Q&A About Starting Therapy, Investment, & Policies

How do I contact you?

Feel free to call me, 833-HEAL-ATL ext. 2, if you reach my voicemail please leave me your name, and a brief message. Want to email? Send me your questions or a time/date you’d like to book a session to shayda@healatl.com | Emails & calls are responded to within 48 hours, between the hours of 8 am - 6 pm, excluding weekends and holidays. 

What happens during a initial phone call with you?

The initial phone consult gives you an opportunity to ask me questions and decide if you’d like to work with me in the privacy of our offices at Heal ATL Counseling and Wellness.  It also helps me get a sense of what you’re looking for help with in therapy.  If we’re good a fit, then I’ll schedule your first session and take your personal information.  You’ll get an e-mail with a link with all the paperwork to complete before your first session.  Don’t worry – your information will be protected & it always remains confidential.

What happens in the first session?

I prepare for your first session by reviewing your answers to the initial paperwork you completed online.  I’ll have questions to jumpstart our conversation, and we’ll get deeper into your story and your goals for counseling.  All the while, we’re getting to know each other, and you’re getting a clearer sense of whether I am the therapist you’d like to continue exploring difficult and vulnerable topics with in therapy.

How often will we meet?

We always meet weekly in the beginning (first month or so) in the comfort of our Atlanta office, and then we’ll decide together the frequency that makes sense for your lifestyle, to help you achieve your goals for therapy.

How long will therapy take?

There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to this. It entirely depends on what brought you to psychotherapy, your goals, and your effort to practice what you’re working on in your daily life.  Each person takes a different path.  Once you reach your goals, together we’ll decide whether to start the process of saying goodbye or focus on new goals.  I promise to support you as long as you need, but no more than necessary.  In some cases, clients prefer to check-in with me as needed or for monthly maintenance sessions after our initial work together ends. For many therapy does not have an end date. Therapy can also be your weekly time to check in, reflect and process your day to day life, with an unbiased and supportive mental health professional.  

I am looking for a therapist for my daughter, do you work with teens? 

I do work with adolescents! I accept female clients age 15 and older. Let's set up a time to talk via telephone to figure out if I am the right fit as a therapist for your daughter. If we can not journey together I will try my best to provide you with other resources to find a therapist for your child. 

Do you have a cancellation policy?

Yes.  I ask for a minimum of 24 hours notice if you need to cancel a session.  A cancellation fee of the full amount of the service will be charged to the credit card on file if you fail to attend a scheduled session or give less than 24 hours notice of cancellation. 

Can someone else pay for my therapy?

Sure, but if you’re age 18 or older, I’ll need to get: their written authorization to charge their credit card; and their signed acknowledgment of understanding that they will not have written or verbal access to any of the content of your therapy without your written consent.

How much does therapy with you cost?

The cost of psychotherapy varies depending on the provider’s level of education, licensure status, additional certifications, and area(s) of expertise.

Initial Psychotherapy Intake Session 90-minute - $200

Psychotherapy Session 50-minute - $135

Full payment is due at the time service is rendered.

Do you offer sliding scale or reduced fees for counseling?

Yes. I do have a limited number of sliding scale spots/reduced fee spots for those in need. These spots are reserved for individuals experiencing financial difficulty, students and the unemployed. Must provide proof of low income.

Do you take insurance? 

No, I don’t accept insurance.

Oh no, but I still want to work with YOU.  Is there another way?

Absolutely!  Your insurance plan may have out-of-network coverage.  If it does, you may be able to work with me using it.  It’s super easy!  Here’s how it works:

You pay me directly and I provide you with a monthly statement of services (called a superbill).  Then, you submit (e-mail, fax, or snail mail) it to your insurance company if you decide seek reimbursement through your insurance company’s out-of-network coverage.  Just to be clear, I make no guarantees that you’ll receive reimbursement from your insurance company. 

If you wish to seek reimbursement for our therapy sessions it is important that you contact your insurance provider and ask the following questions: 

Have I met my deductible for this year?

Do I have mental health benefits?

Can I file for reimbursement if I am seeing an out-of-network provider?

What is the percentage amount I will be reimbursed?

What is a “psychotherapist”? What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, and psychotherapist? Are psychotherapists, counselors and therapists the same thing?

A psychotherapist is any mental health professional who provides “talk therapy” to help individuals, couples, or families to resolve a variety of issues. The terms professional counselors, therapist and psychotherapist are often used interchangably to describe the role associated with talk therapy.  Individuals that hold these titles must have a graduate degree and hold the proper professional license within their state to practice psychotherapy. The differences between professionals relate to the years of education, degree, ability (or not) to prescribe medication or to do psychological testing. A psychologist has a master’s and doctoral degree in psychology, provides talk therapy, and can also provide psychological testing. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has additional training in psychiatry; they specializes in treating mood disorders, can do talk therapy, and is the only clinician in the above list with the ability to prescribe medication to combat mood disorders (including depression).  All professionals above require graduate degress, many hours of clinical training, and a professional license by the state they reside in to provide you services.