What are your office hours?
Office hours are normally based off appointment times. At present there are no counseling sessions being held in the office in order to uphold safety precautions against the COVID-19. All sessions are being held virtually. Hours fluctuate based on summer, vacation, and holidays but have recently been extended to include mornings, afternoons and evenings 7 days per week.

What is Telehealth Counseling?
Telehealth counseling is a technology based platform to have counseling sessions remotely through the use of tech devices like cell phones, computers, or iPads. It’s not a new practice and has actually been around for years! Due to the impact of the COVID-19, sessions through Sarah Almendariz Counseling are only being conducted virtually.

Are Telehealth counseling sessions still private? 
Yes! We use a HIPPA compliant, secure platform called Doxy.me which is simple and easy to use. Check out this site for more info on doxy: https://doxy.me/patients.

How does Telehealth work with Sarah Almendariz Counseling?
Find a quiet space with reliable internet for your tech device [ex: cell phone, computer [with up to date Firefox or chrome], Ipad]. Click on the“Getting Started” tab and on the bottom of the page there is a link that says “Check in for Telehealth services” with your counselors name. Your counselor may also email you the doxy link just in case you are having trouble finding it. You can then click on that link a couple of minutes before your appointment time and you will be prompted to type in your name. Your counselor will then begin the session from their device.

Is therapy right for me?
We encourage anyone from 4 years old and older to give it a try. For the younger kiddos, we definitely recommend face to face sessions. We treat individuals, couples, and even families. Sometimes “tough stuff” comes up in life and we need some extra support. There’s no need to wait for things to worsen or become even bigger problems- the sooner the better.

Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
Only Sarah accepts BlueCrossBlueShield insurance at this time. We are attempting to get all counselors paneled under various insurances but it is a lengthy process! We’re working on it. In the meantime, it is important you contact member services before our first session to see exactly the coverage you will get. Each plan has different coverage rates.

How long does counseling last?
I have seen counseling last from 6 weeks to more than a year- it really depends on the client need and how often they’re coming in. Remember, consistency is key.

What can I expect at the first appointment?
Before our first session you would print and fill out the forms under the “Getting Started” tab. We will review these documents together at the first session and you can ask any questions to clarify anything you would like.
If the counseling is for a child, both the child and parent(s) are requested to be present.

How long is a counseling session ?
Each session will last about 50 minutes.

Why does your office look like a house?
Because it used to be–before it was converted to office space. Now it is used solely as a professional place of business. We share the building with two other businesses, alongside an artist who has many beautiful paintings displayed throughout the building.

Does what we talk about in counseling stay confidential?
Yes. Your counselor is ethically and legally bound to respect confidentiality. The law and Counseling Professional Ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for a few situations involving the law and safety.
In the case of counseling with a child, parents have access to their child’s record and can review it at any time. However, trust between the counselor and your child is an important factor for their progress in counseling and we ask their privacy (with the exceptions of the law) be respected by limiting excessive questions of the counseling session content.

For more on your privacy, rights and HIPPA laws, please click on the following: HIPPA SA Counseling

Can I file a complaint against my counselor?
Yes. Once you become a client, you have client rights. One of these rights is the “Right to Complain.” We would hope that if you have concerns about your counselor, you would go to them directly to see if you can resolve the issue together. If not, you can get into contact with Sarah Rivera, the owner. If you still feel the issue is unresolved or want to bypass a conversation with Sarah, you can find steps to file a complaint against your counselor with the help of the following: Complaint process

Sarah Almendariz Counseling