Getting Started

What is professional therapy?

A: Professional therapists work with individuals, families, groups and couples. Therapy is a collaborative effort between the therapist and participant. Professional therapists help participants 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. Through therapy, you examine the behaviors, thoughts and feelings that are causing difficulties in your life. You learn effective ways to deal with your problems by building upon personal strengths. A professional therapist will encourage your personal growth and development in ways that foster your interest and welfare.

Who are professional therapists?

A: Licensed professional therapists provide quality mental health care to millions of Americans. Professional therapists have a Master’s degree or Doctoral degree in therapy or a related field which include an internship and coursework in human behavior and development, effective therapy strategies, ethical practice, and other core knowledge areas.
Over 80,000 professional therapists are licensed in 49 states as well as the District of Columbia. State licensure typically requires a Master’s or Doctoral degree, two to three years of supervised clinical experience, and the passage of an examination. In states without licensure or certification laws, professional therapists are certified by the National Board for Certified Therapists (NBCC). Participation in continuing education is often required for the renewal of a license or certification.
Professional therapists adhere to a code of ethics that protects the confidentiality of the therapy relationship; prohibits discrimination and requires understanding of and respect for diverse cultural backgrounds; and mandates that professional therapists put the needs and welfare of participants before all others in their practice.

What are different types of therapy ACIDD for Counseling offers?

A: ACIDD Counseling provides therapy for individuals ages 7 and up. We also work with couples, families and individuals with a dual diagnosis of Substance Abuse and mental illness, and dual diagnosis of Intellectual or Developmental Disability and Mental Illness. The most important part of therapy service is the screening. The information that you provide us upon your First Visit with our administrative staff is key to ensuring that we match you with the best therapist who would meet your needs. Our clinicians have a variety of educational backgrounds and experiences. Many specialize in working with particular age groups, or other types of concerns.
Even with our best efforts at matching, there are times when you may not feel that your clinician is the best fit. We take seriously your concerns and encourage you to talk with your clinician or our administrative staff to ensure that your needs are being met.

What kinds of things do people seek help for?

A: People seek therapy for a variety of reasons: Being upset and unhappy, unfulfilled, worried and anxious, sad, angry, stressed and many more. People also seek out therapy to help change behaviors that are troubling them including choices, thoughts or behaviors that affect their relationships at home between siblings, between couples or partners and at work. Some people seek therapy because they have a life goal that has been eluding them and they are ready to explore their barriers. Other people seek out therapy because they know they are going through a difficult time or facing a difficult decision and they desire a place to sort through their feelings and move forward in their life with intention and clear thinking.

How does therapy help?

A: When a therapy relationship is working well, participants experience new insights into their situations, clearer thinking, increased energy, better understanding of their feelings and needs, release of troubling emotions that have held them back or been confusing, and a greater sense of wholeness and peace within themselves. Therapy is a process, and a working partnership develops between participant and therapist. Therapy is not always comfortable or straightforward as difficult emotions and ways of being often have to be sorted through in order for new energy and change to appear. Participants should feel comfortable with their therapist and be able to ask about whatever is on their mind regarding the process. In spite of the uncomfortable emotions experienced, participants feel that the temporary pain of the working through process is well worth leaving behind the continual pain of living the way they had previously.

How do I make an appointment with a therapist?

A: Please Request an Appointment. Fill out the appropriate form and submit. This form comes directly to our administrative team and the intake coordinator will contact you within 48 hours to gather more information or to provide you with information about scheduling your initial appointment.

Once I complete the Request An Appointment Form, how long will it take until I am assigned a therapist?

A: The scheduling of appointments varies based on the availability of a therapist suitable for meeting your needs. Due to the high request for appointments during the evening and weekend hours, participants with availability during day time hours are more likely to be scheduled quickly.

Therapy Sessions

I’ve never gone to therapy before. What can I expect?

A: For therapy to be fruitful, you and your therapist must establish trust. It may take a few sessions for your therapist to get to know you before moving into actual therapy. In the early stages, you can expect your therapist to ask many questions. Your therapist will work with you to define the presenting problem you’re seeking help with, discuss your goals for therapy and determine next steps. Because therapy is dynamic and interactive, you should feel free to ask questions to help you connect with your therapist as you progress through the therapy experience together.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

A: You have the option of printing out your intake forms and completing them prior to your arrival at the ACIDD Counseling center. Or you are free to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to complete the required intake information in our office. For your initial appointment, please bring a copy of your insurance card so that we can scan it into the billing system for future reference. Also, if you have any documentation from other providers, it can be helpful to bring that information as well.

  • Insurance card
  • Completed intake forms
  • Documentation from other providers.

What can I expect at the first session?

A: You can expect to talk about the concern(s) that brought you into therapy and also about your background and personal history. You can share on a level that feels comfortable for you. You can also expect to have some brief paperwork to fill out.

How long does a therapy session take?

A: Therapy sessions are typically scheduled for 45 minutes. Most people see their therapist once a week for consistent progress.

How many sessions do I need?

A: There is no single answer to this question. Ideally, therapy is terminated when the problem that you pursued therapy for becomes more manageable or is resolved. During the first few therapy sessions your therapist should also discuss the length of treatment that may be needed to achieve your goals.
Many people fear that they will become dependent on therapy and that they will never want to stop. Other people fear that their therapist will try to keep them coming longer than they want to. It is important that you be open with your therapist about any such fears or expectations. It is important that you know that you are in charge of your therapy. When you feel that you have accomplished as much as you want from therapy please let your therapist know and the two of you will plan for termination of treatment. For some people that may take as little as a few sessions. Others may continue for months or years, often with increased periods of time between appointments. We recommend that you follow through with therapy until you have accomplished the goals that you and your therapist discussed at the beginning. If you find at any time that you would like to terminate your therapy we recommend that you schedule at least one last appointment to discuss your progress and how to maintain it in the future.
Some insurance companies and managed care plans may limit the number of sessions for which they pay. You should check with your Insurance company on your specific health plan to find out more about any limitations in your coverage.

How often should I come to therapy?

A: Most people find that they achieve greater results with greater frequency of appointments, especially in the beginning. This means that your therapist will probably suggest that you meet weekly. As you experience progress toward your goals you, and your therapist may decide to meet less frequently, but often enough to maintain progress. When goals have been reached, many participants like to come occasionally, as the need arises or until new patterns are firmly established in their life. And, like a family doctor, we are here for you if you should need us again in the future for help with another problem. Feel free to discuss your preferences for frequency with your therapist at any time.

Where are you located?

A: ACIDD for Counseling is located at 300 Thomas Drive, Laurel, MD 20707. We are in the building at the corner of Route 198E (Gorman Avenue) and Route 1S. We are easily accessible from I-95 and I-295.

Do you have sessions in the evenings or on weekends?

A: We know that most participants find it convenient to meet after school or after work hours. For that reason, we are open Monday through Friday until 9 pm and on Saturdays from 9 am to 7 pm. We are closed on Sunday. Please note that evening hours and week-end hours tend to be scheduled much in advance, but we will do our best to accommodate your scheduling needs.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule my session?

A: You must notify your therapist 24 hours before your scheduled appointment time to cancel or reschedule. Please note, if you do not call our office to cancel your appointment with 24 hours notice, you will be charged a NO SHOW Fee.

What if I am running late to my session?

A: We understand that life can be busy, and therefore we provide a 10 minute grace period for all therapy appointments. If you are late beyond the allotted grace period, you may not be able to be seen and you will be charged a NO SHOW fee.

Does everything I say remain confidential?

A: Yes. All participant-therapist conversations are private and confidential. It is also confidential information that a person is meeting with a therapist. As licensed social workers, and Licensed Professional Counselors, we follow the professional ethical standards of the National Association of Social Workers and National Association of Professional Counselors. Only in rare exceptions when the safety of a participant or other is at risk can disclosure of confidential participant-therapist information take place.

Fees and payments

How much does therapy cost?

A: The cost of therapy can vary greatly depending on your geographic location and whether therapy is being provided by a community mental health center or similar agency or by a therapist in private practice. In general, the average paid fee for individual therapy sessions is about $85. Fees for group therapy are generally lower, about $70 per group session. For participants with health insurance that does not cover mental health care and others who cannot afford the therapist’s standard fee, some therapists will lower their fee on a sliding scale basis or will work out a payment plan. Your therapist should explain to you, prior to beginning the therapy relationship, all financial arrangements related to professional services.

Do you take any health insurance?

A: Yes, we accept most major medical health insurance plans as well as Medicaid for certain providers. Our office will verify your benefits and bill your insurance as a courtesy to our participants. You are however, responsible for all co pays and deductibles at the time of service. We encourage you to become familiar with the mental health benefit associated with your card. It is your responsibility to understand plan limitations.

What forms of payment do you accept?

A: We accept personal checks, money orders and credit card payment with VISA , MasterCard and Discover Card.

Will my health insurance cover therapy?

A: Many insurance and coverage plans cover mental health services by a licensed professional therapist including some Medicaid programs. If you do not have health insurance, or if your coverage does not include mental health care or the services of a professional therapist, many professional therapists will work with participants on a sliding-fee scale or will offer a payment plan. Talk to the Office Manager about your options.

What if I don’t have insurance, is there a sliding scale fee?

A: Yes. Please feel free to contact our office at  301-377-0750 for more information about fees.

I have Medicare/Medicaid. Do I have co-pay?

A: There are various forms of Medicaid, and it is possible for you to have a $2 co–pay. When your initial appointment is set up, you will be informed of your co–pay amount. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at 301-377-0750.

What is EAP?

A: EAP stands for Employee Assistance Program. These are employee sponsored benefits that will allow and individual to attend therapy at no cost whatsoever. Please inquire with your employer or health insurance company to determine if these benefits are available for you.