Why bring my child to counseling?
Children and teens face stress just like adults. Children and adolescents today face new pressures and stress that previous generations did not have to deal with. School stress, threats of violence, social media pressure, boundaries with cell phones, and increased isolation are just some of the new pressures on kids. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.
Counseling can help! Both teens and younger children can benefit from having a supportive therapeutic alliance. Counseling can help build coping skills to deal with their world. It can help kids learn to manage distressing feelings such as anger, anxiety, and shame. Counseling can help heal depression, improve self-esteem and motivation, and build social skills.
Can I participate in my child's session?
Individual counseling works because a confidential, non-judgemental relationship is formed with a therapist. It is important that children and adolescents feel completely free to be honest and candid in sessions. A parent being present can sometimes hinder this process.
That being said, many problems are family problems and incorporating family members into session can be helpful at times. Also, with many children, parents and guardians are invited to join the session for the last part of session to help generalize the session to the home environment. This allows you see their progress, continue to work on things at home with them, and discuss your child in privacy rather than in the waiting room.
Where should I park?
There is available parking around the back of the strip mall to enter New Waters Counseling directly. This is a handicap accessible entrance and also a more private entrance. You may also park in the front of Ruthred Market and enter one of the white doors on the side of of the grocery store to come up the stairs.
What insurances do you accept?
Currently I am an in-network provider for Highmark BCBS, UPMC Commercial insurance, and Cigna. I am not able to accept Medicaid products such as UPMC For You. I am able to accept CHIP products such as UPMC for Kids. If I am not in-network with your insurance, I am able to offer some limited flexible private pay arrangements or to provide a "Superbill" which has all of the information you would need ot submit an out-of-network claim to your insurance for possible reimbursement from your insurance (this is dependant on your out-of-network benefits).
Is counseling confidential?
Counseling is confidential. If you wish for a counselor to communicate with someone in regards to counseling treatment, you will need to sign an authorization for release of information. You must communicate what information you are authorizing the counselor to communicate and with whom in writing. There are a few notable exceptions to the rule of confidentiality. These will be reviewed with you in detail at the begining of the first session
Do I need to remain in the waiting room during my child's session?
lt is expected that parents/guardians remain nearby during thier child's session. Parents and family members are often involved in the last part of session if it is appropriate. You are welcome to enjoy available refreshments in the waiting area as you wait. I realize that sometimes siblings need to tag along. Siblings are welcome to play or read in the waiting area. You are expected to monitor your children in the waiting room and ensure that books and toys are returned to their spots. You are encouraged to use the opportunity in the waiting room to connect with others.