Thriving Life Counseling Success Story

By Alesa Lightbourne  |  October 1, 2019

Gary Kitto, PhD, LPC, founded Dr. Kitto & Associates, LLC, in 1992, and then Thriving Life Counseling & Consulting in 2019 in Sedalia, Missouri. His goal was to promote "peace, prosperity and joy" in the lives of his clients. That meant providing not only the kind and compassionate therapy he was famous for, but also an easy payment and administrative experience for clients, clinical associates, and office staff.

Kitto surveyed the market for scheduling and billing software. “I selected Kareo because it was one of the most efficient programs available, and was cost-effective,” he says. “I’m really glad I did. It works great for us, and staff members are very happy with it.”

Challenge: Learning a New System
But would Kareo be easy to learn? That’s what worried Kim Wright when she joined the team, first as an intern, and then as office manager and provisional counselor. She had never used billing or scheduling software before. And because she was wearing two hats, splitting her time between administrative and clinical functions, she had little time for getting up to speed.

Solution: Kareo University to the Rescue
“I signed up for Kareo University right away,” says Wright, “and started spending several hours each night on my studies. To my surprise, after only about 20 hours of online classes, I got the hang of the system. I was able to do all of the functions necessary for my job, and felt quite confident.” Wright says she enjoyed the format of the training. “I loved Kareo University! The videos gave simple, step-by-step instructions that were very easy to follow. It was a fun way to learn.”

Solution: Simplified Scheduling and Billing
Her first agenda item was to master scheduling. “It was way easier than I had feared. I learned to put each clinician in a different color. Dr. Kitto is our only official provider, but we have several other provisional counselors, like me. The color coding helps everyone keep their appointments straight.”

Next came billing. "We provisionally licensed professional counselors cannot bill insurance, and have to be paid cash for our services. So I quickly learned how to process a payment." With Kareo, the procedure takes about half the time it would otherwise.” Because Kareo is cloud-based, any of the staff members can access records anytime, anywhere. “I go into Kareo all the time on the weekends, using my phone or PC. If I’m out and about somebody wants to schedule an appointment, I can do it for them no matter where I am. This is a wonderful convenience,” says Wright.

Results: Speedy Support
Wright discovered that help from Kareo was just a phone call away. “In the beginning, I couldn’t figure out things like how to zero out old balances. I put in a call to Kareo, and they walked me through it over the phone. Easy!” Today she contacts her Kareo representative several times a week. “I’ll send her an email, or call if I need immediate help. She replies right away. It’s terrific support.”

Conclusion: More of a Good Thing
Thriving Life Counseling still uses a paper filing system for patient records, but that may change soon. “I’m looking forward to using more of Kareo’s services in the future, such as electronic storage of case notes,” says Dr. Kitto. “The more accessible and seamless we can make everything, the better.” For her part, Kim Wright’s long-term plans include starting her own practice some day. “Dr. Kitto has been so good to me, mentoring me during my internship, practicum, and now as a PLPC. He even held my internship open for me for several years when I had to interrupt my studies. I hope to pay it forward when I’m in a similar position, helping to expand our profession like he has.” Then she laughs. “And, of course, when I open my own office, it will be based on Kareo. Why even think about switching from a winner?” 

For more information about how Kareo can help you with your practice, give us a call at (866) 219-2321 or visit us at 



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