Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between different categories of mental health professionals?
A Clinical Psychologist has a doctorate in psychology and training in applying psychological principles to the assessment and treatment of emotional and behavioral difficulties. A Licensed Clinical Social Workerhas a masters' degree in social work and intensive training in psychotherapy. Some Licensed Professional Counselors have master's degrees in psychology, counseling, or rehabilitation counseling; others have doctorates in psychology or related fields but may not have meet state-specific criteria for licensure as a Psychologist. A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who can prescribe medication.
Psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and psychiatrists are all qualified to provide psychotherapy. Psychologists are best qualified to perform psychological testing; psychiatrists prescribe medications.
Does The Meridian Group have a psychiatrist?
No. The Meridian Group is comprised of licensed clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors.
What if I need medication to treat my emotional difficulties?
We have referral relationships with psychiatrists, who can be called when appropriate. Many family physicians and pediatricians also prescribe medications to help with emotional problems, and your therapist will be glad to collaborate with your primary care doctor.
Which type of mental health professional is best at counseling or psychotherapy?
Personal characteristics and experience are as important as a therapist's academic degree and type of license. Psychological testing can be done by one of our four psychologists.
How do I select a therapist?
Referral from a primary care physician or a friend can steer you toward a therapist with a good professional reputation. If you call The Meridian Group for an appointment without having a specific therapist in mind, you’ll be asked about your reasons for seeking help, your schedule, and your health insurance, so we can match you with a therapist who is likely to meet your needs. During your first meeting, you may wish to note how comfortable you are talking with the therapist, how well you feel understood, and how confident you are in your therapist’s expertise in working with your particular problem.
What should I expect in my initial visit?
The first visit is generally spent discussing the problems that brought you to therapy and what you wish to achieve. Please visit the Getting Started page for more information.
How often will I need to come in for therapy sessions?
This will be determined based on your needs, but on average people come once a week or once every other week. Some people benefit from more frequent sessions. Those who have made substantial progress and want to continue meeting to prevent recurrences of problems often come in less frequently, such as once a month.
Will I need to take time off from work for therapy sessions?
Some of our therapists have evening hours, others do not. During your first phone call, we will discuss your scheduling needs and find a therapist who can meet with you at a workable time.
How long will I need to keep coming for therapy?
This depends on your situation and needs. A few people come in once to talk about a specific issue. Others respond well to relatively short-term psychotherapy, like six to twelve weeks. Still others continue therapy for many months. Research suggests that many people gain greater benefit from somewhat longer-term treatment, particularly in preventing recurrences of problems.
Will my health insurance cover my therapy?
We’ll look into this with you. The Meridian Group of Chesterfield takes all major insurance, and mental health treatment is typically covered at the same amount as medical treatment. Each therapist varies on what insurance they may take, so it is important that they know your insurance. Insurance covers most of your psychotherapy or testing visit just as it does with other medical professionals.
Most of our clinicans also participate with most Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). If you have an EAP as part of your insurance, ask your therapist if they participate.
Most insurance cards have a number you can call for details on mental health coverage. You’ll also want to discuss your coverage with your prospective therapist.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Most of our therapists accept credit, debit, and flexible spending payment. We also accept checks and cash payments. Focused Solutions does not accept checks. Please ask your specific therapist about this. Please be prepared to make your copayment (or full payment if you are not using insurance) at each session.
What is my financial responsibility for my therapy?
If you choose to use your health insurance and your therapist is a participating provider with that company, we will file insurance claims and accept their allowable reimbursement. You will be responsible for the copayment, coinsurance, and/or deductible amounts determined by your insurance policy.
How confidential is the information I share with my therapist?
All information provided on forms or during treatment is confidential with limited exceptions. Please refer to the Privacy page of this website, click on the link to the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices and Policies regarding the limits of therapist-patient confidentiality, and discuss any concerns you may have with your therapist before starting to discuss your problems.