Sessions & Fees

Psychotherapy Sessions

In our initial session (sometimes I call sessions “conversations”), in addition to talking about confidentiality, and the exceptions to confidentiality, we’ll talk about the frequency of sessions that will fit your needs.

Also in that first session We’ll go over the Informed Consent Form and the Intake Form that I’ve probably emailed you or you’ve downloaded. The Informed Consent Form tells you all about how I do therapy, and informs you about the expectations, the risks, and the potential benefits of receiving psychotherapy. The Intake Form gives me information about you so that I know a little bit about you.

A weekly or bi-weekly conversation is a common arrangement. Sometimes I have people who want to come in for a very definite period of time. That could be four sessions, it could be 8, or 12 sessions. We’ll decide. Regardless of how many sessions or the frequency of sessions, the conversations last approximately 50 minutes for individuals and up to 80-90 minutes for couples.

If you’re coming in for mandated anger management classes, the minimum number of sessions will be set by the court.

Insurance

One of the things that I’ll do in our initial contact is ask if you’ll be paying for the sessions out of pocket, or if you’ll be using your insurance. If you tell me that you’d like to use your insurance, I’ll ask you for your insurance information that’s on the back of your insurance card.

What I’m doing that for is so that I can call your insurance company myself and verify that your insurance benefits include what are called “out of network mental health benefits.” Then I’ll give your insurance company a call, find out the information, and give you a call back with what your insurance benefits are, and we’ll set up a time for us to start.

To be clear, there will be out of pocket costs even with your insurance that you’ll have to pay at the time of your session. We’ll talk about it, we’ll get it all cleared up, we’ll work it out, all before our first session! I really don’t want money to be an issue to you getting help that you need, so give a call, we’ll see what we can figure out.

ALSO IMPORTANT: If you choose to use your health insurance benefits, the insurance company will require personal information concerning your mental health. At a minimum, the insurance company requires a psychiatric diagnosis, dates and types of service provided. The confidentiality of any information provided to your insurance carrier cannot be guaranteed.

Coaching Sessions

Coaching sessions are also held in my Office, via Skype, or on the Phone. Even though my coaching services are not considered health care by the State of California, I’ll still have a brief Intake Form that I’ll ask you to fill out so that I can get a little more background on how I might help you with your situation.

Coaching sessions are about 40-45 minutes in length with a “hard stop” at 45 minutes, regardless of where we are in the planning. Often coaching is done on a monthly basis, but what I’ve found is that a 6 session minimum is really helpful as it accounts for the first two sessions of both you and I getting to know each other. Then we can use the following 4 sessions to get the job done.

Fees & Payments

When we initially talk about setting things up, we’ll also set up what your fee will be. Again, we’ll take care of all fee arrangements before the first session so you don’t have to worry about it. If you’re paying out of pocket, you’ll be expected to pay at the time of the session, unless we’ve made different arrangements. If your using your insurance, you’ll still be required to pay what’s called your “co-pay,” and you’ll have to pay these fees at the time of the session.

Cancellations

I have a 24 hour cancellation policy.

Even if you’re ill, and I know this can sound harsh, I require that you give me a heads up that you can’t make your session AT LEAST 24 hours in advance of your session.

Remember, I’m reserving that time for you, and if you can’t make it at that time,

I will charge you the full fee for late cancellations and cancellation within  24 hours of our scheduled session.