Sarah Shapiro

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Name: Sarah Shapiro, LCSW
Name of Practice:
Address: 703 3rd Ave, Suite 204, Longmont CO 80501
Phone: 720-789-0761
Mental Health Degree/Licensure/Certification: MSW, LCSW

Does your practice accept private health insurance payment? Consumers are advised to contact their insurer regarding insurance coverage for a specific provider.

What types of public insurance do you accept, if any?

Please explain insurance limitations, if any.
I have applied to United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna, and Anthem but am not yet approved as a provider with them. Likewise, I am in the process of applying to accept Medicaid, but have not yet been accepted. I will update my website and Psychology Today profile as soon as I am approved as a provider for any/all of these insurance companies.

Do you have a sliding scale for patients with limited resources?

Please estimate the number of clients you have worked with in each of the following categories:
Trans Children: 0
Trans Youth: 5
Genderqueer and Gender Non-Conforming: 2
Trans Women: 0
Trans Men: 0
Trans Elders: 0

Do you specialize in particular health issues (e.g. gender identity, trauma related depression and anxiety disorders, autism spectrum, etc.)?
Yes. I specialize in helping clients with the following diagnoses: anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADHD. In non-diagnostic terms, I focus on: identity development (particularly but not exclusively gender and sexuality), religious trauma and healthy spirituality, and chronic health issues.

Please describe your level of experience (e.g. years, training, etc.) in working with Trans and Gender non-conforming clients.
I began learning about trans issues through an LGBTQ+ organization I joined in college (2003-2007), where several of the group’s leaders were trans. My interactions with these friendly, courageous, and smart people inspired me to educate myself on trans issues, which I did by seeking out trans voices in writing and other media. When I decided to pursue a graduate degree and career in therapy, I chose a program that prioritizes understanding the client in terms of their individual identity and the systems they reside in. Nearly all of my classes incorporated race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and other facets of client identity into our readings and discussion. In my internships, I worked with trans and gender non-conforming teens and young adults (at an alternative high school and counseling center, respectively). My internship with the counseling center including a day-long training in gender identity and expression through a local (Boston) advocacy organization. Since graduating with my Masters in Social Work in 2015 and moving to Colorado, I have primarily worked in a residential program with youth ages 11-17, including several trans youth. As part of this job, I completed a day-long training in working respectfully and effectively with trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming youth put on by Rainbow Alley. I was delighted to find that I was well-versed in much of the day’s material, but still learned some new things. I am always interested in learning more and open to having my biases challenged, but will never, ever expect my clients to be the ones to educate me.

Please describe your treatment approach (e.g. cognitive behavioral, experiential, body-centered, DBT, etc.).
I primarily use motivational interviewing, narrative therapy techniques, and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) concepts. I also do a lot of trauma-informed grounding activities with clients. I prefer to work collaboratively with my client to determine what types of interventions will be most helpful. I particularly like narrative therapy because it’s so useful in identity development work–we tend to think our problems or challenges are an intrinsic part of who we are, and narrative work allows us to separate the person from the problem, which makes room for growth and joy.

Do you provide single case assessments (for individuals not seeking ongoing psychotherapy) and, as appropriate, letters of eligibility for hormone therapy and gender related surgeries?
Yes. I believe any client pursuing a letter of eligibility for hormone therapy or gender-related surgery knows their own mind and identity. I am open to single-case assessments on a case-by-case basis, depending on the individual client’s history, current situation, and other factors. I would require at least one face-to-face meeting, and would strongly urge the client to have an ongoing relationship with another therapist (if not me) in order to ensure they are adequately supported.

On average, how many sessions or hours of assessment do you require to assess eligibility for:
Hormone Therapy: 1-5
Chest Surgery: 1-5
Genital Surgery, if primary letter writer: 1-5
Genital Surgery, if secondary letter writer (when 1st letter writer is written by client’s primary/ongoing psychotherapist): 1-2

How do you assess readiness for Hormone Therapy and/or Surgery?
Clinical interview, Collateral contacts

If there have been cases in which you have determined that a client does not meet eligibility requirements for hormone therapy or gender surgery, what are the criteria under which you have denied a request for a letter (or cases in which you anticipate that you would deny a request for a letter)?
If I had a strong clinical reason to believe the client was not able to make informed decisions at the time, I would advise delaying the letter.

Does a coexisting mental condition preclude providing the client with a letter?
No. There may be mental health symptoms that preclude providing the client with a letter at a particular moment in time, such as psychotic symptoms or a manic episode, but as long as the client is able to make their own informed decisions, I would not deny a letter based on a coexisting mental health condition.

Does your practice have inclusive paperwork (e.g. list more than male and female gender options, allow a place for preferred name, etc.)?
Paper files that are inclusive: Yes
Electronic health records that are inclusive: Yes

Does your practice have a system for recording preferred name and pronoun of patients and communicating that to staff, especially scheduling/appointment staff and reception staff?

Does your practice have all-gender or gender-neutral restrooms?

Do you have anything in your physical environment that would be welcoming to a Trans person, such as brochures, pamphlets, magazines, pictures that relate to Trans people and/or Trans issues?

Does your practice have an inclusive non-discrimination policy that includes gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation?

Do you have a way of protecting the confidentiality of a patient’s Trans status?
Yes. I am the only person with access to my records. I may verbally share information with another therapist for consultation purposes, or may share billing-related information with the client’s insurance company, but a client’s confidential information is kept between the client and me.

Have you or your staff attended training or had other education on providing services to Trans patients?
Person responding to survey: Yes
Other Clinical Staff: No
Scheduling/Appointment Staff: No
Reception/Front Office Staff: No

Please describe the training noted above, if applicable.
I have participated in two day-long workshops on providing mental health services respectfully and effectively to trans and gender non-conforming clients, one in Boston, MA in 2014 and one in Littleton, CO in 2016.

Do you have any concerns about the experience level of intake staff that could create an uncomfortable situation for trans clients? If so, is there someone the patient could contact to assist?
No. My practice is just me, no intake staff or others. The other therapists I share space with are informed and respectful regarding trans issues. If any client has concerns regarding an experience they have in my waiting room or elsewhere in my office building, I encourage them to alert me immediately so that I can intervene.