Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What is Therapy? What is Psychotherapy? What is Treatment?

In general, the term “therapy” or “treatment” is associated with the process of healing or recovering. Often, the terms Psychotherapy and Counseling are used synonymously. Psychotherapy is mostly an interpersonal and personal process which aims to help people understand and better cope with conditions, behaviors, emotions, and/or perceptions. A Therapeutic Relationship exists when a licensed healthcare provider, such as a psychologist or licensed counselor or social worker – a therapist – is contracted by a client to provide diagnosis and/or treatment.Therapy can take many forms beyond more traditional one-on-one dialogue with a therapist (e.g. marriage counseling, family counseling, etc.) and can be conducted both in-person at our office in Mesa, AZ, or long-distance via email or phone.

What is a Consult? What is Organizational Consultation? What is Educational Consultation or Expert Advice?

Unlike therapy, consults do not include the full process of diagnosis and treatment. Organizational or Educational consultation is like getting an expert’s advice, but without the agreement to diagnose or enter treatment. In most cases, providers of Organizational or Educational consults have no responsibility for case management or follow up.

What are Intervention Services?

Interventions services are time limited and usually occur over a 2 to 3 day period. The services can be provided in our offices or in a client’s home. Usually family members or friends of a loved one hire professional (preferably a licensed professional such as a psychologist) to help confront the loved one about an addiction or unhealthy behavior in order to convince that individual to enroll in professional services immediately. Intervention services are very different than counseling services. Please contact us immediately if you are interested in learning more about interventions.

The Initial Evaluation: Consult, Treatment or Referral?

Healthcare service usually starts with an evaluation process. The initial evaluation may take 1-3 sessions. In case the initial evaluation also requires diagnostic testing, the specific purpose, duration and cost of such assessments should be discussed ahead of time. At the end of the initial evaluation, findings, alternatives and recommendations are discussed by client and therapist. Referrals, treatment or consults may also be offered.

Fees, Appointments, Procedures:

The cost of in-office or online/phone service is determined by the therapist or the medical insurance company. Initial brief online and brief telephone consults are often offered for FREE. In case a third party is covering this service, a client’s signature and/or insurance company and policy details may be needed to indicate agreement to process the claim(s) and forward the reimbursement to the provider. PCA also offers secure processing of credit or debit card payments and accepts personal checks and cash. Fees vary depending on the services selected, i.e., psychological assessment, ADHD evaluation, consultation or intervention services, or counseling services. Contact the administrative assistant or the selected provider directly to get information about service rates, appointment times and other details.

Managed Care/Insurance: Will my insurance cover these services?

This is a difficult topic for several reasons. It is often difficult to determine when one should utilize insurance for counseling services and what each insurance plan will actually cover. Many clients do not wish to use their insurance plan because they do not want any type of mental health diagnosis on their insurance records. Clients should consult with someone they trust to help make a decision as to whether utilizing insurance for counseling services is appropriate for them. At PCA, we will also do our best to help you sort out these questions and work toward the most beneficial route for services and payment.

What Services do Therapists at Professional Counseling Associates of Gilbert & Mesa, AZ Offer?

A wide variety of Christian-integrated services including marriage counseling, spiritual guidance, pain management and more are offered. See also a complete list of services offered by PCA psychologists.

Informed Consent & Confidentiality

Why get informed?

Clients need to fully understand the services they select, the terms and requirements. Your clinician will review recommendations and limitations of confidentiality in the initial intake session.

Are My Records Safe? What is Confidentiality?

An Informed Consent form explains the boundaries of confidentiality and clients are provided with this form at the initial intake session for review and signature. Any questions will be addressed by the clinician at the initial intake session and at any subsequent session upon the client’s request. Confidentiality means that your records are not shared with anyone else unless you provide legal, written and signed permission to do so. Exceptions to confidentiality are explained in the consent form and discussed in the initial intake session.

What is an Informed Consent Form?

An Informed Consent form explains the services clients consider. Service price, modality, location, procedure, duration and frequency should be specified. Benefits, risks or alternatives are explained, and instructions for emergencies provided. When/if requested, please return the informed consent form to your selected provider confirming that you have read, understood and accept it.

Online Counseling or Phone Counseling:

It is difficult for some clients, depending upon their geographical location, to travel to Mesa to gain access to our high-quality therapists. Often times in our high-tech, Internet society, you will see clinicians offering “online counseling services.” Please note that healthcare service online is NOT recommended for emergency, life-threatening, physical abuse or crisis situations. In these situations, in-office care is the better alternative. Also, it is difficult to ensure confidentiality when electronic means are utilized to transfer information. Thus, clients are always informed about the risks. Brief E-mail correspondence and phone contact is sometimes utilized by PCA, but is not a primary service offered. Brief correspondence online or by phone may incur a fee if used often by a client or if it requires a significant amount of time by the clinician. At times, phone sessions can be conducted if the client understands the risks and fees involved. Please ask your clinician about this if you will be corresponding electronically.