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  • What is "decolonizing therapy"?
    In its development, traditional therapy was founded by affluent cis-het white men with privilege. This ״eurocentric״ (aka white-bodied) and ״androcentric״ (aka male-bodied) view displaces disenfranchised marginalized identities, including women/femmes/gender non-conforming, people of color, and folx with non-heterosexual orientations, to name a few. The term decolonizing in the context of therapy means that therapists and clients critically examine the context of social, political, and cultural influences and its impact on mental health and treatment, including experiences of oppression at all levels, stigma, prejudice, and discrimination on the basis of race, gender, class, nationality or ability status. It means cultivating and protecting the liberty and sovereignty for all marginalized peoples. Decolonizing therapy includes unpacking and deconstructing all the -isms, including rewiring and reprogramming colonial language and behaviors meant to oppress, that could be inherent within a power dynamic, especially between therapist and client. It means dismantling and divesting from the mental health industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, and American essentialism. It's abolitionist in response to crisis that invites in safe supports through community care and investing in mutual aid. Decolonizing therapy means honoring the process of healing by slowing down, being present, allowing emotions and somatic sensations, embodying authenticity and integrity, and resourcing through connection with spirit, the elements, to nature, creativity and community, and much more. Grounded with intersectional feminism, the therapists at Shine and Shadow, LLC, value empowering our clients to define health, wellness, and treatment according to their own spirited nature and their own culture. We are an anti-oppressive practice in the sense that we center healing justice and collective liberation from oppressive forces, and that we actively co-create a better world where all humans, especially the disenfranchised, can thrive and are treated with dignity and respect. We value people-over-profit and aim to practice anti-capitalism values, such as offering sliding-scale fees, payment plans, pro-bono services (aka at-no-cost) on a case-by-case basis, and not utilizing collection agencies for unpaid or overdue balances. To learn more from other POC therapists about decolonizing therapy, check out: Shawna Murray-Browne, LCSW-C Jennifer Mullan, PsyD Akilah Riley Richardson, MSW, CCTP To learn more about healing justice, click here. To learn more about collective liberation, click here. To learn more about anti-oppressive therapy, click here and here. To learn more about abolitionist framework in mental health, click here.
  • How long is the waitlist?
    Both therapists are currently at capacity. Please refer to our resources page to locate other providers, or if you'd prefer to be added to the waitlist, please contact us here. Once an opening is made available, the therapist you've requested will email you for next steps. We offer space on a first-come-first-served basis. Please note that therapy services are available only to Michigan residents. We thank you for your understanding and your patience.
  • What's the plan for in-person sessions?
    We are committed to community safety while we're still in the pandemic, and as such, both therapists are only offering virtual sessions through the HIPAA-compliant software, unless otherwise arranged.
  • What is "therapy shopping" and "goodness-of-fit"?
    Therapy can be a costly endeavor to one's resources including time, energy and money. Therapy Shopping and Goodness-of-Fit simply refers to separately trying out therapy with different providers to determine who's style and what modality is the best match for your care. This decision is mutually made and typically influenced by the therapists' degree and scope of practice, as well as their identity and personality characteristics that make up a unique therapy style. But most importantly, the goodness-of-fit is often felt as truth by the client's feeling of safety and of being genuinely cared for and supported by the therapist. Research shows that the most effective therapy is one in which the therapeutic relationship is the strongest. The second strongest indicator of effective therapy is the client's willingness to change.
  • What's the difference between therapy, coaching and consulting?
    Therapy requires the most extensive requirements for training and licensure in order to ethically and legally practice with clients and to be able to bill insurance companies for reimbursement of services. The therapeutic relationship serves as a reparative emotional experience to help guide the client to owning their own inner wisdom, authenticity, and expertise when navigating through life. The therapy process takes longer because the approach is oriented towards safety for long-term healing and transformation so it is naturally slower because it moves more organically to work on deeper traumas, complex conditions and life challenges, and overall functioning, connectedness, and wellbeing. Coaching and consulting does not require extensive training and is not a regulated profession that requires licensure. However, for folx whom our therapy services is not a good fit for their needs at this time (ex: client moved out of state but wants to stay connected to their former therapist for booster support), then we also offer Non-Therapy Coaching and Consulting services that would entail more structured, solution-focused modalities to achieve specific life goals related to career, academia, coping skills (like time-management), case-management and referral resourcing, support with decision-making and more. Different rates apply for Non-Therapy Coaching and Consulting services. Please reach out through our Contact page to inquire more.
  • Under what circumstances will a therapist refer to another provider?
    This is a case-by-case basis and usually has to do with either the goodness-of-fit between the therapist and the client, or there is a change in the client's life (ex: they moved out-of-state, financial circumstances have changed, or they've reached their therapy goals), or there's limitations of our scope of practice, including the client being in need of different services than what we provide, such as a higher level or more specific care. In these cases, the therapist will work with the client directly to support them in locating another provider and will offer a limited number of support sessions to move through the transition.
  • What specific steps do you take to protect client privacy?
    We only use online platforms that are HIPAA-compliant, which means, they're designed to protect private health information. Our platforms are password protected. We also encourage clients to utilize our client portal for any correspondence related to their care, including billing and sharing references, as we cannot guarantee confidentiality by using gmail. Any physical files are double locked in a file cabinet located inside a locked room. Only the therapists have access to the physical files, however, clients also have the right to access their file upon request.
  • What will you do in the event a client is a danger to themselves or others?
    Both therapists operate from an abolitionist framework, which means that contacting authorities like the police is an absolute last resort. Ideally, clients and therapists would work together to co-create a customized safety and wellness plan that includes a list of names and resources to reach out to for community care. Please note that Shine and Shadow, LLC is not designed to provide crisis support outside of scheduled sessions. If you're in need of greater (intensive) or more frequent care (more than once a week), we would support you in locating another service that could better meet that need. To learn more about abolitionist framework in mental health, click here. To locate community-based alternatives rather than calling the police, click here.
  • How much do services cost?
    Please visit our "Payment​" page.
  • What do clients need to know if using Insurance?
    Right now, Shine and Shadow, LLC is only in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Care Network. This also includes Anthem. To circumvent the possible delay or disruption in starting therapy, clients are responsible for submitting insurance information to their therapist through the client portal at least 72 hours before the first session so that we can call the insurance company and verify coverage including eligibility, benefits, and client financial responsibility (copays and deductibles). The document blow is what's used for the insurance verification process and is required to be completed before the first session, otherwise new clients risk the possibility of paying out-of-pocket if insurance does not cover the service. Scheduled sessions without insurance verification are subject to being cancelled and rescheduled. We thank you for your understanding of this policy. Out-of-network insurance plans would be accepted if the policy includes reimbursement benefits through what's called a Superbill. Please refer to the question in this FAQs section that elaborates on out-of-network insurance benefits and the Superbill.
  • What is "sliding-scale" and how is an amount determined?
    Practicing anti-capitalist values includes making choices as a small mental health business that centers accessibility and people over profit. That said, we are still participating in a capitalist system and are not exempt from our own expenses and financial responsibilities. This still creates tension of a transactional energy within the therapeutic relationship. To off-set this tension, we offer sliding-scale options, rather than a fixed rate, as well as payment plans, to financially empower and protect our clients' right to choose what's most affordable for them, while also honoring our own energy exchange for the service that we provide. Investing in mental health does not have to break the bank. Sliding-scale is determined by the client based on their monthly income that also considers financial privileges and hardships. Clients would not need to disclose these personal details to justify the amount. We would also look into the frequency of sessions to help clients choose an amount that would feel the most accessible and sustainable for their care. Shine and Shadow, LLC sliding-scale rate is $200-100 for 53-minutes, $180-80 for 45-minutes, and $160-60 for 30-minutes. These rates are carefully chosen and are comparable to other private practices. If for whatever reason the above range is not feasible at this time, then please visit our resources page for support in locating other low-cost therapy options. Different investment tiers apply with out-of-pocket pay for the following services: clinical supervision, group therapy, and non-therapy coaching and consulting. Inquire about these services and rates here. To learn more about economic justice and how to determine your amount, click here. To learn more about sliding-scale, click here.
  • What are the fees for a late-cancelation or missing an appointment?
    It's respectfully customary to email your provider at least 24-hours before canceling. Notices made prior to this window are rescheduled with no penalty. Cancellations made after this window but prior to the start of a session incur a $100 late-cancellation fee, or at the sliding-scale rate. No-shows or cancellations made after the start of session incur the full fee of a session at $200. Clients will be responsible for the entire fee if cancellation is less than 24-hours. The missed appointment/late cancellation fee is due within seven days or at the next appointment, whichever is sooner. This policy is necessary because a time commitment is made to you and is held exclusively for you, and without proper notice, the therapists risk a loss of income. Insurance companies will not pay for missed appointments or late cancellations, as no service was rendered. We also understand that things come up, an exception to the requirement to give 24-hours notice will be made the first time it occurs. All subsequent missed appointments without 24-hours notice or late cancellations will be charged the full fee regardless of the reason for the missed session or late cancellation, unless there's been a medical emergency such as illness or death.
  • What is "Good Faith Estimate" and how does that affect clients?
    For clients who either pay out-of-pocket or who do not have insurance to cover therapy, the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is part of a new law called the "No Surprise Act" that the federal government enacted in January of 2022 to ensure that clients understand the costs of their healthcare services ahead of time, thereby reducing the likelihood of being surprised by a massive bill from their provider. The GFE is unique for each client and contains an estimate of the bill for medical items and services. The estimate is valid for one year from the date of the GFE. Visit here to learn more about your rights.
  • What is a "Superbill"?
    With insurance plans that offer out-of-network benefits, a Superbill is a document that we provide clients that shows an itemized list of the dates of service and the receipts of payment for insurance reimbursement. This means that a client who has insurance plan with out-of-network benefits can still see a therapist at Shine and Shadow, LLC, even if this practice is not in-network or paneled with the client's insurance carrier. The client would pay for the full-rate of a session and then submit the Superbill to their insurance carrier, along with any other paperwork needed by their insurance carrier, to eventually receive reimbursement for the service. To learn more about Superbills, click here.
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