1. What is psychotherapy? Simply put, psychotherapy consists of talking to a highly trained professional about things that are bothering you or which are interfering in some way with your life.
2. Who should consider psychotherapy? If you have thoughts, feelings and/or behaviors that are bothering you and which have not improved, a professional should be consulted. Research strongly suggests that left untreated, problems such as anxiety and depression tend to worsen. Early treatment, like in most things, tends to be the most effective.
3. How do I choose a therapist? There are several factors that go into how the office staff will help you choose the therapist that is right for you. You will be asked which office location is most convenient for you. You will be asked if you prefer to speak with a male or female therapist. Since our therapists all hold different office hours, you will be asked what time of day is best for you to come in. In this confidential conversation, you will be able to describe your issues and the person you are speaking with will match you with someone that would be the most appropriate. One of the benefits of coming to a group practice like SRI is that if you happen not to feel a rapport with the therapist you see, you may call the office and choose to schedule with any of our other many highly qualified staff. You will know if you have the right therapist if you get along with the person, you feel respected and heard, or it just feels like a good match.
4. Which insurance plans does SRI accept? SRI therapists are “in-network” with the following insurance plans:
Independence Blue Cross Personal Choice
Keystone Health Plan East
Aetna PPO and HMO Plans
Highmark Blue Shield
Penn Behavioral Health
Medicare (Most, but not all therapists)
Please note that SRI does not accept Medicaid.
5. Do I need to get a referral or an authorization from my insurance? No, you do not need a referral to see a therapist at SRI. Our office staff will obtain any necessary authorizations from your insurance company. All you need to do is call our office and provide your insurance identification number. We are very experienced in obtaining information about insurance coverage and finding out whether we are in network with your plan.
6. How many sessions am I entitled to? This depends on your insurance coverage. Some plans cover a specific number of office visits per year – usually twenty or thirty – with up to sixty office visits covered if your diagnosis is designated as a serious mental illness. If you call the office with your insurance identification number, we will be happy to check your benefits and let you know exactly how many sessions you are entitled to.
7. What are the costs? Most insurance plans require that you pay a co-payment at the time of your visit. These range from as low as $5.00 to as high as $60.00 or more per session, depending on your plan. You may call our office with your insurance information if you would like us to check your co-payment information for you. Some plans also have a deductible that must be met before your plan will pay for your office visits.
8. What are SRI’s office hours? The general office is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 to 4:30. If you call during non-business hours, you may leave a message on the office voicemail, which will be returned on the next business day by one of our office staff.
Each therapist at SRI schedules his or her own appointments and works different hours. Some therapists work during the day, some work during the evening, and a few hold office hours during the weekend. In general, the evening and weekend appointments are in much higher demand, and therefore you may have to take an appointment during the daytime as a new patient.
9. Will I need to take medication? For many types of problems medication is not necessary. At SRI Psychological Services we have a strong commitment to psychotherapy. However, for certain issues, medication can make a great deal of positive difference. Research has consistently shown that therapy combined with medication for specific problems is more effective than either treatment alone. If needed, you and your therapist will collaborate with a psychiatrist to decide on any potential medications that may be helpful.
10. What if I do need a psychiatrist, do you have someone available? Yes, Dr. Ira Herman, M.D. is a board certified psychiatrist, and was the former medical director at The Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania. We are committed to collaboration among the treating therapist, the patient, and Dr. Herman to ensure the best treatment outcome.
11. Can I just come to see the psychiatrist? No. Because we believe so strongly in a collaborative model we are not willing to treat people with just psychiatry. Psychotherapy is a crucial aspect of the treatment we provide, and we believe, enhances the quality of our care.
12. How do I get started? Just give us a call at (215) 885-3337.