When considering therapy, many patients have questions about what to expect. Patients often have questions about therapy in general and questions specific to PCGS (formerly known as GLAP.) We have attempted to answer below some of the most questions most frequently asked of our staff. If your question is not answered below, feel free to contact us at email@example.com and we will do our best to answer it for you.
PCGS believes that LGBTQ identities are normal and healthy. On the other hand, this does not mean that we expect people seeking treatment do so simply to have this aspect of their identities affirmed. PCGS patients come in with a range of problems, from depression and anxiety to relationship issues to difficulty with life transitions. Being seen in the PCGS division will not limit your therapy experience to your sexual orientation or gender identity, but it does assure that when those matters come up as they relate to other issues in your life, your therapist will be comfortable and knowledgeable in creating a safe space to explore them with you.
2) Who are PCGS therapists?
Our therapists are professionally trained and are licensed by New York State as mental health professionals. Most have graduate degrees in social work, psychology, psychiatry, or mental health counseling. Our therapists continue to grow in expertise through ongoing seminars and supervision offered by PCGS and by other organizations.
3) Am I guaranteed to see an LGBTQ therapist?
If asked, all therapists in the PCGS division are required to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity, wherever they may fall on the spectrum. While there are many LGBTQ-identified therapists in the PCGS division, we cannot guarantee that you will be assigned to one. We do guarantee that every therapist in the PCGS division will approach treatment with particular sensitivity to challenges facing LGBTQ individuals and maintain cultural competency through continuous supervision and training.
4) How long will my treatment last?
Psychotherapy can last for just a few sessions or for many years, depending on the type of therapy and the client’s goals.
At ICP/PCGS, our orientation is towards an eclectic psychodynamic psychotherapy; based on classical psychoanalytic technique. In typical psychoanalytical tradition, treatments are often longer-term. Six months to several years of sessions would not be uncommon for this type of depth-oriented therapy.
It is, of course, entirely up to the client to decide how long they wish to work with a therapist. Some clients may prefer a long-term, broader approach. Others may choose to come for a dozen sessions to work on specific issues. We encourage our clients to discuss their vision of a time-frame, along with other personal goals, with a prospective therapist prior to beginning treatment.
5) How do you match me with a therapist?
After an initial intake interview, a committee decides who will be the best match for your therapist. Our decision is based on your requirements, your schedule, and the availability of specific therapists who specialize in different issues. While we do our best to make an appropriate match, chemistry is a criterion we cannot predict. If you do not think you and your therapist are the best match, a re-assignment may be in order.
6) How confidential are sessions?
All sessions with your therapist are strictly confidential—you can share your thoughts and feelings with confidence that any information will be kept between you and the therapist. However, there are few legal limitations to a client’s confidentiality, and we are required to disclose confidential information if clients are a danger to themselves or others, or if a child or elderly person is a victim of crime or abuse. These situations to occur rarely.
7) What can I expect to pay?
For patients without insurance, or with insurance that we do not accept, PCGS and ICP offer fees on a sliding scale. The initial intake appointment is a $60 flat fee. After that session, our intake committee will review the income-verification documents you provide to create a fair fee. Lower-income individuals or full-time students pay on the lower end of the scale, while higher-income individuals pay more. The intake fee falls at about the middle of our scale.
8) What insurance do you accept?
ICP accepts HIP, HIP Medicaid, HealthFirst Medicaid, and Oscar.
9) What if my therapist or I think I need psychiatric medication?
Sometimes, psychiatric medication, like antidepressants or anxiolytics (medication that treats anxiety), can be an important part of treatment. Not only can they reduce symptoms, they may also help facilitate the psychotherapy process.
If you or your therapist believe that medication would be helpful in treating your problems, then the two of you will discuss it with each other before you proceed. If a consultation with a psychopharmacologist (a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating psychiatric problems with medication) is agreed upon, then your therapist can refer you to a PCGS-approved psychopharmacologist, who will see you for a sliding fee. The psychopharmacologist will evaluate your need for medication and, if indicated, prescribe them. That person will then monitor your response to the medication, usually by meeting with you once a month or so.
You can continue to meet regularly with your PCGS psychotherapist, who will also be paying close attention to the effects of the medication on you. You and your therapist will discuss how therapy and psychiatric medications will be used together in your treatment.
10) How do I start treatment?
Simply call ICP’s main line, 212-333-3444, and ask to speak to an intake worker. After a few basic questions, they will schedule your intake appointment. After meeting with an intake therapist, your permanent therapist should be assigned within a two-week period.