"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly..."
HOW IS THERAPY DIFFERENT THAN TALKING TO A FRIEND AND WHAT EXACTLY DO WE DO?
My patients are individuals that are in pain – some are in a lot of pain, others are frustrated with some aspects of their life and need some support or guidance. Before coming to see me, many of my patients went to their support system first. You might even be able to relate to their dilemma. Have you ever struggled with a problem or a decision and you have gone to family or friends for help? Perhaps you are the type of person that is always there for your friends when they are sad or confused. But when you go to them either they seemed to be distracted with their own issues or they didn’t say exactly “the right thing.” You may have even ended up talking to them about THEIR problems instead of your own!
In therapy, YOU are my primary concern. For that 50 minute appointment, all of my issues, problems or concerns are not in the room. We are focused on you. And only you. This is your time.
During our “Clinical Hour” we talk, you express your feelings, and sometimes we use different creative techniques to find the emotions that are hidden deep within you. I often suggest books, or what I call “Bibliotherapy,” that may help you on your journey. At the end of your first session I often give you a composition book so that you can begin to start journaling your feelings, concerns, dreams, or memories. This is not for me, it is for you. If you don’t quite have the words to express your feelings, you can draw in the journal. You can paste pictures in it or use it in any way that will help you get your feelings out of your mind, into your heart and onto the page. You don’t have to bring the journal back into my office unless you want to read something that you feel will be helpful in our journey.
There is also a lot of research suggesting that creating a “Gratitude List” at the end of each day can be a positive way to see how you are getting better. It also helps you feel more powerful.
If talking is uncomfortable I have other ways to help you access your feelings in a safe way.
Therapy is a Journey that we go on together. My office should be a safe place. You should feel that you can say, “No” or “Not Today” and feel respected and heard.
OUR FIRST APPOINTMENT
If you have never been to therapy before, it can be very unnerving to find a therapist and then pick up the phone to make that first phone call. What do you ask? How do you pick someone to work with? If you are looking for a very formal therapist that doesn’t give much feedback, and just sits quietly, then I may not be the therapist for you. I am very relaxed but I participate a lot in your session. I give feedback, homework assignments, and am available in between session via email or texting. I want you to feel calm and comfortable when you come to see me. My policy is to give you whatever you need to feel better (as long as it is ethical of course!).
Imagine arriving to see me. You ring the bell , I answer, introduce myself and show you to where we will work. As you get seated on my couch (complete with throw pillows and a blanket in case you get cold easily) I offer you Iced or Hot Tea, Coffee, Water or a Soft Drink (sometimes freshly baked cookies as well!). If it is in the winter you will notice to your left a roaring fire in the fireplace. There are black shelves filled with curious small objects and boxes of art supplies. A covered box is on the floor near the bookshelves. As you sip your iced tea, I encourage you to get comfortable, even take off your shoes or curl up on the couch if you would like.
I understand that seeing a Therapist for the first time can be scary. I want this to be a different experience for you. This is why I often play quiet gentle music in the back ground, offer you something to drink, and begin our session gently and slowly by just getting to know you. I don’t want you to feel pressured to tell me the big issues when you have just met me. It is fine for you to pace the session, exploring things in your own time. If you are ready to jump in to your issues, then I am ready to jump in with you. If you are nervous, and want to take it more slowly, that is just fine. I tell all my patients that there may have been times in your life when people didn’t hear your cries for STOP or NO! In my office, if you don’t want to answer a question or can’t answer a question that’s fine. The most important thing we will discuss on our first meeting is that if you can’t say stop or no, just raise one of your hands. And I will stop.
WHAT IF YOUR OFFICE IS TOO FAR AWAY?
Many of my patients, for many reasons, prefer to meet with me online. Often the baby sitter cancels, your kids are sick, the weather isn’t participating with our meeting, or you are too sick but really need our session.We can meet up on Facetime for apple users, or Skype . I find that I can do almost anything I can do in the office online. This also allows you to see me and avoid the Denver traffic! Email and we can set up an appointment when it is most convenient for you!
I understand that many people have a hard time fitting in mental health bills in this economy. And if you are seeing me for depression, I don’t want you to be under more stress because you are trying to pay me for help. So I have decided to decrease my fee for new patients. I used to charge strictly $100, which is an average for Therapists in Colorado with a Ph.D. and 20 years of experience. But, there were too many patients that were comfortable in life, but adding a $400/bill a month would throw them into a crisis. So, I have decided to slide my fee to between $60-$100 a session. If you want to come in and are having financial issues I will discuss sliding the scale further for individuals that can show financial hardship (don’t worry that doesn’t mean bringing in your taxes, or personal financial documents. I trust that if we are going to work together that honesty is on both sides).
I take Visa, MC, American Express, Paypal, Personal Check or Cash. Please make sure that we have discussed your financial arrangement before you come in or it will be assumed you will be billed at the full rate. If you forget a session and have not given me 24 hours notice you will be billed. I do understand that there are crises in life that cannot be anticipated, as long as you text or email me the morning of your appointment and tell me a problem could not be avoided and you need to reschedule, I will gladly negotiate with you by just putting you on the book for another appointment. You will not be billed for the appointment you missed.If you are ill, of course I will not bill you for a missed appointment. I have been lucky and rarely had patient’s that “blow me off.” This rule is in tact because of the rare individual that develops a history for “forgetting” her every Wednesday at 12 noon appointment.
I do not bill any insurance companies. I have a lengthy reason for this mostly involved with keeping your issues confidential. However, if you want to go through your insurance I can give you a statement that you can submit to your insurance company. This will have the correct codes which may help you to be reimbursed. If this is important, contact your insurance company and ask if they will cover OUT OF NETWORK THERAPISTS with a Ph.D. Ask them what percentage they cover and how many sessions they will cover (so we make sure we don’t go over). You also might make sure that there isn’t a separate deductible for mental health treatment. I can give you a weekly or monthly statement. You can fax or mail this statement to your insurance company and they should reimburse you if they have agreed to when you call. If you want more information, call or email me and we can discuss what you can do to get reimbursed.
I look forward to hearing from you soon. If calling feels uncomfortable, send me an email from the contact form on the right. All emails are confidential and only read by me.
Dr Karen Hoving