Frequently Asked Questions

What age group does your practice treat?

We work with clients of all ages.  All of our clinicians and therapists are trained and have extensive experience working with children, adolescents and adults.  

Do your therapists have "specialties?"

All of our clinicians are considered "generalists-' that is, they work with people of different ages and with a wide range of conditions.  All of our clinicians have advanced and specialized training in specific types of treatments, such as EMDR or play therapy, or in working with specific populations such as LGBTQI individuals, high-risk adolescents, survivors of abuse and much more.

Can your therapists prescribe medicine if I need it? Will medication be recommended?

Our clinicians cannot prescribe medication... only a medical doctor, such as a psychiatrist, a neurologist or a primary care physician, can do that.  When our clients require an evaluation for medication, we refer to many of the top doctors in the tri-state area.  We consult and collaborate with them when clinically indicated to provide seamless and comprehensive care.  


Whether or not a client takes or considers medication is entirely up to the client.  If our therapists believe that medication would be helpful and is clinically indicated, they may make that suggestion, provide education and information about medication, and explore the client's feelings and beliefs about it.  Many of our clients do take medication to help with conditions like anxiety or depression... but many also do not.  The decision is always in the client's hands.  


At Bergen County Therapy, jointly with our affiliate company Bergen Peak Performance, we offer an abundance of services that can often help clients without taking medication.  We are committed to a holistic, yet comprehensive, evidence based treatment approach.  Some of the types of services or trainings that are available include therapeutic yoga, nutritional counseling, behavioral therapy and analysis, neurofeedback, EMDR, mindfulness and meditation training, and so forth.   Our staff is always available to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about medication or other treatment or trainings that we offer.  

Are your clinicians all licensed and certified?

Absolutely.  Our therapists are all Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), which means that they all possess a Master's Degree in Social Work or beyond and are fully licensed by the State of New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs to provide therapy.  Our other practitioners, such as our Registered Dietitian and  Behavioral Analyst, also have Master's Degrees in their discipline and are also fully licensed by the State of New Jersey.  

How do I know that what I talk about will be kept confidential?

Our therapists and entire staff are governed by professional codes of ethics (for example, the code of ethics of The National Association of Social Workers) that require us to maintain full confidentiality of our client's information and dialogues.  Our work is further governed by HIPPA guidelines that prevent us from sharing information about our clients without expressed written consent.


There are, of course, a few legal exceptions to confidentiality.  Some of these exceptions include when a client is in danger of harming themselves or others, suspected child or elder abuse, or stalking behaviors.  A judge may court order records under highly specific legal circumstances, and insurance companies have a right to very limited information in order to provide insurance reimbursement for certain services.  



Counseling Specific Questions

I've never been to counseling or therapy before. What should I expect from the first session?

We totally understand that beginning any kind of counseling or therapy can be a little stressful itself.  At Bergen County Therapy, we work hard to make every part of the therapeutic process as comfortable and easy as possible- from the warmth of our 115 year old building, to the relaxing "zen" atmosphere of our waiting room.... from a staff that is down to earth, professional and friendly, to spending enough time with you to be sure that your questions are all answered fully and satisfactorily.  Your  health, happiness and healing is our first and most important priority!


Before your first session, you will have a very brief phone screening to be sure that we are the right kind of facility for your needs.  We will discuss with you choices for appointment times and therapist, fees and insurance, and answer any questions you may have.  


At the first appointment, you will fill out a few forms with basic information.  Then you will be greeted by your clinician and will go to their office for your "intake" or assessment.  If the appointment is for a teen or adolescent, we will likely meet with them first and then ask the parent to join to answer some questions.  If the appointment is for a younger child, we may ask the parent(s) to come in for the intake first without the child to secure all the necessary history.  Regardless, the intake appointment provides us with all the important information and history that we need to help you.... questions like what are you seeking help for?  When did the symptom begin? Have you had any medical issues?  The intake also gives you or your child a chance to get to know your therapist a little... you may  ask questions about your counseling or about our practice or the treatment recommendations.


You will leave the intake with specific recommendations about our initial impressions and what we feel may help you.  If you desire, you will make a follow up appointment at that time for another session.  



How many sessions will be needed to address my concerns?

This is a common question that is impossible to answer until we have met you and have an opportunity to assess your needs!  Some people have a very specific issue they simply want some help to resolve, like changing jobs, dealing with a break-up, or making a decision about a child's school placement.  These types of situations will likely require only a handful of sessions to help the client get to where they want to be!  Other times, there are more difficult, more serious, or simply bigger issues that need to be addressed.  These types of situations may require anywhere from a couple of months to a couple years for a full course of treatment.  Often clients finish their therapy in a few months and then come back for "maintenance" visits once a month or so.  It's always up to you, the client, to decide how you wish to handle the length and frequency of your visits!

How long are the sessions and how frequently will I come?

Generally, our individual sessions are 45-50 minutes but we also offer 30 or 60 minute sessions (sometimes children do better with a shorter session, and often a couple, for example, requires a 60 minute session).  We also provide group counseling that runs from 45 to 90 minutes depending on the type of the group and number of participants.  Some of our other services, like one to one therapeutic yoga, integrative wellness coaching and others are often an hour long.


Sessions are usually once per week, but sometimes more than once per week is needed in the beginning stages of therapy or if a crisis occurs.   Once stable,  clients frequently advance to every other week appointments or even once per month.  This of course will be determined between you and your clinician based on how you're feeling and how well you're doing with your goals.

Can I come to your center for nutrition counseling or yoga and not receive therapy?

Of course!  We have a Registered Dietician on staff to help you with all of your dietary, health, nutrition and wellness needs.  Ranging from issues related to self-esteem, weight loss, weight gain due to medications, and overall health and wellness counseling, to family nutrition or illness related dietary needs,  our Registered Dietician is here to help!  


We provide compassionate and evidence based nutritional and related services for those individuals struggling with eating disorders of any kind or body image issues.  Our Dietician is available to work collaboratively with one of our therapists or your own private therapist if you so desire.  


We also offer yoga and therapeutic yoga, and our unique brand of "Integrative Well-Being Coaching" that combines nutrition counseling, yoga, stress management and general wellness coaching.  Give us a call to learn more or check out our "EVENTS" page here on the website to learn when programs are running.

If I bring my child for counseling, will I get feedback about their progress?

As governed by HIPPA regulations and professional codes of ethics, children and adolescents have the same rights to confidentiality in therapy as adults do.  That said, we also understand that you may be bringing your child or teenager to us because of serious and often scary concerns about their mental health and well being.  We understand that you wouldn't take your child to a surgeon and just blindly allow them to perform surgery on your child without information and clarity.  As such, we always encourage children and teens to invite their parents into their counseling sessions to discuss their feelings or needs.  We encourage children and teens to problem solve jointly with their therapists and their parents whenever possible so parents are a part of the process and informed of the progress their child is making.  


At Bergen County Therapy, we work in what is referred to as a "Family Systems" treatment approach and, in this type of approach, we believe that all "pieces" of the family system work relative to, and effect, each other.  So, we encourage parent and family involvement to assist the whole "system" to work more effectively.  We also provide parent "feedback" sessions in which we discuss general aspects of your child's treatment such as diagnosis, recommendations and progress, without divulging confidential details or content from your child's sessions.   


Additionally, keep in mind that when we work with children, often the therapy or counseling is done through play or arts and crafts activities, or writing or game playing.  Talk therapy alone is often not effective especially for younger children or kids who are highly anxious.  We make every effort and are knowledgable about how to engage your child and help them to feel comfortable and safe in the process of their counseling!

Insurance, fees and payment policies

Does insurance cover your services?

Most of our services and treatments will be covered if you have out of network insurance benefits.  Every client should confirm with their insurance carrier what their out of network benefits are, specifically for mental and behavioral health.  Every insurance company, and every individual  policy, has a different reimbursement schedule so be sure to check with your specific insurance carrier about your specific policy.  

How do I find out what my insurance covers and what should I ask?

Insurance cards always have a phone number (usually an "800" number) to call for "member services."  Sometimes they have a special number for mental and behavioral healthcare.  Call one of those numbers and go to the "benefits" area or department.  First ask if you have out of network coverage for mental and behavioral health... ask specifically what the deductible is (the amount the subscriber has to pay before they can receive reimbursement), what the benefits are (do they pay 50%, 80%, etc) and if there are any limits or caps to the coverage.  You also may want to find out where the claim forms are to be sent.  


We provide you with a "super-bill" every time you pay for a session.  This super bill has all of the codes and information needed to send to your insurance carrier for your reimbursement.  


If you have trouble with this process, our billing and records staff is happy to help you out!

Do you accept out of network insurance payments?

In general, we are a private practice that requires payment at the time of service.  If you are truly financially unable to do so and have out of network insurance coverage, we are happy to discuss whether or not we can bill and accept your insurance coverage.  Our standard policy, however, is considered "fee for service" which means that payment is required in full at the time of service. 


As a courtesy to  teachers, police, fire, and first responders, and other state or public employees who have the New Jersey State Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance coverage, we are happy to bill your insurance and only require you to pay your co-pay at the time of service.  We appreciate all you do and provide this courtesy as our way of saying "thank you!"

What if I can't afford your services? Do you offer a "sliding scale?"

We offer a "sliding scale," or reduced fee, for a limited number of clients who are truly financially unable to afford our full fees.  We also offer payment plans to help manage to cost of treatment. Please speak with us about any such special circumstances.

How do you accept payments? And what about cancellations or missed appointments?

We accept cash, checks  credit cards, Zelle Quick-Pay through most major banks and Venmo for your convenience.  


Payment plans can be arranged for groups, educational programs or any needs you have regarding your on-going treatment. We are always here to talk to you about your specific needs.  


It is a "standard" practice in the field to require 24 hours notice if you have to cancel a scheduled appointment.  Please note that if you do not give us 24 hours notice for a cancellation, or you or your child  "don't show" for an appointments, you will be charged your full fee.  The fee for a missed appointment is not insurance reimbursable, so please always plan ahead and give us 24 hours notice to avoid this expense.  

OK... I'm ready to get started... what do I do next?

Great!  We love to hear that!  Now, just give us a call or a text at 201-926-5550 or e-mail us at info@BergenCountyTherapy and say you'd like to speak with someone about starting counseling or setting up an appointment.  We will welcome you and handle everything from there!