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General Questions

What can I expect at my first appointment?

In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life.  Please complete the New Client Forms as much as possible and bring to your first appointment.  The information you provide on this form will give us a starting point for our first meeting.


What about medication?

Choosing therapy does not automatically mean choosing medication.  The work you do in counseling and put into practice in your daily life is often successful.   In some instances, however, a combination of medication and counseling is the best course of treatment.  Please present any questions and concerns at your first appointment and whenever necessary.  Working with your medical doctor and counselor can determine what is best for you.


Do you take insurance and how does that work?

Before your first appointment:

  • Call your insurance by locating the member services number on the back of your insurance card

  • Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand the benefits you are entitled to under your policy.


I am contracted with most major insurance companies including:

  • Tricare

  • Medicare

  • Medicaid

  • Community Care

  • Centennial

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • Presbyterian

  • Magellan

  • Cigna

  • United Healthcare

  • Employee Assistance Programs.


My business office will file the insurance claims on your behalf once you have completed the new client forms and attended your first session.


Co-payments will be due at the beginning of each scheduled session.  Your insurance company will reimburse my office directly for the balance of each session. *


*Exceptions include any policy and reimbursement rate changes with your insurance company.  Please let me know about any changes to your insurance policy in order to keep your out of pocket expenses at the lowest  possible rate according to your policyThis includes annual policy deductibles and any unexpected interruption in the benefits of your insurance policy.  Any amount not covered by insurance is the responsibility of the insurance card holder or parent/guardian.



What if I don't have insurance?

I believe in accessible mental health care and maintain sliding scale fee sessions on a limited basis for applicants who meet financial qualifications.  Please be prepared to complete a financial agreement and provide your two most recent pay stubs.



Does what we talk about remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important considerations in counseling.  Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust and I understand that discussions in the office usually contain highly sensitive subject matter that you may not choose to discuss elsewhere.  Your right to privacy is protected in accordance with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996  which clearly defines Protected Health Information (PHI) and your privacy rights for all forms of treatment.


A copy of the Privacy Policy of MaryEllen Agolia, PhD is posted in my office, as well as on this web site.  Please click here to print a copy for your records: Privacy Policy.


Will you work with my primary care doctor?

At your request I can work with your primary care doctor, psychiatrist, or prescribing psychologist and with your written permission.  By law any information regarding your treatment cannot be released until you have completed a Release of Information Form.

Why counseling?  I'm used to handling problems on my own.

Some benefits of counseling include:

  • Developing skills for improving your relationships

  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety

  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures

  • Improving communication and listening skills

  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones

  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage

  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence



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