Where is your office located?
My office is located at the Southwest Corner of Ward Road and 52nd Avenue. 5181 is the building on the Ward Rd side of this block of buildings.
I share office space with a number of other therapists. When you get to the front door will see my name, but it also says “Front Range Family Resource Center”. You are in the right place.
Yes, I realize my business name is Arvada Therapy and my office is technically in Wheat Ridge! My office was in Olde Town Arvada for 10 years, and now I’m only about 100 ft away. Just haven’t gotten around to a business name change…
Where do I park?
There is a free parking lot that surrounds the building at 5181 Ward Rd. The most convenient place to park is on the Ward Rd side of the building, where the entrance is.
What if you’re not the right therapist for me?
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's the difference between Relationship Coaching and Couples Counseling?
Hans provides Couples Counseling and Relationship Coaching.
Here are the main differences:
Couples Counseling traditionally focuses more upon the past, emphasizes healing emotional wounds, or works on changing unhealthy behaviors that are occuring today. For some couples this involves working through infedelity, communication problems, disagreements about money/sex/parenting. In short, Couples Counseling is usually more focused upon working through problems and creating new healthier ways to approach your relationship.
Relationship Coaching is centered in the present and looking toward a positive future. Coaching emphasizes working toward positive mutual goals. We build upon strengths and find strategies to create greater commitment, deeper understanding and more fulfilling experiences. Relationship Coaching is more geared toward helping happy couples create an even better relationship.
Couples counseling is certainly needed in many situations. If you are uncertain as to whether or not Relationship Coaching is the best option for you, I will be happy to talk with you and help you make that decision. If there is significant struggle with anxiety, depression, addictions, or past trauma – then Couples Counseling is usually more appropriate.
Hans has a quarter of a century of experience working with couples. Throughout the past several years, his approach has increasingly become more directive, interactive and focused upon helping couples learn practical skills.
Relationship Coaching is an exciting option for people who are considering major life changes, wanting to connect on an even deeper level, or helping couples decide upon long term goals.
Coaching is billed as a package. Couples Counselilng is billed per session.
I’ve never done this – how do I get started?
Do I check in or knock on your door when I get there?
Please have a seat in the lobby. I’ll come out and meet you at our appointment time.
What information will you need from me at first?
What if I don’t know what to say?
What is the first session like?
How often do I come in to see you?
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.”
Can I get in to see you tomorrow?
That’s very possible, if your schedule is flexible. Generally I can see new clients within 2-3 business days (depending on your schedule). You may have called other clinics who have a long waiting list. There are three main reasons for this. 1) They charge less. I charge more, so have fewer clients. I’m ok with that. 2) I also don’t like to see more than 20 clients per week. Therapy is amazing and rewarding and I love what I do, but I put my heart and soul into it and that takes a lot of energy. I need time to recharge. However, because I purposefully schedule fewer clients, I usually can make time for new clients. 3) I do see people long term, but 80% of my work is short term, goal oriented. We solve problems, help you feel better, improve your life and you move on without me. I always tell new clients, “my goal is to put myself out of business”. Of course, people return to therapy from time to time and that is ok, but in general I see people 8 – 15 times and then they are done. My plan is never to see you every week for 4 years (although it happens, occasionally).
If you go to my online scheduler and can’t find an appointment that fits for you soon enough, give me a call, sometimes I can move my schedule around…
Does the building have Disability parking?
There are no stairs, and there is a ramp at the back door. The doors are not automatic however; so let me know ahead of time, and I will meet you at the door if you need assistance. There is one parking space for people with disabilities at the back of the building. All other parking in the back parking lot is for clinicians only.
How long does this therapy process last, how many sessions?
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 much does this cost?
Individual Therapy and Couples Counseling is $250 per hour.
Relationship Coaching is a different fee structure and billed as a package of 6 or 12 sessions.
I have been a Professional Counselor since 1996, so my fees are higher than some you might find in the area. I understand you will want to compare therapists and that cost is a consideration.
Some other things to consider when considering the cost of therapy or coaching:
This is an investment in your quality of life going forward, for the long term. If ten or twelve sessions creates greater peace of mind, then what is that worth?
What are the consequences of not starting? If you don’t work through this now, what affect will that have on your overall well-being? Relationship problems, depression and anxiety tend to get worse, if not addressed.
If you needed brain surgery, would your first question be how much does the surgeon charge – or would it be how much experience do they have?
You can also compare the cost of therapy to other things that you spend money on. How much did you spend on your last bicycle? Car repairs? Vacation? Alcohol for the year? Dining for a year? Boarding for your horse? Monthly fees for your teenager’s club sports team? Gym membership? We all spend a lot of money on things that we think we need or that make us feel better. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It could be that investing in yourself or your relationship is worth just as much.
Enjoying activities again, decreased relationship confict, finding fulfillment in your career, life with less pain and struggle – it is difficult to put a price on what these are worth.
Therapy costs money. No doubt. However, the benefits are often long term and the consequences of not taking action can be costly.
Do you take insurance?
For the most part, no. However, I do help people by providing forms which they can submit for “out of network” benefits. Call to ask me more about this, it is easier to explain over the phone.
Two exceptions to this. 1) I do see a limited number of people who have Medicaid insurance. However, if you are a Medicaid member, we will need to talk on the phone first so I can verify your benefits and so that I can make sure I am the best resource for your situation.
2) I am also a Workers Compensation provider. However, if you are using Workers Compensation benefits, you must get a referral from the Attending Physician first in order to see me. Talk with your Attending Physician and see if they think mental health counseling would help you. You can also look at my Chronic Pain page on the website and it will give you an idea of how I work with many Workers Compensation patients.
If you found my information on any other insurance provider list, other than the two listed above, the information is out of date or innaccurate. I discontinued my participation with most insurance in 2017 due to low reimbursment, billing headaches, confidentiality issues, and what I considered (in many cases) unethical business practices.
Do you have a “sliding scale”?
No. In lieu of this, I do see some Medicaid clients.
There are low cost and discounted therapy options out there and I am happy to help you find other referral resources.
What if therapy doesn’t work?
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?
I need a new prescription; I need my meds filled.
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?
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?
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?
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.
Why don't you accept insurance?
I was an insurance provider for many years. Gradually it became more of a burden and took more time and energy to work with insurance billing. Often, a person has insurance benefits, but their mental health benefits are managed by a different company. Attempting to navigated the myriad of credentialing and billing options for each person became almost a full time job. By not accepting insurance, I have more time to devote to focusing on quality of care, preparing for sessions, reading, going to trainings. I have more energy to focus on what I love, which is working with people. I understand that not everyone can afford more than a co-pay for counseling. I was in that boat at one time also. Luckily there are still many insurance accepting therapists out there. If you need a lower cost alternative, I would recommend calling your insurance company or going to their member website to find contact information for insurance providers in your area (but be aware, often these directories are out of date and inaccurate).
Privacy is another concern. In order to bill insurance, a therapist has to give you a diagnosis. Many people were uncomfortable with this. While legally an insurance company can’t share that information with your employer, and currently you can’t be denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition, it is difficult to predict how health care laws might change in the future. On top of this, insurance companies are doing more and more auditing of mental health providers. Whereas 20 years ago it was uncommon, more often now, therapists to have to send notes or reports to an insurance company to prove that they are actually providing a needed service. Not only is this stressful and time consuming, it is also uncomfortable for clients not knowing who is looking at their private information or what is being done with that.
On a practical level, more and more people have larger deductibles that they must reach before insurance kicks in. I began to find that for the first few months of every new client’s treatment, I had to spend a great amount of time keeping track of how much people owed on their deductibles. Also, people would feel deflated thinking that their insurance would cover mental health, only to find out that it would – after 23 sessions. Not taking insurance eliminates any of this confusions. And again, everyone’s insurance company dealt with deductibles differently. In short, if you have a deductible of $3600 and therapy is going to cost you $1500, you don’t get to use your benefits anyway (but the therapist still has to spend hours figuring that out).
Reimbursement. When I began my first private practice almost twenty years ago, I was happy with what insurance companies were willing to pay me. They almost always paid me without a hassle. Gradually the health care system became more complicated and insurers focused on finding ways to make more money. Mental health providers have not seen rate increases, for the most part, for decades. The average reimbursment for a psychologist in 1975 was about $100, and that is what it is today through insurance. In some cases my reimbursement has even gone down, but in almost every case, I was being paid the same as I was when I started. If you hadn’t had a raise in 17 years, you would probably look for a different job, right?
I completely understand that I am not affordable for everyone. I literally gave away my services for many years. You can find others who will do that now as well, just ask. What I have found is that when people make a solid investment in themselves, they get more out of therapy, they feel better and accomplish goals more quickly.
I have chronic pain issues – will working with you reduce my pain?
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.