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Making Your First Appointment

Once you decide you want to see a mental health provider at Dakota Family Services, we’ll walk you through the process. Here is what you can expect.

Step 1: Before You Call​

If you have insurance, call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card. Ask them if your insurance plan covers therapy, psychiatric, or psychological testing services. Be sure to ask about deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays so you’ll know what you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.

If you don’t have insurance, move to Step 2 and ask about our private pay policies.

Get more details about payment options and insurance »​

Step 2: Call

Call our new patient line at 701-551-7015. Our friendly clinic staff will answer any questions you have, gather information about you and your reasons for seeking care, and collect your insurance information (company, policy #, group # and plan type). Before you schedule your first appointment, we will send you a packet of new patient paperwork. While you are completing the paperwork, we will contact your insurance company to confirm coverage. If your insurance does not cover our services, we will let you know right away and help you explore other payment options.

If you don’t have insurance, ask about our private pay policies and payment options.

Be prepared to answer:

  • Are you, or the person you are making the appointment for, seeing any other providers?
  • What are the behaviors and emotions you'd like help with?
  • What do you hope to achieve with the support of a Dakota Family Services provider?

Step 3: Schedule​

Once we receive your completed paperwork and hear back from your insurance company, we will call you back to book your first appointment.

Ready to Schedule? Call:


Online Appointments Are Available

If it is difficult for you to make it to one of our clinics, virtual mental health care may be a great option for you. This way, you don’t have to factor in travel time and you can work with your therapist or doctor from the comfort of your home. Virtual therapy is done in a private virtual video room.

Learn more about our online therapy services here »

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

If you are new to therapy, you might be wondering exactly what to expect when meeting with a mental health provider for the first time. Every therapist conducts their sessions a little differently, but there are some commonalities, especially for first appointments (also called intake sessions).  

When You Arrive

Park in one of the DFS/Visitor-assigned spots, and walk up to the door. In Minot, office staff will likely see you coming and unlock the door (you’ll hear a buzz). In Fargo, you’ll enter at door B2. Push the buzzer to the right of the door and one of our office staff will welcome you in.

Checking In

The first moments of your arrival may be very similar to that of any other healthcare appointment. You’ll check in with the office staff, complete initial paperwork, and wait for your therapist to bring you back for your session. It’s normal to be a bit anxious about your first session, especially if this is your first time seeing a mental health provider. Most people enter therapy because they want to face their problems—thinking about sharing things you’d rather avoid can be scary. Give yourself credit for getting this far!

Meeting With Your Therapist

At your first session, you and your therapist will talk about what's going on in your life that made you decide to seek counseling. You'll spend some time getting to know each other, talking about what is going on with you, setting therapy goals, and coming up with an overall plan for what you want to accomplish and how long and often you'll come in.

Your therapist will also give you a clear explanation of what you can expect from therapy—the things you'll work on together, the types of assignments you might complete at home, etc.

You and your therapist will determine the best plan for continued care and schedule additional appointments as appropriate.

Frequently Asked Questions

​​Do you accept my health insurance?​​

The quickest way to find out if we accept your insurance is to gather your insurance information and call our office. We will quickly check your benefits and discuss payment options.

​How will I know if my insurance covers mental health care?​

For benefit information, call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card. Ask them if they cover therapy, psychiatric, or psychological testing services. Be sure to ask them about deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays so you’ll know what you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.

​​How much will I have to pay after insurance?​

Deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays vary between insurance companies and insurance plans. Call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card and ask about your out-of-pocket responsibility. Our intake specialists can also help you work with your insurance company to determine your out-of-pocket expenses.

​​What if I don’t have insurance?

We do accept private pay for therapy, psychiatric services, and psychological testing. An intake specialist will tell you how much it will cost based on the type of service(s) you receive. 

​​What if I need to reschedule?

If you are unable to attend your appointment, please contact us 24 hours or more before your appointment time. Patients who miss an appointment without giving us at least 24-hour notice will only be allowed to schedule appointments in person, one at a time, at our Minot or Fargo locations.

​​What happens if I don’t like my therapist?

We choose our staff extremely carefully, but sometimes it’s just not the right fit. If you feel you want to try someone else out, no hard feelings. Please contact our front desk to change your therapist. If you’re unsure who you would like to work with, meet our team here.

For questions or to make an appointment: