1Where is Turning Point Counseling located?
We are located at the intersection of Chestnut and South 5th and 6th . Our office is on the 10th floor of the tallest building in Abilene known as the Enterprise Building or the Bank of America. The building is in south central downtown and near the Taylor County Courthouse. Our office location is suite #1001 which can easily be found after entering the elevator and moving to the 10th floor. When departing the elevator, the office waiting room door can immediately be seen on the left.
2How do I make an appointment at Turning Point Counseling?
New clients must contact the office of Turning Point and talk with a member of the office staff. The staff will take your demographic information- your address, birthdate, insurance information, presenting issues, etc. and the name of the person that referred you (if applicable). The office will set an appointment for you. Before your appointment they will attempt to verify your benefit information. They will give you further instructions and collect your copay when you come to the appointment.
3If I need medication, can I receive it through Turning Point Counseling?
NO! There is no one at TPC licensed to prescribe medication. While our psychologist may be addressed as “doctor” he is not a medical doctor but a doctor of psychology. Only medical doctors with the “MD” or “DO” designation, or nurse practitioners are licensed to prescribe medications.
4How many therapy sessions will I need?
There is no standard answer to this question. Generally after your first session you and the therapist will discuss a plan of treatment. Your therapist might suggest the number of sessions that it might take to address the issues you are seeking treatment for, but often your therapist might suggest a period of time to work together and then together you can evaluate the progress and decide how to proceed. Of course, you are free to decide how many sessions you wish to participate in. You are free to stop at any time, but it is best to continue to discuss and agree on the plan and time period with your therapist. Some insurance companies place a limit on how many sessions they are willing to pay for in a given time period.
5When can I schedule an appointment?
Call TPC and discuss with the office staff your interest in exploring therapy. The office staff will ask about your demographic information- your address, birthdate, referral source, presenting issues, etc., and ask you how you are going to pay for therapy - using insurance or paying privately from your own funds. If the client is a child they will ask you about the guardianship and custody of the child. A parent who shares custody of a child will need to provide the therapist with a copy of custody papers. They will ask about your concerns you are seeking counseling with to match your need to the appropriate therapist. The staff will check the available schedule of the therapist and discuss possible appointment times with you.
6How do I log in to Therapy Appointment (TPC’s scheduling system) to schedule or cancel my appointment?
Only current clients are able to log in to schedule and cancel an appointment. Also, not all of the therapists utilize the online scheduling feature. Additionally, the therapists have a 24-hour window within which you cannot cancel online. To schedule a session, visit www.turningptcounseling.com. Select your therapist under “Counselors”. Then click “Schedule an Appointment.” Enter Login Name and Password under “Have a password? Log in.”
7What do I do if I don't remember my log in name and password to log into therapy appointment?
If you do not remember your login and password, please call and ask to speak to your therapist. For security reasons, our office staff is not permitted to give you this information over the phone.
8How do I find out my login and password for therapy appointment?
When you fill out your paperwork for your first appointment, there is a place on the first page for you to request your own login and password. Upon receiving your filled out paperwork, the office staff will enter your requested login and password into our system, then present you with a card stating the login name and password you requested. If your therapist does not allow to schedule and cancel appointments online, then this will not be an option on their paperwork.
1Where can I view a list of Insurance providers?
You can see a list of our providers here. Please notice each therapist has their own listing of what insurance providers they use.
2Can I use my health insurance?
Yes you can, if your insurance plan provides mental health benefits for you. You may have to see another therapist that accepts your insurance if your desired therapist is not an approved provider for your insurance plan. You have the option in this case of paying cash or paying the out of network rates.
3Do I need any pre-approval from my insurance to see a therapist?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Some insurance companies require pre-approval and others do not. When you call and talk to the office staff for an appointment, they will take your insurance information, call your insurance company, and verify your benefits and eligibility. Usually when they call on your behalf, they will obtain an authorization if one is needed. If something else needs to be done they will contact you and let you know what is needed.
4What do I ask my insurance company when I call them?
You can ask your insurance company about your eligibility and benefits for outpatient mental health in the office setting, but unless you have experienced with insurance information, this could be intimidating. The office staff at TPC can help you find out any specific details that you may need or can call the insurance on your behalf.
5How are my sessions billed to my insurance?
If you are using insurance, all the sessions that you receive therapy for will be billed to your insurance company. The staff at TPC will take care of the billing and can provide a statement should you request one.
6Do I have to pay a co-pay or deductible?
Most insurance companies have deductibles and co-pays. All insurance companies are different and even within the insurance companies’ plans for individuals and families can be different. Generally, there is no way to know your benefits until the office staff calls your insurance company. Our office staff will assist you in determining what the specifics of your plan are.
7Do I need a referral to see a therapist?
Some insurance companies require a referral. Some do not. Please let our office staff assist you in determining what your insurance plan requires.
8Do you accept Medicaid?
TPC has many therapists that are Medicaid providers. The office staff will assist you in locating which therapists provide therapy or testing to Medicaid clients.
9I have Medicare. Can I still bill my secondary insurance company (example: Blue Cross/Blue Shield)?
Currently in Texas only psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers are eligible to bill both Medicare and the secondary insurance. Most likely our therapists will not be able to see a client who has both insurances. Please check with the office staff and let them help you with your particular situation.
10When does my deductible start over?
Some deductibles start over in the regular calendar year and some deductibles change at the date in which the client enrolled in the insurance plan. Please let the office staff assist in finding out that information for your particular situation.
Therapists and Confidentiality
1How do I select a therapist?
Most clients want to see a therapist that is familiar with their particular problem or has expertise in that area. The office staff will ask you about your concerns and if you have a gender preference and match you with the therapist that bests meets your criteria.
2Can I see any of the therapists at Turning Point Counseling?
Yes, most clients want to see a therapist that is familiar with their particular problem or has expertise in that area. The office staff will ask you about your concerns and if you have a gender preference and match you with the therapist that bests meets your criteria. There are times however when a therapist that you may desire to see is not an approved provider by your insurance company. In that case, you may decide to pay your therapist yourself and not use your insurance. Occasionally a therapist will negotiate their fee, attempt to join your insurance panel, or bill your insurance as out of network. Some of our therapists may have a waiting list or may be unavailable at high demand times, such as after school or work.
3How do I know if therapy is right for me?
Most people who think about coming to therapy for the first time have some confusion and anxiety about sharing personal information with a therapist that they do not know well yet. It is normal to feel that way. It is a good idea to decide to see your therapist for a set number of sessions and then discuss the outcome with your therapist. Your therapist will listen to your concerns and help formulate a plan of objectives that focus on your concerns. You and the therapist will be able to discuss and modify that plan as the therapy continues.
4I am a returning client. Can I work with a different therapist?
Many times clients return to therapy to address different issues and seek out therapists that are experienced in working with their concerns. Sometimes a client that has seen one therapist for marital therapy might seek out another therapist for family therapy. TPC prefers that the client discuss conflicts or other reasons for changing therapists with that particular therapist before making a change to a new therapist.
5What if I am not comfortable with my therapist?
It would best to address any concerns about your therapy with your therapist. Therapy itself is about improving relationships and resolving conflicts. If you are still not satisfied after making an attempt to discuss the concerns that you have with the therapist you may talk to the office staff about making a change.
6Are my therapy sessions and personal records confidential?
Your therapist is bound by his professional ethics and licensing laws to protect your information. He/She will keep all oral and written information between the two of you. The therapist must have your written permission to reveal anything to anyone. The release of information must indicate the specific person that will receive the information, the specific details that will be revealed and the purpose for sharing the information with that individual. There are exceptions to confidentiality: if you tell your therapist that you are not safe/suicidal, or others are not safe/homicidal or expressing violence, or if you disclose that you are being abused or abusing anyone else then your therapist is bound by state and federal laws to disclose the information to the appropriate person(s).
7How long are my records kept?
If the client is an adult the counseling records must be kept for at least 5 years and if the client is a child, the records will be kept for 5+ years past the 18th birthday of the child.
8I have health insurance through my employer — will they know I’m receiving therapy?
No! Though your employer may be paying for your insurance they are not entitled to know that you are coming for therapy. It would be a violation of your confidentiality for the employer to have access to that information.
1I am concerned about my relationship with my spouse or partner. Should I get an appointment for both of us, or should I come by myself?
Sometimes in couple relationships, one part of the unit is more motivated or in more pain and will seek counseling while the other partner is not yet ready. It can be beneficial for individuals to seek support, but when couples therapy is the goal, it is best for both partners to participate.
2What is TPC's confidentiality policy with regards to couples therapy?
When the couple relationship is the focus of the therapy, the information shared in these sessions cannot be considered confidential. However, individuals should not ask for therapists to share secrets shared by a spouse or partner. In a court proceeding, notes from couples’ sessions will remain confidential unless both partners release the therapist to share the information, unless subpoenaed or ordered by a judge.
Children and Adolescents in Therapy
1Can a minor schedule an appointment?
Adolescents must have their parent’s written approval to schedule an appointment until they reach 18 years of age. Parents will need to call the office and give their teen’s demographic information and insurance information and then the staff will help schedule the appointment.
2Do parents have to know what I talk about in counseling?
An adolescent may wish to talk about matters with a counselor that he/she is not comfortable talking about with his/her parents. The conversations are confidential with some exceptions: If the teen discloses that is he/she suicidal, homicidal, or has experienced abuse or been abusive toward another person, the therapist will not keep those concerns or other issues related to the teen’s safety private. The therapist will likely insist that the teen and the therapist discuss a plan to share the information with the parents or other appropriate persons.
3I am concerned about my child, but he/she won’t come to therapy. Does it make sense for me to come in alone?
In most cases, your insurance company will require the child to be present if the focus of the therapy is on the child. Some companies will allow for a collateral visit which means that you the parent(s) can come without your child being present. Contact your insurance company or talk with our office staff for help with determining what your policy states. Talk to your therapist about the reluctance of your child. Your therapist may have some suggestions that would help you overcome that problem. Often if you insist that the child come to the appointment and offer a motivating reward the child is interested in, the child will cooperate.
4Do parents need to be in the session while the therapist visits with the child?
Talk to your therapist when you come about their preferences for therapy with your child. Many therapists want to spend some time with the child alone and then have time to talk with you apart from your child. Some therapists want to do play therapy which is more non-verbal and give you a summary at the end. Some therapists wish to collaborate more with the parent(s) in a team effort.
5Can someone other than the parent bring the child?
The parent or guardian must complete the paperwork either at the first session or prior to the first session. If the parent is not available, he/she must give permission in writing and state specifically who would be bringing the child and submit that permission slip with their signature when the child presents for the session. It is unlikely that the therapist will allow you to not be present at the first session. Check with the office staff and your therapist to make sure before you make your plans.
Payment for Services
1Do you accept online payments?
Yes, clients may pay online, once their accounts have been set up and the staff has entered their credit card information into the Therapy Appointment system.
2How much does a session cost without using insurance?
Different therapists have different fees for their sessions. Generally, the first session will be from to $110 to $145 and sessions after that will be in the range of $100 to $110.
3I am having a hard time paying my therapist’s fee. Can that fee be reduced?
You can discuss any difficulty that you have in paying for your therapy sessions with your therapist.
4I have a balance on my account. Who do I call?
You can call the office and speak to the office staff and they can help you determine what your balance may be.
5I have not received a statement in months.
Please call our office and let one of our office staff assist you.
6I pay by credit card each session. Can my card be charged automatically?
Yes, but only after you have given us written information to be able to do this. Usually this will be done at the first session.
7My insurance coverage is minimal or nonexistent for family, couples, or individual therapy. What can I do?
You can privately pay for the therapy yourself. Your therapist may be willing to negotiate a lower fee. Sometimes the office will give you a referral to other area locations which provide much lower fees.
Bad Weather, Cancellations and Closings
1Will your office be closed if there is bad weather?
When the weather presents a driving hazard for the public we will most likely be closed. We have a phone message informing our clients what our plan and policies are for bad weather days. During the school year, we generally follow the guidelines of the Abilene Independent School District (AISD). If the district closes, we will be closed. If the district starts school late, we will open later than normal. In addition, TPC therapists often contact their clients to further confirm TPC’s open/close status.
2What is the policy during holidays?
We will always be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years’ Day. We typically are closed on Good Friday, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day. Our office will have a phone message that will inform clients of closures regarding holidays and days before or after holidays that we may be closed. Clients can always call during the week of the holiday and inquire about the holiday schedules.
3What happens if I cancel or no show for my appointment?
Clients may be charged for missed appointments that are cancelled within 24 hours of the appointed time, or, if they simply don’t show up for the appointment without calling the therapist ahead of time. Some insurance policies will allow the therapist to collect a Late Cancel or No Show (LCNS) fee of $25.00. Some insurance companies such as Amerigroup Medicaid, Superior Medicaid, First Care Medicaid, TMHP Medicaid, CHIPS, and Molina will not allow therapists to charge fees for missed sessions whether a late cancel or a no show. When the insurance company does not allow us to provide a penalty by way of a fee, your therapist may ask that you talk with him/her before rescheduling (so that you can explain your situation and or be reminded of the policy). Other therapists will not let you schedule an appointment multiple days in advance but will ask you to call daily to see if an appointment time is available. In some cases when there are multiple late cancel or no shows the therapist may decide not to see you anymore. Emergencies and crises do happen. Your therapist will allow for those exceptions. Sicknesses will also often be excused. Chronic and repeated absences and no shows on the other hand are seen as an indication of a lack of commitment to the counseling process and a lack of respect for your therapist.