top of page
Natasha sitting on bridge 1_edited_edite
IMG_7936_edited_edited_edited.jpg


Questions
 

It is normal to have many questions or concerns when starting therapy. This page provides answers about the process we will take together, and the basics of the cost and time involved. I am happy to talk personally with you about any concerns or questions you still have. If you are still curious, and would like more general information about mental health, follow my blog!


 Frequently
Asked

 

List of Topics

Click each topic and question below to read more.

Preguntas principales

Main Questions

¿?

What is your office doing regarding COVID and taking precautions?

For the majority of the pandemic, Pettigru Counseling Practice has been using telehealth sessions only to keep both the clients and staff safe from exposure to COVID-19.  When the office does start opening up, we have a plan to help with the transition before opening the office full-time.  This includes, but is not limited to the following precautions: 

  • “Remote” Check-In. Our lobby and waiting room will remain closed and clients will be asked to call from their car to check-in, and wait there until called. 

  • All staff and clients will be required to wear masks while in the office.

  • Regular sanitization of offices and common spaces.

  • “Remote” Check-Out. If another client is already at the receptionist window at the time of check-out we will ask the client to call back to complete check-out or pay for their session.

¿?

What types of issues or mental illnesses do you treat?

I specialize in helping  clients to heal from the effects of trauma, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I also treat:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Panic Attacks

  • Problems with Self-Esteem

  • Self-harm

  • Anger

  • Difficulty with Acculturation

  • Behavior Problems

These disorders may create different symptoms for different people. Contact me, regardless of whether your symptoms match those in this list. If you are in need of a therapist with a different specialty, I will be happy to refer you.

¿?

“How much do these visits cost and how long are they?”

The intake appointment is $175, then it’s $135 after that.  The appointments are about 50-53 minutes long.

¿?

“Do you take my insurance?”

No, I do not take any insurance providers.

¿?

“What if you do not take my insurance? Can you still see me?”

Yes, but you will have to pay the full fee and self-file.  That basically means that you take your superbill/receipt and give to your insurance provider, to see if they will reimburse you for the session.

¿?

“How much do I have to pay if you do take my insurance?”

The first appointment is $175. Then the appointments cost $135.

¿?

“If I call today, how long will it be until I can get in to see you?”

I take only one new client a month, so it depends on my caseload at the time. I usually have a waiting list for new clients.

¿?

“If I do not speak English, how can I make an appointment with you?”

I practice at the Pettigru Counseling Associates. Our receptionist does not speak Spanish, so you are welcome to email your information to me at natashapatino@pettigru.com or complete this brief form.  Our office manager is also able to get your name and phone number if you call the office, and will give me the message.

¿?

“How does telehealth work?”

The night before every appointment, you will get an email link from our electronic portal.  When the time for the appointment is near, click on the link, and it will open our link to start the session.  For each telehealth session,  please find a private space, such as a bedroom with the door closed, or even your car.  This is to make sure that you are protecting your privacy. 

Haciedo citas

Making Appointments

¿?

“What do I have to have ready, to make a first-time appointment?”

We now have an electronic records system, so once you talk with Natasha or the front office and feel like it is a good fit, we will get your name, phone number, and email.   We will then send you a link to your email through our electronic portal where you will need to fill out basic identification information for yourself or your child. This includes name, address, phone numbers, date of birth, health insurance information (if applicable), and more.  You will also be asked to fill out consent forms on the electronic portal.

¿?

“Do you accept clients who do not have legal paper (undocumented)?”

Yes. You are welcome to make an appointment no matter your legal status.

¿?

“Do I have to have a referral from a doctor in order to make an appointment?”

No.  You can call yourself and make an appointment without a referral.

¿?

“If I call today, how long will it be until I can get in to see you?”

I take only one new client a month, so it depends on my caseload at the time.

¿?

“Do you work evenings and Saturdays?”

I offer some limited evening appointments but I do not work Saturdays or Sundays. There are several other therapists at my office, though, that offer evening and Saturday appointments if this works best for your schedule.

¿?

“Can I call for my child and make an appointment for them?”

Yes, but once the client is 16 years old or older, they must call to make the appointment.

¿?

“What if I have to stop doing therapy because of personal or financial issues? Am I able to see the therapist again in the future?”

Yes. You can close your case at any time.  When you are ready to come back to therapy, just call the front office and explain that you were a previous client that wants to get your case opened again.

Preguntas sobre seguros

Questions About Insurance

¿?

“Do you take my insurance?”

The only insurance I accept is Aetna.

¿?

“What if you do not take my insurance? Can you still see me?”

Yes.

¿?

“What is self-filing?”

When you choose to see a therapist that does not take your insurance, you will need to self-file that information on your own. You would first pay the full rate during your appointment, and afterward, call the phone number on the back of your insurance card. You would explain that you want to self-file and give them the information they need from your invoice. In this way you may be able to receive some financial reimbursement from your insurer towards the cost of therapy. How much you are reimbursed depends on your insurance company and coverage.

¿?

“What are EAP sessions?”

Sometimes your employer may provide something called Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Sessions.  These are a limited number of sessions that are free for the client and are paid by your employer at no cost to you.  Once the sessions are used up, you may choose to stop therapy, or continue therapy using your regular health benefits or by paying out of pocket. If you are unsure if EAP sessions are available to you, ask your HR department.

Primera cita

First Appointments

¿?

“What kind of questions do you ask at the first session?”

Our first session together is called an “intake session” and it is spent helping you get comfortable with the Pettigru Counseling center, understanding more about therapy, and beginning to build our relationship. You may have many general questions about the process, or want to start sharing your struggles. I hope to come out of our first session with a clear understanding of what led you to seek therapy, and what you’d like to get out of our time together.

¿?

“What do I have to bring to complete my intake paperwork?”

Nothing.

¿?

“Where can I park?”

Our office is in the Pettigru Historic District in downtown Greenville, near the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.   Before 6pm during the weekday, feel free to park in front of the building on Pettigru Street.   After 6pm or on Saturdays, we ask for you to please park behind the building, which you can access from Toy Street or Boyce Street. (Click here for a map.)

¿?

“What do I do when I get to the building for the first appointment?”

If you walk in the front door, keep going straight to the far back of the building and you will see the receptionist on the left. If you walk in the back door the receptionist will be immediately on your right. Let them know you’re there for a first-time appointment, and they will help get you checked in.

¿?

“How much do these visits cost and how long are they?”

The intake appointment is $175, then it’s $135 after that.  The appointments are about 50-53 minutes long.

¿?

“How does telehealth work?”

The night before every appointment, you will get an email link from our electronic portal.  When the time for the appointment is near, click on the link, and it will open our link to start the session.  For each telehealth session,  please find a private space, such as a bedroom with the door closed, or even your car.  This is to make sure that you are protecting your privacy.

Proceso de terapia

The Therapy Process

¿?

“Why do people seek therapy?”

Every person has experienced feelings and thoughts that are distressing. Most of the time  these emotions resolve - circumstances change, or the feelings fade. But sometimes, fear, sadness, grief, or anger can turn basic tasks into heavy burdens, threaten relationships, or lead to behaviors that are harmful. Sometimes the absence of normal emotions (feeling numb) or consistent problems with sleeping or eating may bother you. Whether an event triggered these struggles, or things changed slowly,  something is wrong, and it is affecting your life!

People seek therapy because they want to overcome and move beyond the situations and feelings that are holding them back, and also to prevent negative consequences in life. Seeking therapy is a brave, positive action that will help you feel more empowered and able to live life to the fullest.

¿?

“I can talk to a friend for free, why pay someone to talk to?”

This is a valid question, and there are many good reasons to invest in seeing a therapist. As valuable as family and friends are to your mental health, there are several things that they are not: completely neutral, legally required to be confidential, and educated and experienced at understanding and treating many different types of mental health struggles. Even if your friend or family member is a therapist or pastor, their love for you and the experiences you have shared may actually be a barrier to providing help. A therapist is trained to see you from different perspectives, sometimes stepping back in ways that are impossible for someone close. Also, because your loved ones have their own opinions and needs that depend on you, their advice may not have your best interest at heart, even if they mean well. Starting off with a neutral person and then moving on without worrying about what was revealed, are so essential that all therapy professions are prohibited from providing help to someone they already have a relationship with. It’s that valuable and that important.

¿?

“What if I don’t feel comfortable with the therapist?

The relationship between the therapist and the client is the most important part in therapy.   If you don’t feel comfortable or connect with your therapist, it is sometimes best for them to refer you to someone else.  It’s helpful to let your therapist know your concerns. It may be based on very different life experiences or beliefs, or just something specific. However, a good therapist will not be mad or hurt by your honesty. They want you to get the best care, and will support your transition. (Get to know Natasha here.)

¿?

“Is what we talk about kept between us?”

Yes. The only situation in which I am allowed to speak about our sessions is if you or someone else is in danger, a court orders me to do so, or you give me permission yourself. In fact, I can lose my right to continue as a therapist if I talk about our work together without those reasons. If confidentiality is a concern for you, we will take time during our first session to discuss it in more depth. A few main reasons that I must reveal information from our sessions include to prevent you from committing suicide if you have shared that you intend to, to protect someone from homicide, or to protect a child or vulnerable adult from being abused.

¿?

“Is family therapy the same thing as marital therapy?”

While marital therapy focuses on the relationship between two partners, the family therapy I provide focuses on the needs of one client and how their family supports and affects them.

¿?

“Do you provide marital therapy?”

No.

¿?

“What does family therapy look like?”

Family therapy is an extension or the next step of individual therapy. If I see you as an individual client and we agree that your family plays an important role in your therapy and wellness goals, we will discuss including family therapy in your treatment plan. Once we build a strong relationship and you have progressed on your own, family members can participate in sessions to help you provide support, while the focus remains on your needs.

 

Sessions are collaborative between client, family, and therapist. Depending on the therapist and the needs of the family, some sessions will be for the client only, some with the parents only, and some with all family members.

Trabajar con

Working with Other Providers

¿?

“Does anyone in your office prescribe medications?”

No, we currently do not have any psychiatrists on staff that can prescribe medications. We refer out to psychiatrists if needed.

¿?

“Are you able to talk with other people about our case (like client’s teacher or doctor) if I want you to?”

Yes, as long as there is a release signed that gives the therapist permission to talk to someone of the client’s choosing. We can provide those at my office.

¿?

"Do you do psychological evaluations for immigration paperwork?"

No.

Todas Las Preguntas

ALL FAQS...

​Main Questions

  • What is your office doing regarding COVID and taking precautions?

  • How much do visits cost and how long are they?

  • Do you take my insurance?

  • What if you do not take my insurance? Can you still see me?

  • How much do I have to pay if you do take my insurance?

  • If I call today, how long will it be until I can get in to see you?

  • How does telehealth work?

Making an Appointment

  • If I do not speak English, how can I make an appointment with you?

  • What do I have to have ready, to make a first-time appointment?

  • Do you accept clients who do not have legal paper (undocumented)?

  • Do I have to have a referral from a doctor in order to make an appointment?

  • If I call today, how long will it be until I can get in to see you?

  • Do you work evenings and Saturdays?

  • Can I call for my child and make an appointment for them?

  • What if I have to stop doing therapy because of personal or financial issues? Am I able to see the therapist again in the future?

Your First Appointment

  • What do I have to bring to complete my intake paperwork?

  • Where can I park?

  • What do I do when I get to the building for the first appointment?

  • How much do these visits cost and how long are they?

  • How does telehealth work?

Questions About Insurance

  • Do you take my insurance?

  • What if you do not take my insurance? Can you still see me?

  • ¿What is self-filing?

  • What are EAP sessions?

  • How much do I have to pay if you do take my insurance?

  • ¿Qué son las sesiones de EAP?

  • ¿Cuánto tengo que pagar si aceptan mi seguro?

Therapy process

  • Why do people seek therapy?

  • I can talk to a friend for free, why pay someone to talk?

  • What if I am not comfortable with the therapist?

  • What we talk, does it stay between us?

  • Is family therapy the same as couples therapy?

  • Do you offer couples therapy?

  • What is family therapy like?

Working with your other providers

  • Does anyone in your office prescribe medications?

  • Are you able to talk with other people about our case (like client’s teacher or doctor) if I want you to?

  • Do you do psychological evaluations for immigration paperwork?

bottom of page