FAQs

Is Meltzer the right place for me?

The Meltzer Center offers low cost psychological services to the Washington Metropolitan Area community as well as the university community. These services include individual, couples, family and group therapy, and psychological assessment. Services are available for children, adolescents, and adults.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Interested persons are encouraged to call the Meltzer Center (202-994-9072) to request services or inquire about their availability or suitability. A telephone interview will be conducted to determine whether a caller's needs match services that the clinic provides.
During this initial telephone screening interview, you will be asked a set of standard questions about demographic and contact information, as well as prior history of mental illness and goals for obtaining therapy or assessment services. The interviewer will also explain Meltzer Center policies and services, and answer any questions you have.

If your needs are not able to be met through services available at the Center, referral information for other agencies or mental health practitioners will be provided. Please note that the Center is not able to provide medications or any form of medical care, and it does not bill insurance.

If it appears that the Meltzer Center may be able to offer services, you will be assigned to a clinician for an intake appointment. Please note that due to the high demand for therapy and assessment services, there may be a waiting list.

How should I prepare for my first therapy appointment?

The first session typically includes:

  • filling out paperwork,
  • reviewing financial documents to verify and confirm the fee,
  • an intake interview

For your first appointment, please bring paperwork documenting your or your family's income (e.g., a pay stub, recent W2 forms, or tax return), which will be used to verify the fee for the service.

Please be aware that therapy can be an effective way to alleviate distress, discover better ways to solve problems, learn new ways of relating to others, or to change long-term behavior problems. However, therapy also may involve the risk of remembering unpleasant events and may arouse other emotions, which may temporarily affect you and how you relate to others.

How should I prepare for my first assessment appointment?

  • Try to schedule the appointment during times when you are the most rested and alert.That will ensure your optimal performance during the assessment.
  • Before your testing appointment, get a good night of sleep and eat breakfast.
  • For the first appointment, please bring paperwork documenting your or your family's income (e.g., a pay stub, recent W2 forms, or tax return), which will be used to verify the total fee for the service.
  • Additionally, unless you have been approved for a payment plan, you will be expected to submit the full fee. 
  • If you cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours notice, you will be charged a penalty fee of $100.

How does the Meltzer Center protect clients' confidentiality and follow ethical guidelines?

The Meltzer Center ensures strict confidentiality and operates under the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Privacy Rule of HIPAA ("Privacy Rule") governs the use and disclosure of individually identifiable patient/client health information if such information has not been de-identified (redacted) in accordance with specific, strict provisions of the Privacy Rule. This means that under most circumstances, your information cannot be revealed without your formal written consent.

The George Washington University Department of Psychology has been accredited by the APA since April 1, 1970. For more information on our accreditation status, you may contact the APA Committee on Accreditation: 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, (202) 336-5979, www.apa.org.

To read more about APA confidentiality guidelines and the HIPAA law, view the following:
Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct
Health Information Privacy

What are the fees?

The Meltzer Center recognizes that certain financial situations can interfere with your willingness or ability to seek help. Our fees are based on a sliding fee schedule and are scaled according to your family income and number of dependents. Should extenuating circumstances arise, the Center staff is able to work around your needs; fees can be adjusted on a case-by-case basis. Although we do not work directly with Medicare or any insurance carriers, we can provide you the documentation you need to submit in order to try to obtain reimbursement. We accept cash, check or money order. We are unable to accept credit or debit cards.

What is a sliding fee schedule?

A sliding fee schedule means that fees are determined based on your (or your family's) yearly income and number of dependents. This sliding schedule ensures that you are not charged more than your financial situation permits.

What are the Meltzer Center's cancellation policies?

The Meltzer Center cancellation policies state that if a client cancels less than 24 hours before the time of the appointment, the client is charged the full fee for therapy services, and $100 for assessment services.

Does the Meltzer Center accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid?

Meltzer Center does not bill insurance, and does not participate with Medicare and Medicaid. However, the Center can provide you the documentation you need to submit in order to try to obtain reimbursement.

What are the Meltzer Center's operating hours?

The Meltzer Center office hours are 9:00AM - 5:00PM Monday-Friday. If needed, some clinicians may be able to provide late afternoon and evening appointments; weekend appointments are generally not provided.

The clinic operates on a 12-month basis; however, clinicians' availability may be limited during semester breaks, in the summer, and on some university holidays.

How long is the waitlist?

To inquire about the length of therapy and assessment waitlists, please call the office at 202-994-9072. Usually there are the greatest number of openings around the beginning of academic semesters in September and in January.

What if I have an emergency and I can't get in touch with my clinician?

Because the Meltzer Center does not provide 24-hour emergency services, in the case of an emergency, please call 911 or go to your local emergency room. You may also want to call relevant hotlines provided by your clinician.

What if I need to reach my clinician after hours?

If you need to reach your clinician after business hours, please call the client line at 202-994-0036 and leave a voice message. Clearly state your name, the name of your clinician, and a number at which you can be reached. After getting the message, your clinician will call you back as soon as possible. Your clinician may also suggest other ways of reaching him or her, e.g., by email.