Frequently Asked Questions
HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR YOU
Q: How often will we meet?
A: Each client’s needs are unique, so frequency of visits depends on your situation. If you are in therapy, we will want to see you weekly or every other week. If you are in crisis, we may meet as often as twice a week until you are feeling better.
If you are seeing Dr. Holt for medication management only, and are stable, you can expect to meet every 1-3 months. Dr. Holt can also work with your primary care physician to facilitate their handling of ongoing medication management and prescribing. This is a new model that many patients prefer as it may be more convenient and/or cost-effective (covered by your insurance).
Q: When do you see patients?
A: Our psychiatric nurse, Becky Orpen, is typically in the office from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday to take your calls and answer your questions. Dr. Allison Holt typically sees patients between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Angie O'Shea, LMFT, typically sees pateints between 10:00 am an 5:00 pm, Tuesday through Thursday.
Q: What if I need to cancel an appointment?
A: Cancellations are accepted up to 7 days before your appointment. After that, you will be charged for your appointment, unless we are able to fill the vacancy with another client (we usually can, with a little notice).
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?A: Cash, check, Visa/MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
Q: Why aren’t you an “in-network” provider for my insurance company?
A: After careful consideration, we’ve decided against working directly with insurance companies as an "in-network" provider. The reason is that insurance companies require in-network providers to abide by rules and limitations regarding treatment plans that we don't feel serve our patients.
Remaining independent allows us to conduct our practice as we prefer. If your insurance company pays for out-of-network providers, we will give you a completed form that you can submit to your insurer for direct reimbursement. We ask for payment at the time of the visit.
Q: How long will I need to be in therapy?
A: Generally, therapy is an open-ended relationship, and we’ll discuss your goals with you at the outset. Some clients reach their goals within weeks or months while others continue the therapeutic relationship for a year or even longer. Of course, the duration of therapy is entirely up to you and you can stop at any time.
Q: Do you exchange information with my other health care providers?
A: We will if it is deemed appropriate, but only with your consent.
Q: What if I need to contact you during non-office hours?
A: Please limit after-hours phone calls to urgent or emergency situations. If your situation is urgent, call the office and leave a message; messages are forwarded and we will return your call as soon as possible.
In an emergency, call 911 or go to your closest Emergency Room. You can also call Hennepin County Psychiatric Services at 612-873-3161. See our Crisis page for more options. If Dr. Holt is out of town or on vacation, she will arrange for another psychiatrist to cover for her.
Q: My child needs therapy; do I accompany him/her? How does that work?
A: A parent or guardian must accompany a child under 18 to all initial sessions with Dr. Holt or Angie O’Shea. Beyond that, you, your child and the therapist will determine how the therapy will be structured. Under-18 patients of Dr. Holt must always be accompanied to appointments by a parent or legal guardian.
Parents are generally included in the sessions of younger children, and are invited to come in at the end of sessions with teens. Clients working with Angie O’Shea will collaborate on what extent a parent or guardian will be involved.
Q: How are parents kept informed of what occurs in a child’s sessions?
A: We offer separate sessions for parents as often as needed. We will not discuss the child’s specific issues, but can talk in general terms. It is important that the child knows that we will maintain confidentiality with their information, even with their parents, so that the child will feel comfortable opening up to the therapist.
One caveat: we will always be specific with parents if we think the child’s life or serious well-being is at risk (i.e., if they are suicidal, homicidal, being sexually or physically abused, etc.).
Q: What’s the difference between a psychiatrist / psychologist / MA / LMFT?
A: Titles and credentials specify a provider’s level of education, training and areas of specialty. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has gone through medical school just as a surgeon or an internist has, but specializes in psychiatric disorders.
Psychiatrists are licensed by the medical board of the state in which they practice and may also be board-certified in their area of specialty (Dr. Holt is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology).
Many therapists are credentialed at the master’s degree level; degrees include LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; MA (Master of Arts) or MS (Master of Science) in Counseling Psychology or Clinical Psychology; MSW (Masters in Social Work); and LSCW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). All require licensure at the state level.
A psychologist is not an MD but holds a PhD (doctorate) in either Psychology or Philosophy and must also pass state licensure exams.