FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need counseling?

How do I know if I need counseling or treatment?

People with a wide range of problems and concerns may benefit from counseling. Feeling depressed or anxious, being indecisive, having fears of failure, and dealing with identity questions are all common reasons why people choose to see a counselor.

Child and Adolescent Therapy Services

How do I know if my child needs treatment or therapy?

By looking up the answer to this question, it is clear that you already may have sufficient concerns to justify at least an intake. Generally speaking, it is time to consider therapy if your child is not adjusting at home, in school, or in the community for a period exceeding six weeks. There are several websites you can check that also give guidance on the need for therapy, and you may find books in your local library on this issue. It is also possible that someone else is recommending you bring your child in for therapy, be it your personal physician or perhaps a schoolteacher or counselor. These are people who care about you and your child, and they may have a lot of experience on when or how to refer.

If my child is to be seen, do I need to be present as a parent?

One or both parents' presence for the intake session is mandatory. Once treatment starts, your therapist will discuss a therapy treatment plan with you. At that time, the therapist will share with you how you can best participate. Most of the time, the therapist likes to check with the parent on how things are going at the beginning of the session and spend at least a few minutes at the end to discuss the progress and need for follow-up.

What about family involvement in therapy and treatment?

At Vantage Point Clinic, when the treatment involves a child, participation of the family is critical. In fact, if your child is less than five years old, it is very unlikely that we could do meaningful therapy with the child alone. Please do not expect that your child will spend an hour with a therapist behind closed doors and will return to you changed. Much of child therapy is about helping you understand your child and perhaps learn ways to parent him or her differently. An older child may often need more individual time, and this is particularly true for teenagers. It is a sign that the therapy is not working effectively if you feel excluded from the therapy process. Please let your child's therapist know if you want to be more involved.

What is an intake appointment?

An intake appointment is the first meeting with you and your child and a mental health professional. The purpose of the meeting is to gather the information needed to make a therapy recommendation. This gathering of information includes, but is not limited to, the history of the problem, information about family history, information about school and community adjustment, a review of medication taken and/or considered, an exploration of needs and goals, and a review of past efforts to remedy the problem. At Vantage Point Clinic, the person who meets with you for the intake may or may not be the person with whom you will start the therapy. The intake worker may decide that another clinician has more fitting interests and skills to meet the specific needs for your child.

Substance Abuse (AODA) Therapy Services

What does chemical dependency mean?

A person is identified as being chemically dependent when their alcohol or drug use is either excessive or habitual, and they suffer or have suffered physical, psychological, emotional, social, or occupational harm.

Appointments

How do I schedule an appointment?

To become a client at Vantage Point Clinic, you must first have an intake appointment with a clinician. If you were a client at Vantage Point in the past but are not currently seeing a clinician, you will need to schedule a new intake if your file has been closed. You can schedule an intake appointment by contacting the intake department staff at 715-832-5454 or 1-800-847-2144. The intake staff will ask for information about your reason for seeking services so that they can schedule you with an appropriate clinician. The staff will also need to get your insurance information and some other demographic information from you.

What is your "no show" policy?

If you need to cancel your appointment, please do so 24 hours in advance. A no show at Vantage Point Clinic means that a client did not appear for a scheduled appointment and did not notify the clinic in advance. Vantage Point Clinic will notify the client of the no show and cancel all future appointments with the clinician for whom the client was no show. The client may reschedule an appointment after being notified. The clinic cannot guarantee that the rescheduled appointment will be within the same time period as the originally scheduled follow up. Vantage Point Clinic will not deny access to treatment for the clients who no show but cannot offer the courtesy of prescheduling more than one follow up appointment.

How often do I need to be seen?

When our Eau Claire therapist discusses the treatment plan with you, they will talk with you about the frequency and length of treatment. Although every course of treatment is different, in general, appointments are every two weeks and, towards the end, perhaps every month. Sometimes weekly appointments in the beginning are necessary if there is grave concern about suicide or other severe crises. From start to finish, the average length of treatment at our clinic is about six months with usually less than ten visits. Appointments usually last one hour.

Do you offer child care services during my sessions?

Vantage Point Clinic does not provide child care services. If you have children in need of supervision while you attend an appointment at the clinic, you will need to arrange for their care.

Where else can I go for help?

The Chippewa Valley is very rich in resources for mental health and AODA services. Each county has a Department of Human Services that may be a resource for programs available for individuals with specific needs or possible alternative funding sources. Various mental health agencies are located in the Eau Claire area. You can consult your local yellow pages for identification of these agencies under the headings of Counseling Services, Counselors, Marriage, Family, Child and Individual Counselors, or Mental Health Services. Our Eau Claire counseling clinic will be happy to direct you to the appropriate resource in the community. We welcome your inquiries.

Payment, Insurance, and Privacy

How much does each session cost?

The rates for services at Vantage Point Clinic can vary based on insurance coverage, community program eligibility, and service for which you may be looking. It is best to contact us directly to determine rates and costs of services offered here.

Can I set up a payment plan to pay my bill?

In most cases, yes! Although Vantage Point Clinic does not have reduced fees or a sliding fee scale, our billing department can work out an agreement with you as to how to pay your bill in stages. Please speak directly with a billing representative regarding options for partial payments. Also, Vantage Point Clinic does accept major credit cards as a form of payment which enables you to also choose an extended repay.

What is a deductible?

Many insurance plans will have a fixed amount that you are expected to pay out of pocket before your insurance benefit kicks in. Deductibles may be as low as $100 up to several thousand dollars. Deductibles usually are for each calendar year, so that with the beginning of a new year, the deductible amount reactivates. Your insurance agent, as well as your insurance handbook, will inform you about deductibles. Please be aware that deductibles may be different for various kinds of medical care. For example, you may have no or a very low deductible for office visits to physicians but higher deductibles for psychiatric and counseling care.

Will my insurance cover services?

If you have concerns about whether your insurance will pay Vantage Point Clinic or if you would need to find out if Vantage Point Clinic is a covered provider, the very best thing to do is to call your customer service representative yourself. Your insurance agent should be able to tell you the coverage details. Unfortunately, insurance coverage is often complicated. For example, while Vantage Point Clinic may be a covered clinic for your plan, not every clinician at Vantage Point may be individually credentialed or certified by your insurance. Co-pays and deductibles are also often complicated. If you feel you cannot get the answers you need from your customer service representatives, the billing staff at Vantage Point is quite willing to help you find the answers. Keep in mind, however, that opinions and information from our billing staff do NOT guarantee payment.

Is Vantage Point Clinic in my insurance network?

Vantage Point Clinic may be in your insurance network and may also be the designated provider of your insurance. All or a limited number of Vantage Point clinicians may be covered by your insurance. This information may be in your insurance handbook and also can be given to you by calling your insurance carrier directly.

Other Resources

Where else can I go for mental health, counseling, or general health information on the internet?

Please bear in mind that Vantage Point Clinic does not directly endorse any information or resources without personal contact and discussion of your needs. Additionally, you should regard all information you find on the internet as a reference to further research. You may find useful or helpful information or references at: About.com: Mentalhealth.