Q: I made an appointment to see a psychologist for the first time. I expected resolution of my problems within the first or second session. Why didn't the psychologist just tell me what to do and send me on my way?
A: Meaningful change in a person's life requires a time commitment. You probably did not develop your problems in living overnight. It requires hard work by both you and your psychologist. Clients that change the most are those who work on their issues within sessions with their psychologist and between sessions while they do their homework.
Q: What should I expect during my first appointment?
A: Your first visit is a consultation. You present your concerns that bring you for therapy. I ask you numerous questions related to your concerns. I write the answers to your questions. This is a time for me to become acquainted with you. You share what you want to address on in therapy. It is a time for you to sense who I am and how I work with clients.
Q: What makes talking to a psychologist different than talking to my best friend?
A: Friendships are often built on shared enjoyment of each other's presence. You may overwhelm your friend with bearing your burdens to them. Your friend may feel like you have just dumped on them.
Q: What can I expect out of therapy?
A: Therapy is very much a form of partnership relationship between Rick D. Thomas, Ph.D. and yourself. The relationship is based upon mutual respect, trust, and patience. We work together to identify personal strengths and identify areas for change and growth. Therapy is most effective when psychologist and client have a good working relationship.
Q: Does Dr. Thomas take health insurance.
A: I am a contract provider for numerous health insurance companies. I have applied to all insurance companies that I am aware of that provide health insurance benefits to this region. However, be informed that insurances companies change, restructure, or merge with other companies sometimes without providing advance notice.
Q: How do I know if my insurance provides mental health coverage?
A: Contact your insurance company to determine if outpatient psychotherapy is covered. The customer service telephone number for your insurance company is probably located on your insurance card. As if the full cost of therapy is covered or if you have a deductible or co-pay. Benefits vary widely from one insurance company to another. You have unlimited sessions per year or you may have a set number of sessions you can attend each year.
Q: I never have a co-pay. When I visited Rick D. Thomas, Ph.D. I was told I have a $500 deductible and a $35 dollar co-pay. I do not understand.
A: Rick D. Thomas, Ph.D. furnishes information provided by your insurance company. The insurance company sets your deductible and co-pay. When you see a psychologist your benefits are often based on Behavioral Healthcare not the Medical Healthcare you use when you see your M.D. physician.
Q: I attended my child's school play and I forgot I had an appointment with Rick D. Thomas, Ph.D. I received a bill in the mail. Now I am required to pay for a session I did not attend. Is this fair?
A: Dr. Thomas reserved the appointment for you. You signed a Contractual Agreement before your started therapy. You were informed that you will be charged for missed appointments if you do not receive twenty-four hours notice.
Q: I need a medication evaluation to determine if my medications are appropriate. Will Dr. Thomas help me?
A: Dr. Thomas is a Licensed Psychologist. By virtue of his license in the State of Missouri or Kansas he is not allowed to prescribe medication. He will not recommend a medication or tell you to discontinue a medication. You must consult your physician about medications. If necessary Dr. Thomas will provide you with a list of both primary care physicians and psychiatrists that he has referred to in the past.