Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that people often have about counseling. If your questions are not answered here, please feel free to contact me.

How do I get started with counseling?

If you’ve never attending counseling before, the process might seem intimidating. The actual path to getting things started is actually fairly easy and I will help guide you through it. If you haven’t already, please read the About Counseling page. If you’ve read through the questions here and have more, please call Rob (919.414.7712), or drop him a secure email. He’ll be happy to answer additional questions you have and/or set up an appointment.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

It is very rare, these days, for insurance plans to require a referral for counseling. Even with TriCare, I am an independently approved network provider, so no referral is necessary for the first eight sessions.

Will my insurance cover counseling?

One of the advantages of the Affordable Care Act is that it required insurance companies to remove many restrictions from mental health care coverage. This means that, not only do most plans cover counseling, but there are no longer limits to the number of visits or other pitfalls.

While rare, there are some plans that do not cover counseling.  Less rare are plans where the coverage for counseling is through a different insurance company that your primary one.

If you want to be sure of your coverage, including your out of pocket expense (co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles), contact your insurance company directly. Rob can also help you with this process during the initial phone call/email.

It’s important to note that insurance will only cover a service where a diagnosis is rendered and treated. Rob will discuss this and your options with you during the initial contact and session to be sure you know exactly what is covered and what your out of pocket costs will be.

How is payment handled?
Rob accepts most insurance plans and offers reasonable fees for those without insurance or who choose not to use their coverage. Rob welcomes questions about how insurance works and the pros and cons of utilizing coverage versus paying out of pocket. He will give you detailed information about his fees and all options for payment during the initial consultation with him.
Rob accepts payment for fees and co-pays via cash, check or major credit cards, including HSA (Health Savings Account) and FSA (Flexible Spending Account) cards.
When Is Rob available for appointments?

Rob’s primary office hours are between 4pm and 7pm, Monday through Thursday. He is has some, limited availability for mid-morning appointments. He has flexible hours available for appointments via secure video.

What is the difference between a Counselor (LCMHC), Social Worker (LCSW), Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therpist (LMFT) and Psychiatrist?

With so many different mental health professions, it can be difficult to understand how they differ and who you might be best served by.  While all of the above may provide counseling or therapy services, some are far more likely to not only do so, but be focused on it.

  • Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC; formerly known as LPC) – LCMHCs go to graduate school to focus on providing counseling services. They complete over 3000 supervised hours providing these services to become licensed in North Carolina. Due to his extensive experience and additional training, Rob is also an LCMHC – Supervisor, meaning he can provide the supervision for counselors in training.
  • Psychiatrists – It’s rare, these days for Psychiatrists to provide therapy/counseling. Most primarily focus on prescribing and managing medications. You would need to visit a Psychiatrist, Nurse Practitioner (NP), or General Practitioner (PCP) to address medication.
  • Psychologists – Psychologists have a wide array of service areas and experience. Many in private practice focus on psychological testing and evaluations, though some also provide therapy. Typically those providing therapy have a “clinical psychology” background.
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) – A variety of focus areas exist within the education of a social worker, as well. Many of them, especially those leading to being an LCSW, prepare them for providing therapy.
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) – LMFTs have a specific focus on providing therapy with a family focus/context.

The key to an effective match for your needs is finding someone you feel comfortable with, who has the experience to address your specific needs/goals. Contact Rob to discuss whether he is a good fit for you.

I have an appointment with Rob. Now what?

Please visit Rob’s New Client page for details about how to prepare and what to expect from your first counselng appointment.

How long will my appointment be?

Counseling appointments with Rob typically last between 45 minutes and an hour.  Your first appointment will almost definitely fill an hour.