Is therapy covered by my insurance?
Some of our providers are included on some insurance plans. If you are in-network with your provider, we will file all necessary forms for you. If you are out-of-network with your provider, we will provide you with an appropriate insurance receipt detailing services for
you to file your claim. The choice of whether or not you want to use
insurance – in- or out-of-network – is completely up to you. Some people
prefer not to use insurance in any way, in order to prevent artificial
limitations imposed by insurance companies, and to avoid a mental health
diagnosis on the insurance record.
What is Therapy?
Therapy is interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists to help people in problems of living. This process should help with such changes as increasing individual’s sense of well-being and reducing subjective discomforting experience. Psychotherapists, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists employ a range of techniques based on relationship building, dialogue, communication, and cognitive and behavior change that are designed to improve the mental health of the individual, couple or family. Therapy may be focused on alleviated distress from specific disorders such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, behavior disorders, etc., or it may be used to help with adjustment to new life changes or marital/family conflicts.
How many sessions should I expect?
Therapy is an individualized process and course of treatment depends on complexity of symptoms and nature of presenting problem. A therapeutic relationship has been shown to be a critical component to successful treatment outcome; therefore, allowing enough sessions for this relationship to develop as well as for the treatment to occur should be expected to take a minimum of 6-8 sessions. Many people remain in treatment for significantly longer to fully resolve issues, allow for resolution of additional issues, and/or maintain a healthy level of functioning. Once issues are resolved, therapy can also change in frequency, transitioning from weekly, biweekly, monthly, or longer. Because therapy is such an individual process, some people resolve symptoms and issues more quickly and will need less than 6-8 sessions.
If I bring in my child, can I talk to the therapist without him or her in the room?
Generally speaking, before seeing a preadolescent child individually, the clinicians at the Sugar Bend Center prefer to meet with parents for a full session without the child present. We do this for several reasons. First of all, we want to make sure you are comfortable with us before bringing your child for an appointment. This allows you to reassure your child about who we are, what our office is like, and what the appointment will be like. We also like to meet with parents individually in order to gather a thorough history of your child and family. This is often much easier to do without the child present, and allows parents to speak openly about difficult topics when needed. Finally, this first session is often used to learn from parents about their expectations of treatment, what they hope to gain from it, and whether our services are likely to be what your child needs at this point. In some cases, particularly if individual therapy is warranted for younger children, parents may meet with the clinician periodically throughout the course of psychotherapy depending on the needs of the child and family. In other cases, when a child is not ready to use therapy independently, treatment may be primarily with parents, wherein parents are coached on how to help their children at home. Treatment with an adolescent can be a whole other story. As children approach adolescence, their need for privacy typically increases. Thus, much to the chagrin of many parents, therapy may be most effective when the adolescent has confidence that what he or she discusses in therapy will be confidential. Exceptions to this, of course, are when safety is concerned, or in the case of any other confidentiality limitations defined in your particular therapy arrangements. In general, treatment with adolescents may include parents, but it is less likely you would meet with the clinician without your child present.
Are you going to tell me what my child tells you in therapy?
This question is asked a lot. Unfortunately, the answer is not as straightforward as the question. As mentioned in the previous question, adolescent age children often expect confidentiality in order for therapy to be beneficial. All clinicians are bound by limits of confidentiality, which generally state that we must report abuse of any kind and address issues of safety. (See limits of confidentiality for more detail.) When a clinician works with an adolescent, he or she will talk with the adolescent and family about the specifics of what information will be shared with parents. With younger children, the issue of confidentiality may be less complicated. In the first session with a child, the child is often informed that their therapist will be meeting with their parents again to talk about ways to help the family work better together and to be happier. For the most part, children are pleased with this idea. In some cases, though, such as in the case of abuse or divorce, young children may also need to feel therapy is a “safe place to talk.” In these types of cases, strict confidentiality may be necessary to help a child benefit from therapy.
How do I know which provider to choose?
Please see our individual providers’ pages on this web site. These brief introductions will give you information on each clinician, including background, training, theoretical orientation and areas of specialization. If you are unsure which provider would be the best fit for you, please call our office and speak to our administrative assistant, who will be able to assist you in making a selection.
General office hours for the Sugar Bend Center are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. However, each provider sets his or her own hours in terms of early morning or late afternoon appointments. Our administrative assistant can assist you in determining the availability of appointment times for your specific provider. Cherie is available by telephone to assist you 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Fridays.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a marriage and family therapist, and a counselor?
A psychiatrist has a medical degree (an M.D. or D.O.), which means the psychiatrist has completed medical school and is a physician. After medical school, to be a general psychiatrist (i.e. mainly sees adult patients), a physician receives an additional 4 years of psychiatric training. A child and adolescent psychiatrist has had 3 years of general psychiatric training and then 2 additional years of child training and typically sees children, adolescent and adults. Psychiatrists can provide therapy and prescribe medications.
Does therapy work?
Years of research have been dedicated to answering this very question. We can confidently say that therapy has been demonstrated to be an effective means for individuals and families to get relief from emotional distress and to make meaningful changes in their personal and family lives. In fact, in most cases, therapy is shown to be as effective as medication for many emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression. In other cases, psychotherapy in conjunction with medication has been shown to be the most effective intervention; for example, in the case of ADHD or ADD.
What is the difference between a D.O. and an M.D.?
There are two types of physicians: ‘D.O.’ and ‘M.D’. ‘D.O.’ stands for Doctor of Osteopathy while ‘MD’ stands for Doctor of Medicine. Both are physicians who have undergone rigorous education and training to work as fully licensed doctors in any medical specialty they choose (after the required 3-6 years of residency training following the 4 years of medical school). They both must pass the required state license exam to practice medicine and both can work in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals, medical centers and/or clinics. Both are upheld to the ethics and responsibilities of medical training. D.O.s are smaller in number and tend to be more common in the eastern states. For example, in Texas there is one osteopathic medical school while there are seven M.D. (or allopathic) medical schools. D.O.s have the same rights and practices privileges that M.D.s have and are professionally equal. Traditionally, DOs put more emphasis on preventative medicine, and approach a patient holistically instead of just focusing on the patient’s symptoms. There is additional training in the musculoskeletal system and how problems in one area of the body can affect another area because of their connections through the musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles, fascia, and ligaments). Currently, these differences have become less distinct with allopathic (MD) schools and all individual clinicians embracing a more holistic and preventative approach.
How do I refill a prescription between appointments?
Typically you will be prescribed enough medication to get to your next appointment. However, for those instances in which you need a prescription between appointments, follow the directions below:
- Go to the website www.sugarbendcenter.com.
- Click on the link: ‘Secure Prescription Request Form’
- You will need your most recent prescription bottle to complete the form.
- Complete the on-line form and click ‘Submit’.
- Once approved, your request will be eScribed to your pharmacy.
- Requests are processed as soon as possible but there is a 24-48 hour turn around.
This form is primarily intended for C2 prescriptions (Adderall, Concerta, Focalin, Ritalin, Vyvanse) and for non-C2 prescriptions without additional refills.
For non-C2 prescriptions with additional refills, please call your pharmacy.
- Our office no longer accepts refill requests via email or phone.
- Use the Secure Prescription Refill Request Link on our website.
- Patients must be seen on a regular basis to obtain refills. To schedule an appointment, call 281-242-2595.
What are C2 medications? What is eScribe?
A C2 medication (also known as a Scheduled II substance or C-II drug) is one of several categories of medications that are more closely monitored than your average prescription by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of Public Safety. It includes the stimulant medications (i.e. Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin XR, Vyvanse, etc) for ADHD. There are stricter guidelines for these medications that both doctors and patients must follow. In the past, these medications could not be called into your pharmacy but had to be hand-written and were voided if not filled within 21 days of being issued. C2 medications cannot be ‘refilled’ and require a separate prescription each month. Patients who are on C2 medications must be seen by the prescribing physician every 90 days in order to continue the medication.
Recently, this category of medications can now be eScribed (electronically sent) directly to a patient’s pharmacy. This eliminates the need for patients to have to come to the office in person between appointments to pick up a handwritten prescription. There are still certain guidelines that must be followed and patients still need to be seen at least every 90 days to continue being prescribed medication but eScribing makes the process much more convenient for all.