The acronym LPC stands for Licensed Professional Counselor and requires (a) a Masters or Doctoral Degree in Counseling with a minimum of 48 hours from a regionally accredited institution, (b) passing of a licensing exam, (c) a minimum of 3,000 hours of post-graduate hours under the supervision of a LPC supervisor, and (d) adherence to the American Counseling Associations Code of Ethics.
Licensed Professional Counselor’s have the education, training, and clinical experience to help clients face life’s challenges. Counselors can provide a caring, supportive, and confidential relationship that will promote the opportunities for more positive life experiences.
Life can be stressful and overwhelming at times, and we cannot always anticipate what changes we will experience from one day to the next. Therefore, learning how to successfully navigate through life’s everyday challenges is essential for creating a healthy and satisfying life as well as establishing meaningful relationships. Therapy can play a fundamental role in working through these challenges by understanding how we deal with change and/or stress, the attitude we adopt, and developing the necessary tools for overcoming the discomforts and disappointments of life. The decision to enter therapy can be difficult for some individuals and may even produce stress or anxiety. If you are experiencing stress or anxiety as a result of considering therapy it is important to acknowledge your feelings, accept them as a normal response, and let your therapist know that you are anxious or stressed about beginning therapy.
how to schedule an appointment?
How to schedule Adults:
For adults to schedule an appointment, our office requires that an insurance card be sent in advance either through fax, email, or by image through phone. Please send a copy of both front and back of the card to prevent any future billing problems. Children or Adolescents:
Before an appointment can be scheduled for a child or adolescent, parents are required to submit:
Custody Agreement Paperwork*
Copies of all insurance or Medicaid cards.
*Court documents must be signed and filed with the court system and submitted in its entirety (not just a single page that identifies the domicile parent). *Please remember that only the domicile parent may enroll a minor in counseling. If co-domicile is indicated in the custody agreement, then both parents must sign all forms and be present for the first appointment.
Both custody agreement and insurance/Medicaid cards must be submitted either through fax or email in advance of the first appointment.
what can i expect on the first appointment?
The first counseling session is similar to any other consultation (i.e., doctor or dentist) appointment and will involve completing general paperwork, discussing the problem(s) that prompted counseling, and helping your counselor understand how the problem(s) have affected you. As a counselor, it is important to understand the nature of the problem, so we will discuss your family of origin, relationship history, medical and psychological treatment, and previous solutions that you’ve tried to resolve the problem. Toward the end of the first session we will discuss treatment goals, so that we have a direction for therapy.
Setting goals is important to the work that we will do together, so that we can evaluate your progress throughout counseling. If you are unsure of your goals, that is ok. Many clients have explained, “I just want to feel better” or “I just want our relationship to get back to the way that it use to be.” While these are understandable goals, we will work together to further develop and redefine these goals into something more concrete, so that we can effectively measure progress and growth.
The first session—like any other session—is approximately 50 minutes in length. The frequency of counseling sessions depends on the nature of the presenting problem. While some clients prefer to meet every other week, other clients may choose to meet monthly. For those clients experiencing significant emotional distress or in a state of crisis, we strongly recommend scheduling appointments once a week in the beginning stages of treatment. Once emotions are manageable and the crisis stabilizes, appointments can be scheduled bimonthly or monthly.
Can I bring my child or adolescent to the first counseling session?
This is a great question and commonly asked because parents often want their child or adolescent to attend the first session. First and foremost, we understand how eager you are to have your child or adolescent enter counseling, and we respect the fact that you want your child or adolescent to begin making changes in his or her life that will improve their behavior, self-esteem, and relationships. We, too, want to meet your child or adolescent and help them develop the necessary skills for managing the challenges of life and to reach their goals and potentials.
Before we start our work together, we need to understand more about your child or adolescents’ development and life history. While Dr. Broussard would prefer to meet with parents alone for the first session, we understand that this may not always be possible. If this is the case, then we recommend that the parent invite another adult to the session to sit with the child or teen in the lobby. This will give us a chance to meet privately for the first 20 minutes to review all the paperwork and gather important information about your child or adolescent.
If the child or teen’s behavior has been severe and/or ongoing for years, we recommend that only parents attend the first session and that a separate session be scheduled for the child or teen. This will give you an opportunity to provide a complete developmental and social history of your child and discuss important (yet private) details pertaining to family history, substance abuse, mental health, incarcerations, hospitalizations, suicide attempts, self-injurious behaviors, trauma, and other concerns.
I am a divorced parent. How do I make an appointment for my child?
Going through a divorce can be an extremely stressful time, especially for a child or adolescent. Many children and teens have a difficult time adjusting to all the changes surrounding a divorce or separation. Therefore, many parents contact our office with concerns that their child may be “acting out,” “failing in school,” depressed,” “lonely,” “withdrawn,” or has ‘anger outbursts” since the divorce or separation.
Before an appointment can be made, as a parent, make sure that you have the legal authorization to enroll your child in counseling. If you have divorce papers/custody documents, this will be written as “the domicile parent” or “domiciliary rights.” Please keep in mind that only the domicile parent can enroll a child in counseling. However, some court documents may indicate both parents as “co-domiciliary.” If this is the case, then both parents have to attend the first counseling appointment and sign all paperwork.
The domicile parent is the only parent who can make the legal decision to enroll their child in counseling.
If both parents are listed in the court documents as “co-domically” parents, then both parents have to attend the first session and sign all paperwork.
Parents are required to bring court documents/custody documents.
My teenager needs counseling and is able to drive. Do I still have to attend counseling?
If your teenager is 18 years or older, then the parent is not required to attend. However, we strongly encourage you to attend in order to understand the counseling process, policies and procedures, and to share your concerns.
If your teenager is 17 years old or younger, then the parent must attend the first counseling appointment. Legally, you are still responsible for your teenager, and we would like to meet with you and hear your concerns.
I want couples counseling, but my partner wont come. Help!?!
The decision to enter couples counseling is a big decision that involves a commitment to working on one’s self and the relationship as well as acknowledging that a problem exists in the first place. While couples counseling can be more beneficial to the relationship when both partners participate, it is not always necessary to have each partner in the session. For example, depending on the nature of the problem and the relationship, it may be more appropriate for one partner to enter counseling to work on him or herself before trying to address the relationship issues.
What if my insurance does not cover counseling?
As a consumer, it is your responsibility to know whether or not your insurance covers (a) individual counseling or (b) family counseling. In addition, it is important to known whether or not your (c) deductible applies, (d) the deductible has been met, (e) copay amount, and (f) if prior authorization is required prior to services rendered.
As a courtesy to you, we will file with your insurance carrier. However, if your insurance does not cover counseling, then you are responsible for the fees outlined in the Declaration of Practice.
Please remember that a response from your insurance company can take weeks and, in some cases, even months. If you have more than one insurance, this process can take a very long time. During this process, a client may attend several sessions before the insurance responds to a claim. Therefore, it is in your best interest to always check with your insurance carrier prior to seeking counseling.
how much does counseling cost?
Depending on whether you plan to file with your insurance carrier, Medicaid, or use your EAP benefits, the cost of counseling is based on medical necessity and coverage at the time that services are rendered. This means that a medical diagnosis is required and that coverage must be active on the date of your appointment.
For clients with insurance, please keep in mind that copays and deductibles may apply and charges are based on the allowable amount determined by the insurance company. Please contact your insurance carrier for more information.
If clients do not want to file with their insurance or wish to pay out of pocket, the cost of the first session is $150.00 and all subsequent sessions are $130.00. Please remember that we anticipate significant changes in healthcare coverage beginning January 1, 2020. Recently, our office has learned that not all emotional and behavioral disorders will be covered in 2020 and that some insurance companies are placing a limit on the number of sessions a client can receive psychotherapy in a calendar year. Please contact your insurance provider to be aware of your benefits and to verify that outpatient psychotherapy is a service covered under your plan.