FAQ

Where are you located?

Our office is off of 35E approximately 1.5 miles north of 694. The simple directions are to take 35E north, pass through the 35E/694 commons, and exit on Hwy 96 (between Vadnais Heights and White Bear Lake). Turn left/west on HWY 96, cross over the highway and turn left again on Centerville Road. Turn right in about 200 yards onto Centerville Circle (just after the Culvers). We are located in the left hand building, directly across from Culvers. Our address is: 1056 Centerville Circle, Vadnais Heights, MN 55127.

What is therapy like?

Therapy is developed specifically for the individual, couple or family. Generally, it involves talking, but could also include art, music, mindfulness skills and play (for children), and hypnosis. The actual therapy session depends on each client's goals. Parker Collins therapists are very attuned to helping develop your own goals for therapy.

Clients work with a licensed and trained therapist who may guide, educate, and/or support them on a journey to living a happier life. Therapy is different for each person. For example, a child who has experienced trauma might come in to therapy and use play therapy or EMDR to process the trauma. An adolescent might come in for self-esteem issues, depression and/or anxiety and will likely do talk therapy with a trained therapist who is experienced working with various methods to address the symptoms. For families who might be experiencing distress due to grief, loss or trauma, the therapist will likely take family history into account and work with the family on facilitating change.

What is trauma focused therapy?

When working with these more complexly organized clients, Adaptive Internal Relational (AIR) Network is mandatory for safety and dual attention to be mastered. Interactive Adult Awareness is a critical piece of the AIR Network that must be developed for healing to occur. Most of the Advanced Resourcing Strategies initially focus on building clients’ abilities to develop an internal stance where there is at least a neutral noticing and awareness. Overtime, these internal relationships move towards more cooperation and caring, which allow them to also connect externally without violating themselves or others.

What is trauma?

We use the word trauma to describe situations or experiences that are emotionally painful or threatening and that overwhelm one’s ability to cope, often leaving one feeling powerless. For children, simply witnessing their parent or caregiver experience trauma can be traumatic. Common diagnosis for individuals that develop symptoms from trauma include PTSD, depression, and chemical dependence. Trauma may be either physical or psychological.

What does “evidence based” mean?

Basically, all therapists are trained to provide therapy interventions that has research showing they might actually work. There are many ways to refer to therapy that has good research showing it generally works including: “evidenced based,” “supported by research,” “empirically supported,” and more. Generally, evidence based therapy has a large number of research studies, possibly thousands, and when added up, the proven therapies should have numbers that show it works more often than not, maybe as high as 70% of the time for very well proven therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy. If a therapist proposes a promising but not proven therapy, this should only be because proven therapies haven’t work or don’t fit with the particulars of your situation. He/she should get special permission to use promising therapy interventions. Unless you are at a university or other research facility, you probably should not participate in unproven therapies.

Do I really need therapy?

Some people make this decision for themselves. Some may have loved ones that suggest they see a therapist. Some may be court ordered. A good gauge for determining is if you find yourself not enjoying the things you used to do, if your work and/or personal life is being effected, or if your relationships are deteriorating. Click to try the following screener. If you score yes to the majority of the questions, it may make sense to schedule a therapy appointment. Your therapist will help you with a clinical evaluation.

What should I expect at my first appointment?

The therapist will go over initial paperwork with you, so please bring your insurance information. Photo ID is not required but insurance information is. Our office staff or therapist will verify your insurance is active. Then, the therapist will gather basic demographic and family of origin information and assess your physical and mental health history. For some people, this initial assessment is difficult because the questions will bring up difficult memories. For others, it may be easy.

Should I engage in individual, couples, or family therapy?

This of course depends on the nature of the challenges you are facing. It is common (and required) at Parker Collins when working with your child (under 18), the parents or guardian become involved in the therapy process. If the major challenge is between two or more people, then couples or family therapy may work best. If only one member of a family has symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger, acting out behaviors or other concerns, then individual therapy may work best. It is common to participate in multiple forms of therapy in order for all goals to be met.

How can I be involved as a parent in my child's therapy?

At Parker Collins, we often insist that parents are involved in their child's therapy. We are by no means interested in blame but only in solving problems. Because a child is naturally attached and dependent on their parents, it is often through this attachment that we can help you help your child. We may request family therapy or parent sessions in which we can explore, problem solve, and develop strategies that a parent can implement at home and at school. We firmly believe in supporting and assisting parents.

What is play therapy?

Play for children is serious business. It is through play that a child learns, grows, and processes difficult emotions. It is through play that we can better understand a child's needs. While many children have precocious language skills, it is their behaviors that speak volumes of their needs. It is through play therapy that we can help a child process his/her feelings, understand their behaviors, and get their emotional and therapeutic needs met. Play therapy matches a child's socio/emotional developmental needs. Through play therapy a child can learn to communicate better, manage feelings, understand behaviors, solve problems, and heal through painful experiences.

How is therapy different for adolescents?

Life as an adolescent can be very challenging – therapy for adolescents can be even more challenging. Teens are pulled in many directions. Parents, peers, coaches, teachers, boyfriends/girlfriends, and others all have an interest in influencing teens. At Parker Collins we recognize that a teen deserves respect as an adult while allowing for the teen to still be a kid. The teen needs a level privacy to feel safe to open up, a straight forward, honest, and open book approach, and an acknowledgement that the teen's goals for therapy are of the highest importance.

What does Dr. Hill mean by "Dude Therapy?"

I have received feedback from men and boys that traditional approaches to therapy do not always fit what men feel comfortable with. Asking many men to share their feelings is akin to asking them to streak down the street naked – something most of us feel is quite inappropriate. I believe it is important to not only deliver therapy according to a person's culture, in the common sense, but also respect that men have a culture of their own. Language, space bubble, thinking styles, and other factors can be different from a masculine perspective. The approach at Parker Collins is to understand and respect that masculine perspective. While we should always be held accountable for our behaviors, a compassionate approach to understanding masculine feelings, aggression and impulses are also important. "Dude Therapy" is all about increasing skills for understanding and managing both emotions and behaviors, improving relationships, becoming more nuanced and skilled when relating, and most importantly not losing the essential and wonderful traits that make us masculine (men, boys, and otherwise).

How do I pay for services?

We are contracted with most major insurance companies located in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area. We have a limited sliding fee scale for cash clients and take most major credit cards.

What about emergencies?

We have limited availability for after-hours support and will work with each client to develop a safety plan. We will answer crisis level voicemails on a daily basis. However, if you are experiencing an emergency we ask you to call 911 or the Crisis Line at 612-379-6363. You may visit Canvas Health or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.

How soon can I see a therapist?

You can often be scheduled for an intake appointment within a week of calling. A permanent weekly spot may not be available depending on openings and our wait list. Please keep in mind that evening and weekend appointments are very popular and we maintain an internal wait list for these spots for current clients. If our wait list keeps you waiting too long, a therapist at Parker Collins will be happy to answer questions over the phone and assist with referrals to other providers.

What is Dual Diagnosis and how does it relate to chemical dependency?

It is fairly common for someone who has a mental health disorder such as Depression or PTST to have a chemical use or dependency problem as well. The research shows that over half of chemically dependent individuals also have another co-occurring mental health disorder. When mental and chemical health disorders are both present, it is called dual diagnosis. When treating dual diagnosis, it is important to treat both at the same time as they have a tendency to be connected. For example, if an individual’s chemical dependency is treated to remission, underlying depression may cause a later relapse in chemical use. This can occur in both directions or new addiction disorders may pop up. In order to avoid unnecessary re-occurrences of mental or chemical health disorders, it is important that your therapist is trained in dual diagnosis appropriate approaches.

What is AIR Network?

Adaptive Internal Relational (AIR) Network therapy, is a form of therapy designed for complex trauma presenting with dissociation. In plain words, it was developed for individuals who have a repeated or intense psychological trauma history. The AIR Network model is a neuro-developmental, competency-based model of therapy developed by trauma experts and is primarily oriented toward giving people the freedom to engage fully with themselves and in relationships with others. Clients who live with complex neuro-dissociative states, a developmental-neurological organization of experience, have very different relational and therapeutic needs from those who have trauma histories without more complex types of dissociation.