Common Questions... Answered

What can a psychologist do for me?

A psychologist is a professional that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of psychological problems and mental illness. Psychologists provide psychotherapy and psychological testing. Psychological testing can be used to rule out or provide more precise information on a patient's condition. Within the profession, each psychologist has specific areas of interest and specialization. Our psychologists are skilled at providing treatment from multiple approaches.  


What will happen during my first appointment?

We will meet with you for an extensive interview and assessment in which we will gather some information to get to know you, understand your concerns and treatment needs and answer any questions you may have. Together, we will determine the best plan of action to move forward. Our objective during the first session is to tailor the treatment to best fit your health concerns and therapeutic goals.    


Will my treatment be kept confidential?

We will not reveal any information regarding the work that we do together unless you have signed the Authorization to Disclose Information form. In the instance that you are in danger of harming yourself or another, we are obligated by law to notify the authorities. 


Will the cost of my treatment be covered by my insurance plan?

AC Therapeutic Services is a self pay facility. However, we will work with you and can discuss the details of your finances, and other factors to try to come to a mutually-agreed upon fee. Our mission is to serve the community broadly,  not just those with the most means to pay. Therefore it may be possible to set a lower fee depending on your circumstances and the availability of lower fee time slots. This is determined on a case-by-case basis and would need to be discussed directly with the therapist prior to beginning treatment. 


How long will my treatment last?

The length of treatment will vary depending on the nature of your health concerns. We will be able to better answer this question after the first initial assessment. Generally speaking, certain health concerns require just a couple of visits, and others require several months of treatment. We believe that you should seek treatment as soon as possible, for the best outcome.  


What is psychodynamic psychotherapy?

Psychodynamic psychotherapy aims to highlight felt conflicts you may be experiencing but are unable to clearly understand or resolve. The ultimate goal of this form of therapy is to resolve your conflicts and expand your understanding of yourself. As you resolve conflicts, your fears, symptoms and other obstacles that may be preventing you from fulfilling your desire and your goals will diminish. It is through this self-examination that your relationship with yourself changes. You achieve a clearer sense of what you feel and want. Developing an understanding of yourself and the psychology behind your actions will foster a compassionate attitude towards yourself, which, in turn, enables you to deal more effectively with problems and more fully connect with yourself and others. 


What is cognitive-behavioral therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) highlights the connection between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  The aim of this form of therapy is to highlight patterns of thinking (i.e., self-judgment, catastrophic thinking, all or nothing thinking, black and white thinking) that can lead to psychological symptoms and less effective coping skills (i.e., withdrawal, avoidance). Through the examination of your cognitive life, your feelings and behaviors, you will gain more flexibility in how you approach and solve problems encountered in your life.  You will acquire specific tools to deal more effectively with life stressors. Problems will become less overwhelming and less disorganizing.

What is psychological testing?

Psychological testing – also referred to as psychological assessment - utilizes objective and standardized tests to evaluate psychological, emotional, cognitive (i.e., learning and memory), and behavioral abilities. Many different types of tests are used together to assess one’s strengths and weaknesses across a number of domains. A typical psychological assessment includes an interview with one of our psychologists and the completion of a variety of formal tests. At the end of the assessment, you will be provided with the test results and recommendations to increase your effectiveness in educational, occupational, or social settings.


How can I prevent mental illness from coming back?

We give you guidance to adhere to, both inside and outside of our office, to maximize your treatment and prevent a reoccurrence. Your therapist will actively work with you to prevent setbacks. 


What determines if my mental illness will come back?

There are a few components that play a part in the recurrence of mental illness, such as:

  • Coexisting stresses in life: often times, a mental illness will recur if there are additional life stressors (experiencing family or marital problems, starting a new job, losing someone close to you).  

  • Age: more often than not, if someone is diagnosed with a mental illness earlier than later in life, there is a higher likelihood of the illness recurring.  

  • Diagnosis: some mental illnesses more commonly recur than others, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, and bipolar disorder.


What if I have an emergency or an urgent situation comes up?

If you find yourself in the midst of an emergency during business hours, call your provider. Outside of business hours, please immediately call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.  If you have an urgent situation, call our office, and we will see you as soon as we can.