Douglas McQuistan Counseling

Call: 925-319-5720

Common Questions


Table of Contents

​15 min. Phone Consultation: Free
Individuals: $170 – 50 minute session
Couples: $190 – 50 minute session

​I do not partner with insurance but instead, provide clients with a receipt to submit to their insurance provider. Insurance providers often offer reimbursement for out-of-network therapists. Check-in with your insurance to verify your if you are eligible and the reimbursement amount.

​You retain full responsibility for payment of services but I can work with you if you need assistance in communicating with your insurance provider.

I recommend asking your insurance company these questions:

  • Does my insurance plan include mental health benefits?
  • Do I have a deductible? If yes, how much and have I met it yet?
  • What is my out-of-network deductible for outpatient mental health? (Outpatient means treatment outside a hospital.)
  • What is my out-of-network coinsurance or coverage for outpatient mental health?
  • Does my plan limit how many sessions I have per year? If yes, what is the limit?
  • Do I need written approval from my primary care physician in order for therapy to be covered by my benefits?

I have personally been a witness to many peoples lives benefiting from therapy. It is unique to experience a person in our lives (the therapist) who can just sit with us where we are and they don’t feel obligated to think of something to say to fix it or make you feel better instantly. Most friends and family will unintentionally minimize our feelings by trying to pick us up or help us see the bright side. In therapy, we help the client sit safely in those negative feelings and face what is really difficult. 

True healing doesn’t come by just pressing through and putting on a smile. Healing comes when we accept our reality and the feelings connected to it and move through them as needed. Moving forward in life can happen in many other contexts, but working with a good therapist can be one of the most effective.

The greatest determining factor to whether therapy will be effective is the connection between the therapist and client. My advice would be to run if you don’t feel report with your therapist within the first two sessions. It’s not enjoyable to have to start over with multiple therapists but therapy with a therapist you don’t feel connected to and understood by is very difficult to have any positive results from. 

Questions you should consider when assessing an individual therapist.

  • Does the therapist get me to open up easily?
  • Is the therapist distracted during the session?
  • Can the therapist help me put my story together in a coherent way?
  • Is it possible to tell this therapist shameful or embarrassing things about my life without feeling condemned or judged
  • Does the therapist want to know what my goals are for therapy? 
  • Does the therapist deal with my specific symptoms regularly? 

Questions to consider when seeing a couples counselor

  • Does the therapist take sides?
  • Can the therapist deescalate an intense session?
  • Does the therapist like working with couples?
  • Is the therapist familiar with the type of issue we are working through?
  • Does the therapist address difficult issues?
  • Can the therapist confront when necessary?
  • Can the therapist explain what their plan is for helping us and give a general time frame?

The first session often just feels like a “shotgun blast” of unloading your story. I often hear from clients at the end of the first session comments like, “I’m so sorry, I just totally unloaded on you”, or “I don’t know what you are going to do with all that” or even “are you sure you want to work with this?”. 

Most clients feel like the first session fly’s by because it does. You are trying to give context and relay a life time of experiences in 50 min. While the first session can feel a little amped up this intensity will likely change after the first couple sessions and the processing will not require so much explanation.

Before starting the first session we will cover informed consent, cancellation policy and best billing options.

​Therapy sessions vary depending on an individual’s goals and desired outcomes. Some clients like short-term counseling with targeted interventions whereas others would like to discuss week-to-week events.

​Targeted interventions: the client and I will collaboratively design a treatment plan. Each session will be structured to examine and target specific areas of functioning, thought processes that may be impacting the self or ways the client is operating in the world.

​Processing week to week: This type of therapy is typically more in-depth and slower. You come with experiences you’ve found significant and we examine your feelings & reactions. Over time, together, we are able to identify patterns that will bring self-awareness, recognize problem areas, and create intrinsic motivation for change.

​I am unable to support those who need after-hours or crisis services, it will not be a good fit for you if you need a higher level of care.

If you are in crisis, please go to your local emergency room or call the Crisis Line at 888-881-4881.

Since the scheduling of an appointment involves the reservation of time set aside especially for you, a minimum of 24 hours notice is required for rescheduling or cancellation of an appointment. If for any reason a session is canceled less than 24 hours prior, the full fee will be charged. You may also inquire whether there is an option to meet virtually if you’re unable to attend an in-person session.

​Late to sessions: All treatment sessions have a specific time schedule with clients before and/or after your appointment time. Therefore late arrivals will not receive an extension of time for their scheduled appointments and the original reservation fee will be charged.

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I understand Douglas McQuistan Counseling does not accept insurance but instead provides Superbill for out-of-network reimbursement.
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I understand Douglas McQuistan Counseling does not accept insurance but instead provides Superbill for out-of-network reimbursement.
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