Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions people have about therapy and the therapy process. If you have more questions, please feel free to connect with us.

What is Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)?

EBPs are treatment approaches that have been proven to work based on the results of many research studies and clinical trials. At St. Charles Counseling Associates, we often implement EBP in our practice. Our therapy is always guided by the latest research in the field because we strive to provide the most effective treatment available and to improve the quality of life of our clients. Please click here to see a list of the EBPs we provide.

What is LCSW? What is LPC?

Both LCSWs and LPCs have been licensed by the State of Missouri to provide psychotherapy. To obtain their license, they must complete a Master's Degree (about 2-3 years of additional schooling after receiving their undergraduate degree), pass an exam, and be supervised by an experienced therapist for thousands of clinical hours. LCSW stands for Licensed Clinical Social Worker and those with a LCSW completed their Master’s Degree in Social Work. LPC stands for Licensed Professional Counselor and those with a LPC completed their Master's Degree in Professional Counseling.

How can therapy help me?

Therapy can be beneficial in many different ways. Therapists can not only provide you with the emotional support and education/skils needed for you to better handle your current struggles, but also provide you with a different perspective on the issues you have been dealing with. Therapy often helps decrease symptoms associated with a wide range of mental health struggles. Some specific benefits of therapy include learning new/healthier ways to manage feelings, improving communication skills, bettering interpersonal relationships, enhancing self-esteem, gaining more insights into self and current issues, decreasing behavioral and emotional problems in children and teens, and decreasing distress related to trauma.

What can I expect in the therapy process?

Generally speaking, the first session in therapy is considered as an assessment session where your therapist will gather information from you to learn more about you and what is bringing you to therapy. In the second and third session, your therapist will continue to learn more about you and will start working with you together to identify some areas you would like to work on in therapy. Your therapist will work very closely with you to help you choose a therapeutic approach(es) that could help you reach your goals. All the following therapy sessions entail using different approaches to help you address your concerns. Your progress in therapy will be evaluated regularly throughout the treatment process. At any time in therapy, if you ever have any questions or concerns regarding your treatment, your therapist will always be there to address it with you.

How do I schedule an appointment?

If you are a new client, please first meet our therapists to decide which therapist you would like to work with. You can contact that therapist directly to schedule an initial appointment. If you are an existing client, please contact your therapist directly regarding scheduling follow up sessions.

How much does therapy cost?

Your fees will vary based on your payment method chosen and your insurance coverage. We accept most major insurance plans including Medicaid and Medicare. Please refer to each therapist's personal page for detailed information on fees and insurance accepted. Any fees and/or co-pays are collected in the beginning of each session.

What does the first session look like?

Depending on which therapist you choose to work with, the first session may look slightly different. However, generally speaking, the first session is considered as an assessment session where your therapist will discuss your history and needs for therapy with you. During the first session, you will also have the opportunity to review office policies, ask any questions you may have about your therapist and the therapy process, and to see if you feel comfortable with the therapist. It is recommended that you and your therapist meet a few times before deciding if the therapeutic relationship will continue.

How long is a therapy session?

Sessions usually last about 50 minutes in length. However, longer sessions can be arranged for additional fee depending on the type of therapy approach used, presenting issues in a particular session or presence of safety concerns. Your therapist will discuss with you in detail regarding the length of your sessions.

How often do we need to meet?

Typically, sessions occur once a week in order for therapy to be most effective. Later in treatment, sessions will occur less frequently when there is progress. However, if it is clinically appropriate or if finances are an issue, please discuss with your therapist regarding scheduling more flexibly.

How long does treatment take?

The length for treatment can vary from a few weeks to a few years depending on your therapy goals, the complexity of your issues, frequency of attendance, the type of therapy you are seeking, and how much effort is put in in the process. When creating therapy goals, you and your therapist will discuss how to measure your progress, and how you will know when you will be ready to end therapy.

What is expected of me in therapy?

Therapy is teamwork. The more committed and motivated you are, the more likely therapy will be effective. Speaking honestly and openly not only about your thoughts and feelings on life events but also on the therapy process is crucial. Sometimes, in between sessions, you may be asked to reflect on what is discussed in sessions or to practice skills/complete homework in between sessions. Consistent attendance is paramount for achieving progress and reaching your therapy goals. Most of the time, change is not an event; it is a process. Therefore, be patient with yourself in this process. If you have a hard time with any of the expectations, please do not hesitate to address it directly with your therapist. We are always here to help you.

What questions should I ask my insurance company about out-of-network benefits?

IF your therapist is not in-network for your insurance, you may be able to be reimbursed for a portion of your session fee. You can ask your insurance company the following questions to find out:
  • Does my insurance cover out-of-network mental health services offered by LCSW/LPC?
  • Do I need to get any prior authorization to obtain out-of-network mental health services in order to be reimbursed?
  • If I have out-of-network mental health benefits, will I get reimbursed for my session fee?
  • Do I have a deductible, and if so, what is it?

What is trauma?

Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience and could happen to anybody. Some examples of serious trauma include physical or sexual abuse/assault, natural disaster, serious car accidents, war, etc. Other types of trauma that could also have a long-lasting effect on people include emotional/verbal/psychological abuse, neglect, bullying, witnessing domestic violence, traumatic loss, etc. Though very uncomfortable, trauma symptoms are treatable. Please discuss with your therapists if you are experiencing any trauma symptoms.