FAQ’s for Child and Adolescent Anxiety Counseling in Clayton, Missouri.
You may have a few questions before you decide to work with us.
We do our best to update this regularly if any information changes, or if we hear from a few people asking the same questions. If you’d like an answer to a question and you can’t find it here, please feel free to give us a call or send us an email!
How long does treatment last?
Clients commit to at least 12 sessions, if we decide we’re a good fit following session 1. We’ll check in on progress every single week, and after the end of 12 weeks we’ll evaluate if we’re reaching goals. The kids and teens we work with really make a marked improvement when we commit to at least three months.
At the end of those 12 weeks, we either graduate from counseling, finish out services with a referral to someone else, or we continue to work together on another identified concern.
What if it’s not working?
Typically, people start to feel better by session 2 or session 3. If things aren’t improving by session 6 or 7, we’re going to change up the approach to make sure that it’s a good fit. And if we decide together that we’re not making progress at the rate we want, we’ll look at referring you out to another therapist, parent coach, or other resource.
How do we let you know that we’re ready to finish?
While we usually notice a marked improvement by session 2 or session 3, it takes time to sustain the positive growth. That’s the goal - that your child or teen is (or you are!) better able to handle challenges and stressors long term, not just feeling better when the crisis is over.
Because we work with so many minors, we know how important it is for kids and teens to have proper closure. Rather than a parent telling us last minute that it’s our final session, we ask that parents give us 30 days’ notice to make sure that we can properly terminate and close up our work together - rather than a kid or teen feeling like, all of a sudden, we’re no longer available.
Counseling digs into some deep, important stuff - and to best honor that relationship, we want to make sure that you, as well as your child, are ready to move forward.
What’s your cancellation policy, especially during cold and flu season?
Kids and teens get sick! Grown-ups get sick, too. Both Kelsey and Allegra previously worked in schools, so we know how germs get passed around. That being said, our most important goal is maintaining clinical progress.
We require 48 hours’ notice for cancellation, even if you or your child is home sick. If you’re unable to come into the office, we can do a phone session or a video session (phone sessions usually aren’t reimbursable by insurance, but video sessions may be), or can use the time for a parent consultation session.
If you start to feel sick more than 48 hours before our appointment, let us know and we’re happy to take you off the schedule! It’s a lot easier for us to fit in another client who needs to meet when you give us enough advanced notice.
If your therapist is sick or cancels, you won’t be expected to pay for that missed session.
What about if the weather is bad?
Sometimes, the weather in St. Louis is bad - snow storms, icy streets, floods. Compassionate Counseling St. Louis rarely closes during inclement weather. If you ever feel unsafe making it to the office, you can cancel with 48+ hours notice. If it’s less than 48 hours, you will be expected to make it to session - but we can always offer a phone or video session instead.
If Compassionate Counseling St. Louis determines that the weather is dangerous and we cannot make it to the office as clinicians, we will offer phone or video sessions from our home as an option.
Again, this comes down to making sure that we’re maintaining clinical progress and honoring your and your child’s time. We can predict that St. Louis weather is unpredictable - meaning, we need to have a plan in place. We’ve found that maintaining session expectations during inclement weather means that we’re able to make clinical progress at the rate we expect.
Can we really tell that things are improving?
Compassionate Counseling St. Louis is really big into tracking the data of what’s going on. We have every client fill out a weekly outcomes scale, and a weekly session rating scale. Because we’re pretty nerdy about the numbers, we graph the score each week. This way we can be really proactive about addressing concerns. The best predictor of a good clinical outcome is that therapeutic relationship, which we track through the session rating scale - so, the most important part of counseling is finding a therapist who is a good fit for you.
Why do you require weekly sessions?
From tracking outcomes and doing the research, we know that weekly session work best for our clients. We actually progress a lot faster instead of taking two steps forward and one step back. Sessions are 45-50 minutes long.
Ok, that’s great, but actually I think I might need more of your time?
A great option is the therapy add on (CPT Code +90833) where we tack on an additional half a session, bringing our total to 307.50.
Sometimes there’s a big event coming up, or you or your therapist have been out of town for a week or two. If you feel there’s more going on than we can comfortably cover during a 10 minute parent check in, or your session feels too rushed to cover everything that happened, we might benefit from doing an additional 30 minutes every now and then.
What’s your availability?
Rather than worrying about scheduling a different time every single week, we set aside a weekly appointment time that’s protected for you - we won’t schedule anyone else during your time.
We offer morning, afternoon, and evening appointments to try and accommodate busy schedules. Because that session slot is saved for each client, you may have to start sessions with our therapists at a less than ideal time.
We know how important it is to get you into counseling when you’re ready. So, if you’re unable to commit to a weekly time from what session slots we have available, we want to be sure to refer you out to someone who may be able to better accommodate that scheduling need. Once you’re an established client, we’ll be sure to offer you new appointment times before opening it up to the public - you get first dibs!
Can we meet after school?
If we have an afternoon session time become available, we give first dibs to my current clients. Usually sessions are more available for new clients during the morning. If you’re able to at least start with morning sessions, knowing that we can’t guarantee an afternoon time, let’s set up a phone consultation to see if we’re a good fit.
If you can really only make after school work and we have no afternoon slots available, we’re happy to provide referrals to other therapists or counselors in the St. Louis area who may have a more flexible schedule.
And, some times of the year our schedule really opens up, and we’re easily able to accommodate afternoons - so, the best way to find out is to set up that initial phone consultation.
Do you provide play therapy?
We use many different interventions in counseling, including play therapy interventions, art therapy interventions, mindfulness and yoga practice, along with CBT, ACT, PCIT interventions, and others.
No “one size fits all” approach.
With anxiety, overwhelm, and anger management, the most important component of work is helping you and/or your child feel like those emotions are less out of control. So, we tailor our approach to each client - and we make sure that we’re really hitting the nail on the head with regular check ins.
How do you keep my/my child’s counseling and treatment information secure?
All client records are stored in a cloud based system with bank level encryption that is HIPAA certified, encrypted, and kept secure. Here is an up to date list of all the ways your information remains secure: https://www.simplepractice.com/security
I’m ready to reach out - what do I need to do next?
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