How can therapy help me?
Participating in therapy yields many important benefits.
Psychologists can provide diagnosis and treatment for issues such as depression, anxiety, persistent relational difficulties, substance abuse, weight or eating concerns, and many other challenges to your emotional and physical health. Many people also find that therapy can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Even brief therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution of a current concern. The benefits you obtain from therapy will also depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and though you have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra assistance when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting your current reality and making a commitment to change a situation by seeking therapy. Therapy can provide long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (illness, divorce, loss, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances as well as they would like. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual or ethical conflicts, or health concerns, etc. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and are ready to make changes in their lives.
What is "seeing a psychologist" like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for their consultation, Dr. Kroemer's approach will be different depending on the individual. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions, often - but not always - weekly. There will be an assessment process during which various targeted psychological inventories may be administered. For many, receiving information and feedback after the assessment process is very helpful and even pivotal in beginning the process of change.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause usually does not consist soley of taking a medication, although medication may an integral part of treatment. Dr. Kroemer will work closely with your physician to make sure that you are getting the highest standard of collaborative care should medication be indicated for you. As is so often the case, one can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrated approach to wellness. Sometimes, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
Dr. Kroemer is a BCBS Preferred Provider and a Medicare provider, and also works (" in network") with several other insurance companies, including McLaren Health Plan and Priority Health. In other words, if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, some or all of your costs may be paid by your insurer. To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, you should either call them or closely review your policy. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand your benefits before your consultation. Some helpful questions you can ask your carrier are:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- Is Dr. Kroemer an in-network provider for my plan?
- If not, how much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is pre-approval required before my initial consultation?
If you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, Dr. Kroemer will submit your claim to your insurance company for you. If you have a health care savings account or another type of coverage through an agency, Dr. Kroemer will provide a receipt or invoice with all necessary information for your records and/or for your reimbursement.
Regardless of your coverage, your copayment obligation will be due at the time of service unless other billing arrangements have been made.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components of the relationship between you and your psychologist or therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist or psychologist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare or support team (your physician, your family, your attorney, etc.), but by law your therapist or psychologist usually cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
State law and professional ethics require therapists and psychologists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* If the practitioner has reason to suspect abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the practitioner has reason to suspect that the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.
You will also be provided more information via the Psychologist-Patient Confidentiality Agreement as provided by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) at your initial consultation. Dr. Kroemer's office is fully HIPAA-compliant.
What is my cost for an appointment?
Your cost will vary depending on the type and the length of the appointment, as well as on the type of insurance you carry. Dr. Kroemer makes every effort to keep her services affordable by participating with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicare, McLaren Health Plan, and other insurances. This means that she is "in-network" or a "preferred provider" for these plans and will not bill you for any difference between her standard fee and the insurance company's fee schedule. Co-pay obligations, after any deductibles, are the same as if you were seeing your medical doctor if they take your insurance. Again, please be sure to contact your insurance company before your initial appointment. Please note that, unlike Medicare, Medicaid
does not pay for services by a clinical psychologist.
Can I schedule an appointment online?
Yes. Request a therapy appointment online here. Dr. Kroemer will make appointments with you directly.
Are evening or weekend appointments available?
Yes. Dr. Kroemer routinely has office hours Tuesday through Thursday evenings. Additional evening appointments and weekend appointments can also be arranged in consideration of your scheduling needs. Dr. Kroemer will make appointments with you directly.
Is the office wheelchair accessible?
Yes! The office at 616 Petoskey Street (effective 1/1/2018) is fully accessible. There are 3 entrances to the building. Please use the entrance on Petoskey Street (by the Armed Forces Recruitment office) if you require wheelchair/walker accessibility into the building. There is an elevator to the ground floor.
The office at 316 East Mitchell Street is not fully accessible.
What forms of payment do you accept?
You may pay in cash, by check, or by credit card using paypal. To make a secure payment by credit card, please click here.
(You do not need to have a paypal account to make a credit card payment.)