Sessions are usually 50 minutes. Most clients are seen once or twice a week in the beginning, then, as time goes on, less frequently. The number of sessions depends on what your current needs are.
The length of time a client is in counseling depends the nature of the problem and the goals of the counseling. Some clients have a very specific problem that can be worked through in a set course of counseling. For others, counseling is an on-going learning process and they choose to receive counseling for a longer period.
Unfortunately, sometimes one partner is not as willing as the other to come in for counseling. However, I often find that it is possible to improve the relationship with just one person involved in counseling.
Your fee depends on the kinds of services you request. I have separate charges for counseling and for forensic services. I also am on several insurance panels and my office staff is happy to file your insurance claim forms for you. Sometimes, in order to preserve privacy it is better for you to not use insurance. I am always willing to discuss issues of confidentiality and payment policies with you.
It seems reasonable that, if you have insurance benefits, you should use them. However, while HIPAA laws protect your privacy with me, insurance companies do not offer similar privacy protections. In fact, if a company is self-insured, your privacy may be seriously compromised. Sometimes HR departments can get copies of all medical and psychological records; your diagnosis and other private information may be shared with other employees and supervisors. There are pros and cons to using insurance benefits for psychological and psychiatric services, and more and more of my clients are opting for self-pay.
As a clinical psychologist, I am not licensed to prescribe medications. However, based on a joint assessment of problems you are facing, it may be advisable to consult with a psychiatrist to determine whether medication is warranted. Fortunately, I work with a number of excellent psychiatrists right here in my office. Also, if you prefer, I can refer you to highly skilled psychiatrists in the community who are on your insurance plan.