Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of common questions we are asked. It does not cover all circumstances, so if you have a question that is not answered here, be sure to ask your clinician in your first appointment, or call our office at (678) 366-8862. Where applicable, policies outlined in the Informed Consent document and Georgia State Law will overrule any policies listed below.

Diagnostic Intake

What is the purpose of a diagnostic intake session?

This is your first appointment with Dr. Montes or other clinician.  This session is required for most services and helps break the ice a little. This appointment is designed to do many things including serving as a chance to get to know each other, collect valuable background information about your situation, give you an opportunity to ask questions about your clinician, services, fees, policies and professional recommendations and more. You will work with your clinician to design a care plan that helps you meet your goals.

 

An official diagnosis may not be made in the first session, but rather after a few sessions of information-exchange have occurred. In some cases, further investigation such as in the form of a formal evaluation or testing, may be required to obtain a diagnosis.

Counseling

What should I expect at my first appointment?

It's common to have some anxiety about starting counseling/therapy. It's not easy to bare your thoughts and feelings to a stranger. You may have never done it before, or may have heard stories from a friend who had a bad experience. We get it, but we're so happy you conquered those fears! Hopefully we can make things easier on you by clarifying the process.

In the first session, the therapist typically meets with everyone that will be involved in treatment. This may vary by case type and the age of any children involved but generally, meeting everyone at the first session is standaard practice. Your therapist may ask to speak with certain individuals separately, so everyone can speak freely. Your therapist will use this first meeting to review your intake forms with you and go over any relevant policies or information you need to know, and ensure you fully understand and consent to them. Any questions you have about the process should be raised at this time.

Additionally, your therapist will begin to ask questions about what brings you here such as: How long has this been going on? What have you tried before that has worked? What have you tried before that hasn't worked? Have you seen other therapists for this problem before? Has it recently gotten dramatically better or worse? Have any of your family members experienced similar problems before? 

Finally, your therapist will begin to work with you in creating a "care plan", which is much like a road map to get you to your goals. Care plans usually include goals you will work on during your time together, as well as frequency of visits, cost of visits, relevant policies, any homework activities, etc.

There is nothing you need to do to prepare for this session except complete your intake forms through the client portal. We'll let you know if there is anything else we suggest or require from you.

Can you help me?

Yes! Our experience includes treating clients of all ages with experiences of:

Depression  -  Anxiety  -  Addiction  -  Non-Suicidal Self Harm  -  Suicidal Ideation & Attempts  -  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  -  Adjustment Problems  -  School Problems (behavior & grades)  -  General Life Troubles  -  Aging & Chronic Illness  -  Life Transitions  -  Adoptive Family Issues  -  Learning Disorders   -   Empty Nesting  -  Work-Related Concerns  -  Divorce or Separation (Adults & Affected Minors)  -  Abortion & Infertility   -   Adultery Concerns   -   Problems Related to Spirituality/Morality  -  and more...

How Long Does Therapy Last?

Most clients can expect to attend weekly, 50-minute sessions for 2-3 months on average, though some cases resolve quicker, and some slower. Your therapist may suggest that you come more often at first, and less often as you shift into "maintenance therapy".

Our ultimate goal is to work ourselves out of a job. In essence, we want to help you return to a happy, healthy life as soon as possible. We are here to help you for as long as you need our help. Many factors contribute to the length of therapy, including your consistency in treatment, your cooperation, the treatment plan itself, etc.

 

Change is hard, we get it. The problems that bring you to us did not form overnight, and cannot be resolved overnight. A shift in thoughts and behaviors takes time.

 

In the end, this is an investment in yourself and your loved ones. Everyone benefits from your positive changes. We want you to feel better as soon as possible, but it isn't a process you want to rush.

Educational Evaluations

How much does an evaluation cost?

We can customize your evaluation to meet your budget! While we make every effort to reduce the costs where possible, there may be a minimum amount of testing required to confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis.

 

All testing funds are due in full before testing hours can be scheduled. An exact price will be discussed with you during your initial diagnostic consultation appointment with the psychologist.

A price range for average, full testing can be seen here. Financing may be available. Click here to apply for PayPal Credit with interest-free financing!

What is included in a full educational evaluation?

In a full evaluation, we typically include:

- Initial diagnostic consultation with the psychologist 
- 6 hours of testing
- qEEG brainmap
- Questionnaires from teachers, parents (or other informants) and the client
- Written report detailing the results and any diagnosis made, recommendations for at home and at work/school

- Time to review the results in person with the psychologist

An exact price will be discussed with you during your initial diagnostic consultation appointment.

Do we have to do a full evaluation?

Not all circumstances require a full evaluation. Depending on the age of the individual being tested and other factors, we can often create a hybrid custom assessment for you. Dr. Montes will be able to discuss this with you in person during your Diagnostic Intake session.

Do you offer testing for adults too?

Yes! We can test ages 3-95.

Does insurance cover educational testing?

Typically, no. Educational assessments are considered by many insurance companies to be an elective procedure, and are therefore not covered. In some cases, it may be covered if you can prove it is medically necessary. We recommend contacting your insurance company if you are unsure.

 

Miscellaneous Educational Testing Notes

The first step in every evaluation is the initial diagnostic consultation with the psychologist (Dr. Montes). After that appointment, we can begin testing as soon as the next available opening, which is typically within a few days from your initial appointment.

Full testing requires 6 hours and is divided into 2 or 3 separate appointments. Once testing begins, you have up to 2 weeks to complete it, allowing you to schedule at your leisure. Saturday options may be available.

Once testing is complete and all required forms have been returned, it takes about 2-3 weeks to receive your report. Our office will contact you to schedule your final meeting to review your results and answer any questions you have.

Parents are not required to wait in the office while their child is being tested. You may drop them off and return at the designated pick-up time. We will contact you if your child ends earlier or later than planned, or if any other situation arises.

There is no due date for the additional forms we request from you or your informants such as teachers, tutors, and others; however, a report will not be written until all forms are returned and all testing has been completed.

Payment is required in full before any testing will be scheduled for you.

 

Psychological Evaluations

Can a psychological evaluation be used for court?

Not usually. A psychological evaluation is designated for personal, private use only; however, if you need an evaluation specifically for court, you can find information on that service here

How quickly can psychological testing be done?

Typically, we can get most testing done on the same day as your diagnostic intake appointment. In certain circumstances, we will need to schedule for a different day and time, often a day or two after your initial appointment. 

How long does testing take?

The assessments included in a standard psychological evaluation will vary by age and subject requirement, such as those needing drug/alcohol testing, or young children. In general, most testing takes about 2-4 hours to complete.

 

It is entirely self-paced, and a combination of paper and computer-based assessments. You may take breaks as you need to, but once you begin an assessment it must be finished in the same sitting.

Forensic Evaluations

How quickly can I get an evaluation?

The first step in a forensic evaluation is a diagnostic intake appointment with Dr. Montes. We are not able to accept all cases, so it is strongly suggested that you contact our office for a free, 15-minute phone consultation before scheduling.

Typically, we can get most testing done on the same day as your diagnostic intake appointment. In certain circumstances, we will need to schedule for a different day and time, often a day or two after your initial appointment. 

Why is a forensic evaluation more expensive than a standard psychological evaluation?

Due to the complex nature of these assessments and the level of investigation and documentation required, a higher cost is common. Very few psychologists are able to perform forensic evaluations, especially those involving children. The level of professional risk is higher for these elite psychologists, which also plays a role in driving costs up. We try to be fair with our pricing, and to consider your circumstances where we can. 

Do you testify in court to defend my evaluation?

Yes. While we require all clients to consider our prices and terms with regard to this service specifically before starting an evaluation with us, we realize that sometimes things come up unexpectedly. In that case, certain requirements must be met before we will agree to appearing in court, including associated fees.

 

We strongly encourage current and potential clients to consider the benefits and risks and to discuss them with their clinician before beginning any forensic service.

Do you testify in court as an expert witness?

Yes. Please discuss your needs with Dr. Montes in private. Not all cases are accepted.

Do you offer custody evaluations or adoption evaluations?

Yes. Please discuss your needs with Dr. Montes in private. Not all cases are accepted.

Naturopathic Services

Is Dr. Christy a medical professional?

No. Dr. Christy is a Naturopathic Doctor and a Certified Natural Healthcare Provider. 

Does Dr. Christy diagnose?

No. Dr. Christy may be able to give incredible insight into your body and it's needs, but she is not able to give medical diagnoses as she is not a medical doctor.

Can Dr. Christy prescribe medication?
No. Only psychiatrists and medical doctors may prescribe medications in the State of Georgia.

NewBrain™

What is NewBrain™?

NewBrain™ is a medication-free treatment alternative for common issues such as AD/HD, Anxiety, Depression and more. It is a combination of neurofeedback (biofeedback), photobiomodulation and Alpha/Theta sensitivity training through coherence training. For more information on NewBrain™, visit our sister website at www.NewBrain.training.

How much does NewBrain™ cost?

Individual sessions can be purchased at $199 and include neurofeedback (biofeedback), photobiomodulation and Alpha/Theta coherence training, typically. There are usually sizeable discounts (around 25%) available for pre-purchasing a package of 20 sessions or more. 

How do I get started?

You can either schedule a Diagnostic Intake session with Dr. Montes if you have questions, or fast-track directly to the qEEG Brain Map. After your brain map, you'll get time to review the results with Dr. Montes in person at no additional charge, where you can ask questions, learn about your brain, find out how many sessions we recommend for you, how often you should come for treatment and discuss pricing. You can schedule either your qEEG Brain Map with NewBrain™ or your diagnostic intake session with Dr. Montes here.

Office Policies & General Information

What is Dr. Montes' title?

Dr. Bob Montes is a licensed psychologist, specializing in the diagnosing, evaluation and treatment of mental and behavioral health conditions. You can read more information about him and our other clinicians by visiting our Staff page here.

 

Neither Dr. Montes nor the rest of our staff can prescribe medication. We are happy to provide referrals for a local psychiatrist by phone if you need medication, though we offer medication-free treatment options in our office and would be glad to speak with you about them. 

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

Psychiatrists are medical professionals (doctors) who attended medical school and specialize in mental health medication management.

 

Psychologists are mental health professionals who have earned a PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) or PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in mental health for counseling and evaluation purposes, and cannot prescribe medication in the State of Georgia.

Services for Minors of Divorced Parents

If the biological or custodial parents for the minor being treated are married to each other and in agreement about the child's need for treatment, no legal documentation is required and only one parent will need to sign the agreement for treatment.

If the biological or custodial parents are divorced and medical authority is shared, we must have the most recent copy of your court-ordered custody documents on file, and signatures from BOTH custodial parents on our agreements or we cannot treat the child. NO EXCEPTIONS!

If the biological or custodial parents are divorced and medical authority is either a) shared but one parent has final decision, or b) fully given to only one parent, is it highly recommended that BOTH custodial parents sign our agreements but it is not required for treatment. 

Only custodial parents will be granted access to a minor's client portal or medical record, unless both custodial parents give consent for the other party to be included.

More information on this policy can be viewed on our Informed Consent policy you will receive upon scheduling or you can discuss it with your clinician in private.

Insurance Coverage

Our office does not file insurance claims. We are out-of-network for all insurance companies, but we are happy to provide you with a superbill containing all the information you need to submit the claim yourself following your evaluation. As always, we are happy to help wherever we can.

Cancellation & Rescheduling Policy

We require 48 hours notice to cancel or reschedule ANY appointment, including hours pre-paid for testing. If you do not provide the minimum notice requirement you may be subject to additional fees. If you have any questions about this policy, you may call us at (678) 366-8862.

Requesting Copies of or Access to Discuss Records

We are happy to provide you or a third party with access to your medical records with your written consent. If the records are going straight to you as the adult client, you only need to send us a secure portal message with your request and we will share your records with you through the client portal.

 

If your records are being requested for anyone other than the client (parents, insurance company, another doctor, etc.) we must have a completed Release of Information form on file. These forms are good for up to 12 months from the date you sign them, and can be revoked by the client in writing at any time and for any reason.

If we receive a request for your records from another party (your doctor's office, for example) we will still require you to complete our Release of Information form as well, indicating your consent and acknowledgement of our fees and policies associated with fulfilling your request.

Records can take up to 5 business days to be sent, so please keep this in mind if you have an upcoming deadline. There are fees associated with records requests and the time it takes to perform required or requested actions which includes discussing your records with other professionals you have authorized. 

We do not have a fax line. All records are mailed or sent by secure email. Requests may be sent to info@drbobmontes.com.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

(678) 366-8862

5755 North Point Pkwy., Ste. 238
Alpharetta, GA 30022

©2019 by Bob Montes, PhD, BCN