FAQ

What insurance do you take?

We may be able to use your insurance if you meet the requirements for care, which are published by each company. Our therapists in Brighton are in-network for a large number of insurance companies and EAPs. In addition, we are in-network for a large number plans within many of the companies. The list is too large to print. We are happy to check on your benefits for you. By phone or email, give us your full name, your date of birth, the name of the insurance company, the 800 number on the back of the card, and the member or subscriber id. We will call you or email this information to you. Please remember, that we cannot guarantee this information to be accurate. Too often we receive incorrect information, which becomes apparent after the insurance companies reimburse us. We encourage you to contact your insurance company to find out your benefits. Please remember that if you disagree with your insurance provider, it is your responsibility to address the issues with them.

I don't have insurance. What are your fee?

Many clients who do not have insurance, or who have insurance which we cannot use, pay for their services. For these clients our therapists in Brighton offer an income-based sliding scale fee, ranging from $110 to $65 per session.

How long do I have to go to counseling?

Counseling is usually time-limited and ends when your goals have been met. There are some more complex situations (affairs, abuse, alcoholism, chronis illness) which take longer to address. Because we have many years of experience, we have almost certainly dealt with any relationship or couples’ issues you may have. The national average for the length of therapy is 14 sessions. Our average is a little lower than this number.

Does the therapist say anything during the sessions?

There are different styles of therapy. In some of them, the therapist is trained to be like a blank screen and say very little to the client. At the Relationship Center of Michigan, we do listen closely to what you have to say. But we also respond to you. We may ask you, for example, to explore a situation or your reactions more carefully and note things you might be missing. We also give feedback, point out patterns of belief or behavior, share our feelings, or may ask you to re-live a situation. But the focus is on you and the problem. Your success depends on your actively participating in this process.

We are coming in for couples counseling. Are you going to tell us to get a divorce?

No. It is not our job to tell you whether or not to split up. We would rather you remain together. Otherwise we would not be doing this kind of work. But we respect that the choice is yours and your alone.

Is the therapist going to tell me I am bad or make me feel guilty?

Our therapists do not judge our clients. We do not accuse our clients of bad behavior. Most often, our clients know that there is a problem and that they have not done well. It is our job to help them see that they can solve the problem and feel better about themselves in the process.

Can I bring someone in with me to the sessions?

For couples counseling, we prefer that both partners come in. With kids and teens, parents are welcome for a couple of reasons. Sometimes your child may feel more comfortable having you there until he or she establishes a relationship with the therapist. Also treatment often involves one or both parents, who need to be present. Even if you are here for individual counseling, you may bring someone with you. Just talk to your therapist before your session.

Is the therapist going to share my information?

We will not share your information with anyone. But there are a few exceptions. If you want to use your insurance, we have to give your insurance company some demographic information about you. We will also share information if you give use written permission. Our therapists in Brighton will also share information about you without your permission in a few circumstances. If you are having a medical emergency, we will contact 911 and get you care. We will also send your records to a court, if the judge orders us to do so. If you are a danger to yourself or to someone else, we have a duty to warn. By law, we have to report suspected child and older adult abuse and neglect. Please see our HIPAA policies for a full description.

I want to bring my child in. Are you going to tell me things I can do to help?

Yes. In therapy with children and teens, parents often are brought in to help with the counseling. In fact, it is not unusual to work only with the parents after the first visit. Even if the child is seen individually, the therapist will update you periodically about progress and issues. And we will make suggestions about how to help your child.

How do I choose a therapist?

Therapists are like car mechanics (or any other professional): some are good and some are merely ok. Look for a therapist who takes the time and effort to pay attention to you. Do they return phone calls promptly? Is he or she willing to talk to you prior to your making an appointment? How do the therapist and the support staff sound on the phone? Are they friendly? Do they give you a feeling that they can be trusted? Therapists are trained in different types of therapy. Ask the therapist how they do therapy.

After the first session or two, do you feel that you can trust the therapist? Is there a match between your personalities? Sometimes your personality will not match up with the therapist’s. People are just different, through no fault of their own. If you are not comfortable, it is better to look for a better match. If you feel you do not connect with your counselor at our office, simply tell your counselor or call the administrative office. We will find you another therapist.

What type of couples counseling do you offer?

Many therapists, who perform couples therapy, do not have much training. We use Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT), which studies show to be the most effective couple’s therapy available. Whoever you choose, be sure to ask any therapists in Brighton whom you interview about their training and about their method of therapy. Ask them if there are studies which prove the effectiveness of their type of therapy. Also ask your therapist how many couples they see every week. If it’s fewer than 6 or 7 a week, they are doing couples’ therapy as a sideline, not as a main focus of their practice. They may not be as experienced in working with couples.

How does group therapy work?

A group therapist selects people who would be helped by the group experience and who can be learning partners for one another. In meetings, people are encouraged to talk with each other in a spontaneous and honest fashion. The therapist also helps guide the group in examining issues and concerns and ensures that everyone has a chance to participate.

Not every group is alike. There are a variety of styles that different groups use. For instance, some focus more on interpersonal development, where much of the learning actually comes from the interaction between members. Others address thoughts and behaviors, where the emphasis is on learning how to control negative thoughts, address phobias or relieve anxiety-inducing situations.

How is group therapy different from support groups and self-help groups?

Group therapy focuses on interpersonal relationships and helps individuals learn how to get along better with other people under the guidance of a professional. Group psychotherapy also provides a support network for specific problems or challenges. The goal of group therapy is change. Support groups, which are generally led by professionals, help people cope with difficult situations or problems. Self-help groups usually focus on a particular shared symptom or situation and are usually not led by a trained therapist.

What kinds of people should participate in group therapy?

Group therapy can benefit many different people, from those having difficulties with interpersonal relationships to those dealing with specific problems such as depression, anxiety, serious medical illness, loss, addictive disorders or behavioral problems. With adolescents, for example, group therapy teaches socialization skills needed to help function in environments outside the home.

Will there be people with similar problems in my group?

The therapist’s role is to evaluate each member’s problems prior to forming the group. Usually there is a mix of members who can learn from each other. While some members will have similar circumstances, it’s not necessary for all to be dealing with exactly the same problem. In fact, people with different strengths and difficulties are often in the best position to help one another.

What kind of commitment do I need to make to group?

The time commitment depends on the type of group and the nature and extent of your problems. Generally our groups for individuals (as opposed to couples) last 12 weeks. There are also more open-ended groups in which members work at their own pace and leave when their particular needs or goals have been met.

What if I'm uncomfortable discussing my problems in front of others?

It’s not unusual to feel uneasy or embarrassed when first joining a group. Most people find that group therapy provides a great deal of relief. It gives you a chance to talk with others who are experiencing similar problems, in a private, confidential setting. Many people who have experienced group therapy believe that working together with others is helpful and they feel better by participating in this form of therapy.

What does group therapy cost?

Group therapy is generally covered by insurance. Insurance coverage is similar for both group and individual therapy.

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