FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY CHOOSE EMPTY NEST COUNSELING?
Empty Nest Counseling offers many exclusive benefits that make it different from any other therapeutic experience. Geared specifically for individuals and couples experiencing conception, pregnancy, postpartum, infertility, or loss, each session is suited to prepare you for the unknown road ahead.
While your medical doctors and healthcare providers care for your outer wellness, Empty Nest Counselors equip your relational and mental health for the many transitions that come with this particular life phase.
While many therapists treat "depression and anxiety" few are trained to specifically address the issues specific to perinatal mental health, including postpartum depression or other mood disorders. Each Empty Nest Counselor has been through maternal mental health training and is equipped to help with your specific life phase.
Better yet, we are able to help connect you to resources that can benefit you beyond your sessions (doulas, lactation consultants, self-care and nutritional resources, psychiatric care, and more).
WE'RE A HAPPY COUPLE, WHY GO TO COUNSELING?
Empty Nest Counseling believes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Yes, many couples abide by the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy. Sometimes that works and you can coast until an issue comes along. But, if you were running a marathon and I handed you a map that provided detours for pitfalls, wouldn’t you take them? If you could avoid undue stress, anxiety, conflict, or hurt, wouldn’t it be worth the investment? Certainly.
Empty Nest Counseling wants to help couples celebrate one of the greatest milestones of their relationship. Parenthood changes everything, including the feelings, worries, and emotions you feel within your marriage. Talking through your backgrounds, expectations, and concerns about the future can reinforce the commitment and strength your marriage already has, while equipping you with the tools and emotional skills you will need to make the most of what’s to come.
The more connected you feel to your spouse at the moment, the more united you’ll become through this process. You will never look back and regret the time and effort you put into establishing a solid foundation for your family. Now is the perfect time to take a step towards making your happy marriage better than you ever imagined.
DO YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE OR HAVE A SLIDING SCALE?
We never want finances to be the barrier that keeps you from seeking help. We DO have a Sliding Scale and DO accept HSA and FSA cards. Your current insurance may also be able to reimburse you for your sessions, and we are happy to provide you with receipts or a "Superbill".
While rates will always be discussed prior to your first session, every client has the right to receive a "Good Faith Estimate" to help them estimate expected charges of the services provided. This estimate is available upon request from your counselor at anytime during your treatment.
We don't accept insurance for very important reasons:
Did you know that you must receive a mental health diagnosis in order for insurance to pay or reimburse for therapy? It’s true. Unfortunately, insurance companies aren’t concerned about marital satisfaction or relational wellness through a stressful time. Since they only focus on medical repercussions, they require a label that permanently diagnoses individuals, often unnecessarily and sometimes dishonestly. This leads to over-diagnosing clients and typically keeps them in therapy longer than they need to be.
Empty Nest Counseling is committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards, allowing you to keep your medical records private from insurance companies and therefore any employers or future benefit managers that have interest in your mental health history. By simply paying in full as needed, you maintain complete control and confidentiality of your sessions. Empty Nest Counseling conveniently accepts cash, check, or any major credit card, as well as HSA or FSA cards.
If you require financial assistance, please request our Sliding Scale Availability when you contact us. All of our Counselors have completed Masters Level Curriculum, as well as perinatal/postpartum mental health training. Counseling Interns are fully qualified to see clients and help them thoroughly, while regularly meeting with a Supervisor to help them process cases and maintain high quality resources as they develop professionally. As they acquire clinical hours, we are able to allow clients a significantly reduced rate without lowering the quality of care the clients receive.
ARE SESSIONS CONFIDENTIAL?
Empty Nest Counseling considers confidentiality one of the key components of the therapeutic relationship. Your stories, personal feelings, emotions, and histories are your privilege to share and completely yours to entrust within the confines of private sessions. If you are meeting in the office, please know that the utmost effort has gone into making the room secure and soundproof. If sessions are held within your own home, you can feel comfortable that you are in control of the environment around you.
In the first session, you’ll be provided a written copy of Empty Nest Counseling’s confidentiality disclosure agreement. This agreement is called “Informed Consent” and clarifies the boundaries in which information is shared and kept confidential and will need to be signed by all parties. If, in the future, you decide you would want Ready Nest Counseling to disclose information or give an update on your behalf (such as to your healthcare provider, midwife, doula, OB-GYN, or other) you will need to sign a waiver, as by law Empty Nest Counseling cannot release any of your information without your written consent.
There are four exceptions to the limitations of confidentiality, in accordance with Tennessee state law as well as professional ethics and guidelines:
If the counselor believes the client is at risk of hurting himself/herself or another person, the counselor may breach confidentiality to protect the client or parties in potential harm.
If the counselor suspects child or elder abuse in any form, Tennessee state law requires the counselor to report any relevant information to the proper authorities or the police in case of emergency.
If the counselor is subpoenaed for court the counselor may be required to disclose information relevant to the situation which may contain confidential information, though every effort will be given to uphold and protect the rights of the client and the client will be notified of the subpoena prior to disclosure.
Empty Nest Counseling operates under the license of a qualified AAMFT approved Supervisor, requiring clinical supervision hours by Tennessee state law for our pre-licensed counselors. Confidentiality is therefore extended to the Supervisor only, allowing for consultation and may require breach of private information if in the best interest of the client. Every effort is made to protect the anonymity and privacy of every client, and confidential information is rarely necessary for this purpose.
HOW MANY SESSIONS ARE TYPICAL?
As the client, you have the right at any time to discontinue or terminate counseling. Each client has a unique background, distinct goals, and varying availability. Significant progress can be made typically within 6-8 sessions, sometimes divided throughout relational phases (i.e. 2 during conception phase, 2 during pregnancy, 2 post-partum). Some clients see progress sooner, others prefer to tread slowly and deliberately if their journey is prolonged.
Empty Nest Counseling is committed to providing tools and preparation to equip you beyond your sessions. It is not in your best interest to keep you longer than you need help, nor is it ethical practice for counseling to extend beyond the goals and needs of the client. Empty Nest Counseling hopes to empower you as a couple, helping you meet your emotional and relational goals and equipping you to do so long after sessions have ended.
WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION POLICY?
Clients will be offered the full agreement of policies and procedures at the first session. As the client, you have the right at any time to discontinue or terminate counseling. Empty Nest Counseling requires 24 hour notice for all cancellations prior to the scheduled session. Failure to communicate prior to 24 hours will result in a charge of 50% of the scheduled session cost. No shows (failure to communicate at all regarding your absence) will result in a charge for the full session fee.
Of course, Empty Nest Counseling understands that life happens! Sickness, accidents, and labor can be entirely unpredictable and sometimes 24 hours notice is impossible. Grace and compassion will be extended to those with extenuating circumstances, and expected in reciprocity for the counselor as well.
No charge will ever be made without notifying the client first.
No charge will ever be made when canceling due to inclement weather, as safety always comes first.