Beginning therapy is a big, exciting, sometimes scary step.
We hope these answers help you get started.

Choosing a Therapist

We definitely recommend checking out our team page to read over the therapists’ bios.

We know that finances can play a be a big (and valid) factor when searching for a therapist. We address that by setting varying price points

Fully licensed: Clinician who has a master’s degree in counseling, has completed at 3000 hours of professional counseling work, and has been licensed to practice independently.

Associate license: Clinician who has a master’s degree in counseling and is licensed to practice under the supervision of a fully licensed clinician toward completion of the 3000 hours required for full licensure.

Counselor intern
: Clinician who is currently enrolled in a counseling graduate program and is practicing under the supervision of a fully licensed clinician while they complete the final practicum/internship requirement for their master’s degree.

Not typically. Counselor interns may need to record or have their supervisor sit in a few sessions during their internship, but this only happens with consent of the client. Unless you consent, you will meet with your counselor one-on-one.

“Supervision” refers to counselor interns and associate-level clinicians consulting on cases with their supervisors who can help ensure that you are getting the best possible care and assess the counselor’s clinical skills.

Chill Counseling is an inclusive practice that respects and affirms all clients, and is especially passionate about supporting clients from marginalized and minority identities. Our clinicians often have marginalized identities themselves and have experience serving those communities.

You may voice any concerns about your therapist’s understanding of your identities during your consultation, and if there is not a clinician at Chill Counseling that is a good fit for you, we will reach out to our extended network to send you referrals that may be a better match.

Finding a therapist you connect with is important–and a priority for us! We put a lot of thought into our bios to help you get a sense of who we are to help you along your search. For those still unsure, our therapists offer a free 15-minute consultation to help you get a feel for the therapist before committing.

We also provide a consultation guide to help you consider various questions to ask the counselor you have selected, and questions to ask yourself ahead of your consultation. You may decide on a therapist based on a number of factors (their fee, their experience, shared identity, your intuition, etc.). If you determine our none of our therapists are a fit, we will try to connect you with other therapists in our network.

If you have already attempted to book in the online scheduler, there are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Clinicians’ schedules vary. While some are available evenings and weekends, others may only be available weekday afternoons. We will request this information when you book your initial consultation.
  2. We only book up to two weeks out. This is to ensure current clients are able to maintain consistent appointment schedules and to ensure we accept new clients who are ready to get started.
  3. Availability changes sporadically. Clients occasionally reschedule or graduate from therapy. You can request to be placed on the waitlist for a time with a specific clinician.
  4. Some clinicians may be full. You can request to be added the therapist’s waitlist or request a referral to another clinician within or outside Chill Counseling.

If you are certain you want to work with a specific clinician but they do not currently have the availability that you need, we will offer to place you on their waitlist.

We will need fully completed paperwork before you can be scheduled. Since openings can happen unexpectedly, we ask that you complete the paperwork as soon as possible. We offer openings to the first available person on the waitlist who has paperwork completed.

About Chill Counseling

Not currently.

Chill Counseling was founded in the fall of 2020 as the world was adjusting to the pandemic. At that time, we were structured as a virtual practice with one provider (Cori). We have since grown and have clinicians in five Texas cities, serving clients throughout the state.

Our vision is to have physical locations in the future, but at this time, we look forward to continuing to offer you  virtual sessions which are just as effective but more convenient for you!

Many agencies and group practices have multiple clinicians on their team. However, we truly operate as a team. 

Consultation is an important part of the therapy world–your therapist is smart, but you also  have an amazing team of other smart clinicians assisting behind the scenes. Our clinicians meet regularly to discuss techniques, brainstorm solutions, and celebrate the wins of our clients. 

We are also committed to using evidence-based, researched techniques but also using our unique gifts and intuition to be sure we are providing the best care to clients, taking into consideration culture, spirituality, and the client’s individual journey. You’re not a “case” here. You’re a light in the world and we want to help you shine. 

Yes, we do complete forms for FMLA, Emotional Support Animals (ESA), and short term disability. We also will provide letters to support your request for accommodations. There are requirements before we complete these however. and there is a fee for all letters or forms.

If you are beginning therapy with the hope that you will obtain one of these forms or letters, please be upfront about it. We often require a minimum number of sessions to accurately assess your need for one of these services or accommodations. We will be upfront with you about whether our clinical assessment supports a request for leave from work, an emotional support animal, or other request.

Generally speaking, we prefer not to be involved in your legal affairs. There is a significant fee for any service related to court and litigation.

Please keep in mind that our counselors may not have the experience required for expert testimony. Forensic evaluations are also beyond the scope of what we provide here at Chill Counseling.

Cost and Payment

Your investment varies by clinician. You can view their rates on their individual bio pages from our team page.

Yes, typically you can use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA). 

Many of these programs require that items covered are “medically necessary” which may mean we will need to diagnose you with a mental health condition in order to validate the purpose of your services should you need to provide confirmation to your benefit provider.

At this time, our clinicians are not contracted with many EAP programs. You can contact the EAP program to ask if they will extend your benefits to services here. Keep in mind many EAP programs usually limit the number of sessions they will cover (typically 4-8 sessions) and session length (typically about 45 minutes).

At this time, Cori accepts only Lyra Health EAP and our other clinicians are not contracted with EAP companies.

This varies by clinician. Some clients wish to use their benefits due to costs, while others enjoy the benefits of self-pay (no diagnosis, no oversight by the insurance company).

At this time, Cori Hill accepts Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), Aetna, Optum, Oscar, Oxford, and United Healthcare only. 

Our other therapists are not in network with any insurance companies. However, their self-pay rates are often lower and some reduced fees are available for those with financial challenges.

We also happy to provide you with documentation to help you seek reimbursement from your insurance company, but we encourage you to check your benefits first by calling the member services number on your insurance card. You will want to know about coverage for mental health outpatient services.

If you plan to use your insurance benefits, we will verify them prior to your consultation or first appointment

**Please note that we do not accept insurance for couples, family, or group services. We do not diagnose in these modalities and therefore cannot support the idea of “medical necessity” required for insurance companies**

This is a controversial (and lengthy) topic, but we believe in transparency.

Fees depend on a variety of factors. A therapist accepting insurance may set a private pay rate, but also have contracted rates with various insurance companies.  Many insurance companies will not cover your sessions with someone who is not fully licensed (not under supervision).

Therapists have various expenses like professional insurance, licensing fees, continuing education costs, and more. They also spend a lot of “unpaid” time researching, planning, and training.

While our counselor interns have a set range of rates as they complete their internships (which allows us to offer lower rates to the community while offering training opportunities to the students), all of our licensed therapists set their own rates. At Chill Counseling, we don’t believe that you are getting “better” therapy just because someone is more experienced. In fact, some studies show that newer therapists are more effective. We also don’t believe the company should decide on this fee. Instead, our therapists set their rates based on the value of services they believe they provide and their own desired income.

At Chill Counseling, it is important to us that therapists are paid well.  In order to “practice what we preach,” we must support our clinicians’ livelihood in a way that also allows them to have the work-life balance we desire for our clients. This helps decrease the burnout that can happen in the helping professions. Session fees also help to support overhead for the business so we can continue to do the good work.

That said, we are aware that finances continue to be a barrier for many in accessing mental health. it is important that while we work towards empowerment and healing in marginalized communities, we make sure that we do not do so at the expense of  the healers in those communities. The system is the problem. We address this in various ways (group therapy, reduced rates, counselor interns, insurance, non-profit collaboration, referrals to lower cost community services) and will continue to look for innovative ways to to honor the needs of both clients and clinicians.

This a personal decision and perhaps not as straightforward as many think.

If you have health insurance, you still need to verify whether you have coverage for mental health. If you wish to contact your insurance company, you can call the member services number on the back of your insurance card. You will want to inquire about benefits for outpatient mental health services.

Some clients have high deductible plans. This means that you must pay a certain amount out of pocket for medical expenses before insurance begins to cover anything. So while you may have a co-pay/co-insurance of $20, for example, you could be responsible for paying the full session fee until you’ve paid something like $2500 in medical expenses for year.

Insurance also requires “medical necessity” for services which means that we have to diagnose you and provide services that address the diagnosis/diagnoses. This will be a part of your permanent insurance record. While it does not happen often, insurance companies can request to access your file at any time to verify the medical necessity. This means therapists sometimes have to tailor treatment to what the insurance company supports rather than what could be better for the individual.

Of course, the primary reason people do often choose to use their insurance is that it can often save money. For those with a zero- or low-deductible plan, a co-pay can often be $0-70 dollars compared to $75-140 for self-pay.


Appointments and Scheduling

The frequency of sessions will be decided between you and your therapist.

Because consistency is important early on in order to build rapport and momentum, you will start off weekly or every two weeks. As you meet counseling goals, you and your therapist may agree that decreased frequency or graduation from therapy is appropriate.

You can do your session from anywhere within the state of Texas as long as you are not driving. When you are outside the state, we cannot hold sessions as you fall under that state’s health and human services department, where we are not licensed.

We encourage you to choose a place where you feel physically and emotionally safe and have the privacy to do the work.

Some of our clients will do their sessions in their car (parked) during their lunch break, while others may do some comfortably from their beds at home.

We encourage clients to begin therapy when they will be able to meet consistently. Due to how we schedule at Chill Counseling, clients generally have a set time they meet weekly/biweekly. Any additional flexibility often is dependent on whether openings are available due to cancellations by other clients.

If you must cancel a session, we require at least 24-hours notice so that we have an opportunity to fill the spot. Any cancellation within 24-hours of the session is considered a late cancellation. For Saturday, Sunday, and Monday appointments, you must cancel by 5pm on the preceding Friday. Without 24-hours notice, you will be responsible for the session fee. (If you book a seat on a flight, you are responsible for the airfare even if you don’t get on the plane.) Please note that insurance will not cover late cancellations or no-show appointments.

We do allow one waiver per client for late cancellations and no-shows. This is applied as a credit to the next session scheduled and only if scheduled within 30 days.

Frequent cancellations will result in you being moved to “as needed” scheduling or be referred out to a therapist that may have more flexibility or better meet your scheduling needs.

If you haven’t had a session with your therapist in 45 days, we will move you to inactive status. You can return, assuming your therapist still has availability, but you will need to email us to resume services. If your therapist does not have availability, please note that returning clients do get priority status on the waiting list.

If you are rescheduling or canceling just one session, you are able to do so through the client portal. iPhone users can also do so through the Simple Practice app. We encourage you to send a message to inform your therapist of the cancelation. Clients are committed to therapy and often cancel because of emergencies or urgent situations; dropping us a note lets us know you are okay–we really do care! 

As messages can be delayed, stuck in outboxes, or missed, please only cancel via the client portal.

If you are discontinuing therapy, please notify your therapist our our admin team instead. This will save you the headache of deleting 10 sessions and us the administrative hassle. We can cancel your recurrence much more easily.

Still have questions or need clarity on the information above?