Frequently Asked Questions


I cannot afford to pay for counseling, and Hope Haven Counseling does not take insurances at this time, what options do I have?

Hope Haven Counseling offers a sliding fee scale for clients. If you are interested, there is a financial hardship form to fill out to request a sliding fee rate. Heidi also can provide clients with a super bill for their insurance company if they wish to seek reimbursement. Lastly, Heidi works with third party payers such as an individual’s church or relatives if there is a third party who can pay for counseling.

Can EMDR help me process the death of a loved one?

EMDR cannot take away grief and loss; however, it may provide someone space to process through traumatic aspects of the death (if any), secondary losses, regrets, unfinished business, etc. Grief itself lasts a lifetime, but is changes over time, and the individual can learn how to integrate grief in a meaningful way.

How long are therapy sessions?

Typically sessions are 50-60 minutes; however, if someone is doing EMDR or another trauma therapy modality, then sessions will usually run for 75-90 minutes. Longer sessions are to ensure that clients may have a good amount of time processing and an adequate amount of time to decompress before leaving the office. Children under the age of 12 may only be able to maintain focus for 20-45 minutes, but the therapists will make use of extra time to check-in with parents/guardians or to provide parent support.

I need medication management, can you prescribe?

Hope Haven Counseling cannot prescribe any medication or recommend any medication as it is out of the scope of the practice. Hope Haven Counseling will make referrals as needed and coordinate care as needed with other providers including providers prescribing medications.

I want to do trauma therapy, but I do not want to do EMDR, what else can you offer me?

We offer other modalities for trauma therapy including Common Elements Treatment Approach, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (for teens and children). We also integrate creative experiential techniques into our evidenced based models to help clients process in different ways such as through sandtray, play therapy, music/art, etc. Therapy is individualized to meet the needs of the person.

I am currently thinking about suicide, what should I do?

If you are thinking about suicide right now, please do not wait to get into a counseling appointment, reach out for support right now. Call 9-8-8 or go to the nearest hospital. Once you are in counseling, we will talk to you about your suicidal thoughts. It is important to us that you know that there is nothing to be ashamed of if you are having these thoughts. If you are feeling this way, it is likely because you are feeling alone, in pain, and/or feeling hopeless. You matter and we want to walk alongside you as you work though the things contributing to these thoughts. We can help you hold hope until you find hope.

Do you offer telehealth services?

Yes we do offer telehealth services, but only after consulting with you to make sure that is an option that will work for your needs. We also can offer a mix of in-person and telehealth so people can keep appointments even if there is bad weather conditions, illness, or other barriers to coming in-person. If possible, we do request the intake evaluation be done in person.

What do I have to do to start counseling?

To get started, contact Hope Haven Counseling to set up a free 15 minute consultation or to schedule an intake appointment. In the intake appointment, you will receive paperwork including: counselor disclosure and informed consent, privacy practices, client rights and responsibilities, payment agreement, financial hardship application, and an intake questionnaire. Heidi will meet with you to hear your story and to talk with you about your goals. The intake is the appointment that helps you decide if it is a good fit and what type of interventions you can try to meet your identified needs. If something is out of the scope of practice, Heidi will refer you to get those specific needs met with another provider.

I have Washington Apple Health (Medicaid), why can’t I just pay for counseling myself.

Technically, you can request to pay out of pocket for counseling, but there is a risk of you losing your eligibility with your insurance if you choose to pay out of pocket. We will not accept private pay for clients who have Washington Apple Health because we do not want to risk you losing your health insurance. We do have some pro-bono spots from time to time that you can ask about or we can find you a counselor who can bill your Washington Apple Health Plan.

I was referred for EMDR to work through my trauma; what is EMDR?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is therapy model which allows people to intentionally process single traumatic events, complex trauma, phobias, physical pain, other distressing experiences, and much more. EMDR utilizes a bilateral stimulus, usually a light bar or tappers. While an individual is targeting an experience, they sit with feelings, beliefs, body sensations, images, and thoughts connected to a memory, and they are guided through processing the whole experience. The narrative of the experience often shifts with EMDR. For example, if someone who was abused believes it was their fault, then after processing the abuse, there is often a new belief that replaces the old belief such as “I am not responsible.” What makes EMDR different than other types of trauma therapies is that often the person’s narrative changes about what happened and the new belief/new narrative feels true, whereas simply reframing thoughts often misses addressing the physical and emotional aspects of what drives the belief in the first place.

I will be seeing a counselor intern, will they be able to help me?

All of the interns at Hope Haven Counseling are supervised by Heidi. The client charts, treatment plan, progress notes, and ongoing needs are monitored by Heidi. Interns are in their second year of graduate school, and they must be meeting all of the requirements of their counseling program to remain interns with Hope Haven Counseling.

How long will I need to be in counseling?

Duration of counseling is different for everyone. It depends on many things including the client’s goals, severity of distress, support system, type of therapy, and the readiness to do the work needed to achieve counseling goals. Complex trauma often requires a longer duration of counseling.

I had a bad experience in counseling in the past, how will this be any different?

It is important to understand your past counseling experiences, and we want to make sure we are very transparent and honest about what we can and cannot offer you. We will let you know if there are better options for counseling than what we can offer you and/or we will work in tandem with other counselors you may have or need. You have the right to end counseling at any time, and we encourage you to give us feedback about what is going well and what is not going well. We are human too, so sometimes we make mistakes, and we need to repair and try again.

I do not want my parents to know I am seeing a counselor, what do I do?

In Washington State, teens age 13 and over have the right to consent to mental health counseling on their own. The parent(s)/guardian(s) will not be involved without the written permission of the client through a release of information form. If a teen age 13 and over is using their medical insurance to pay for services, that may potentially alert the parent(s)/guardian(s) that counseling is taking place, but they still cannot access the record. In cases of imminent danger to self or others, parents will be informed but only about information necessary for safety.

Do you take medical insurances?

Currently, Hope Haven Counseling does not take insurances, but we are in the process of trying to get on some insurance panels. If you need to go through your insurance, it is best that we give you a referral to a place who can take your insurance from the start as we cannot guarantee we will be able to take your insurance in the future.

I do not live in Washington; can you see me over telehealth?

We may only see clients who are physically in the state of Washington at the time of the session. This is because Heidi’s counseling license is only for Washington State. If you live in another state, and wish to drive into Washington for appointments, that is an option.

What are the risks and benefits of counseling?

Counseling may bring up distressing feelings and memories, especially with trauma work. You may feel worse when you start counseling. In our experience, most clients who stick out the process do start to report improvement in time, and they report a decrease in distress and disruptive symptoms. There is also the risk that counseling will not get you the results you want. There are many reasons for this, but we cannot guarantee any specific outcomes. Relationships may also be disrupted by counseling, especially if you start to grow and make changes while the people in your life do not work on things on their end. Benefits of counseling include improved self-confidence, clarity about values and how to live in harmony with your values, relief of distressing symptoms, increase in ability to experience joy and pleasurable feelings, new skills for communicating and regulating emotions, changing undesired behaviors, increased self-awareness, and/or improved relationships. There is also the benefit of learning to successfully manage your own mental health and healing.

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