What to Expect
What should you expect when calling in to make an appointment at Innovative Alternatives?
What is the Process?
The process for making your first counseling or mediation appointment is rather simple. We have laid it our for you in the chart below!
- Call our Main Office
- Speak with an Intake Coordinator
- Provide Insurance Information
- Receive your New Client Paperwork
- Access the Client Portal
- Fill out all Paperwork
- Call the Office for any questions
- Contact the Intake Coordinators
- Schedule a time for your first appointment
- Usually within 1-2 weeks of contact
- Arrive at IA 15 minutes early
- Sign In with Intake Coordinators
- Wait for your Counselor/Mediator
- Have your Assessment meeting
- All Assessments are approximately 50 minutes
- Schedule your next appointment!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is counseling?
Counselors and Psychotherapists perform what are commonly called ‘talk therapies’ assisting people to talk about their thought, feeling and behavior patterns to examine what is healthy and what may be dysfunctional and in need of change. This is done in order to learn to better obtain life goals, healthy relationships and/or a happier existence. Psychotherapy is much more a partnership between client and therapist rather than a doctor/patient model in which the doctor gives all the ‘orders’ for the patient to follow. Instead, the client is the expert on ‘what unhealthy patterns they want to change’ and the therapist is the expert on providing various techniques for ‘how the client can go about changing’ unhealthy patterns in their lives. Together, they set goals, monitor their achievement and go at the pace the client wishes to go.
What does counseling cost?
As a nonprofit, IA has various grant programs that completely support, or greatly reduce fees for those persons who have no other resources. For victims of crime, their family, 1st responders and witnesses of crime, IA’s Victim Assistance Program will provide up to 6 months of free services including 8 free individual sessions. We offer sliding scale fees to those who have no insurance resources or wish to protect their confidentiality by not using their insurance (Using personal or employer-provided insurance requires filing a diagnosis that will always be available on one’s permanent medical record–particularly when one is in a profession that requires security clearance, law enforcement, nursing, etc.) IA accepts all major forms of insurance, in which case a client only pays their co-pay. If a client does not have insurance and makes too much money to qualify for sliding scale fees, the fee for a fully licensed therapist is $125, for a temporary licensed therapist is $100 and for interns is $65 per session.
Do you offer a sliding scale?
Yes, our sliding-scale is based on the total income of all persons working in the home. We have 3 sliding scales based on the credentials of the therapists.
What do we actually do in a session if we come to mediation?
First we have a screening/preparation session with the mediators to explain the process so you as a client can decide if this is a process you wish to use. We find out about your conflict and the people who are involved to determine whether it is a good case for mediation. If we all agree it is, the first 3-hour mediation appointment will be scheduled.
Ground rules and roles of the mediators are shared with the client(s).
Each client has uninterrupted time to discuss what the problem is in their personal perception. Mediators summarize and identify issues to be mediated from the problems described.
Each client has uninterrupted time to describe the consequences or impact to themselves, relationships and their functioning as a result of this conflict. Mediators again summarize and continue to identify issues for resolution.
Mediators may categorize multiple issues for resolution within certain categories such as ‘communication’.
Each issue or category of issues is then ‘brainstormed for potential solutions.’
Each idea generated is evaluated to determine if it is something both or all parties wish to have on their agreement. Mediators look for agreements that are fair and balanced, concrete and specific, realistic and feasible.
Once the parties complete the written agreement to resolve the current conflict and ways to prevent further conflict, the parties sign the agreement and the mediation is over.
What is the difference between mediation & counseling?
Only counseling is applicable in individual issues, but mediation is most appropriate to stabilize crisis involving multiple parties, and making a treatment plan based on the issues. It can also provide a roadmap for counseling.
Counseling usually only involves family members, but mediation may be between 2 or more people in conflict, sometimes unrelated to each other as in victim/offender mediation.
Mediation is focused on specific topics; counseling may take many turns or tangents depending upon the style of the counselor and the number of client’s issues.
Clients in counseling may get into arguments while the counselor attempts to identify issues. Mediation does not require clients to agree, but to answer series of questions to identify what does and does not work in the relationship.
Mediators remain neutral, but counselors are not expected to remain neutral.
Progress is quick in mediation sessions, which are typically 3-4 hours in length. Counseling might takes weeks or months to get to the same level of progress that is achieved in 1 or 2 mediation sessions.
Mediation often costs more than counseling, because 2 mediators are used in co-mediation models. However, since more is accomplished in fewer weeks or months, total cost might be the same as counseling.