• 678-430-8089
  • 5755 North Point Parkway, Ste 249, Alpharetta, GA 30022

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What is Marriage and Family Therapy?

Marriage and family therapy is an effective modality used to treat a wide range of presenting problems, such as depression, anxiety, marital distress, individual psychological problems, and parent-child concerns. More specifically, problems are most often the result of patterns of interactions. Thus, the client’s family and/or relationship patterns of interactions may need to be a part of the treatment plan. In marriage and family therapy, even if an individual client is the only person being seen in therapy, the treatment unit is the individual client in addition to the relationships in which he/she is imbedded.

If I experience a problem after office hours, who should I contact?

We are available to address non-emergent problems/concerns during regular office hours. In the event of an emergency during the evening or on a weekend, clients are advised to contact their local mental health hospital, 911, or the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at (800) 715-4225.

What problems/concerns are addressed during counseling?

We coordinate and collaborate with individuals and if desired, their referring providers, to identify problems and develop individualized treatment plans that address issues such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Marital, family, and relationship distress
  • Infidelity
  • Work-related stress
  • Stress Management
  • Grief and loss (including pet loss)
  • Adjustment to Life Transitions
  • Parent-child difficulties
  • Work-life balance challenges
  • Pre-marital counseling
  • Making lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation and weight management
  • Adjustment to illness and injury
  • Women’s health issues pertaining to pregnancy and postpartum-related
  • Trauma

To determine the best fit based on presenting concern, please contact the individual therapist directly.

What are the payment options?

All major credit cards, debit cards, checks, cash, and health savings accounts are accepted for payments.

What is the cost for counseling services?

The cost of counseling depends on the specific service being provided, the education and training level of the therapist providing the service (i.e. fully licensed therapist, associate level therapist, and practicum learner) in addition to the planned session time. Please don’t hesitate to contact the individual therapist directly, either via email or phone, to obtain more information about fees for counseling services.

Do you take insurance?

Presently, Dr. McDaniel accepts Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Humana. As a courtesy, Lifescapes Counseling Services, LLC will bill your insurance company for services provided. My billing company, Clear Solutions, LLC, makes every effort to assess what benefits you have and file claims accurately. However, this is no guarantee that your insurance company will follow through with their original Explanation of Benefits (EOB). Insurance benefits have become increasingly complex due to the rising cost of healthcare. Sometimes insurance companies will change benefits in the middle of a policy year without notification to me as the provider. They may also change session limits, deductibles, or other maximum allowables from what was originally stated. This can make it difficult to have claims paid in accordance with the benefits I have on file as the provider. Please note that your insurance company will require me to disclose certain information about you in order to receive benefits. This always includes a diagnosis. They also may ask for additional information pertinent to treatment, such as a treatment plan, psychosocial stressors, and/or current level of functioning. Out of respect for your privacy, I will disclose only the minimum amount necessary to justify services provided.

How long is a counseling session?

The duration of each session is typically either 45-50 minutes or 60 minutes. All depending on the client’s needs and circumstances, sessions lasting longer in duration (i.e. 90-120 minutes) are available. Please note, though, that insurance does not pay for sessions lasting longer than 60 minutes. Therefore, any time overage will be charged at the self-pay rate.

What is the duration for attending counseling?

Counseling services provided generally last 2-8 months, but may continue as long as 12- 15 months. However, the specific duration and scope of your therapy can vary greatly depending on presenting problems and goals established.

How do I schedule a counseling appointment?

For all potential clients, a brief complimentary phone consultation is offered prior to scheduling an initial session. Please feel free to contact the individual therapist directly either via email or by phone. If you would like to schedule a follow-up counseling appointment, you may do so through the online scheduling portal or by contacting the individual therapist directly, (678) 430-8089.

schedule with Kara
schedule with Sandy

What are your office hours and location?

To better serve clients and their counseling needs, flexible office hours and appointments in the North Atlanta area are offered. To determine the office hours, appointment availability and fees please feel free to contact the individual provider directly.

What is distance counseling?

Distance counseling is a very specific type of counseling approach that incorporates the best practices of traditional counseling in additional to its own exclusive advantages. These methods are then adapted for delivery to clients via electronic means and may include the following: tele-counseling (telephone), secure e-mail communication, chat, videoconferencing or stand-alone software programs (http://www.cce-global.org/dcc).

What is Family Systems Approach?

When it comes to relationships, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that problems are most often the result of patterns of interactions, rather than just one person being “at fault.” (An exception to this is in the case of violence, which is never justified no matter how another person acts.) This “family systems approach” means that when more than one person or family member is being seen in therapy, the therapist views the relationship or the family as a whole as the focus of treatment, or as one client.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is described as a non-adversarial process; an “assisted communications for agreement” (Melamed, www.mediate.com). It is a process by which a neutral third party facilitates discussions between parties surrounding possible ways in which to settle a dispute. The neutral third party does not have decision making authority or rights to impose a specific settlement upon parties involved in the process. On the other hand, the neutral does focus upon the needs and interests of the parties rather than rights and positions.

Key Qualities of the Mediation Process:
  • Voluntary
  • Collaborative
  • Controlled
  • Confidential
  • Informed
  • Impartial, neutral, balanced, and safe
  • Self-responsible and satisfying (Melamed, www.mediate.com)
What is Discernment Counseling?

If you or your spouse are considering divorce but uncertain as to whether it is the best path, there is no doubt that you are faced with an extremely difficult decision.

Discernment Counseling is designed to assist couples where one partner is “leaning out” of the relationship (i.e. uncertain that marriage counseling would help) and the other partner is “leaning in” (i.e. interested in rebuilding the marriage). It is an opportunity to slow down the decision making process and closely explore options for your marriage, whether it may be to try to restore your marriage back to a healthy state, take steps toward divorce, or to take time out and decide at a later date.

Ultimately, the goal for Discernment Counseling specifically is for persons to gain more clarity and confidence about a direction which stems from a deeper level of understanding of your relationship as well as its possibilities for the future.

The number of sessions are typically a maximum of five, however, could extend to seven sessions total. The initial session is usually two hours and the subsequent sessions are anywhere from 1.5 or 2 hours.

The following are certain situations in which Discernment Counseling is not suited for:

  • When one spouse has already made a final decision to divorce
  • When one spouse is coercing the other to participate
  • When there is danger of domestic violence (http://discernmentcounseling.com/about/)
What is Prepare-Enrich Assessment used for pre-marital counseling?

The Prepare-Enrich assessment is widely used for premarital counseling and education. It is a couple assessment that is customized and identifies the strengths and growth areas for each couple. These growth areas may include: communication, resolving conflict, identifying and managing stressors, exploring issues within families of origin, discuss issues pertaining to financial planning and budgeting, and developing a relationship that is more balanced Prepare/Enrich.

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please call 678-430-8089

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