Common Questions

What exactly IS a Hope Merchant?

The term “Hope Merchant” comes from a trauma informed therapeutic modality called Internal Family Systems or IFS for short. Within IFS and at Hope Merchant Counseling, a big focus is offering hope for growth, possibility, change, and healing. The therapists and counselors at HMC strive to offer that to every client no matter the approach. We believe, that if you’re sitting across from one of us, you want something different, better or maybe even an elevated experience. We’re here to give you that. We’re here to offer you hope and support your journey toward whatever it is you’re in search of.

Do the therapists at HMC offer virtual sessions, in-person sessions, or both?

We offer both! For your safety and ours, we do require that you submit proof of your COVID-19 vaccine and that we both wear masks during session.

What will a session at Hope Merchant Counseling be like?

That is a fair and great question, AND, it just depends. What you can always expect is sacred space held just for you, room to breathe, and an authentic, non-judgmental support. You can expect that your therapist has been carefully interviewed and vetted for the ability to connect authentically, awareness of trauma and trauma informed approaches, and the ability to flex and bend in an integrative and eclectic way which honors your needs.

“Trauma Informed” seems to be everywhere these days–what does that actually mean?

This is such a B I G answer, and there are so many different ways to answer. Trauma informed, through the lens of Hope Merchant Counseling means an integrative, comprehensive, and holistic approach which acknowledges your lived experiences while respecting your window of tolerance and safety. The widespread impact of your experiences will be explored to reduce guilt and shame, without inflicting fear or retraumatization.

I’ve had so many therapy experiences, and I’m so tired of starting over–how will my experience at HMC be different?

First, read the bit about “bandaid therapy” on our home page versus what we do here at HMC. Also, the therapists at HMC have a true passion for helping people achieve their goals, and have the time and capacity to engage intentionally. We offer an integrative approach because we care about all parts of you, and have time and space for emotional health and wellness, training, consultation, research, and thoughtfulness. With all of this, we can do focused, intentional, and meaningful work.

Do I have to be queer to be a client?

Nope! All are welcome!

Why doesn’t Hope Merchant Counseling accept insurance?

In short, insurance is a hassle and doesn’t truly honor your health and wellness. There is a whole bunch more about this on our “Services + Fees” page if you’d like to read on. If you’d like a superbill for reimbursement from your insurance provider we can make that happen! Please know reimbursement is never guaranteed.

You say you support diversity and people of color, but I only see White therapists–what’s up with that?

We hear you! At the moment we are a tiny organization in the process of growing. Our goal and dream is to have people of color, more kinds of queer people, trans people, and lots of different therapists for lots of different people. And, though we (cis-White people currently counseling at HMC) would never pretend to understand fully the experiences of individuals from different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, we can hold space and compassion for your lived experiences as well as your cultural and generational trauma. We also recognize and openly admit our privilege. If it feels safe for you, we want to work with you. We stand with you, we advocate for you, and truly want equity for all. It is our hope, that one day, we will be able to remove this question because of what we hope will be, a highly diverse team. In the meantime, know you’re safe with HMC and know we’re working to create something beautifully diverse.

Why is there so much amplification on your site regarding queer and trans people, and people of color?

Because queer, trans, and people of color are oppressed and marginalized and because these minorities are not treated fairly or equitably. It is important that queer, trans, and people of color know where their safe spaces and resources are. Maybe most importantly, it’s important they know that they are being stood up for. That’s why.

Will our sessions be confidential?

Though we hope you’ll talk openly about how cool it is to have a therapist, and to do the hard things with support, the answer to your question is, “Totally!”. Your privacy, confidentiality, and sense of safety is of utmost importance to us and something we are ethically bound to. It is important to note however, that in the case of child or elder abuse, intent of homicide, or intent of suicide, we are mandated reporters. This means that in these situations, we are required by law to report to the local authorities. In these cases, you will be informed and involved.