Your first session is a time for your counselor to get to know you. There will often be some paperwork and ‘housekeeping’ involved, but you will also get to share your story and your reason for coming to counseling. You and your counselor will discuss your goals and chart a course for therapy.
Paperwork and/or Housekeeping Items may include:
- Completing any portion of the Client Intake Packet
- Presenting your insurance card, or discussing your sliding fee scale amount
- Reviewing the Policies/Procedures and Confidentiality Agreement with your therapist
- Discussing your goals/objectives for your therapy sessions with your therapist and ask any questions you may have
- Agree upon on session frequency and schedule your next appointment
What is a typical session like at Alliance Counseling Services?
Counseling sessions at Alliance Counseling Services typically last 45 – 55 minutes. During this time, you and your counselor will examine the subject matter that brings you to counseling. Often, this involves examining current behavior and thought patterns as well as possibly exploring historical areas such as past family or social relationships. Alliance Counseling Services counselors will take a holistic approach to counseling, examining cognitive, behavioral, relational, emotional, Neuropsychobiological, biophysical, family of origin, environmental, circumstantial, past experiences, and spiritual considerations related to your situation.
Most clients meet with their counselor on a weekly basis, although arrangements can be made to meet more often or less often, depending on the situation. The counseling process does involve some commitment, often extending beyond 6 to 8 weeks.
What do I do as a client?
By working with a counselor, you begin the steps that propel you toward healing and change. Counseling will not work without your participation. The effort you use will determine the affects you achieve. The counseling process will challenge you and may bring up issues and feelings that you would rather avoid. However, by addressing and dealing with these areas you are beginning to take steps toward healing and wholeness.
What else do I need to know?
All counselors at Alliance Counseling Services adhere to a strict code of ethics, including confidentiality. Alliance Counseling Services counselors will not share your personal information, or anything discussed in session without your written permission except under strict, government mandated circumstances. Some limitations on confidentiality do apply. (Talk with your counselor for more details.)