Frequently Asked Questions About Counseling and working with Sherry A. McKisson

Counseling is a collaborative effort between the counselor and client. Professional counselors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional turmoil; seek to improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behavior change and optimal mental health.

Ideally, counseling is terminated when the problem that brought you to counseling becomes more manageable or is resolved.

Therapy sessions are unique and are geared to each individual and their specific goals. It’s normal for therapists to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life with you during therapy sessions. Weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes, are most beneficial when beginning therapy.  Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors.

It is important to think about (process) what has been discussed during a therapy session and incorporate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. Successful outcomes are most often seen when people seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions and work towards self-change.    Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance

There are times when medication combined with therapy is the right course of action to give you the greatest benefit in your personal growth.  Counselors do not prescribe medication, but can refer you to your medical doctor to determine what’s best for you.  Having your health care providers work together can often speed up the process to allow you to achieve a greater sense of well-being.  An integrative approach (body and mind) to your mental and physical health has proven most effective for lasting change.

While face-to-face therapy sessions are preferred, there are times when a phone or Skype session may be necessary and valid.  It is possible to arrange phone or Skype sessions, on a limited basis, if circumstances prevent you from physically coming to the office.  The fee would be the same as a regular session.   All initial (assessment) sessions must be conducted in person. 

The relationship between therapist and client is protected by law and information cannot be disclosed without written consent, with limited exceptions.  Exceptions include suspected child or elder abuse or neglect; and a threat of harm to self or others.

24-hour notice is required for cancellation or rescheduling.  When you schedule an appointment, that time is reserved for you.  Without a 24-hour notice I am unable to offer that time to help another client, therefore missed appointments, or those cancelled with less than a 24-hour notice, are charged in full.  Emergencies are considered.

Insurance will not pay (reimburse you) for missed sessions or sessions cancelled with less than 24-hours notice. 

$210.00 | Assessment (Initial Consultation)  
$170.00 |  Individual Session

I reserve a limited number of sessions which can be used if the standard fee will cause financial hardship.  Please contact me to see if you are eligible.

Cash, check, all major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express) are accepted.  Health Savings Accounts (or Flex Spending Accounts) can also be used.

There is a $35.00 service charge for each returned check. 

While I do not directly accept insurance, services may be covered in-full or in-part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan as an out-of-network provider. 

At your request, I can provide a clinical receipt for each paid session to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

If you wish to have your insurance reimburse you, please check your coverage prior to scheduling an appointment. Useful questions to ask include:

  • Do I have mental health insurance benefits?
  • What is my deductible, and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • Do my benefits also cover out-of-network providers?

Therapy is usually 100% covered by your FSA, so please make sure to check into it with your employer.

Office hours are by appointment.  Messages can be left on my private voice mail at any time.  I return phone calls as soon as possible, as my schedule permits.

**You may now schedule (or reschedule, if necessary) your own appointments 24-hours a day/7-days a week through the “Client Portal” or “Schedule Appointment” links.  

I am not available on a 24-hour on-call basis. 

In the event of an emergency (when physical safety is at risk) go to the Emergency Room of your local hospital or call 911.

In the event of a crisis, you may contact Smoky Mountain Center at 1-800-849-6127  |  24-hours a day, 7-days a week.