F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)
Here are some common questions we receive at LightHeart Psychological Associates
How do I start?
There are several ways for you to begin the process of finding a LightHeart therapist. You can send an inquiry directly through our website or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also give us a call at 425-996-8592 x0. Our Client Relations Manager, Scott Hawkins, will either answer the phone or respond to your message usually the same day or soon thereafter. Scott will assist you with finding a therapist who would be a good match, schedule your first appointment, gather some necessary information, and answer any questions you might have. You may also find information about each therapist on the Team page of the website if you’d like to get a head start on finding a good match. Scott will then send you an email confirming your intake appointment day and time, as well as including a link to complete your electronic paperwork which must be completed prior to your first appointment.
How do I choose a therapist?
You can visit our website’s Team page to read the bios of each LightHeart therapist. You can also just email or call our Client Relations Manager, Scott Hawkins, who will sensitively discuss your concerns and interest in therapy. Scott will help match you with a therapist who accepts your insurance, has experience with your concerns, and has an appointment time available that works for you.
Where are you located and where can I park?
We are located in downtown Redmond near Anderson Park and Redmond Elementary School in a big yellow house. Our address is 7902 168th Ave NE, Suite 101. We have 6 parking spots, including a handicap accessible spot, in the rear of the building marked “Reserved 101”. Please do not park in the residential spots. There is also ample and free street parking surrounding our building if our spots happen to be taken.
The LightHeart Assessment Center is located just a mile away, also in downtown
Redmond near the Edge Skate Park. Our Assessment Center address is 8299 161st Ave NE, Suite 103. Clients who are meeting with our Assessment team will need to go to this annex location. There is ample parking in the lot just in front of the Assessment Center.
What can I expect when I arrive?
The entrance to our offices is on the side of the building facing 168th Ave NE. When you come in, you’ll be greeted by our Client Relations Manager, Scott Hawkins, who will check you in for your appointment. He will confirm that all of your intake paperwork has been completed, make a copy of your insurance card, and gather any additional information needed. He will show you to our comfortable and spacious waiting area, where you can enjoy a cold or hot beverage and browse our library of helpful books. We also offer guest wifi for your convenience.
Your therapist will greet you on time and show you to the office. Your initial appointment with your therapist will involve some discussion of office policies, billing, and scheduling. Your therapist will also discuss and gain your informed consent, meaning they will offer important information about the therapeutic process, share any relevant information about their licensure or supervision if appropriate, and discuss a treatment plan with you. Your therapist’s number one goal is to thoroughly listen to your concerns and goals, and to collaboratively create a plan for your therapy. They will also discuss scheduling and create a plan for ongoing treatment with you.
How much does therapy cost?
For those clients choosing to pay out of pocket for therapy, either due to lack of mental health coverage or to maintain confidentiality from insurance companies, the out of pocket costs for sessions varies based on your clinician. An intake session with a master’s level therapist at LightHeart is $200 and subsequent 55 minute therapy sessions are $150. To meet with a licensed psychologist, an intake session is $250 and subsequent sessions are $175. LightHeart’s owner and clinical director, Dr. Holley Kaskel, maintains a small practice focusing on relational therapy at $200 per session. We also employ psychology interns who are still in their doctorate training and who offer therapy for a significantly reduced fee.
Will insurance pay for treatment?
The majority of our clients use their medical insurance benefits to help cover the cost of psychotherapy sessions. We are in network with most private insurance companies, including Premera, Regence, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, Optum/United Behavioral Health, First Choice/First Health, Kaiser Permanente PPO (and some HMO options), and Providence Behavioral Health. We do not accept Medicaid plans at this time. Our billing manager, Polly Walker, will verify your benefits before your first appointment and communicate your expected coverage and out of pocket cost. Most insurance plans require some out of pocket cost for the client, such as deductibles, copays or coinsurance. Polly will be happy to explain the details of your coverage to you and answer any other billing questions you might have.
How does the billing policy work at LightHeart?
When you complete your initial intake paperwork, you will have the opportunity to provide billing information, including your insurance information and a credit card to cover your out of pocket costs. Clients often choose to provide an HSA debit card or a credit card for this purpose. This information is entered into our HIPAA compliant, encrypted electronic medical records program that manages not just your medical record, but also your insurance claims and patient account. In your treatment contract, you will be asked to authorize LightHeart to take these payments whenever necessary.
After each session, our Billing Manager, Polly Walker, will send a claim to your insurance company. Insurance companies usually respond within 2-4 weeks with payment and instruction on what the patient portion for that session is. You will also receive this detailed information on the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) mailed to you by your insurance company or found on your insurance company’s website. Once we have received this information, we will automatically take payment in accordance with your insurance company’s direction. We will not contact you for permission to take this payment. You can request a statement of your account at any time by speaking with our Client Relations Manager, Scott Hawkins. And of course, Polly Walker is also available to answer any billing questions.
We recognize that our policy of keeping a credit card on file and automatically billing for patient balances on a regular basis may seem to be an unusual practice compared to other healthcare providers you might see. There are some significant advantages to this policy for both LightHeart and you, the client. First, we are cutting down on time spent managing accounts for both clients and our administrative staff. We’ve taken away the need for you to receive a paper bill and then put payment in the mail. Second, we strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible, which includes minimizing our use of paper whenever possible. Third, this policy allows us to take prompt payment in small increments and prevents you, as the client, from building up a significant debt with us, which would have a negative impact on your therapy and your therapeutic relationship.
What if I have a question about a charge on my account?
Anytime you have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can stop by the front desk and ask Scott to give you information about your account or a specific charge. He can also create and print or email you a statement of your account, including dates of service, charges, and payments. Our billing manager, Polly Walker, is also always available to help with detailed or more complicated questions or concerns. Her email is email@example.com.
How can I dispute a missed session fee?
If you have incurred a missed session fee and would like clarification or to dispute the fee, please contact your therapist directly. Each therapist makes the determination about charging a missed session fee according to our cancellation policy. They take into consideration past history of missed sessions and general compliance with therapy, as well as the unique circumstances in each situation.
Generally, therapists are encouraged to waive the fee for a first missed session or for an unavoidable emergency. But they are otherwise required to charge a missed session fee for clients who forget appointments or make scheduling errors that create last minute conflicts. If clients have several missed sessions in a row or regularly cancel appointments, therapists are directed to re-address the treatment plan and possibly decrease frequency of appointments, move to an “as needed” schedule of appointments, or discontinue therapy. Please remember that direct, regular communication about scheduling with your therapist is the best way to avoid misunderstandings and extra fees.
Do you provide reduced fee therapy services?
LightHeart does have graduate interns who provide low fee therapy under the supervision of Dr. Holley Kaskel. This may be a good option if you do not have mental health coverage through your insurance or cannot afford your out of pocket costs. If you are interested in this option for yourself or your child, please contact Scott at 425-996-8592 x0 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What kind of therapy is done at LightHeart?
We are a diverse group of counselors and psychologists who strive to practice holistically and collaboratively. We offer numerous traditional and alternative forms of therapy. The following list is representative but not exhaustive:
- Individual, Relational, and Family therapy
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy
- Cognitive Behavioral therapy
- Dialectical Behavior therapy
- Acceptance and Commitment therapy
- Client-Centered, Humanistic therapy
- Gottman and EFT informed marital therapy
- Trauma sensitive yoga
- Yoga Nidra (guided meditation)
- Kundalini yoga
- Parent coaching
- Behavior Modification for children
- Eating Disorder treatment
- Executive Function coaching
- Psychological and Neuropsychological Assessment
- Consultation with Schools/IEP/504
- LGB and Transgender Support and Education
- Culturally Sensitive therapy
What types of problems do LightHeart therapists work with?
LightHeart’s diverse staff has a wide breadth of experience and expertise. We work with children 5-12, adolescents 13-17, and adults of all ages. To learn more about each of our therapists and their specialties, please visit the website’s Team page to see our bios. We help our clients with a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, mood lability, eating disorders, ADHD, relationship conflict, trauma, life transitions, addictions, behavioral problems, parenting concerns, somatic complaints, work problems, and general feelings of malaise and dissatisfaction.
Our psychological and neuropsychological assessments aim to answer questions about many of the above problems and can provide a wealth of valuable information about your or your child’s cognitive, neurological, emotional, social, behavioral, and psychological strengths and weaknesses. The resulting report offers valuable diagnostic insight and recommendations for various settings, including school, work, social, family, and therapy.
How frequent are sessions and how long will therapy last?
Therapy sessions are usually 55 minutes, although some insurance requires they be capped at 45 minutes. The frequency and duration of your therapy will be determined after you and your therapist have met, discussed your goals, and created a treatment plan. However, the majority of clients attend therapy weekly at least to start. Every client is individual in their goals and needs. Some clients may choose to attend only a few sessions, and others will maintain a long-term relationship with their therapist for several years.
What if I need medication?
LightHeart Psychological Associates does not currently have a prescriber on our staff, although we are actively seeking someone to join our team. Until then, we refer to and work closely with several prescribers (psychiatrists/MD’s and nurse practitioners/MHNP/ARNP’s) in the area. And we’d be happy to provide a referral list for you. Your therapist will coordinate care and collaborate with your prescriber with your permission to enhance the quality of your care.
Can I contact my therapist directly?
Your therapist will give you their contact information including an email address and a direct phone extension. You can also call Scott at the front desk (425-996-8592 x0) to be transferred to your therapist’s extension. If you have an urgent concern, your therapist will respond to you as quickly as possible but if for some reason they don’t, you can always contact the King County Crisis Line at 206-461-3222.
What does it mean that my therapist is under supervision?
Some LightHeart therapists have Associate licenses, meaning they have completed their graduate training but must still gather hours toward their independent license. These professionals meet for regular (weekly or biweekly) clinical supervision with a licensed psychologist on staff who also reviews their cases to ensure the highest quality of treatment. Associates are able to bill most private insurances as part of the group practice. LightHeart associates include marriage and family therapist associates (LMFTA), licensed mental health counselor associates (LMHCA), psychology interns (PsyD students), psychology residents (PsyD students post internship), and psychology postdoctoral fellows (PsyD pre-licensure). Your therapist will gladly give you any information about their training or licensure process. You may also speak with your therapist’s supervisor if you have any concerns.
What if I don’t want to continue with therapy?
Your therapist’s goal is to assist you in obtaining your desired therapeutic outcomes. If you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of your therapy, please discuss them with your therapist. If you are considering or decide to terminate or suspend treatment, please discuss your decision with your therapist so that he or she can bring sufficient closure to your work together. In your final session, you and your therapist will discuss your progress and explore ways in which you can continue to utilize the skills and knowledge you have gained through therapy. You and your therapist can also discuss any referrals needed at that time.
We recognize that it may be difficult or nerve wracking to talk about terminating therapy, especially if you are feeling frustrated or disappointed in the therapy. Please know that every LightHeart therapist appreciates direct feedback and open communication about the therapy process and your experience of it. We aim to make LightHeart a safe space for all clients and to assist every client in getting the most out of their therapy experience.
What is the difference between therapy and assessment?
Therapy involves building a relationship with your therapist in order to address psychological, emotional and relational problems through talking, processing emotion, gaining skills, and building trust in your therapist. Therapy is often a long-term process that depends on the therapeutic relationship being a good fit and your commitment to the process. Therapy can sometimes be challenging and difficult, but those challenges are likely to propel personal growth and healing.
Assessment, on the other hand, is a non-therapeutic intervention in which certain clinical questions are answered through the use of a variety of validated and normed psychological tests and measures. Referral questions often include whether a client suffers with ADHD, anxiety, or learning problems, and can offer guidance about psychological, cognitive, neurological, emotional, social, or behavioral problems. Your relationship with the testing clinician is more formal and does not involve process-oriented therapeutic conversations or appointments. The final report of your assessment is a valuable tool for use in various settings, including academic, professional, social, and therapeutic. It can also offer valuable personal insight and guidance in achieving your healthiest self and relationships.
How do I know if an assessment would be helpful for me or my child?
When you express interest in a psychological or neuropsychological assessment, either through contacting our office directly or by discussing your interest with your therapist, our Director of Assessment Services, Dr. Cyn Clarfield, will contact you to discuss your referral question and interest in assessment. She will collaborate with you to determine whether and what type of an assessment would be recommended for you or your child. Once you and Dr. Clarfield decide to move forward, she will assign your assessment case to one of our Assessment Team members who will contact you to schedule an initial interview. Our assessment team consists of licensed psychologists and neuropsychologists, as well as psychology interns, residents, and postdoctoral fellows.
What can I expect during an assessment?
Once it has been determined that you or your child would benefit from an assessment, your clinician will contact you directly to schedule an initial interview. Your insurance benefits and out of pocket cost will also be estimated by our billing manager, Polly Walker, who will communicate this information to you via email. Assessments are generally covered, at least partially, by most insurance companies.
After your clinical interview, your assessment clinician will create an assessment plan, including a list of tests to be used to address your unique referral questions. They will create an Assessment Agreement which will detail this plan and the related financial costs, which you will review and sign on the day of testing. Payment of estimated out of pocket costs are required at the time of testing and any adjustments to your account will be made at the end of the testing process.
On the day of testing, please be prepared to spend 4-6 hours engaged in various tasks including paper/pencil and computer questionnaires, as well as interactive activities and tasks. Please wear comfortable clothing, eat a sufficient meal with protein beforehand, take your daily medications, and bring snacks. You will be given breaks as needed. (Note about medication: Please speak with Dr. Clarfield or your assessment clinician about your medications. They may suggest you abstain from taking ADHD medications for the purposes of testing.) You may need an additional day of testing, which will be discussed and scheduled with your clinician.
Once all data have been received, including feedback from collateral sources such as teachers, parents, spouses, etc., the scoring, interpretation, and integration of results, as well as completion of the detailed written report of findings will take 6-8 weeks. Once this process is complete, your clinician will contact you to schedule a feedback session to review the results and recommendations. You will be given a copy of the report for your personal records. Requests for additional consultation with schools or other providers should be discussed with your clinician or Dr. Clarfield.
What if I don’t want others to know that I’m in therapy?
LightHeart is bound by the federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) laws that strictly protect your Personal Health Information (PHI). This includes information about what you discuss in therapy, any paperwork you complete, information about you or your appointments, and even just the fact that you are a client here. We are not allowed to disclose this information to anyone without your written permission except in a few circumstances, such as when your immediate safety is in danger, to obtain payment, or to coordinate treatment among providers. You will have the chance to read our privacy policies in more detail when you make your first appointment, and your therapist will discuss confidentiality and its limits during your initial appointment. You may ask any questions or address any specific concerns you may have at that time.
Can I include important people in my therapy?
Yes indeed! LightHeart therapists are focused on honoring relationships of every kind and value the opportunity to meet and include important people from your life into your therapy. If this is something you and your therapist decide to do, then your therapist will ask you to sign a Release of Information (ROI) which will detail who you are giving your therapist permission to speak with. You may also discuss with your therapist any limits to what you would like to be disclosed.
It is often helpful to also allow your therapist to coordinate your care with other health providers, such as primary care physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners and other therapists.
What insurances do you take?
LightHeart is an in-network provider for Premera, Regence, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, Optum/United Behavioral Health, First Choice/First Health, Kaiser Permanente PPO (and some HMO options), and Providence Behavioral Health. Our billing manager, Polly Walker, will verify your benefits and expected out of pocket cost before your first appointment. LightHeart will send claims to your insurance on your behalf and utilizes an efficient billing policy to keep your account organized and up to date. You may ask for a statement of your account at any time by stopping by our front desk or emailing our billing manager, email@example.com.
What is your cancellation policy?
For intake appointments, we ask that you give us 24 hours notice to cancel or reschedule your appointment without incurring a fee. Most of our clinicians also have a 24 hour cancellation policy for all of their appointments. However, some of our clinicians have instituted a 48 hour cancellation policy in order to avoid a cancellation fee. Please be sure to discuss this policy with your therapist and know your therapist’s individual policy. LightHeart clinicians are willing to make exceptions to their policy in rare circumstances, so please discuss your situation directly with your therapist if you would like to ask for a fee to be waived.
Do you provide services in other languages?
Yes, we have clinicians who speak fluent Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu.
What if I have a complaint about my therapist or a LightHeart staff member?
We sincerely hope that you have only positive experiences at LightHeart. Our mission in providing services to all of our clients is to be respectful of human diversity in its many forms, including ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and political affiliation. We also strive to be warm, respectful, reliable, and wise in our delivery of professional therapeutic and assessment services.
However, if you have a negative experience and don’t feel comfortable speaking to your therapist directly, please contact LightHeart’s owner and clinical director, Dr. Holley Kaskel. You can reach her at drholley@LightHeartAssociates.com or 425-996-8592 x700.
If you do not feel that your concern has been addressed properly, you may also file a formal complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services or the WA State Board of Health. You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint. However, we hope to be able to help you resolve your concerns as quickly and satisfactorily as possible.