FAQs

"I greatly appreciate all your help, and I feel that I have had some breakthroughs under your care."        --- R.H.

Q: WHAT SERVICES AND PRODUCTS DO YOU OFFER?
A: Services offered include assessments, individual therapy, couple therapy, family therapy, hypnotherapy, EMDR, groups, parenting coordination, collaborative divorce communication coordinator, mediation, peak performance coaching, executive coaching, life coaching, and seminars. For those who travel, have time-constrains, or are in crisis, intensive therapy is available. Products offered include articles, CD or MP3s,  workbooks, and eNewsletters. 
Dr. Richards provides training and supervision for student therapists and Marriage and Family Therapist - Associates. Practice management and development coaching is offered to new clinicians.
Q: HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE?
A: Dr. Michelle Richards earned her Masters and Ph.D. in Child & Family Development with an emphasis on Marriage & Family Therapy in 1990 & 1992, respectively. She began practicing marriage and family therapy in 1989. Dr. Richards has provided therapy to hundreds of clients in counseling agencies, served on the graduate faculty teaching and supervising in Family Sciences and Marriage & Family Therapy, and is now in private practice. Dr. Richards is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) in the state of Texas since 1999. To learn more about Dr. Richards go to About Us.
Q: DO YOU WORK WITH PEOPLE WITH MY ISSUE(S)? CAN YOU HELP ME?
A: Dr. Richards helps people who are hurting, confused, and/or seeking to develop new skills. She also supports those who have had or are dealing with difficult situations. Some of their symptoms include stress, trauma response, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. In addition, she assists those who have problems in living. For example, marital miscommunication and conflict, affairs, grief, violence, life transitions, and purpose of life issues. Dr. Richards also works with divorcing and high conflict people using the Parenting Coordination, Mediation, and the Collaborative Law processes. Finally, Dr. Richards offers personal coaching, executive coaching, and Peak Performance Coaching to those who want to take their skills and accomplishments to the next level.
 
She is an expert in guiding clients to change. You will learn a lot about yourself, motivators, behaviors, and interactions while working with Dr. Richards. Specifically, you will learn the skills and tools you need to make the desired change(s).
 
Whether you change or reach your goals is up to you. Here is a list of some roadblocks to change that may slow down your progress: ambivalence about requested change, hidden agenda, problem trusting others, fear of the unknown outcome, failure to disclose pertinent information, lack of honesty, targeting the wrong goal, skills deficit, a wall of defenses, lack of motivation, lack of commitment to the therapeutic process, failure to complete between session tasks, irregular therapy attendance, premature drop-out, and failure to managing safety or addiction issues.
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR FEES? DO YOU ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS? DO YOU ACCEPT MY INSURANCE? IS THERE A LOWER-COST OPTION FOR OBTAINING COUNSELING?
A: Those with insurance will pay a copay, co-insurance, deductible, or some combination of these. To find out your actual out of pocket fee, call your insurance and request your benefits for mental health services.
 
The fee when you self-pay is $150 for a 45-minutes therapeutic hour. Longer sessions are available at a prorated fee.
 
A federal 'No Suprise Act' for self-pay clients took effect 1/1/2022. It spells out your rights to not get surprise bills and to get a Good Faith Estimate and Fee Disclousure.  Click here to learn more.
 
There are also administrative fees for late cancellation, "no shows," checks returned for insufficient funds, reports, court appearances, medical records release, lengthy phone consultation etc. 
 
Current clients may use my urgent call line. There is no fee for the first 15 minutes of an urgent call. If we go beyond 15 minutes, there is a prorated fee based on my standard fee beginning at the 1st minute of the call. So for example, if an urgent caller ended a call at 15 minutes there would be no charge. However, if the urgent caller stayed on the call for a total of 17 minutes, the charge would be $56.67.
 
JLI does accept all major credit cards, except American Express. Cash and checks are also accepted. Make checks payable to "Joyful Life Institute, Inc." Returned check fees are $35.00.
 

A sliding fee scale is available for those experiencing financial difficulties. An Early Pay Discount is also available when you pre-pay for the month's sessions (i.e., prepay for 4 or 5 sessions). Ask about this when you schedule your first appointment.

 

There may be other fees. You will be informed prior to service delivery. Fees are subject to change without advance notice.

Q: ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN COUNSELOR?
A: Dr. Richards completed a modified residency in Pastoral Counseling. She is a practicing Christian who incorporates clients' own faith traditions into counseling with those who are open to this. Dr. Richards respects others' religious affiliations. Therefore, she allows clients to take the lead on how spirituality is used as a resource in counseling.
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS? DO YOU WORK EVENINGS AND WEEKENDS?
A: Dr Richards office hours are generally from 9am-5pm. Occasionally, appointments may be made outside these hours to accomodate a short-term scheduling challenge in an ongoing client's availability.
 
Associate therapists mintain more extensive and flexible office hours that include nights and weekends.

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