FAQ

Where is your office located?

We have 2 locations!

Shelly: 1325 S. Colorado Blvd. Suite 604 Bldg. B Denver, Colorado 80222

Virginia: 3600 S. Yosemite Street, Suite 1050 Denver Colorado 80111

Why do you specialize in blended/stepfamilies and divorce issues?

Because we both are members of blended families ourselves and we know personally how challenging things can get.

Do you only see clients who are affected by divorce?

No! We have experience working with people ranging from kids to seniors and everything in between. We specialize in people whose inner critic can get pretty loud, causing unnecessary suffering. We also work with grief, teen issues, school struggles, anxiety, depression, ADHD, body dysmorphic disorders and issues associated with infertility.

What are your fees?

Our standard rates are:
$130 per 50-minute session
$190 per 75-minute session

Our initial intake appointment is a 75-minute session as we have a lot to cover!

Do you take insurance?

No, we do not take insurance. However, we are considered “out of network”. We can provide you with a superbill with the necessary information for you to seek reimbursement.

Insurance companies require your confidentiality to be broken which violates the foundation of the therapeutic relationship between you and your therapist. Insurance companies also require a diagnosis a mental health disorder which can impact YOUR future. In our opinion, life tends to have high’s and low’s and seeking help shouldn’t affect your medical health record.

As you can see, we VALUE confidentiality and disagree with health insurance industry’s perpetuation of the stigma of mental health issues.

How will therapy help?

Often, we are STUCK on a hamster wheel of the same old thoughts. Maybe you have tried to change your thoughts, behavior and the negative impact all this has on your life. This is a great place to start!

Change… that is the goal, right? We work together to better understand the places and spaces you get stuck. We go under the surface and gain some understanding for why they exist. Once we uncover the patterns keeping you stuck, we work to create change. That’s how therapy helps!

In families and couples, our happiness and feelings of security come from our relationships. We get caught in patterns or ways of relating to each other which become automatic and unhelpful. Most of the time on the outside our partners or family members see something different than what we are feeling on the inside. Once we uncover these patterns, we work together to create positive change which creates a ripple effect in our relationships.

Why is it so hard to make the phone call?

Because picking up the phone acknowledges you need help getting unstuck. It doesn’t feel super good to say out loud. We get it. It’s not easy but it’s so courageous. It’s the voice inside screaming at you to do something because you so desperately want change. Listen to it! If it’s extra hard, send an email and we can communicate that way.

Some of my clients think of therapy like they do a gym membership. We know exercising is good for our bodies. It’s important to be consistent and to eat healthy. We love this perspective. Therapy is taking care of your thoughts, exploring insights and developing awareness. It’s getting along better with the people you love. This keeps you the BEST version of YOU!

Why is it important to come regularly at first?

Great question! Therapy works the best and quite honestly the fastest when we spend consistent time together. We work together to understand what’s really going on; what’s happening on the inside and the outside, and what destructive pattern you might be stuck in. Once we make sense of it and create change…. YOU feel better faster! It is a commitment but one we think you won’t regret!

What types of therapy do you use?

We use a variety of models of therapy, including Emotionally Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy.

What will therapy be like?

First and foremost, you will feel safe. We don’t judge.

Accepting you, exactly where you are, is our job and we are honored to meet you there. Your struggle will make sense to us. We will never try to make you say or do something that really makes you uncomfortable. We will ask questions that will help you gain insight into why you feel, think and act the way you do, and why your spouse or children act the way they do. We will talk, laugh and sometimes cry. You will feel like you have someone on your side that’s really invested in your happiness.

If you are coming in for couples or family therapy, are you concerned that things might get particularly contentious during therapy? Don’t be. We are highly skilled at diffusing the bombs and calming everyone down. We can help you have those difficult conversations without spinning out of control. You aren’t paying us to watch you have the same old argument you do at home. And, we never take sides (even if you wish we would!). We believe negative patterns between people are to blame, not people themselves.

Who is Shelly?

My younger clients tell me I am kind and funny (thank goodness someone thinks I am) with cool toys. My more adult clients say I am genuine, insightful and “get them”.

My family knows me as hard working, fiercely loyal and love deeply. My friends say I am kind of silly, ridiculously honest, love to laugh and always look for the good in people and situations.

My Midwest upbringing instilled a sense of values for which I am grateful for. My true love is being in the wild west and the great outdoors. From rock climbing, hiking 14ers’, running marathons to CrossFit, I feel most alive when I am pushing my comfort zone. I think it is one of the reasons why I love the work of therapy…discomfort is the precursor to change!

What makes Shelly UNIQUE as a therapist?

I like to think is that life has brought me many challenges, some which were so painful, some less so but all has given me a new perspective on living.

I’ve lived through divorce, single parenting, remarriage, step parenting, co-parenting, blended family and all the variations in between. I think it gives me a unique perspective to have lived it in addition to being overly educated in human behavior, social work, and marriage and family therapy.

Earlier in my career my work was with kids and parents who were placed in the foster care system. I learned from experience and education how important our relationships truly are.

Many of these important decisions end up in the legal system; a system not designed to value relationships. My social work passion sent me into the court room to advocate for kids in child welfare and as an investigator for children and families going through divorce.

No one ever told me I was going to be a statistic of divorce, nor would I have wanted to hear that. We don’t learn how to be in relationships in school and we sure don’t’ get a lesson in how to create a healthy co parent relationship after divorce. This is the therapy I love to do. It’s hard to see the pain, the hopelessness, but also so rewarding to see change that is like an avalanche and makes life brighter.

I feel honored and humbled TRULY to be part of your journey. I know how many times I would have liked someone to “get it” without having to feel so much shame.

Check out my BIO for all the education stuff. For me, it is more about finding the right fit for therapy than the education!

Most important of all…. If you have a sweet tooth like myself, you will be happy to know something sweet can always be found in my office.

Who is Virginia?

I’m originally from Minnesota, but I’ve been in Denver since 1991. I’m remarried with two kids, one from my previous marriage and one from my husband’s previous marriage.

I love live music, theater, traveling to old places and sitting on my back porch with a glass with wine and a novel. (Ok, that wine/novel/porch thing never happens, but if it did I would love it.)

I like movies, but not big blockbuster types – I’m more into movies about regular people living the drama that makes up this life. I’m trying to improve as a skier, and my kids just upgraded me from “beginner” to “intermediate”, so I suppose that’s progress.

I have extended family in the area that I mostly love; when they are not driving me insane. (See, family is hard even for therapists.)

What makes Virginia a unique therapist?

My clients have described me as sincere, down to earth, and quite persistent in working towards positive change in their lives. Like my partner, Shelly, my own personal experience with divorce, single parenthood, remarriage and blending a family informs my work as a therapist.

Our families are different than traditional families and they need to be treated differently in therapy. We are complicated in so many ways: we have ex’s with their own agendas, step-relationships, and kids coming and going, just to name a few.

I know your time is valuable and want to make our sessions as productive possible. So, before each session, I will already have a goal in mind based on what you want to accomplish in therapy.

Much of what we will do together involves me helping you communicate more effectively with your spouse or family member so you experience less anger, hurt and anxiety. We will slow things down, figure out exactly where things go wrong, and I will help you begin to try something different; something that brings you closer together and helps you feel more understood.

If you are interested, my credentials can be found on my bio page.

I want you to really enjoy the people you love. Couples and families spend a lot of time together, right? Why not enjoy it? (Profound idea, I know.)