Frequently Asked Questions

What is Charis?

CHARIS (pronounced “CARE-us”) is a counseling center in Orlando, Florida staffed with caring counselors who provide help to clients with a wide range of needs. The word CHARIS is Greek for grace. Grace is an unmerited (undeserved) favor (support, act of kindness).

What are your office hours?

Counseling hours vary between therapists resulting in a schedule that provides counseling opportunities Monday through Friday mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Several of our therapists offer Saturday hours as well. Our staff pages provide more detail of each therapist’s office schedule.

If you wish to speak with someone, you may call our desk (407-894-5202) between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. If we are away from the desk, please leave a message with a return phone number.

How do I set an appointment with a therapist?

Simply contact our office and request an appointment. You may request a specific therapist or we will be glad to match you with one that will fit your needs. Once an appointment has been set we ask that you complete the new client paperwork packet which can be found under forms and e-mail the information to before your scheduled session. Please note that we need a set of paperwork completed for each person participating in therapy.

How do I set a free 15-minute phone consultation?

Choosing the right counselor is an important step in finding the help you need. Charis understands that counseling is not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition and wants you to be confident in your choice of a counselor before you make any investment in counseling services.

To assist you, many of the therapists offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to potential in-office clients living in the Central Florida area. Call the office to set up your phone consultation. The phone is staffed during business hours (Mon-Fri), but you can call at any time. If your call goes to voice mail, simply leave a message stating “I am requesting information about scheduling a free phone consultation.” Leave your name and contact phone number and someone will call you back at first opportunity.

How long does therapy last?

Each individual session usually lasts about 50 minutes, although your therapist may sometimes recommend a longer or shorter session. Frequency of sessions (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) will be decided by you and your therapist. The length of therapy varies with each client depending on his/her needs and therapeutic goals.

Can I schedule phone sessions or Skype sessions?

Yes. While our therapists generally prefer face-to-face meetings, we understand that circumstances sometimes prohibit this. Phone sessions and Skype session are charged at the same rate as in-office sessions.

What about missed appointments?

In consideration of our staff and other clients, we ask for at least 24-hour, business day (Monday – Friday), notice to cancel or reschedule an appointment. Therefore, if an appointment is scheduled for Monday at 10:00A we ask that you call our office before 10:00A on the Friday before the scheduled session.  Full payment is required for missed appointments or late cancellations.

How much do sessions cost?

Fees are established by each therapist with costs ranging from $90 to $200 per session. Counseling sessions are currently being offered by two student interns with discounted session rates. Please vist for a scholarship application.

What forms of payment are accepted?

Payment is due prior to each session. You may pay by cash, check, or credit card (AMEX, Visa, or MasterCard).

Do you work with insurance companies?

We counsel on a fee-for-service basis and currently do not accept third-party payments. We do provide our clients with insurance-ready receipts that can be submitted to insurance companies for reimbursement based upon their benefits.  Check with your insurance provider to determine the specifics of your mental/behavioral health coverage/reimbursement.

Do you offer reduced fees for those in financial need?

Our therapists provide a limited number of scholarships for clients based on financial need. To obtain a scholarship application, please talk to a therapist or contact our office for more details.

What does confidentiality in counseling really mean?

Confidentiality means that information about you is never released to others without your written permission. Everything said in therapy is confidential and will not be disclosed except when reporting is required or permitted by the HIPAA Privacy Standard or Florida state law. Exceptions to confidentiality include the following:

  1. suspected abuse of a child, developmentally disabled person, or a dependent adult;
  2. potential suicidal behavior;
  3. threatened harm to another, which may include knowledge that the client is HIV positive when there is an unwillingness to inform individuals with whom the client is intimately involved; and
  4. when required by compulsory process

Information may also be disclosed if you sign a written authorization or in the event that you file a complaint against your counselor. Payment by check, bank or credit card allows bank employees to view names of CHARIS clients. If you have caller identification on your phone, the name of the agency may appear on the monitor.

In keeping with generally accepted standards of practice, supervision and consultation may be made regarding the management of your treatment with other mental health professionals, including other counselors in the center, who are bound by the same rules of confidentiality.

In some situations cell phones may be used by counselors to contact clients. Please note that e-mail is NOT a confidential means of communication.