FAQuestions about Counseling and Psychotherapy

FAQQuestions about Counseling and Psychotherapy

What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?

A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling or psychotherapy.  It can be as simple as just knowing that someone listens, understands, and allows you to have a voice.  Just getting things “off your chest” is incredibly helpful to some.  Therapy can also provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem, lead you to a solution, and uncover non-productive habits and patterns that have been unknowingly limiting you.  The outcome contributes to personal growth, better relationships, and increased satisfaction in life, in general.

Your website says “Counseling and Psychotherapy.” What is the difference?

The terms “counseling” and “psychotherapy” are often used interchangeably and most professionals have no major objection to that.  They can also both occur at the same time.  However, if one were to make a distinction, it would be accurate to say that:
Counseling is the process of guiding the client to the discovery of a solution to the problem he or she is facing.  It may be just that simple or it may expand to incorporate some aspects of psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy refers to a healing process, in which the client aims to correct longstanding non-beneficial behavior.  Psychotherapy explores issues from the past that are concealed in the subconscious mind but are a dominant force for how a person thinks, feels, and behaves in the "now".  It is very much a collaborative relationship between the therapist and the client which uncovers revelations, new understandings, and new possibilities.
You can easily see where the line between the two can become blurred.  The bottom line is that I am able to address your concern with whichever approach is most beneficial to you.

Do you take insurance?

There is only ONE way to ensure that the topics and issues discussed in a session stay 100% confidential and only between you and the therapist: self-pay with no insurance, which is the framework I use.

Therefore, I am not in-network with any insurance companies.

However, there is one alternative if you would like to use your insurance: check with your provider to see if your coverage includes Out of Network (OON) benefits. If you have that coverage, I can provide you with a monthly SuperBill which you will send to your provider to seek reimbursement.

Please be advised:

  1. all insurance companies require a mental disorder diagnosis
  2. your insurance company may request a copy of our session notes
  3. your insurance company may decline your request for reimbursement
  4. your insurance company may dictate the number of sessions allowed and even the length of the individual sessions
  5. anyone who comes in contact with your personal health information in the chain of insurance processing has complete access to it; literally the exact opposite of confidentiality.

A mental disorder diagnosis will become a part of your permanent health record. It has the potential to work against you when attempting to get certain insurances, apply for certain licenses, or in your military or business career, as anyone who has a "legitimate" reason to access the medical database can view your records.

For all of these reasons, I have decided as a counselor and psychotherapist, not to accept health insurance directly.

What clients do you work with?

I work with adults (18 and up) and couples (opposite sex or same sex).  I also work with families, co-workers, and small groups.

All services are for people of any sexual orientation.

How long does counseling/psychotherapy take?

Everybody is different.  The length of time one attends counseling/psychotherapy sessions depends on many factors.   Largely, it is determined by your desire for personal development/growth/change, your commitment to resolve or improve your initial concerns, and the various factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place.  Short term therapy may last for 6 - 12 sessions, and some types of therapy may last for two years or more.  How long you will be in counseling is completely up to you.  Some clients come every week for years because they value the time and insight.  Others come for a shorter amount of time and then stop when they feel they have accomplished their goals.

How long are the sessions?

Individual and couples sessions are 1 hour.  Longer sessions for any client are available if necessary or desired.  As an example, some clients come for 1.5 hour and 2 hour sessions. Couples sessions always benefit from being longer than 1 hour if possible.

Is everything we talk about confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the greatest advantages of the counseling process. For many people, it is the only safe, non-judgmental, and confidential place where they can feel completely at ease to talk about absolutely anything.

There are a few exceptions that are required by law and we will go over them in our first meeting.  Additionally, a therapist cannot tell anyone that you are in therapy without your permission.

What is the free, 20-minute consultation about?

Some people may be initially hesitant to reach out to a stranger for counseling.  That is completely understandable.  The consultation (in-person or on the phone) provides an opportunity for you to get acquainted with me and ask any questions you may have before you make the decision to begin counseling.  It is a great ice breaker to help you get comfortable the counseling process.

When are you available?

Sessions are available every weekday 9am - 7pm and Saturdays 10am - 3 pm.

How do I make an appointment?

You can either call, text, or email.  If I am in session, please leave a message and I can return your phone call, text, or email the same day.  If you are contacting me for an appointment, please let me know of a few days and times that would work for you.

What forms of payment do you accept?

Payment is accepted in the form of cash, credit or debit card, and most HSA cards and is due at the time of service.

May I refer you to others?

My practice thrives on referrals from clients. If you like the services you receive, please feel free to refer me to your friends and family.

Serving the areas of:  San Antonio, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Monte Vista, Stone Oak, the Dominion, Shavano Park, Castle Hills, King William, the Pearl, Alta Vista, Downtown San Antonio, Southtown, Medical Center, La Cantera, Northeast San Antonio, North Central San Antonio.

Call for your free

20 minute consultation

Randel Porter Counseling and Psychotherapy | 143 West Sunset Road Suite 201 San Antonio, TX 78209 | Google Map

Randel Porter Counseling and Psychotherapy
143 West Sunset Road Suite 201
San Antonio, TX 78209
Google Map