Frequently Asked Questions
Insurance for out of Network Provider
We are out-of-network providers so you will not find us on your insurance company’s list. However, because we are all licenced professionals, if you have out-of-network outpatient behavioral health benefits your insurance company will reimburse you our fee in part or in full. Here are some questions you can ask:
Do I have out of network behavioral health benefits?
What is my deductible and has it been met in full or in part?
Once my deductible has been met, what is the coverage amount pe session? (If they say they reimburse, for example, “70% if you go out of network”, make sure to ask if this means they reimburse 70% of what I charge, or of what they consider to be “usual and customary” fees.)
How many sessions per year are covered by my health
What percentage amount per therapy session is covered?
Is a pre-authorization required prior to beginning therapy?
How do I send in claims? (We have claim filing service for a nominal fee for our biller)
If you have additional questions please feel free to give me a call at (973) 755-2306 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT DO ALL THE LETTERS AFTER YOUR NAME MEAN?
M.Ed stands for Masters of Education in Mental Health Counseling. We each have a dual Masters degree with a Masters in School Counseling thus we are great with children and adolescents too.
LPC stands for Licensed Professional Counselor
LAC stands for Licensed Associate Counselor
NCC stands for National Certified Counselor
CTS stands for Certified Trauma and Loss Specialist
CDC stands for Certified Discernment Counselor
WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY?
We provide comprehensive counseling services by serving individuals, couples, and their children. We work to transform their difficulties into their strengths. Our specialties are:
Relationship trauma therapy such as: Infidelity, divorce, healing, re-connection (finding lost love).
We are one of 3 people in all of North Jersey to provide marriage CPR using Discernment Counseling (helping couples at the brink of divorce discover the best option for all), and issues with parenting.
Support and help for high stress jobs such as: performers and athletes
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR (LPC) AND A LICENSED SOCIAL WORKER (LCSW)?
The difference is in the training. Even though LCSW and LPC can both legally perform therapeutic interventions and psychotherapy, LPC’s are trained to do nothing else but therapy and counseling. LCSW are primarily trained to be social worker and then also for counseling. This is not to say LSCW’s are not great at counseling. Being a good counselor does not just entail education and credentials, it also involves individual competence, natural capability to connect, motivation to facilitate people towards their goals, competence in the issue you are consulting them for, and hunger to keep increasing to their knowledge bank, etc. Some people are just better at therapy than other, regardless of their credentials.
HOW LONG DOES A SESSION TAKE?
A therapeutic session is traditionally for 45 min, but we pride ourselves for the attention we give our clients and always do 60 min sessions. The first session is many times 80 or 90 min long. We don’t charge a higher fee for this longer appointment (others usually do). Discernment Counseling is 2 hrs for the first session and 1.5 hrs for the other 3 to 4 sessions.
CAN YOU PRESCRIBE MEDICATION?
No. In the field of behavioral health only a psychiatrist (sometimes primary care doctors) can prescribe medicine, but psychiatrist are more trained in the medical model rather than talk therapy (which is all we do), so they lean more towards medication whereas we see medication either as a supplement or a last resort. Some issues do require that the client be on regular medication which is why we do work with psychiatrist whenever necessary to ensure continuity of service and comprehensive care if need be. We feel it is necessary to get psychotherapy with medication, because if the person does not work to solve the issues that are causing the turmoil, the issue will remain and may get bigger overtime if it’s not dealt with effectively.
WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE OF THE 30 MIN COMPLIMENTARY INTIAL CONSULTATION AND WHAT DO YOU DO IN THAT TIME?
In the 30 minute session we will tell you about us and explain the services we offer. You will get a chance to ask questions and address concerns, and you can also explain what you are coming in to counseling for. Our objective is for both of us to become aware of who we are and what are our goals and abilities are, so that we can decide if it is feasible for each of us to even develop a counseling relationship. We only take on clients that are within our scope of practice, not only because it’s the ethical thing to do but because we want to be great at every case we take on.
WHAT IF I TELL YOU ABOUT MY CASE AND YOU DECIDE NOT TO TAKE ME ON, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE PRIVATE INFORMATION I WILL HAVE ALREADY GIVEN YOU IN THE 30 MINUTE CONSULTATION?
We are very big on confidentiality. We even offer Discrete Counseling Services for celebrities and high public profile clients. You can feel safe telling us about your issue. We are going to keep any information you give us completely confidential whether you end up being our client or not. We are in this business to make a difference in the lives of those who reach out to us. If we feel we are unable to help you, with your permission we will work to find you someone who can, and refer you to that professional.
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?
Even though we are specialists, we have deliberately kept our rates as low as possible.
The first session is the same price as other sessions (traditionally this is billed higher because its a lot of work because that’s when we create a treatment plan)
$ 200-$250/hour for out of pocket individual and couples session- Therapeutic hours is typically 45 min we always give you 60 min.
$250/hour for therapy with Sanya Bari
If you miss your appointment or don’t cancel 48 hours before your session then you are responsible for the fee.
Discernment Counseling: This has a max of 5 session. 1st session is 2 hours billed at $400, other (max 4) session are 1.5 hours and are billed at $300. Rate for Discernment Counseling is $500 for the first 2 hour session and $375 for a 1.5 hours.
Depending on your location and the particular case we travel to our clients with an average fee of $150 which can increase depending on the distance.
Celebrities and high-public profile client should call and ask to speak to Sanya Bari at (973) 755-2306 to inquire about Discrete Counseling Accommodations. The phone is picked up by a practitioner with HIPPA compliancy regulations, not a secretary.
WHAT IS AN EVALUATION SESSION? HOW IS IT DIFFERENT?
The first session is called an evaluation session. It is longer than the other sessions and is billed at higher cost. This is the session where we make our assessment and begin to create a treatment plan for you. Usually an evaluation session is for an hour, but we usually give you 80 min or so depending upon the needs of the client. We try to book these sessions when we don’t have another client booked so that we can go longer if needed.
DO YOU SEE THE COUPLE TOGETHER OR SEPARATELY?
This depends on your specific case. You can discuss this during your free phone consult. The most common way is to see the couple together each time, but there are times that after the first couple’s session the therapist may ask to see each person individually for a session each.
If you are coming in for Discernment Counseling, the schedule for who goes first is different because it is not couples counseling (more info on the Discernment Counseling page of this website). Feel free to ask questions in your free phone consult.
WHAT WILL I NEED TO DO DURING THE SESSION?
It is natural to be nervous to come to counseling, specially in the first few sessions. Just relax and be yourself. We are not here to judge you, in fact the reason counseling works is because it is a judgement-free environment. You are not going to tell us anything we haven’t heard before many times and we consider it an honor to support you through your pain. Our goal is to understand the ‘true you’ as much as possible so that we can provide effective counseling. The more we know the ‘true you’ the more effective we will be to help you in as less time as possible. Tell us if you are nervous. We can help you with that if you share it with us.
IS THERE GOING TO BE HOMEWORK?
After we have done our initial assessment we create a therapeutic plan. In order to ensure effective treatment we do give very doable homework many times. It is always a result of a discussion and mutual agreement, not a dictum. Taking the homework seriously helps the individual or couple get to their target faster. You get out of therapy what you put into it.
HOW LONG WILL WE BE IN COUNSELING FOR?
At Counseling With A Difference we believe that our success depends on you not needing us anymore. We don’t like stagnation. We are very solution-focussed and like to move you along to healing as soon as possible. Our success doesn’t come from keeping our clients in therapy longer, but effectively helping our clients into deep healing. We want our clients to be so happy about their success with us that they can’t stop sending us their loved ones.
Our speed depends on your motivation. If you are motivated to get better we go faster. We just have to be careful about respecting your natural safety defense mechanism.
WHAT IF YOU CAN’T HELP ME?
We don’t take on clients that are not in our scope of practice, and we always have a therapeutic plan that we customize according to your individual needs. That way if it is not working we will know that it’s not working. It is measurable because we get together with you and create goals and checkpoints. If we see that you unable to achieve the the goals with our facilitation, we will either get together with you and revise the strategy all together, or we will refer you to someone who may be able to help you more than us. We don’t have an ego about this, we want your betterment.
I AM WORRIED THAT IN COUPLE'S COUNSELING YOU’LL TAKE MY SPOUSE’S SIDE?
In relationship counseling we only take the side of the relationship, not individuals. We know there are two sides, two perspectives to every story. We are not judges, this is not court. Quite the opposite, it’s therapy and we pride ourselves for providing a judgement-free environment.
ARE MY SECRETS SAFE WITH YOU?
We are not only morally and ethically compelled to keep your secrets, our license also compiles us to practice with the utmost care as far as confidentiality is concerned. Your secrets are safe with us. We adhere to HIPPA rules.
WHAT IF I TELL YOU A SECRET THAT I DON’T WANT MY SPOUSE TO KNOW?
If you are in individual counseling we are not going to tell anyone anything about our session unless we know that you are a threat to your life or someone else’s life. In that case too we will first mention it to you and see if we can work it out in a way that ‘you’ be the one to come clean and inform your loved ones, not ‘us’.
We are mandated reporters and if there is a threat to your life or the life of another person, the law compels us to report to the correct authorities and get help for you.
Other than this extreme scenario, which has never happened even once in our private practice, we work to keep your privacy intact.
In couples counseling we cannot keep a secret from the other spouse as it messes with the trust each partner has put into the therapy and in us. It makes our work ineffective, but we will be sure to explain that to you again when we start counseling.
DO YOU OFFER AT-HOME AND AT-OFFICE COUNSELING?
As a part of our discrete counseling services we do offer home or office sessions but they are determined on a case by case basis. Apart from the counseling fee, there is an additional $150 cost for home visits.
DO YOU DO PHONE COUNSELING OR VIDEO COUNSELING?
We do offer both of these services. Making these services available has made counseling and professional help possible for so many people who were in dire need but were not able to physically make it to our offices. We offer HIPPA compliant Video Therapy and can ensure confidentiality on our end.
It is your responsibility to make certain that you have privacy on your end and that our session’s confidentially is not compromised.
Please make sure the therapeutic time is not wasted by interruptions at your location.
The Video Counseling is very simple to install and use. If you can email, text and use facebook, you can install is as well. If you are okay with FaceTime and you consent to it, we don’t mind using that as well.
WHAT IS DISCRETE COUNSELING?
Discrete counseling is a set of customized services we offer on request to our clients who have a high public profile or celebrity status. For people who cannot risk being discovered as they seek counseling for the fear of losing their careers or reputation. These services ensure that the clients are kept completely anonymous; they are customized to the client’s individuals needs. If you are looking for Discrete Counseling please call us and we will discuss this in more detail.
WILL YOU VOUCH FOR ME IN COURT?
We do not testify in court. If you are seeking counseling to get support in court then we are not the practice for you. When we are compelled to go to court we charge $600 per hour. This fee is high to discourage you from ever creating a relationship with us with the misconception that we would be therapists who get involved in legal matters of any kind.
WHAT IF MY QUESTION IS NOT EVEN LISTED HERE?
We do a 30 minute free consultation session with any client who is interested. This way we each get to decide if we are a good fit for each other. You can ask us all of your questions then. We do not want anyone to come into a counseling relationship with doubts and concerns, if your questions are still unanswered after the 30 minute complimentary call then please reach out to us and let us know so that we can get a chance to satisfy all of your concerns.
HOW SHOULD I MAKE MY APPOINTMENT?
To make an appointment you can either call (973) 755-2306 or (973)713-7634, or go to www.counselingwithadifference.com and make an appointment directly on the site.
Do not email anything that is private because even though we take care that the email is private, it is not HIPPA compliant. It is better to call.
WHAT IF I HAVE A QUESTION BETWEEN MY SESSIONS?
We give most of our clients our cell phone numbers. Our clients are welcome to text us with any questions, or request, and a 15 min complementary call in between sessions.
So far no one has abused this privilege but please know that the therapists are using their personal times.
If more than 15 minutes are needed, according to our situation at the time we maybe able to offer you a full phone session or Video Therapy Session. We like our clients to be supported and taken care of.
WHY ARE YOU ASKING FOR MY CREDIT CARD?
Even though we accept cash and checks we keep you credit card on file because of the cancellation policy. Every time you book an appointment with us, we block off our time that we could have used for another client. If you cancel without notice you put us in a time loss and financial loss. If you don’t cancel 48 hours before the scheduled session, your credit card will be charged for the full session. We really don’t like to do this, so please be diligent and not put us in this situation.