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Family Therapy Session

Common Questions

What is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an R number or LCSW-R?

The practice of clinical social work encompasses the scope of practice of licensed master social work and, in addition, includes the diagnosis of mental, emotional, behavioral, addictive and developmental disorders and disabilities and of the psychosocial aspects of illness, injury, disability and impairment undertaken within a psychosocial framework; administration and interpretation of tests and measures of psychosocial functioning; development and implementation of appropriate assessment-based treatment plans; and the provision of crisis oriented psychotherapy and brief, short-term and long-term psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic treatment to individuals, couples, families and groups, habilitation, psychoanalysis and behavior therapy; all undertaken for the purpose of preventing, assessing, treating, ameliorating and resolving psychosocial dysfunction with the goal of maintaining and enhancing the mental, emotional, behavioral and social functioning and well-being of individuals, couples, families, small groups, organizations, communities and society.

Psychotherapy “R” Privilege: An LCSW who fulfills the requirements of the insurance law for supervised experience providing psychotherapy, is recognized in New York State as a reimbursable psychotherapist. The “R” privilege requires insurance carriers to provide reimbursement for psychotherapy services whenever a health insurance contract includes reimbursement of qualified psychologists and psychiatrists.

Wendy A. West Pidkaminy, the Executive Officer of Nurturing Life Concepts, LLC is an LCSW-R.

Does NLC utilize practitioners other than Licensed Clinical Social Workers?

Yes, NLC has providers on staff that are specifically trained to offer parent coaching of the Nurtured Heart Approach, Life Coaching, Pastoral Care, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and other professionals or a combination of these specialties. Contact us to determine which provider is best suited to your needs.

Where is the office located?

The office is located at 8195 Cazenovia Road (route 92) Manlius, NY 13104 in the Millstone Building across from Pompey Center Road.

As you enter the parking lot- park in the side lot (not the front of the building where the storefront is). The back of the building has a covered doorway. Enter through that door. The NLC sign is next to the door.

Go up two flights of stairs. The waiting room is on the second floor with two brown leather chairs. Please have a seat and someone will be with you for your appointment.

How much does counseling cost?

A typical counseling session with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker costs from $90-250. Most insurance’s will cover some of this cost. If you have concerns regarding affording psychotherapy, we can discuss these and whether or not you may meet NLC guidelines for a sliding fee scale. NLC does work out mutually agreeable payment options with many of our clients so that cost does not hinder them from pursuing counseling. While many clients are initially very concerned about whether or not they can afford counseling, most find that as their life and priorities change new ways of funding therapy appear–whether through less need to partake in unhealthy habits (over/under eating, gambling, drug and alcohol misuse etc) to distract from pain or through new means of income due to increased energy and investment in life.

Will my health insurance pay for counseling?

It might. It is important to confirm your benefits with your insurance company. Some plans have mental health benefits and some do not. Some allow you to see any mental health professional while others require that the professional be on their approved list. Some insurance plans will only pay for the treatment of specific diagnoses. Some only pay for the treatment of severe mental illness. Please remember that you are responsible for fees for your treatment.

Services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. Please check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:

  • 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?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

Reduced Fee
Reduced fee services are available on a limited basis.

Cash, check and all major credit cards accepted for payment.

Cancellation Policy
If you do not show up for your scheduled therapy appointment, and you have not notified us at least 24 hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of the session.

Schedule Online
Request a therapy appointment online

Questions? Please
contact me for further information.

NLC only accept a few insurances. We only take POMCO Select and Life Time Benefit Solutions.

NLC does not take Excellus/Blue Cross Blue Shield and other insurance carriers not listed above. However, many of these plans allow you to be reimbursed for out of network counseling services.

Most of our current clients have policies outside of the ones we are providers for. These clients private pay with a credit card, check, cash or Health Saving Account and receive a receipt to submit for reimbursement. Many clients report that they receive 50% to 100% reimbursement.

If your insurance carrier does not offer reimbursement please call to discuss your financial situation and the possibility of a sliding scale fee slot being available.

Are counseling services confidential?

Yes. All client-therapist conversations are private and confidential. All Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Licensed Master of Social Workers at NLC follow the professional ethical standards of the National Association of Social Workers. Only in rare exceptions when the safety of a client or other is at risk and NYS state law allows can disclosure of confidential client-therapist information take place.

All other staff, licensed professionals, Pastoral Care providers, Life Coaches and Parent Coaches working as providers through NLC adhere to their specific licensure regulations and requirements with regard to confidentiality.

How long does a counseling session take?

Sessions are typically scheduled for 50 minutes and most people see their counselor once a week or twice a month for consistent progress to be made.

What should I bring to the first appointment?

You should bring your insurance cards and the FILLED OUT Intake Form appropriate to you that is found under forms on this website.

In addition, prior to coming to the first appointment you will need to read the Informed Consent and Cancellation Policy information also found under the forms section of the website. It is vital you complete this reading so you understand NLC policies and practices. You will be asked to sign a form that states you understand and have read these documents.

What will a typical appointment be like?

During your first appointment for psychotherapy/counseling, your provider will need a summary of the problems or questions that have brought you to counseling in order to work with you to establish goals and an appropriate treatment plan. Adults and NLC providers will meet alone. Children and adolescents will usually have some time with the parent present and some time alone with the provider. A session that allows observation of and discussion among family members may also be held. Your provider will be interested to hear your history, including: family history and dynamics, significant relationships, work, substance use, cultural background, major losses, traumas, medical issues and any other information that may prove helpful. Parents will be asked to provide information about their child’s developmental history, schooling and social relationships, as well as other information that may be relevant to the difficulties the child is experiencing.

If your referral question is very specific (for example, a fear of flying) one session will usually be enough to provide the necessary information to develop a treatment plan. If it is more complicated (for example, serious marital conflict or a long history of unsuccessful relationships) more time will be needed to develop a plan.

Does NLC work over the telephone of via Skype?

Yes. NLC can provide coaching and counseling services via telephone and Skype for some clients. Contact NLC directly to see if this service would be right for you.

If you are participating with an insurance company you may want to verify they cover sessions completed in this manner.

Does NLC work with couples and families?

Yes, NLC practice includes work with individuals, couples, and families.

Can you prescribe medications?

No. Only physicians, psychiatrists, physicians’ assistants and nurse practitioners can prescribe medications in New York. If you already have a relationship with a physician, we will be happy to consult with them.

What kinds of things do people seek help for?

People seek counseling for a variety of reasons including feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, worried, sad, or angry. People also seek out counseling to help change behaviors and thoughts that are troubling them including addictive or disordered behaviors or behaviors that affect their relationships at home, work or school. Some people seek counseling because they have a life goal that has been eluding them and they are ready to explore their barriers. Other people seek out counseling 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. Others simply want to talk out private issues with a neutral party.

How does counseling help?

When a counseling relationship is working well, clients 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 client 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. Clients 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, clients we have worked with have stated that the temporary pain of the working through process is well worth leaving behind the continual pain of living the way they had previously.

Do I need to be a Christian to Receive Counseling at NLC?

No, clients come to NLC from all different backgrounds, religions, cultures, racial and ethnic groups.

Faith and spirituality are an important part of many people’s lives and should be as much a part of counseling as you are comfortable with, but this will never be pushed on you.

Can I receive Christian Counseling at NLC?

Many of the providers within NLC are Christian and do offer Christian Counseling. If you would like to discuss your faith and your relationship with God in counseling, we welcome that. NLC would also ask that you give us permission to consult with your pastor or other spiritual adviser.

If you are a Christian and you would like to make integration of Christian faith and practice an explicit part of your therapy please let us know this.

In addition, NLC has pastoral care staff to aid you in working through life’s issues and challenges solely from a Biblical perspective. Contact our office to see if pastoral care is an appropriate option for you.

What are some specific beliefs NLC has regarding counseling and coaching?
  1. All people have strengths, talents, gifting and abilities.
  2. You have resources and strengths to resolve your challenges.
  3. NLC’s job is to identify and amplify strengths, resources and skills to foster change.
  4. Small changes are acceptable and can lead to bigger changes.
  5. Rapid change or resolution of problems is possible.
  6. There is no one right way to view things, different views may be just as valid and may fit the facts just as well.
  7. We will focus on what is possible and changeable rather than what is impossible and intractable.
What is the difference between counseling and coaching and pastoral care/spiritual guidance?

Information discussing the differences between coaching and counseling can be located on this website under Coaching Services.

In a nutshell, counseling requires one to heal from the past to move forward toward their goals. Coaching is a strategic method of helping one recognize their life passions, purposes, strategize, create action steps and move forward toward their goals.

Pastoral Care or Spiritual Guidance helps one grow interpersonally based on the Word of God (the Bible).

Coaching and Pastoral Care are not reimbursable with insurance companies.

Confidentiality & Privacy Policy

The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.

Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.
What do I do in the event of an emergency?

If you are experiencing an emergency and cannot reach NLC ( We do not offer 24/7 contact in this practice) please go to your nearest hospital or call 911. Do not wait.

Additional Information specific to NLC is located in the Forms section of this website. Please feel free to review.
If you have any further questions please contact us at (315) 682-4005 or email wendy@nurturinglifeconcepts.com