Ames Counseling Center
Straight Forward Counseling For
Couples | Individuals | Teens
2515 University Blvd, Suite 106
Ames, IA 50010
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you take insurance?
Yes – we are currently in-network providers for Wellmark, Blue Cross / Blue Shield. We are out-of-network providers for other types of commercial and state insurance, meaning we can submit claims to other insurance providers but do need to collect payment upfront and insurance reimbursement would be sent to you directly.
If you are unsure if your Wellmark, Blue Cross / Blue Shield plan covers our services, call Wellmark’s Customer Service at 1-800-524-9242 to verify your coverage before making an appointment.
How much does therapy cost?
The present standard fee for regular therapy sessions is $185 (45 minutes in office) and $270 for 60-75 minutes. It is expected that clients will pay at the time of each session unless other arrangements are made. You are responsible for having a zero balance at the end of each month. The client is responsible for any balance unpaid by insurance.
Pursuant to requirements from the No Surprises Act, click here to see our disclosures about patient protections against surprise billing.
What is your cancellation policy?
In the event that you cannot attend your session, you must give at least 12 hours notice in order to cancel. Appointments not cancelled within 12 hours of the appointment time will be subject to a $25 late cancellation fee to the credit card on file, except in extenuating circumstances. In the event of a no-show, clients will be subject to a $50 no-show fee to the credit card on file.
Do you take Title 19 or DHS, Crime Victims or other government subsidies?
We do not currently take these types of programs.
Do you have a sliding fee scale?
We do not offer a sliding scale at this time, but we do make referrals to area agencies that have sliding fees or take government subsidies.
How do clients pay for therapy?
Clients pay at the end of each session with cash, personal check, or credit/debit card. This also means you are responsible for the deductible at the end of the session if you are paying with insurance.
What anger, fighting, and domestic violence?
What if the physical violence or the threat of violence is a concern?
If you need immediate assistance, dial 9-1-1 or reach out to the 24/7 National Domestic Hotline at: 800-799-SAFE (7233). The number one concern is safety. If your life or well-being is threatened, getting away to a safe place may be in order. There are domestic abuse shelters for spouses and children when a partner is unwilling to cooperate with counseling.
If both partners are willing to work together on reducing abuse, we can be of assistance. While the person who commits the acts of violence is responsible for his or her actions, partners can work together to make their interactions around conflict more positive. We take a pro-active approach to teach couples other ways to interact, which, if followed, can eliminate abuse from the family.
What if we have a no contact order but we still want marital therapy?
If you have a no contact order, that means no contact, including therapy, unless you get a judge’s order to make marital therapy an exception to the order. In some cases the no contact order may be removed in entirety if the couple is motivated to learn how to resolve their differences in a mutually beneficial way.
If you have a no contact order and wish to go to joint therapy, talk with your lawyer and/or judge to get the court order removed or to have marital therapy inserted as an exception. If the latter, please bring a written copy of the court order with you when you start therapy with us.
What if one of us has received a court order for marital therapy?
We do not offer court order therapy
What if my partner won’t come to therapy?
What if my partner isn’t interested or won’t attend couples therapy?
We encourage partners to attend couples therapy together. Our approach is to not take sides of one partner against another, but to seek understanding between people. We work to help you minimize blame and come together as partners again.
Our approach is proactive. We don’t just let one partner attack the other, instead we give ideas that are practical and can make a difference in your relationship. These results are often noticed immediately.
Remember: If one of you thinks the relationship is in trouble, it is in trouble! It’s wise for both parties to heed this warning. Relationships are our expertise. We know what destroys them and what saves them. We know how to intervene to help you turn things around.
However, not all partners will come to therapy, and if only one person is willing to come attend, we encourage that partner to come. One person can make a difference. We still maintain a positive approach and seek solutions, rather than letting therapy become a complaining session where the absent partner is blamed for the problems in the marriage.
What if we're separating, separated, or filing for divorce?
What if one of us wants to leave?
Sometimes a little space can be a part of a partner’s healing. However, without assistance, separation often leads to divorce. Separations are difficult to manage even with marital therapy and without assistance frequently lead to the end of the relationship. Call us if possible before you separate. If you have already separated, we can still help, but the process will be a little more difficult.
What if we’ve already separated, but still want to work on the relationship?
Give us a call! Often during separation people realize things they didn’t before.
What if one of us has already filed for divorce but we both want to work on the relationship?
In our experience, not everyone who files for divorce wants to get a divorce or ends up divorced. People who file for divorce often change their minds or didn’t even intend to divorce from the beginning as they tell us they were just trying to get their partner’s attention that the relationship is in trouble. We’ve been able to help many couples stay together even after they’ve filed.
What if I’m divorced? Can you help me?
The divorce process can be extremely painful whether you pursued the divorce or not. We can help you heal to face your next relationships more effectively. Research indicates that second marriages are more likely to fail than first marriages and third marriages are more likely to fail than second marriages. Doing the necessary work before you are romantically involved will help insure your later marriage against possible failure.
Can you help with remarriage and stepfamilies?
Research shows second marriages break up at higher rates than first marriages. People who remarry often have not had the time to heal from the first marriage and these hurts are brought into the second marriage. If you are already married, we can assist you in making your marriage what it needs to be.
Even without these concerns, stepfamilies can bring unique challenges. We know what these issues are and can help couples prepare for inevitable situations and feelings that stepfamilies will face. Pre-marital counseling for potential stepfamilies is recommended – but keep in mind, divorce or custody stipulations may affect whether children can attend or not.
Do you see dating or engaged couples?
We highly recommend pre-marital counseling for couples planning to get married. Research indicates that how partners treat each other before they marry predicts if they will get a divorce later. We can help identify these divorce predictors and how to avoid them.
Do you see individuals?
Yes, all of our providers accept individual clients.
Do you see families?
What about spiritual issues?
We understand that spirituality is a fundamental way of life for many people. We help people harness their relationship to spirituality to provide strength and guidance on how to live. We do not seek to convert our clients to any specific understanding of spirituality but are available to help you use the spiritual resources you already have or have interest in developing.
We have many clients who may not have a current relationship to spirituality, but amid their problems, discover they’re interested in this area. As therapists, we encourage these folks to explore their budding interest in spiritual things and make referrals to resources as appropriate.
We go at your pace and if you are not interested in spiritual things, don’t worry. Our task is to help you with the problems you present to us. We may ask about your interest in spirituality and if this is not an area you want to explore, we respect your decision.
Do you prescribe medications or offer medication management?
We do not offer these services but are able to provide referrals to local providers who do.
Do you provide support letters for emotional support animals, gender-affirming care, etc.?
We can offer these services, but it is always at the discretion of your therapist. Please discuss with your individual therapist to determine if this is the correct course of action for your treatment.