Where is your office located?
My office is in Olde Town Arvada.
5738 Olde Wadsworth BoulevardArvada, Co 80002
I am one of several therapists in the Town Square Professional Building. It has a green awning out front, and my name is on the front door. The building is next to the big square where there is a fountain in the summer and across from the German bakery.
Where do I park?
Parking is on the street. There is also a parking lot around the block and across from the public library. There is one parking spot for people with disabilities in the small lot behind our building. Please don’t park in the other spaces behind the building; these are reserved for the clinicians.
Do I check in or knock on your door when I get there?
No. We don’t have a receptionist, and I might be in session with another client. Please have a seat in the lobby. I’ll come out and meet you at your appointment time.
I’ve never done this – how do I get started?
Fill out a contact form or call me directly. We will then chat on the phone or over email, and I can answer any questions you might have. Whether you have 1 or 20 questions, it’s okay.
Is the building “handicapped accessible”?
There are no stairs, and there is a ramp at the back door. The doors are not automatic; so, let me know ahead of time, and I can meet you at the door if you need assistance getting in or out. There is one parking space for people with disabilities in the back of the building. All other parking in back is for clinicians only.
What information will you need from me at first?
When your first appointment is scheduled, I will send you a link to the Client Portal. You are given a unique log-in (which you can change later), and this will connect you to paperwork which you can fill out and sign electronically online. I need to have this paperwork signed before your first visit. Feel free to call me if you have questions about the initial paperwork.
What is the first session like?
The first session (and all the sessions) are 50 mins to an hour long. I go over basic policies and procedures, discuss the opening paperwork, and then ask you a bunch of questions. I try to find out what is difficult for you right now and get some background information. There is time for you to ask me questions, and then we discuss goals and how we will start to work toward making things better.
Why does it cost so much?
All services I provide are $150 per hour. We are doing life-changing work here.
What if you could put brakes on your car that cost $3,000, but lasted 30-50 years? Therapy can help you create life-long changes.
What is being able to relax worth? What dollar amount would you put on increased happiness? What price would you put on your marriage? Are these worth an extra temporary car payment?
If you worry less, does that impact your work performance? How much extra money do you spend because you can’t communicate as a couple? How much money do you spend on booze or other distractions, because you haven’t dealt with issues that are unresolved?
Decreasing stress can increase your overall health, which means fewer doctor bills. Whatever you do in therapy can impact the rest of your life. That’s a substantial return on investment.
How long does this therapy process last, how many sessions?
It is different for different people. Most people see real results in 12 sessions. Some people see me for just a few sessions, and they are done. Some people see me weekly for years.
We will create goals, review goals, and it is always up to you how long you stay. Some see me for 8 or 10 sessions on and off when needed. Some people see me every two weeks, or once a month for ongoing support. Some people see me 23 times and then never come back.
How often do I come in to see you?
What I have learned from seeing hundreds of clients is that most people feel better and get better results when they come in to see me weekly – at least at first. This can be anywhere from 6 to 20 sessions.
For about half of people, then we taper off to every two weeks for a while, then every month, etc. We either resolve things along the way and agree to end sessions, or, if ongoing therapy is helpful to you, then we find a frequency that works best for you.
Everything is individually tailored to your experience. We are all different and unique and no “one size fits all.”
What if I don’t know what to say?
Believe me, almost everyone feels this way at some point. Don’t worry. Once we get started, it gets a lot easier. Even people who typically don’t like to talk usually tell me “I don’t know why, but I talk a lot more in here.” And sometimes we’re quiet and think; that is okay,too.
Do you take insurance?
I used to, for many years. I don’t anymore.
Here’s the main reason why: I began to realize that the people who got the most out of therapy were the people who paid out of pocket. People feel better, change more quickly, and find the process more fulfilling when they are invested in it.
It boils down to: “If I’m paying, I’m going to work at this.” The work pays off. There are additional reasons why I began to feel the insurance industry did not have your best interests in mind: privacy concerns, higher deductibles, intrusive audits, time-consuming billing that took energy and time, and reimbursement rates that have not gone up for providers for decades.
Do you have a “sliding scale”?
No. There are many providers that do, and I can refer you to one of them if that is needed. I find I do my best work and people are more motivated when they are paying my full fee. I realize that is not possible in every situation. I find other ways to give back to the community.
What if you’re not the right therapist for me?
I will help you determine that in the first session. I don’t want to waste time for anyone. Ethically, I’m required to refer you out if I do not have the experience or competence in a certain area.
Professionally it is just not satisfying for me to try to help people with things that I am not good at. Personally, it’s just not fun. Periodically we will also review our progress. If things are not working, we’ll find someone else for you to talk to.
What if therapy doesn’t work?
There are no guarantees with therapy. Once we have started, I will do everything I can to help you achieve your goals.
I know you are taking a big step, things are difficult, and I am 100% committed to this process. 90% of what happens in therapy happens outside of the therapy session – what you do when you are not in the office makes a big difference.
The more you put into this, the more you get out of it. Sometimes we’re not ready for therapy, sometimes I’m not the right therapist for you – again, I’ll let you know if I think this is true for you.
I don’t want to take medication – are you going to push that?
No. First, I am not a medical doctor; I can’t prescribe medication. About half of my clients take medication, and it is helpful. Many people don’t need meds, and that is okay, too. I’m a therapist because I know it works. Even when medication is helpful, there is no “miracle pill” – therapy can help with what you need to do to make things work.
I need a new prescription; I need my meds filled.
I’m not a doctor, I can’t help you with this. I can refer you to several highly qualified psychiatrists or doctors who can help you with this. However, people who are on medication usually do better if they are also in therapy. I could help you with that.
I need a therapist to fill out my service animal form, so I can take my dog Fluffy on the plane next week. Can you write me a letter for that?
If you are a current client and have seen me for at least four sessions, I will consider writing such a letter. I don’t see people for one session just for this purpose. If you are a current, ongoing client, and I think this is in your best interest, there is a separate letter-writing fee for that.
I am secretly planning on divorcing my spouse. If we come in for couples counseling, can I ask you to testify for me at the divorce/child custody hearing?
The short answer is “no.” You will fill out a couples counseling consent form that specifically says that you agree not to ask me to do this. And you agree that if for some reason a judge does subpoena me at some point, you will pay my outlandish court fees. Also, your couples counseling chart/notes belong to both of you. I can’t release them to anyone without getting written permission from both of you.
My teenager won’t talk to me. Can I bring my kid in and then you tell me everything that is going on for them?
Legally, as a parent of a minor, you can have access to your teen’s records/and can ask me questions. I ask parents to agree verbally at the beginning of their teen’s therapy to only talk about them in front of them, in session.
If I am worried about a safety issue, I will tell your adolescent, “Hey, this is something we need to talk to one of your parents about; let’s invite them in from the lobby.” Or we’ll call you on speaker phone. Of course, my goal is always to help kids and parents get along better/communicate more – so I encourage this when doing individual therapy with all my teens.
I have chronic pain issues – will working with you reduce my pain?
I have been working with people with chronic pain since the beginning of my career. There are a lot of strategies that we can work on together that can help you cope with pain more effectively.
There are some things you can learn that may reduce your pain level, but this is not true for everyone.
Chronic pain therapy involves finding ways to live with pain so that it does not dominate your life. Think of it as learning to have a fulfilling life that also includes pain. I’m not a drug treatment center or an addictions counselor. I don’t help people get off opioids. However, if you have been through treatment and want support in how to cope without pain killers, I can help you with that.