About Alaska Counseling Excellence, Inc.
- Monday through Friday 8 AM to 6 PM
- Evening hours may be available by special appointment
- Telephone hours 9 AM to 5:30 PM
Services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. Please check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:
- Do I have mental health insurance benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Appointments must be cancelled by noon (12 PM) the business day before your appointment or you will charged a late cancellation fee of $100.00.
If you do not show up for your scheduled therapy appointment, and you have not notified ACE at least by noon (12 PM) the day before your appointment, you will be assessed a missed appointment fee of $125.00
Insurances cannot be billed for missed or late cancellation appointments. This fee must be paid on or before your next scheduled appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Initial Consultation?
During the first meeting a therapist will ask several questions across all of life domains. This is called a Bio-psycho-social assessment. The purpose of this is to gather snapshot picture of your life to help the therapist understand who you are and what has been happening in your life. Also, this will be a time for you to evaluate if the therapist is a good match for you. If its decided that you need services outside the scope of what ACE provides, the therapist will assist you in finding additional or alternative services.
Here are a few questions to help you determine whether or not a therapist is right “fit” for you…
- Do I feel that I am able to connect to this person?
- Do I feel understood?
- Do I feel safe?
- Does the therapist talk to me in a language that I can understand?
- Is the therapist licensed?
- Does the therapist show an interest in understanding my concerns?
Is therapy right for me?
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of a therapist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
Do I really need therapy?
I can usually handle my problems. Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn.
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What can I expect in a therapy session?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. During sessions it is standard to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around 45 minutes. Sometimes individuals who are going through a particularly difficult challenge may request more time per session or more than one session per week. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. Between sessions, it is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
- Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
- Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior
- Increasing confidence, peace, vitality, and well-being
- Improving ways to manage anger, depression and moods
- Discovering new ways to solve problems
- Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
- Improving listening and communication skills
- Enhancing the overall quality of life
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. ACE will collaborate with you and your medical doctor to ensure the best possible outcomes. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and therapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist is required to notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist the client’s cooperation to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, further measures may be taken with the client’s permission in order to ensure their safety.
- Or a Duty to Warm as mandated by the State of Alaska.
- Court Ordered Subpoena.