F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are some common questions we receive at LightHeart Psychological Associates
Getting
Started
How do I start?

To get started finding a clinician, visit our Getting Started tab and select, Request Appointment. Our Intake Coordinator, Janelle Carmichael, will respond via email to your message within 24-48 hours. Janelle will assist you with finding a therapist who would be a good match, schedule your intake (first) appointment, gather client profile information, and answer any questions you might have. If you’d like to get a head start on finding a possible clinician match, visit the Our Team page. Janelle will then send you an email confirming your intake appointment day and time, as well as digital intake paperwork from our HIPPA compliant platform, IntakeQ. This intake paperwork must be completed at least 48 hours prior to your first appointment so your clinician is prepared for your session!

How do I choose a clinician?

You can visit our website’s Our Team page to read the bios of each LightHeart clinician. You can also visit our Getting Started tab and select, Request Appointment to begin a dialogue with our Intake Coordinator, Janelle. Janelle will help try to 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 have two locations: Anderson Park and Redmond Medical Center.

Our Anderson Park location is 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.

Our Redmond Medical Center location is home to our ARNP, Assessment Center, and many clinicians. This location is also in downtown Redmond near the Edge Skate Park at 8301 161st Ave NE, Suite 202.  There is ample parking in the lot just in front of the Redmond Medical Center. 

What can I expect when I arrive?

At our Anderson Park location, the entrance to our offices is on the side of the building facing 168th Ave NE. Our Client Care Coordinator, Jordan Saunders will be there during standard weekday business hours to check you in for your intake appointment. She will confirm that all of your intake paperwork has been completed, make a copy of your insurance card, and gather any additional information needed. She 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.

At our Redmond Medical Center location, the main entrance faces the Edge Skate Park on 161st Ave NE. Our Client Care Coordinator, Amber Lampers will be there during standard weekday business hours to check you in for your intake appointment. She will confirm that all of your intake paperwork has been completed, make a copy of your insurance card, and gather any additional information needed. She will show you to our cozy waiting area, where you can enjoy a cold or hot beverage while you wait for your clinician. We also offer guest WIFI for your convenience.

Your clinician will greet you on time and show you to their 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 licensing or supervision if appropriate, and discuss a treatment plan with you. Your clinician’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.

Billing
Information
How much does therapy cost?

Depending on your insurance plan’s benefits, the cost can differ from copay to coinsurance. 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 Direct Pay costs for sessions varies based on your clinician’s education level. An intake session with a master’s level clinician is $200 and subsequent 55 minute therapy sessions are $150. With a PsyD or PhD level clinician, an intake session is $250 and subsequent sessions are $175.  

Will insurance pay for treatment?

The majority of our clients use their medical insurance benefits to help cover the cost of psychotherapy sessions. As a group practice, 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 Providence Behavioral Health. However, some clinicians may or may not be in-network with all plans, but Janelle will be sure to let you know of that information.

We do not accept Kaiser Permanente Core, Medicaid, or Community plans at this time. 

Our Intake Coordinator, Janelle Carmichael, will verify your benefits before your first appointment and communicate your expected coverage upon request. Most insurance plans require some patient portion, such as amounts working toward deductibles, copays or coinsurance. If you have questions about your coverage, we will be happy to explain the viewable details and answer any other billing questions you might have.

How does the billing policy work at LightHeart?

When scheduling your intake appointment with our Intake Coordinator, you will have the opportunity to provide your health insurance information (if you choose to use your health insurance). Once your appointment time is confirmed, you will receive digital intake paperwork through IntakeQ, in which clients provide a Credit Card or HSA/FSA card. 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 Department, 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 emailing our Billing Department at billing@lightheartassociates.com.

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 the Client Care Coordinator to give you information about your account or a specific charge. For additional questions, or a statement of your account, including dates of service, charges, and payments, please email our Billing Department at billing@lightheartassociates.com. One of our billing managers, will respond within 24-48 hours with detailed or more complicated questions or concerns. 

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.

About
Therapy
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 (one-on-one, not groups)
  • Acceptance and Commitment therapy
  • Client-Centered, Humanistic therapy
  • Gottman and EFT informed marital therapy
  • EMDR
  • Trauma sensitive yoga
  • Yoga Nidra (guided meditation)
  • Parent coaching
  • Behavior Modification for children
  • Eating Disorder treatment
  • Biofeedback
  • 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 on average 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?

Dr. Jennie Brown is our on-staff ARNP and is accepting new clients, but the availability may be one to two months from your desired timeline.

If you are a current LightHeart client and are interested in Medication Evaluation or Management, discuss your interest with your clinician and get in touch with our Intake Coordinator through your clinician. Your therapist will coordinate care and collaborate with your prescriber with your permission to enhance the quality of your care.

If you are a prospective LightHeart client, please visit our Getting Started tab and select, Request Appointment

Can I contact my clinician directly?

Your clinician will provide their contact information including an email address and a direct phone extension. You can also call our main line (425) 996-8592, Option 1 to be transferred to your clinician’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 clinician is under supervision?

Some LightHeart clinicians 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 clinician will gladly give you any information about their training or licensure process. You may also speak with your clinician’s supervisor if you have any concerns.

What if I don’t want to continue with therapy?

Your clinician’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 clinician. If you are considering or decide to terminate or suspend treatment, please discuss your decision with your clinician so that he or she can bring sufficient closure to your work together. In your final session, you and your clinician 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 clinician 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 clinician 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.

About
Assessment
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 submitting a Request Appointment or by discussing your interest with your therapist, our Client Care Coordinator, Amber Lampers, will touch base via phone or email within two business days of receiving your request. Amber will go through the screening process with you and gather information to pass along to the Assessment Team to best match a clinician with your needs. Our assessment team consists of licensed psychologists and neuropsychologists, as well as psychology interns, residents, and postdoctoral fellows. The clinician will then call to collaborate (initial interview) with you to determine whether and what type of an assessment would be recommended for your or your child. Once you and the clinician decide to move forward, an intake appointment will be scheduled.  

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 the intake appointment. 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 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.

Privacy
And Confidentiality
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 clinicians 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 clinician decide to do, then your clinician 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 clinician any limits to what you would like to be disclosed.

It is often helpful to also allow your clinician to coordinate your care with other health providers, such as primary care physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners and other therapists.

General
Office Policies
What insurances do you take?

As a group practice, LightHeart is 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 Providence Behavioral Health. However, some clinicians may or may not be in-network with all plans, but Janelle will be sure to let you know of that information.

We do not accept Kaiser Permanente Core, Medicaid, or Community plans at this time. 

Our Intake Coordinator, Janelle Carmichael, will verify your benefits before your first appointment and communicate your expected coverage upon request. Most insurance plans require some patient portion, such as amounts working toward deductibles, copays or coinsurance. If you have questions about your coverage, we will be happy to explain the viewable details and answer any other billing questions you might have.

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. The LightHeart practice standard missed appointment fee is $150. 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 clinician and know your clinician’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 (currently on maternity leave), 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.

Still need help? Send us a note or call!
For any other questions, please write us at info@lightheartassociates.com or call us at 425-996-8592
Still need help? Send us a note or call!
For any other questions, please write us at info@lightheartassociates.com or call us at 425-996-8592