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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a counseling or therapy session cost?

The cost of therapy sessions depends on the type of insurance you have and the type of services you are seeking. The rates at Answers for Youth & Family are competitive in the Western Arkansas and greater Fort Smith region. Call us today at 479-452-7792 and we will be happy to give you an estimated cost based on your insurance or self-pay options.

Is counseling and therapy worth the money?

The simple answer is, yes. If you needed physical medical treatment like an examination or surgery, you wouldn't go to your best friend just because she cares about you. The same reasoning applies to mental health care -- the experts know best. Simply put, yes, counseling and therapy are worth it.

Fort Smith-based psychologist, Bill Thornton, will listen deeply to what you say while also paying attention to what you don’t say. But Dr. Thornton goes beyond just listening. He first arrives at an accurate diagnosis through a variety of methods including psychological testing. Through proven scientific methods, he then develops an individualized treatment plan as no two cases are ever the same. His methods have proven successful for hundreds of people over the past twenty-five years.

Do you accept insurance?

Dr. Bill Thornton is an approved psychologist provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield. He is also an in-network provider for Qualchoice. We are able to file for out-of-network benefits with most major insurance companies for counseling services. All insurance companies are different. All we need is your member identification, date of birth and we will gladly check your insurance benefits for you. 

How soon can I be seen?

Counseling appointment times can usually be scheduled within one week of inquiry. We try to accommodate all inquiries within a 24- to 48-hour period. Our counseling appointments are flexible to fit your schedule. Evening times are available to accommodate those who can't miss work, school, or other obligations during the day.


Why do I need to see a psychologist? I'm not crazy.

As a licensed, clinical psychologist, Dr. Bill Thornton isn't just treating serious mental health disorders. In fact, most of the time he is applying his specialized research and training to help people dealing with difficult life transitions, like separation or divorce, health challenges for themselves or a loved one, relocation, work stress, and family/parenting issues. Most people who initiate counseling do not have a serious mental illness. They have serious life challenges or are going through difficult life-cycle transitions that may be taxing their current ability to cope. These challenges, then, adversely affect their well-being and ability to function as well as they would like. If you are going through one or more of these challenges at the same time, you're not alone, and we are here to help.

How long will I have to go to counseling?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. There is a great deal of variety in the length of time therapy takes depending on the individual who comes to therapy. The length of counseling treatment depends on the methods the therapist uses, the goals of the person seeking therapy, the symptoms he or she has, and the history of those symptoms. In general, a specific issue with a short history can be addressed fairly quickly, for example in 4 to 8 sessions over a 1-2 month period. However, when people have been repeatedly traumatized, abused, neglected, or shamed as a child, without loving adults or other forms of supportive persons in their lives to help handle these traumas, many require longer times in therapy to achieve the maximum benefits. When people get hurt in relationships that are supposed to be close and trustworthy (like parents), it takes another committed and consistently trustworthy person to help repair those wounds over time. But, specialized skills are crucial to achieve maximal benefit in the shortest amount of time so you and/or your loved one can get back to a meaningful life. That is where Dr. Bill Thornton excels. Your time is precious and every day you suffer is a day less of happiness and meaning. Help is available now.

What's the difference between a psychologist and a licensed counselor?

The differences are many. The education time, depth of knowledge, thorough understanding of mental health, and the skills acquired by psychologists set them apart from others in the counseling/therapy field. In fact, to utilize the title of "psychologist" one must hold a doctoral degree from an APA (American Psychological Association) -approved institute, whereas, most other counseling professionals require only a master's degree or less. When it comes to treatment, counselors are likely to do what the name implies--counsel. That means that are able to meet with patients and provide talk therapy to help return to healthier mental and/or emotional states but they may not be able to employ the more advanced, specialized tools often needed to accurately diagnose the underlying problems or disorders. Accurate diagnosis is absolutely crucial to effective treatment. On the other hand, a psychologist uses more research, scientific methods and testing to diagnose issues and mental disorders and provide extensive treatment for the specific condition. And because psychologists offer much more in-depth treatment for specific mental illnesses they are held to rigorous confidentiality laws to protect those patients as those cherished patients divulge personal details about their struggles.

Can my marriage be saved?

The average couple is unhappy for six years before seeking counseling. And perhaps you've tried marriage counseling in the past but got disappointing results and are now growing hopeless. Before you and your spouse close the door forever, you owe it to yourselves and possibly your children to give your marriage another try. Dr. Bill Thornton goes beyond what you find in the average marriage counseling session using techniques, research and strategies unique to psychologists. We invite you to contact us today and experience a different level of marriage therapy. You have everything to gain and so much to lose if you don’t. Dr. Thornton is committed to helping your marriage thrive.

Where is your office located?

Answers for Youth & Families is located on the second floor of Central Mall at 5111 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith in suite 535.

Call Us Today!

Answers for Youth & Families serves Western Arkansas and the greater Fort Smith region, from Greenwood to Van Buren, Sallisaw to Clarksville. Dr. Bill Thornton is committed to you and/or your loved ones getting better and returning to a meaningful, happy life in the shortest amount of time possible. He is easy to talk with, and his broad life experiences enable him to connect effortlessly with clients of all makeups and backgrounds. He will immediately make you feel welcome, supported, valued, respected and safe. Privacy and confidentiality is held in the highest regard. 

Call us today at 479-452-7792 to learn more about our counseling and therapy services.

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