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Diversity Statement

July 25, 2023


At HigherChange, LLC, we are proud to be a family therapy and coaching practice dedicated to serving individuals, couples, and families from all walks of life. Our motto is “Acceptance First,” which means we love and accept all people as they are, even when we may have different beliefs and standards for ourselves. We are passionate about advancing equal opportunity, and diversity. The founders, Dr. Thomas and Hannah Luttrell, acknowledge the importance of embracing diversity in all its forms and recognize the richness it brings to our community and our work.

It's Who We Are

Our mission is rooted in the belief that every person is uniquely created in the image of God and loved by God, deserving of our love, respect, and compassionate care. The founders identify as followers of Jesus Christ, who shared healing love to everyone he met. Likewise, HigherChange is a diverse network of coaches and therapists who model the inclusive love and acceptance of Jesus Christ.

Faith And Acceptance

HigherChange serves people of all faiths or no faith. As followers of Christ, we understand the significance of integrating faith into the counseling or coaching process. However, we respect that not all clients may share the same beliefs, and we affirm the right of each individual to explore their own spiritual journey, whatever that may entail. Our goal is to provide an accepting, non-judgmental environment where clients can freely express their beliefs, values, and concerns without fear of discrimination or bias. We accept people where they are, and welcome people who hold different beliefs or lifestyles, without imposing any.

Key Principles

Consistent with our principles, we are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming space where individuals of all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and abilities feel safe and supported.

  • Gender. We empower and elevate women as equals rather than denigrate women, and we afford both men and women the same opportunities to care for their family responsibilities. Rather than emphasizing gender distinctions, we prefer to de-construct social prescriptions for gender roles that can be constraining. For this reason, we do not emphasize pronouns but are mindful about people’s requests.

  • Race and Ethnicity. We support racial and ethnic diversity and equality. While all lives are sacred to God, unfortunately the world does not value all people equally. We are not all treated the same way. Therefore, it is important that we respect and value everyone equally as humans with intrinsic worth.

  • Criminal History. We also do not discriminate based on past criminal records unrelated to present dangerousness or trustworthiness for a position of responsibility.

  • Sexual Orientation. While we recognize the diversity of strongly held beliefs in Christianity about homosexuality, we oppose bigotry and homophobia and promote the acceptance of sexual diversity.

  • Sex Positive. While we still retain Christian beliefs, the term "sex-positive" refers to an attitude or philosophy that promotes healthy and consensual attitudes towards sex, emphasizing open and honest communication, affirming sexual diversity, and respecting individual choices and autonomy in sexual matters. While Christians have historically held more restrictive views on sexuality, the Bible also emphasizes love, intimacy, and mutual respect within sexual relationships. Sex-positivity within a Christian context often encourages open conversations about sex, addressing issues related to consent, pleasure, and communication between partners. This approach seeks to break down harmful stigmas surrounding sexuality and recognize it as a natural and beautiful aspect of human life, when expressed within the boundaries of committed and consensual relationships.

  • Body Positive. We are body positive while also promoting the importance of maintaining our health. Body positivity should not be equated with disregarding health concerns about obesity and carrying excess weight. Instead, it encourages a compassionate and nonjudgmental attitude towards oneself and others, recognizing that health and well-being are complex and multifaceted. Being body positive can involve supporting and empowering individuals to make healthy choices, taking into account their unique circumstances and challenges, without perpetuating shame or stigma based on their body size. While it's important to take care of our health, being "body positive" means that we do not devalue people who may not fit cultural expectations of an ideal body shape, size, or appearance. All bodies are precious.

  • Cultural Sensitivity. We recognize that mental health and relationship challenges can affect anyone, regardless of their background, and that these struggles can be influenced by various factors, including cultural experiences and societal pressures. We are committed to addressing these unique perspectives in a culturally sensitive manner, tailoring our approaches to best meet the needs of each client. At HigherChange, LLC, we are continually learning and growing in our cultural competence to better understand and empathize with the diverse experiences of our clients. We actively seek opportunities for education and training to enhance our ability to serve individuals from different backgrounds effectively.

Safe Spaces

We firmly stand against all forms of discrimination and oppression, and we strive to foster an environment that promotes equality, justice, and understanding. However, we do not "police" clients’ theological or political views. We do not exclude or denigrate people based on their social identity labels, such as their political party or their religious beliefs ("conservative" vs "liberal"). It is okay to disagree with each other. It is through safe and respectful dialogue that we become better people. Nevertheless, all providers and clients are asked to acknowledge our policies on diversity. Anyone who actively violates these principles of acceptance in a way that harms others may be asked to leave or be removed from our groups or community.

Problem Resolution


All of us are responsible for helping to create a safe, more inclusive environment. Unfortunately, incidents of bias or discrimination can occur, whether intentional or unintentional. They contribute to creating an unwelcoming environment for people. While our intentions are not to cause anyone discomfort or offense, anything that has a negative impact on you deserves our attention. If and when this occurs, there are several ways to address the discomfort or hurt that you have experienced:

  1. If you feel like our work together is being impacted by outside experiences, please don't hesitate to come and talk with your provider privately. We want to be a resource for you. We are open to listening to your experiences and want to work with you to find acceptable ways to process and address the issue.

  2. If you observe unfair or hostile treatment towards someone on the basis of one’s social identity, please speak out at the time of the incident or afterward.

  3. If you are participating in a class, workshop, or group, please discuss the situation in the group setting. There may be another client who had a similar response.

  4. If you do not feel comfortable talking directly with us about it, there may be other ways we can address the issue that are more comfortable. Diversity Statement. You may also submit anonymous feedback to us, which would lead us to make changes.

  5. If you are a therapy client, you can also file a complaint with our licensing boards, depending on the state that you are in.


We value the power of diverse perspectives, and we believe that by embracing our differences, we can create a stronger and more compassionate society. As followers of Christ, our faith calls us to love and care for all individuals, regardless of their backgrounds or struggles. Together, we endeavor to build a community that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every person, fostering an atmosphere of acceptance, healing, and transformation.
At HigherChange, LLC, we welcome and honor the diversity of our clients, recognizing that their unique experiences and backgrounds contribute to the tapestry of our practic
e. As Christian therapists and coaches, we are committed to providing exceptional care that addresses the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—while embracing the rich diversity that makes each of us wonderfully unique. We strive to be a beacon of hope and healing, encouraging positive change in the lives of all those we serve.

This diversity statement is rooted in Dr. Tom Luttrell's views of human dignity.

  • What is psychotherapy?
    Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or counseling, is a collaborative process between a trained therapist and an individual seeking support. It aims to explore thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and experiences to promote personal growth, emotional well-being, and address specific concerns. Psychotherapy encompasses various approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and humanistic therapy, tailored to meet the individual's needs.
  • How long does psychotherapy last? How many sessions will I need?
    The duration of psychotherapy varies depending on several factors, including the individual's goals, the complexity of their concerns, and their progress throughout the therapeutic process. Some individuals may benefit from short-term therapy, consisting of a few sessions or weeks, to address specific issues or provide immediate support. Long-term therapy may span several months or years, focusing on deeper exploration and ongoing personal development. The therapist and individual collaborate to determine the appropriate duration of therapy based on their unique circumstances. Sessions are typically scheduled to occur one time per week at the same time and day if possible. Your therapist may suggest a different amount of therapy depending on the nature and severity of your concerns. Your consistent attendance greatly contributes to a successful outcome. Due to the varying nature and severity of problems and the individuality of each client, we are unable to predict the length of your therapy or to guarantee a specific outcome or result. The length of your treatment depends on the specifics of your treatment plan and the progress you achieve. Most clients see their therapist once a week for 3 to 4 months. After that, they meet less often for several months. Therapy then usually comes to an end.
  • How do I find the right therapist for me?
    Finding the right therapist involves considering several factors. It's important to seek a licensed and qualified therapist with expertise in the specific concerns you want to address. You can ask for recommendations from trusted sources, such as healthcare professionals or friends who have had positive experiences with therapy. Online directories and therapist matching platforms can also help you find therapists in your area. Additionally, it's crucial to feel comfortable and have a good rapport with your therapist, so scheduling an initial consultation or phone call to assess the fit is recommended.
  • Do you accept insurance?
    For mental health issues, we accept Blue Cross Blue Shield and affiliates (CareFirst, Anthem, BCBS Federal Employee Program, etc.) and Cigna or Evernorth. HOWEVER, please note that to qualify for insurance benefits, therapy must be related to a mental health diagnosis, like anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc., that has medical necessity. Most insurance plans do not cover relationship or sexual issues. Yes, it is sad considering that these are often the primary drivers for mental health issues. Please do not ask us to bill your insurance for relationship or sexual issues without first contacting your insurance company to check to see if your plan covers it. (We don't want to keep asking them.) Also, we cannot make up a diagnosis either, as this is insurance fraud and can cost us our license and result in serious penalties. Plus, insurance companies occasionally audit psychotherapy notes to ensure that treatment is related to the reported diagnosis. You can always choose to skip insurance and pay for therapy out of pocket. This will maximize your privacy and widen your pool of therapists. Thank you for your understanding.
  • How much does therapy cost?
    The cost depends on the type of service provided, who your provider is, and how long it lasts for. Please contact us for up-to-date rates. We also offer a 10% discount for online teletherapy sessions due. Sessions that exceed these times by more than 10 minutes will be billed accordingly in 15-minute increments. Additional charges also apply for sessions after office hours or on weekends. More information can be found in our informed consent document available upon request. All rates are in US dollars. Good Faith Estimate You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical and mental health care will cost. Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the expected charges for medical services, including psychotherapy services. You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency healthcare services, including psychotherapy services. You can ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule a service. If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill. Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate. For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit or call (800) 985-3059.
  • Is psychotherapy confidential?
    Confidentiality is a fundamental principle in psychotherapy. Therapists are legally and ethically bound to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the information shared during therapy sessions. However, there are a few exceptions to confidentiality, such as when there is a risk of harm to oneself or others, child or elder abuse, or when a court order requires the disclosure of information. Your therapist should explain their confidentiality policy and any exceptions during the initial sessions.
  • Do you offer virtual therapy and coaching sessions?
    Yes! In addition to in-person appointments, HigherChange also provides online video conferencing sessions for both therapy and coaching. We use an encrypted video conferencing platform that we have a HIPAA-compliant relationship with. However, you will need a smartphone with a built-in camera or a computer with a webcam and microphone. (If booking a virtual therapy appointment, be sure to select "Telehealth for Maryland/California/Singapore" and specify where you live as the Location.)
  • Is therapy really beneficial?
    The benefits of therapy have been demonstrated through research. People who are depressed may find their mood lifting. Others may no longer feel afraid, angry, or anxious. In therapy, people have a chance to talk things out fully until their feelings are relieved or the problems are solved. Your relationships and coping skills may improve greatly. You may get more satisfaction out of social and family relationships. Your personal goals and values may become clearer. You may grow in different areas of your life.
  • What if I can't make it to a scheduled appointment?
    Apart from unpredictable emergencies like snow days or illness, we require a 48-hour notice for cancellation and rescheduling. Otherwise, you may be charged the full session fee at 100%, and this charge may not be covered by insurance. To reschedule an appointment, select Appointments > Existing clients in the menu bar and follow the instructions there. Alternatively, you can call or email us using the contact information at the bottom of the screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

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