FAQ

This page is for potential client-consumers, who are searching for mental healthcare and life coaching services.  The FAQ process will give you an opportunity to learn about our professional values, and help you evaluate our counseling-coaching services and business practices.  If you have a question(s) that is not addressed below, please contact us in person, or Email Link

Q: Other professionals talk about the client-counselor relationship -- above, why do you use of the word or phrase client-consumer -- that's not typical counseling therapy language?

A: You are right.  Nearly all counseling/coaching/therapy sites utilize vivid-stunning photos/videos, and deeply meaningful emotional-sympathetic-therapeutic language.  There is nothing wrong with this (it's a common practice within the profession).  But, we believe most therapeutic messages fail to recognize, and openly discuss consumer based issues.  To fill that gap, we use the word or phrase client-consumer because (let's be real) you are paying for services with money, while making a large investment in your mind-body-spirit.  Clients that work with us receive plenty of therapeutic language and emotional work.  In the meantime, we simply wish for you:

  • To be well informed clients and consumers -- that's just common sense and good lawful business practice.
  • To recognize that all professionals have a legal and ethical duty to properly inform you of all business practices -- anything less could be misleading, and per state law, potentially unlawful.   

Q: Do you work with women -- I see you market to men or male issues?

A: Yes, we work with all populations, including women.  With women, we have a great deal of experience with issues, such as: Relationship boundaries-mission-values, divorce, parenting, codependency, substance abuse/addictions, domestic violence, identity, career, and life coaching. 

Q: I see you market to men, male issues, and athletes -- why?

A: We work with all populations, including women.  However, as I am a male counselor-coach, many times it is best for male clients to work with the same gender.  Also, I am an ex-athlete, with loads of sport cultural/performance experience, including high school and college -- I work well with athletes, coaches, and athletic families. 

Q: Despite having good insurance, I received a balance bill (a.k.a. surprise bill).  I was informed that my provider was not within my network, so I was responsible for the out-of-network fees.  Do you engage is balance billing?

A1: No.  We have not, and will never engage in balance billing.  We believe balance billing is an unethical and unlawful business practice (i.e., consumer fraud and profiteering).  

A2: Please continue to the next question and answer.

Q: Regarding balance billing, as of January 01, 2022, I understand that all providers are required to provide a good faith estimate for services.  Do you do this?

A1: As of January 01, 2021, there is a new law in the USA -- designed to eliminate surprise bills.  The No Surprises Act (H.R. 133) is a good law, and for the consumer, long overdue.  The law targets all professional entities and other licensed providers that are contracted with insurance companies (e.g., hospitals, surgical centers, ambulatory care/transportation, treatment centers, anesthesiologist, licensed therapist).  The new law requires all entities and licensed professionals to publicly post and review in-network vs. out-of-network fees, and provide a good faith estimate prior to services rendered.    

A2: Since our first day in business, we have never contracted with, or accepted insurance payment (see below).  Our payment system is 100% cash, and because we publicly post our fees, there will never be 1) in-network vs. out-of-network fees, and 2) surprise bills.  Therefore, within the scope of the new law (i.e., surprise bill prevention or consumer protection), the need for us to provide a good faith estimate is mostly not applicable. 

Q: Regarding the new law, surprise billing, good faith estimates, etc., are you saying there are no hidden or extra fees with your services?

A1:  There are zero hidden fees.  The practice of hidden fees (in our opinion) is legal consumer fraud, and violates our ethical professional oath, mission, and values.

A2: We do have other services that may require extra fees (e.g., E.S.A. -- emotional support animal letter).  Prior to any/all extra fee services, we will review and document the service requested and associated fee.

Q: Why don't you take insurance?


A: 
If we accepted insurance, we would only seem to be working in your best interests, but by law, we would be working for and responsible to your insurance company first, with your best interests a secondary consideration.  

Insurance companies do not work for you or for us counselors -- they are profit driven entities that try to control and use you and us for their profit.  Per our mission and values, we are dedicated to working for you, not an insurance company.    

One:

  • At the end of your first session, counselors are forced to diagnose clients via the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.  Forced?  Yes, without a diagnosis your insurance plan does not work, and counselors-therapist do not get paid
  • We believe it is highly unethical to diagnose a client after their first session, and industry reports prove the majority of diagnosis are incorrect.  Reality -- how can anyone truly understand you, your life, and your clinical issues after a 50 minute session?
  • The therapeutic relationship is leveraged and monetized by your insurance provider
  • Documented diagnoses are a permanent record, becoming what is called a pre-existing condition, and could be legally harmful.  Think divorce, future employment, military, education, new insurance provider, or other.  Worldwide, there are documented cases of people being rejected from employment because they sought treatment for minor grief/loss, but were diagnosed with severe depression (the provider makes more $ with a severe depression diagnosis) 
  • In our opinion, diagnosing minors is potentially harmful and questionably unethical.  In nearly all instances, unless there is confirmed biological pathology, this issue speaks to the natural psychosocial-physical-cognitive development process that all humans experience (e.g., defiant teenagers).  Typically, as we age and mature, we outgrow many of theses stage development traits/behaviors.  Also, it is well known that diagnosing minors may cause a negative labeling/stereotype affect, e.g. leading to other maladaptive issues such as learned helplessness, and/or poor coping/resiliency skills.  Lastly, we believe US minors are both over diagnosed and medicated.  It's a new social cultural norm, fueled by a multi-billion dollar industry/system that profits from treating the symptoms, not the cause.  Research proves, especially for depression, that mindfulness based cognitive therapies are as good and/or better than treatment as usual  
  • Cultural needs could be diminished, or entirely ignored
  • We will not engage in hidden fees business practices (e.g., surprise billing)
  • Privacy and confidentiality may not be guaranteed -- data breaches happen all the time

Two:

Here's what happens behind the client-counselor therapeutic scene -- the reality of mental health care insurance, or as we call it, the 'system.'

  • As a client-consumer with insurance, you could be forced to work with a contracted 'in-network' counselor/therapist, i.e. not the most qualified and/or the counselor/therapist of your choice
  • If you work with an out-of-network counselor/therapist, you might receive a balance bill (a.k.a. surprise bill)
  • As a private practitioner or business owner, we are forced to accept the terms/conditions of the insurance companies (e.g., pre-designed limited client treatment plans, periodic audits, and the lowest reimbursement rates for our professional services) 
  • We have to diagnose to get paid, and if our diagnosis do not fit into the formulated 'system,' they are frequently challenged and denied
  • We can spend up to 40% of our time on the phone justifying our diagnosis (i.e., diagnosis and reimbursements effect their profit model)
  • All insurance companies contract with professional services (e.g., physician, dentist, counselor) utilizing a formulae profit model.  In turn, they provide client-consumers an affordable co-pay, yet your treatment plan has already been pre-designed, and most likely capped.  Reality? Diagnose, reimburse the least expensive treatment plan, and get you in and out of therapy as quickly as possible.  It's the main reason why in-network counselors/therapists promote quick fix therapy services (i.e., if a counselor goes beyond the reimbursable treatment plan, and or capped sessions, they do not get paid).  Also, therapy is rarely a quick fix process, e.g. what if you and your family need more sessions, but your plan is capped -- now what?
  • The insurance model pushes clinicians towards a 'quantity vs. quality' dysfunctional business-clinical model.  Therapy becomes a numbers game, e.g. the more clients seen per day, the more likely the counselor/therapist makes money.  It is the number one reason why many clinicians must see a large amount of clients per day 
  • The business-clinical 'quantity vs. quality' issues could lead to poor professional performance, and burn out/drop out rates for counselors/therapists are at an all time high 

Q: Isn't it cheaper to use my insurance?

A: It depends.  Since the beginning of the Affordable Health Care Act, insurance has actually gotten more expensive.  Be informed client-consumers; compare apples to apples (i.e., look at our rates, the quality of care/service, and compare).

Q: Your pricing seems high?

A1: Per our professional and personal values (see mission statement), we created a pricing system that makes our services accessible and affordable (for all people).  

A2: Our pre-paid packages offer deep discounts.

Q: I really want to work with you, but I can't afford you -- do you have other fee options?

A1: Yes, fees are negotiable -- 100% customized to meet your financial needs.

A2: Yes, our sliding scale is a fee system based on financial ability. 

Q: In your mission statement, you mention advocacy -- what do you mean?

A: Think legal, medical, career, divorce, mediation, or other difficult career-life situations.  You could be extremely vulnerable, wrongly influenced, and make poor, uninformed decisions.  We are 100% in your corner, offering emotional support, while ensuring that all stakeholders are honoring and protecting your legal rights (e.g., we may attend legal/court meetings or other).  

Q: Why do you only see up to five clients per day?

A: As a client-consumer, this could be the most important Q/A, secondly only to the insurance Q/A.  
  

We believe seeing more than five clients per day may cause poor counseling-coaching performance, lead to questionable business practices, and is unhealthy for the human mind-body-spirit (don't believe us, look up burn-out rates for counselors). 

A question back to you, "How is it possible to see up to ten clients per day, to be present for each client, write/chart clinical notes required by law, manage communications-appointments-billing, and do this every day, year after year?"

Truth be told, in both public agencies and private practice, there are thousands of excellent counselors and therapists who do just this -- they do it to financially survive in the mental healthcare insurance reimbursement system (i.e, quantity = $$$$).

Bottom line, we made the decision to not participate in the insurance system.  As a result, we are 100% focused on limited, highly exceptional counseling-coaching services.  It's a decision that aligns with our professional values, mission statement, and best serves our client-consumers.   

Q: I see that you are a one counselor or a tiny private practice -- I think I should work with a larger mental healthcare-coaching practice or agency?

A: Bigger does not mean better -- a one counselor or tiny practice could be best for you.

Please thoroughly evaluate all client-consumer options, e.g. we think you should be aware of the following:

Nearly all mental healthcare entities (i.e., small-medium-large; private or public; for profit or non-profit, and now franchise) operate on a volume/quantity business model, i.e. per day, they must see as many clients as possible.  They do so to cover operational expenses, stay afloat in the insurance reimbursement game, and to generate profit.

The volume model generates millions of high revenue dollars each year.  With this money, you may see the best modern office decor, websites, and advertising-marketing programs.  Also, you may see multiple locations, and offices that accept all forms of payment and offer an army of counselors -- serving all populations and mental health issues (i.e., it's the large business/franchise model of mental healthcare).  
     
I have worked at small/medium/large for profit and non-profit mental healthcare agencies.  I have worked with excellent counselors, but nearly all of them are:

  • Over worked -- must see up to 10 clients per day
  • Salaried 40 hours per week employees, but typically work +60 hours and do not get paid over time
  • 1099 counseling contractors with no benefits, and may only earn between $20-$40 per client session (e.g., session fee total is $140 -- the business owner keeps $110)
  • Face daily systemic dysfunction -- burn out and poor clinical performance, absent or poor management leadership-training-development, frequent misdiagnosis and over diagnosis.

PS.  To avoid industry failures, our business model is 100% clinical-client care focused (e.g., we only see up to five clients per day).

Q: Mobile counseling-coaching sounds great, but I am concerned about safety?

A1: If your home environment is chaotic, unsafe or other, you are welcome to visit our private office.  Please contact us for address.


A2: This question is frequently asked by single females, and parents/families.  Regardless of your relationship status, age, or gender, we understand your concerns (e.g., America leads the world in violent crimes and sex assaults).  Here's what you should know about us, and all counselors/therapists:

  • By law, all professional licensed or registered counselors/therapists must pass state and national criminal background checks (Life Coaches are not subject to this law)
  • If a counselor-therapist has a felony on their record, in all 50 states, they can never be a licensed or registered counselor/therapist (Life Coaches are not subject to this law)
  • If an existing licensed or registered counselor/therapist is convicted of a felony, in all 50 states, they are perpetually prohibited from obtaining a license and/or practicing (Life Coaches are not subject to this law)  
  • Prior to admission at an accredited master degree or doctoral program, all potential students must pass state and national criminal background checks (Life Coaches and/or programs,  are not subject to this law) 
  • If your counselor or therapist works at a public or private mental health business/agency, they must pass state and national criminal background checks (Life Coaches are not subject to this law)
  • Outside of their profession, if your counselor or therapist is a volunteer for any state agency, they must pass state and national criminal background checks

✳Read more why mobile counseling is right for you or your family: Advantages of Mobile and Video Counseling and Coaching
 
Q: I like the idea of mobile counseling-coaching and teletherapy, but my home is busy/crazy, or not safe -- what do you mean by meeting at non-published safe location?

A1: If your home environment is chaotic, unsafe or other, you are welcome to visit our private office.  Please contact us for the address.

A2: If for any reason, counseling-coaching at your home is not possible, we can easily rent a furnished office (i.e., the office space is rented by the hour).  Other in-person location options include: Church, police and fire department, library, etc. (additional fees may apply for rented space). 

Q: You offer 60, 75, and 90 minute sessions, but why do other counseling services advertise one hour, yet sessions only last 50 minutes?

A: We are in the same boat -- we do not fully understand the reasoning behind this clinical or business practice.  We believe many insurance providers only reimburse clinicians for 50 minute services. 

Yes, we offer a standard 60 minute service. We also offer 75 and 90 minute sessions.  You pay for what is advertised -- per state law, it is illegal to mislead clients, and/or engage in deceptive business practice.

Q: I live in another state -- can I do online mental health teletherapy, with an out of state counselor-therapist?

A1: Yes -- per state law, only if the counselor/therapist holds a license in the state that you live in.  

For example: A Fort Collins, Colorado based counselor may also be licensed in Wyoming, and practice in Cheyenne (your home town).  

A2: No -- per state law, a licensed or registered counselors/therapists can only provide mental health teletherapy services in their licensing state, where they live and work, and to in-state residents only.  Also, a face-to-face relationship must be established first, and client and counselor must meet face-to-face periodically. The very best example of the mental health video teletherapy law:

  • You and your counselor-therapist live in the same state.  
  • You are a current client, and while you travel out of state for pleasure or business, you are provided the option to continue mental health therapy sessions via digital web based video services 

Disclosure: 1) There are significant legal differences between mental health video teletherapy services vs. life coaching video services, and 2) life coaching services, whether in-person or via video, are unregulated and can be provided to anyone in the USA and world.

Q: Regardless of where I live, it sounds like I can hire you to be a life coach vs. mental health counselor/therapist -- is this true?

A: Yes.  Currently, there are no laws/regulations for coaching.  As a life coach, I can offer services to anyone in the USA and world.  

Q: Can I connect with my counselor/therapist/coach via social media, e.g. Facebook, Instagram or other?

A: The answer is no.  We are your professional counselor-therapist-coach only.  Ethically and legally, via national standards and state laws, dual relationships are strictly prohibited.  If this becomes an issue, we will 1.) politely warn you, or 2.) when appropriate, terminate services.

Q: What if I have a crisis, emergency, or just need someone to talk to, either during or after your posted office hours?

A: We need to draw the line and/or establish professional boundaries.  We do not offer crisis emergency services, nor do we not take calls after hours.  We recommend calling 911, or seek emergency care at a medical facility, or call the crisis #800 listed below.

Q: What is the difference between mental health counseling and life coaching?

A: Some coaches will tell you they're about the same, but there are HUGE differences.  Typically, coaching does not require a high school, undergraduate or advance degrees, such as a master or doctorate.  To graduate from a master or doctorate level program, you must pass a comprehensive exam, and defend your thesis/dissertation. Further, to be licensed and registered in any US state, you must pass state and national board exams, and you must complete 1000 clinical-client supervision hours for PhD and PsyD degree only, and up to 3000 clinical-client supervision hours for master level degree.

Unfortunately, it appears there is a massive wave of 'life coaches' making far reaching, counseling like claims.  For the record, we offer coaching services, so we are not saying coaching is bad -- just highly different and mostly unregulated.  For example: If a life coach offers professional (regulated) counseling services without holding academic credentials or state license, it is not only unethical, but most likely illegal.  

Q: What is a hybrid mental health counselor and life coach?

A: Take the features and benefits of mental health counseling/therapy, now add teaching, mentoring, and active co-participation.  It is a progressive approach that goes far beyond 20th century couch-talk therapy.  Clients love it because your counselor-coach: 
  • Co-participates -- actively teach/guide/mentor/etc
  • Provides experiential learning and being, via a doing process

Q: Can I/we hire you as a life coach vs. a counselor/therapist?

A: Yes.  Life coaching has become popular; however, many life coaches are not trained or legally permitted to perform mental health counseling services.  With me, you get the best of both worlds.  

Q: I see that you have mental health counseling credentials, but no formal life coaching credentials, why?

A: I have audited several life coaching programs.  After a thorough review, I have come to the following conclusions:

  • It is a costly and risky investment because there are no state or national laws
  • Many life coaching programs are not regulated (i.e., little or no state/regional/national standards)
  • Accreditation by International Coaching Federation (ICF) is self-regulated
  • Instructor credentials might be weak or questionable
  • Unlike accredited counseling programs, life coaching programs do not require criminal background checks for students, and possibly employees 
  • Coaching curriculum and certification vs. my life experience and education

Q: What qualifies you to be a life coach?

A: I am a hybrid counselor-coach because I possess:
  • +50 years of real world life experience -- survivor, achiever, etc (ask for details)
  • Advance education-training, with diplomas-certifications
  • 20 years medical product sales-development, and self-employment (equivalent to MBA)

Q: I am a potential female client (e.g., tween, teen, adult).  I have been told it is best to see a female therapist -- is this true?

A: Yes and no. It might depend on the circumstances, including the client's culture, ethnicity, religion, etc.  In the US, female client-counselor relationships are commonly recommended, especially for victims of trauma, such as domestic abuse, sexual assault, and other violent crimes.  There is good reasoning for this, e.g. if the perpetrator was a male, the mere physical presence of a qualified male counselor may cause a triggering negative effect.  However, to answer the question fairly, all professional counselors or therapist are trained to be gender neutral, serving all populations.  In many situations, the presence of a trained supportive male counselor could be extremely beneficial.  For example, there are plenty of male counselors who offer excellent therapeutic support, and also have experience advocating-navigating systems, such as health care, legal, and state/federal social services.

Bottom line, when choosing your counselor/therapist, consider gender, but also be a good consumer -- recognize their professional credentials, experience, and business practices.

Q: Your cash or check only payment policy is inconvenient -- why can't I pay via electronic or digital services?

A: You can pay via electronic or digital, but we do not accept credit card or debit card.  Per HIPAA laws, if you pay via electronic or digital means, there is absolutely no way we can guaranty your privacy rights.  We follow 'best' business practices because, read the following: Largest Data Breach  


Q: Why prepaid session packages -- I have never seen or heard of this?

A: Do you ever wonder why in some industries you receive volume discounts and others you don't?  Why do professionals and tradesmen, such as lawyers, doctors and electricians charge by the hour and offer no discounts -- especially for repeat customers?

We admit our prepaid payment option is atypical for the counseling-coaching industry, but that does not make it wrong.  In fact, it's very much the right thing to do, and it is our attempt to recognize the following reality:

  • Therapy-coaching is rarely a short-term, quick fix endeavor -- growth takes time and hard work 
  • Universal values -- significant relationships, repeat customers, and volume purchases generally receive discounts, rewards, or other forms of appreciation and gratitude 
  • HIPAA compliant and helps facilitate payment of teletherapy services 
  • We want you to be a better you -- we provide a mind-body-spirit-money investment strategy that works for short and long term client-consumers

Q: Why is it called Intake-Treatment service? 

A: We don’t know – that is what it is called in the clinical mental health field.  Simply think of it as a pre-session questionnaire.

Q: The Intake-Treatment service seems lengthy, is it really necessary -- is it optional?

A: It is optional, but highly recommended.  
Before we begin counseling or coaching sessions, we recommend this service because it is a comprehensive mind-body-spirit mental health-life review.  It is the equivalent of visiting a medical doctor for a full exam (i.e., evaluating symptoms, and any illness/disease, etc).  

Once complete, it allows the counselor-coach to better understand you and your issues, and how best to formulate a plan that best meets your needs, and/or increase the likelihood of positive outcomes.  Without this service, your counselor-coach enters the relationship uniformed, and it severely handicaps his/her professional skills/abilities. 

Last, this service may include up to four hours of in-person sessions, and many hours of research and planning.   

Q: Are the posted fees per person or other?

A: Nearly all posted fees are totals for individuals, couples, families, etc.  

Q: What if I purchase a multi-session package and then move or quit sessions?

A: Packages are 1) non-refundable, 2) valid up to 12 months from date of purchase, and 3) transferable to family, friends or other.

Q: What is the difference between a LPC, LPCC, and Unlicensed Psychotherapist?

A: A Licensed Professional Counselor holds a masters or doctorate degree, and has fulfilled all state and national requirements.  

A Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate (LPCC) holds a masters or doctorate degree, and is in the final stages of obtaining full licensure (i.e., all that remains are 2,000 client-clinical supervision hours).  

At a minimum, a California Registered Psychotherapist and a Colorado Unlicensed Psychotherapist only needs to pass the state jurisprudence exam, and is not required to have any academic or clinical training.  

For a full list of credential requirements for LPC, LPCC, Unlicensed Psychotherapist, including MFT, LCSW and more, please visit your state regulatory affairs department or Colorado Mental Health Credentials Requirements

Note: California and Colorado are the only two states that offer Registered Psychotherapist License.

Q: What are the benefits of becoming a LPC, LPCC vs. Unlicensed Psychotherapist?

A: A LPC holds the highest state required credentials, which allows them to work in all public and private mental health care facilities, schools, or other.  A LPCC is afforded similar privileges, so long as their status remains active (i.e., they work under supervised clinical hours).  In public or private practice, a LPC can accept all forms of payment, including insurance reimbursements.

For legal/liability reasons only, 1.) an Unlicensed Psychotherapist is not employable at public and private mental health care facilities, and 2.) in a private practice setting, they cannot accept insurance reimbursement payments.

Q: Why would I work with a Unlicensed Psychotherapist who has little or no academic experience or clinical training?

A: We believe California and Colorado Department of Regulatory Affairs offers a Unlicensed Psychotherapist license because: Many people may have been trained in eastern spirituality and philosophy, or other qualified disciplines.  Even without western academic/clinical training, their expertise as a therapist could be as good, if not better (i.e., there is more than one method to heal and grow).  A perfect example of the law: 

If the Dali Lama moved to California or Colorado, he would legally qualify as an Unlicensed Psychotherapist, not as a LPC, LPCC, MFT, LCSW or other.

Since you may not have access to the Dali Lama or others like him, we believe it is wise to work with professionals who posses the following credentials:
  • Qualified, accredited, and documented eastern and/or western based psychotherapy training
  • Bachelors, masters, or doctorate degrees from accredited institutions
  • State and national exams
  • Advance training, such as EMDR, CAC, LAC, IFS, EFT, or others

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