Who makes referrals to Integrated Behavioral Care, P.A.?
Frequently people come to IBC because they have been referred by:
- Primary care physicians, pediatricians, OB/GYN or other medical specialist
- School personnel, including guidance counselors or the Child Study Team
- Other professional or community resources (for example clergy, attorneys or social service groups)
- Friends, neighbors or family members
At other times individuals have heard about us through word-of-mouth or found our website on the internet.
Does seeking mental health care mean there’s something “wrong” with me?
There are many unfortunate stereotypes about mental health treatment, oftentimes supported by the media. Seeking help from a mental health professional for a psychological condition or emotional distress is in many ways similar to seeking treatment from your physician for a medical illness or injury. In each of these situations it’s reasonable to seek out help to alleviate your symptoms, resolve problems and to feel well. There is sometimes a stigma associated with various mental health conditions. Fortunately, this is fading as the public becomes more educated and those who have struggled with these issues are beginning to talk openly about their experience.
What’s the next step?
If you have been given the name of a particular therapist or psychiatrist you may call that provider directly to inquire about their services. The phone numbers for our providers are available on this website in our phone directory. Otherwise, please feel free to read our provider profiles in order to get a sense of who might be a good fit for you. Any of our psychiatrists or therapists can answer your questions and, if another provider on our staff might be a more appropriate choice we will let you know. If you are seeking assistance in an area in which our staff does not have adequate expertise, we will be happy to make referrals for you to other potential providers in the community.
What are your fees?
This will depend upon the individual provider you see. Typically initial evaluations or assessments will be charged at a higher rate than regular therapy or medication management sessions. Make sure to ask your provider what to expect concerning cost. Refer to our Policies page for additional information regarding insurance and payment.
Your group is not an In-Network provider. Why is that?
In order to be included on insurance panels (also referred to as being a participating provider) a mental health professional must sign a contract with the insurance company. The provider must then adhere to that insurance company’s policies. This can include sharing specific details about you and your situation with the insurance company (e.g. your symptoms, if you’re having difficulty functioning at work or school, family stressors, and what you discuss in therapy). Typically the insurance company will request progress updates and will sometimes attempt to dictate the course of treatment and limit the number of sessions they’ll allow (according to formulas they’ve created). The employees at the insurance company have never met the patients for whom they make these decisions. Frequently these employees are not practicing mental health professionals themselves. At IBC we are committed to providing you with expert, confidential, individualized treatment to meet your needs, free from interference by the insurance companies.
How long are appointments?
This will also vary. First sessions usually require additional time. Typical therapy sessions last 45-50 minutes. People sometimes find it helpful to arrive 10 minutes early, to collect their thoughts and consider what they might want to focus on during their session. Please note that if you are late to an appointment it will still need to end on time, as there may well be someone waiting for their own session to begin. If you are running very late contact your provider to discuss if rescheduling the appointment might be more appropriate.
How often do patients come for sessions?
Psychotherapy sessions are most often scheduled weekly, if possible on the same day and at the same time each week. Depending upon the circumstances more frequent sessions might be useful. After a period of time, as you make progress and your goals are met, you and your therapist might decide to schedule less frequently.
In the same way, appointments with a psychiatrist will likely occur more frequently as you begin using medication. The doctor will be assessing your response to the medication and determining if the dosage should be adjusted. Once you are receiving maximum benefit and are on a stable dose, the frequency of medication management sessions may decrease.
Do you have flexible office hours?
Yes, many of our providers offer early morning, daytime, evening and/or weekend appointments. When calling, ask your provider about the hours they currently have available.
How long does treatment last?
This will depend on the individual patient and the issues which are being addressed. Factors which effect length of treatment include the severity of your symptoms, how long you’ve been dealing with your situation, if you’re experiencing ongoing stress, how much support you receive from family members and others, if new distressing events occur or new symptoms develop, and how quickly you make progress. It may take only weeks to help you cope with a simple or short-term situation. Or treatment may last 6 months to a year or longer depending on how much your functioning has been effected and what changes you want to see in your life.
Is there anything I should do to prepare for my first appointment?
Yes, please visit our Forms page on this website, complete the appropriate paperwork, and bring it with you. Print out the IBC Registration and the IBC Fee Agreement and Consent to Treat forms and complete these at home. If you or your child will be meeting with one of our psychiatrists be sure to print and complete the IBC Medical History and Medications form. If you know that you’d like your provider to contact others on your behalf, please print and complete the IBC Consent to Release form. If you have any questions or need any clarification regarding these forms we’ll be happy to discuss this during your visit.
How can I contact my provider?
The safest and most secure method of contact is through the use of a landline phone, or via “snail mail”. Other forms of communication (such as email, cell phones and text) can be accessed by unauthorized people and hence may compromise your privacy and confidentiality. In addition, it’s always possible that email, cell phone calls, fax or texts might be sent mistakenly to the wrong person. If you do decide to communicate via email, texts or by leaving phone messages, we assume that you have made an informed decision, and view it as your agreement to take the risk that such communication may be intercepted or misdirected.
For this reason we request that any information shared be minimal, such as the need to reschedule an appointment time. Please do not, under any circumstances, use texts, email, or voice mail messages when in need of emergency treatment. At such times proceed immediately to your local emergency room. Upon your safe arrival there please notify your IBC provider of this development.
What are the benefits of a group practice?
For the psychiatrists and therapists, there are some simple advantages for a group practice, such as sharing office space and equipment. More importantly there is the opportunity for ongoing learning and consultation, as each member brings their own unique interests, strengths and knowledge to the group.
For patients there is flexibility. IBC is able to provide integrated mental health services all “under one roof”. If there is ever need for a second opinion or a referral, we can provide names of mental health professionals both within the group, as well as in the larger community. Our staff has established professional relationships with other specialists in the community and, when appropriate, can provide you with referrals to medical specialists (such as an endocrinologist), neuropsychologists, learning consultants, alternative programs which offer a higher level of care, etc.
Over time we have found that many families and individuals turn to our group repeatedly as their situations and needs change over the years. For instance, parents might bring their school aged child for psychiatric assessment and treatment regarding difficulties in the classroom. Years later the child might want to return to talk about adolescent issues regarding self-esteem, peer relationships and managing increased independence. Later still a parent may want to speak with one of our therapists about adjusting to life changes, whether work, health or family issues. Clients may choose to return to the therapist who helped them in the past or meet with another clinician in the group instead. If the individual is suffering symptoms of depression or anxiety, one of our psychiatrists is available for consultation and care. We are honored to have earned the ongoing trust of our clients, their families and the greater community.
However, there are other situations where an individual may choose to see one type of provider at IBC (whether psychiatrist or therapist) and see another provider (therapist or psychiatrist) outside of our practice. This is completely acceptable, and we are happy to consult with other professionals, at your request, for coordination of care.
Do you provide court ordered evaluations and services?
No, we are unable to offer child custody or visitation evaluations, child abuse and neglect mental health evaluations, substance abuse evaluations, or competency evaluations. Nor do we provide court ordered anger management or domestic violence prevention classes or court ordered treatment of sexual offenders. If you are in need of any similar mandated services, discuss this with your provider before scheduling an appointment.