FAQ

How do I get an appointment, and how long would the therapy last?

Office Sessions: To schedule a Mena appointment (or phone/Skype appointments), call Carolyn at 479 883-5492.  If you are in crisis, be sure to tell the her so she can fit you in the same day if possible.

Most marriage or couple counseling gets best results with once-a-week sessions.  Clients usually see some positive changes in a the first few weeks, but it takes longer to learn the new skills needed and to overcome negative patterns.   marriage/couple counseling

Individual or marriage or couple counseling has no minimum amount of sessions, nor maximum.    It completely depends on your issues.  Dr.Tom will discuss this during your first session, when he has an idea of your situation.

We offer daytime and evening appointments on Mondays, or other days or evenings by special arrangement if Mondays are impossible for you.      Sessions last approximately 50 minutes.  

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Where are your offices and the retreat center?

The Willowbrook Retreat Center is near Mena, Arkansas, just 1 1/2 hours south of Fort Smith, 45 minutes north of DeQueen, 1 hour 20 minutes from Hot Springs.  Willowbrook is used for special retreats, getaways, and counseling. For appointments at the Mena office, call  Carolyn at 479 883-5492 between 9 am and 9 pm.   map and directions to Mena ACC Willowbrook

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Who would my counselor be?

Dr. Tom MacMahon will be your personal counselor.  He is licensed with the state of Arkansas as Licensed Professional Counselor, and has a dual Masters Degree in Counseling, and Marriage & Family Therapy, from John Brown University.  He has a Doctor of  Ministry from ORU, Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary, and Bachelors in Communication from Ohio University, and undergraduate work at Elim Bible College in London, England.  He is an ordained minister, and has over 25 years’ experience in ministry and counseling.  He also is certified with the state of Arkansas to do both office counseling and  Distance Counseling by telephone or Internet.  He has written articles and books on marriages, and has been state advisor for the Marriage Course.

As  Christian counselor, Dr. Tom addresses issues in an open and non-judgmental way.  He will also address the spiritual aspect of the issues, as it seems appropriate.  He respects individual differences in denominational preference.  If you are not a Christian, he will still be able to give you quality care without imposing on your personal beliefs.

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What is the cost, and what form of payment do you accept?

Counseling can be a one-time session at  just $95 per session (or lower on the sliding scale), scheduled week by week as needed, depending on your situation; or you can sign up for a 12-week package that includes savings and testing (package).  You can pay by cash or check.

Dr. Tom is licensed to do distance counseling, either by phone, Skype, or Internet.  Cost for telephone counseling is  the same as office rates, $95 per session, or $2 per minute for emergency calls, to be charged on Master Card / Visa / Discover credit card.  You may be eligible for a lower rate according to our sliding scale.

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Do you accept insurance?  And what about “Obamacare”?

Most counseling is not actually covered by insurance, unless a Medical Doctor says counseling is necessary for physical health.  Marriage counseling is not ever covered by insurance, according to government sources.  Few counselors accept insurance, but they may say they “file insurance,” even though your claim may be denied.  We know that most counseling is not accepted by insurance companies, so we work with you to make it affordable.

Arkansas Christian Counseling in Fort Smith and Mena is a “patient-counselor direct” practice clinic; it was primarily established to provide high quality, low cost counseling and mental health care for patients with no insurance coverage.  However, if you have unique insurance that will cover counseling, we can give you a receipt with the proper insurance industry codes on it so they can reimburse you.

We accept cash or personal checks.

We do not handle Medicare, Medicaid, ACA, or health insurance partly because of government data collection.  ACC values your privacy, and does not give client information to NSA data banks.  Hacking has become such a widespread threat that we do not place client information or progress report records on Internet.  Counseling is a wise and helpful tool to improve your situation, but you do not want your government profile to be flagged as “mental health issues,” which is grossly unfair, but unfortunately the way counseling is categorized by the government.

We don’t want to have to make a choice between what’s best for our clients and what the government requires to receive reimbursement.

For the above reasons we have been able to reduce costs and offer a sliding scale and payment plan to clients who qualify.

 

About “Obamacare”:  the Affordable Care Act does not cover counseling, unless there are serious health issues that would require a referral by an MD.

Many plans do not pay for marriage counseling but in most instances one or both partners is experiencing something that is indeed covered by your insurance (i.e. like depression and / or adjustment disorder).  If these conditions do exist, and they do very often, we can code your therapy receipt accordingly.

There are many benefits to paying for your own care rather than using insurance. Areas to consider include choice, flexibility, confidentiality, autonomy and personal growth. If these are important to you, you should consider paying for your own therapy. It may be the best investment in your future you ever make.

 

How can I justify paying for counseling, when I have many financial obligations?

One way to look at the cost of counseling: a complete course of therapy may cost less than having one broken tooth repaired.  Or one car repair.  Isn’t your happiness worth far more?

Having peace and harmony in your life, with happy, smiling feelings is every bit as important as having a beautiful smile!   You are worth it!

Dr. Tom wants to work with your budget:  he has a sliding scale to give a lower rate to those struggling financially.

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