Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

What do I do if I am in crisis?

Call the Crisis Clinic's 24-hour hotline at 1 (866) 427-4747 or (206) 461-3222. If you are already a client of Seattle Counseling Service, you may call us at (206) 323-1768 during regular business hours (Monday-Thursday 8am-8pm & Friday 8am-5pm).  If you are looking for information or referrals for local low-income or homeless resources try www.crisisclinic.org or call toll-free 2-1-1.

Do you have in-patient services?

SCS is out-patient only. If you need to go into an in-patient program we can help with a referral to another facility.

What does LGBTQ mean? What’s a ‘Sexual Minority’?

LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. We are mission-driven to provide services primarily to clients who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, transsexual, genderqueer, intersex, etc. and/or family and friends affected by LGBTQ issues.  A sexual minority is any person who identifies as any of the above, falls outside the traditional binary system of heterosexual relationships, or leads an alternative sexual lifestyle. 

Identifying as a sexual minority is different than being a person identified as a sex offender. We are not equipped to meet the legal requirements of sexual deviance counseling for accused sex offenders.

What if I do not identify as LGBTQ?

We provide treatment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age or disability. However, since our mission is to meet the needs of the LGBTQ community and to provide a safe place for sexual minorities, it may be deemed by clinical staff that a referral to another agency may be more appropriate for you. We will not tolerate any actions, language, or attitudes that compromise this mission and the successful treatment of others.

Where are you located?

Our address is 1216 Pine Street. We are located on the corner of Pine Street and Melrose Avenue in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. See driving directions and map here.

What are your hours?

Our office is open Monday through Thursday 8am-8pm and Friday 8am-5pm. We are closed on Saturday and Sunday.

What qualifications does your staff have?

Our agency is a state licensed community mental health agency and state licensed chemical dependency out-patient treatment facility.  All clinical staff members hold Master's level degrees or higher and are credentialed Mental Health Professionals. All staff members have training and experience in providing culturally competent services to LGBTQ clients.  

I'm concerned for my privacy. How do you protect that?

We strictly adhere to all local, state and federal privacy laws. We will never release any information about you nor even acknowledge that you are a client at SCS to anyone without your express written permission. Additionally, you may request that we not leave phone messages for you and/or you may indicate that only certain phone numbers are to be used for communication.

How do I make a donation?

As a non-profit, we rely on the generous donations of community members to keep our services available and affordable. We accept donations via this website, through the mail, over the phone, or in person. Take a look at our donation page for more information.

GETTING STARTED

How do I access services?

The first step is to complete our Application for Services form. You can do this online or you may request a hard copy to be sent via mail or fax by calling (206) 323-1768.

How long will it take before I can start therapy?

It usually takes the Client Services Coordinator two to five business days to respond to an application after it is received. Your first appointment will generally be within two weeks, but wait times vary, subject to availability.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

As is applicable to you, please bring: payment, insurance card & co-pay, DSHS Provider One Card, income verification, a list of current prescription medications, and/or court documentation. It is helpful if you arrive 15 minutes prior to your first appointment.

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

We need to receive 24-hour notice for any cancellations. Without such notice, you may be required to pay for the missed appointment in addition to your next scheduled appointment before services will be provided. A cancellation call should be directed to your therapist unless it is your initial visit, in which case please contact the Client Services Coordinator at our main line (206) 323-1768.  Late cancellations will be given lower priority for re-scheduling over new applicants.

Do you offer groups for non-clients?

We routinely offer groups on various topics, some of which are open to non-clients.

FEES & PAYMENT

How much do services cost?

Fees vary according to the type of service you receive. If you qualify as low-income and do not have Medicaid or insurance coverage, discounts are available using our sliding scale to help you with costs. Unfortunately, even at the bottom of our sliding scale services are not completely free.  Our agency has limited additional grant funds which are subject to availability and qualifying criteria. Payment in full is expected at the time of service. We accept cash, debit, and VISA/MasterCard.  Please contact us at (206) 323-1768 for more information.

Do you accept insurance?

Yes, we are able to bill many insurance companies. Presently we are able to accept:

  • Premera
  • Blue Cross \ Blue Shield
  • Community Health Plan of Washington
  • Lifewise
  • Group Health Options PPO
  • 1st Choice Health (For mental health services only)
  • Regence (For mental health services only)
  • Bridgespan (For mental health services only)

We are also able to accept some other insurance at out-of network rates. This will typically affect the level of coverage that an insurance company is willing to provide at our agency and may increase the size of a deductible.

If you'd like to verify what your coverage would be for services at our agency, simply call the phone number located on the back of your insurance card to get a quote.  SCS will verify this information with your insurance company prior to scheduling your initial appointment. 

Payment of co-pays and co-insurance are expected at the time of service. To help expedite your application please provide your insurance carrier information including your member ID and a company contact number. We request that you bring your insurance card to your initial appointment in addition to providing the information on your application.

Do you accept Medicare?

Currently we are unable to accept new Medicare clients as all of our providers are full.  If you have Medicare, you may be eligible to receive services from one of our MH interns at our sliding scale rate.

Do you accept Medicaid?

Yes. Services covered are dependent on the type of coupon. Mental Health coverage is only available with a ABP, CNP or an LCP-MNP coupon issued within King County. SCS is not able to accept GA-U for Mental Health Services. Chemical Dependency coverage is available with CNP, LCP-MNP, ABP, GA or GA-U coupons. We will verify your coverage when you submit your application.

What if I don't have insurance?

Luckily, we have a sliding fee scale that reduces the costs based on your family's income. Should your income change during the course of your therapy, the costs will be adjusted accordingly.  Unfortunately, even at the bottom of our sliding fee scale our services are not completely free.  Our agency has limited additional grant funds which are subject to availability and qualifying criteria

What if I have a question about my bill?

We ask that all billing inquiries first be directed to your therapist who can clarify any session charges and will communicate any needed adjustments on your behalf to our Billing Specialist. Questions specific to a denied insurance claim should be directed to our Billing Specialist by calling our main line at (206) 323-1768. Please have your most recent bill or insurance Explanation of Benefits (EOB) available for reference when you call.

MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS

Can my partner and I receive couples counseling?

We do provide couples/family counseling. Each partner is required to submit their own application, and intakes are conducted separately. Individuals might be required to engage in individual therapy or drug/alcohol treatment before couples counseling is provided. This will be determined on an individual basis by the therapist after intake. Please note that most insurance plans will NOT cover couples/family counseling.

What if I don't want individual therapy (or I'm getting it somewhere else) but there is a particular group that I'd like to participate in at SCS?

We are generally able to accommodate this. Rather than going through our typical intake evaluation process, you may meet with the therapist in charge of the group for a less formal intake to be sure that the group will be appropriate for you.  Our sliding scale is only available to those engaged in individual counseling at SCS.  For those who wish to solely attend mental health groups there is a flat rate of $20 regardless of income. 

The 7pm Wednesday evening Ingersoll Gender Group is free of charge and no prior registration is required.  Just show up.

Can I see a psychiatrist to get psychiatric medications prescribed?

We do have psychiatrists at our facility but their services are available solely as a supplement to psychotherapy. In order to have access to a psychiatrist the client must be engaged in on-going therapy with an SCS staff therapist with sessions meeting at least once a month. Psychiatric services are currently only available for our clients using Medicaid who live in King County.

Do you have domestic violence services?

Yes, we offer individual therapy for survivors of domestic violence (also known as intimate partner violence). We do NOT offer services that meet any legal requirement for perpetrators of domestic violence.

ADDICTION SERVICES PROGRAMS

I received a DUI. Does your assessment meet court mandated assessment requirements?  What if I need an assessment for a non-DUI related charge?

Yes, our assessment meets these requirements.  Please tell the Client Service Coordinator at the time of initial scheduling that there are legal issues surrounding your need to get an assessment.  Our policy around court ordered assessments is that there will be a $400 charge up front. This payment will cover the cost of the initial assessment, records requests, urinalysis (UA) sample, and correspondence with the court, lawyers, probation officers, etc. You will be required to provide documentation regarding your circumstances. The assessment will be scheduled once the requested material is received.

For a DUI, you will need to provide 3 documents:

  1. A copy of the citation of the evening in question or a copy of the police report
  2. Your driver’s abstract (available at the Department of Licensing)
  3. Any paperwork from the court in regards to your sentencing, court dates, charges, etc. 

For non-driving charges please provide:

  1. A copy of the citation or a copy of the police report
  2. A copy of your criminal record or evidence of lack thereof
  3. Any paperwork from the court in regards to your sentencing, court dates, charges, etc.

Do you offer prescription opiate replacement therapy?

We are not accepting clients for our Buprenorphine Program (AKA Suboxone).

What if I don't want individual therapy (or I'm getting it somewhere else) but I would like to participate in your addiction services groups?

In order to attend any of our addiction services groups, you must first have an assessment here, and then be enrolled in regular one-on-one sessions with one of our counselors.

HARM REDUCTION PROGRAM (Project NEON)

What is Project NEON?

Project NEON is an HIV-prevention program for gay, bi and trans men affected by crystal methamphetamine. The program is geared towards men who are actively using as well as those in recovery. For more information, see our Project NEON page.

What does NEON stand for?

NEON is an acronym for Needle & Sex Education Outreach Network.

What is harm reduction?

Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies that reduce negative consequences of drug use, incorporating a spectrum of strategies from safer use, to managed use to abstinence. Harm reduction strategies meet drug users where they're at, addressing conditions of use along with the use itself.

Do I have to quit using to participate in Project NEON services?

No, Project NEON is designed to give you unbiased, non-judgmental information about taking care of yourself.

How much does it cost?

All Project NEON services are FREE to community members.

Where can I get more information about Project NEON?

You can get more information on the Project NEON page or by contacting us.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, CONSULTATION & EDUCATION

Do you provide special populations (LGBTQ) consultations?

Yes, we provide special populations consultations to other service providers working with sexual minorities. This service may be contracted on an on-going basis or for one-time only. Please contact us for more information.

What kind of professional training do you provide?

We can arrange trainings on mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment as it pertains to the LGBTQ community. Specific trainings that are often requested include intimate partner violence (domestic violence) among same-sex partners, working with LGBTQ youth or elders, special issues of LGBTQ clients in recovery, and more. Please contact us for more information.

How can I become an intern?

We are proud to host interns from many area college and university programs. See the Internships menu at the top of the page for more information.

TRANS/GENDER NON-CONFORMING SPECIFIC

Do you provide a trans-safe environment?

SCS provides a safe space where trans and gender non-conforming community members are free to be themselves. Our clinicians and administrative staff are flexible in accommodating name changes and pronoun preferences as we recognize that this can be an important part of your journey.  We also encourage community members to seek out trans activism and trans activities and provide resources and referrals for doing just that.

Do you have gender neutral bathrooms?

Both of our bathrooms are gender neutral.

Do you have any trans-specific groups?

Ingersoll Gender Center currently holds their weekly drop-in group at SCS every Wednesday at 7PM.

Is your psychiatric staff familiar with trans-specific needs?

Our psychiatric staff have experience working with trans clients and are knowledgeable about psychiatric treatment for individuals who are also receiving hormone therapy.