Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of working with you?
The cost of your treatment truly depends on your unique needs but services typically range from $175-$450/session depending on which of our therapists you work with and the length of the session. Session fees are listed on each therapist’s profile page. Our unlicensed (APCC and AMFT) and masters-level therapists (LMFT and LCSW) will be on the lower end of the price range and the doctoral level (Psy.D. and Ph.D.) will be on the higher end of the price range.
All Couples Learn therapists have advanced and specialized training in couples therapy beyond their graduate work. Our session rates are comparable with other masters and doctoral level specialists in Los Angeles. We do not offer a sliding scale due to the limited number of client hours available. We do offer opportunities to learn and engage via blogs, videos, workshops, community events, and speaking engagements.
Follow our social media pages @coupleslearn on Instagram and Facebook and sign up for our newsletter list for upcoming events and opportunities.
For low-fee counseling, we recommend looking here: https://openpathcollective.org
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
We are not in-network with any insurance companies but we do accept PPO insurance as out-of-network providers. What that means is you pay your therapist directly after each session and then we provide you with a receipt for services (called a superbill) for you to submit to your insurance at the end of every month. If your claim is accepted, your insurance will mail you a check for the amount they agree to reimburse or they will apply that amount to your deductible depending on if you have hit your deductible for the year yet.
Most PPO plans will reimburse you for some portion of the session fee (20-60%) but every plan is different so call your insurance to ask about your coverage. If you have a high deductible, you most likely won’t reach it so everything they do reimburse will go towards your deductible and not be paid to you.
Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What is the maximum allowable rate my insurance will pay for an out-of-network provider for this code? If you’re doing individual therapy, ask about reimbursement for procedural code 90837 with the modifier 95 for telehealth and 90834 with the modifier 95 for telehealth. For couples therapy, ask about code 90847 with the modifier 95 for telehealth.
- Is there a deductible that has to be met before you reimburse for out-of-network therapy sessions? If so, what is it and how close am I to meeting that?
- Is there a limit to how many sessions you will reimburse for?
The other option is that you can use your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to save by paying for therapy with pre-tax dollars.
Wondering why we are not in-network with any insurance companies? Read this blog post on the real reasons (that nobody tells you) about why therapists don’t accept insurance.
Do you offer in person sessions?
No. All sessions are completed online via a secure encrypted video chat. Our clients love the convenience of being able to connect from work or from their own home where they feel most comfortable. Online sessions allow you to avoid traffic and parking and are less of a time commitment than if you had to schedule a time to get to and from an office. They’re also more discreet.
Online therapy has been thoroughly researched and all the studies show it is just as effective as in-person therapy. We would never practice in a way that is not effective and backed by research as we are very committed to providing the highest level of service to our clients. If you or your partner have concerns about whether online sessions are for you, we recommend booking a free 30 min consult on our website and trying it for yourself. Most people are pleasantly surprised by the experience. Since it’s free, you really have nothing to lose!
Are online sessions just as good as being in person?
Yes! Online therapy is just as effective as meeting in person. All the nuances of facial expressions and body language can be seen through video just as they can in person. Many of our clients have commented that they prefer online sessions because they do not have to allocate additional time to travel to and from an office, deal with traffic, parking, etc. and they feel more comfortable in their home or office.
Benefits of telehealth
Here are a few of the research-based benefits of telehealth services:
- Increased access. Approximately 123 million Americans live in an area with limited access to healthcare. Telehealth can play an important role in these communities by increasing accessibility.
- Reduced costs for clients. Telehealth saves money when compared with traditional approaches to providing care. For clients, this often means lower transportation costs, less time missed from work, and less money spent on child care expenses. These are some of the “hidden costs” of therapy beyond the session fee that many do not factor into the cost of their therapy services.
- Same-level client care. No client outcome difference was found between telehealth appointments and face-to-face office visits across multiple studies.
- Better client experience. Telehealth eliminates the wasted time traveling and sitting in the waiting room. You get to have your session in your own space where you are already comfortable which often leads to clients opening up faster given their increased comfort.
All major counseling, psychology, and social work associations have endorsed telemental health services. As the industry continues to progress and become more widely used by clients and practitioners, online counseling is on course to become as mainstream as face-to-face counseling. The use of online counseling has been validated by the US Federal government and most states, as illustrated by the billions of dollars dedicated to setting up and delivering telemental health services and the installment of the federal and regional offices advancing telehealth. http://www.telehealth.va.gov/, http://www.hrsa.gov/ruralhealth/about/telehealth/.
Can me and my partner connect from different places?
Can you work with people outside of California?
Some of our therapists can work with clients outside of California and some cannot. Those that cannot will have that listed on their profile. However, even if a therapist is able to work with clients outside of CA, it’s not guaranteed that they can take you on as a client.
At Couples Learn, we provide both therapy and coaching. For clients seeking therapy, you will only be able to work with a therapist who is licensed in the state where you are located at the time of your session. Dr. Sarah Schewitz is licensed in over 35 states and can provide therapy in all of those states (listed on her profile).
Our other team members are only licensed to provide therapy in California but may be able to take you on as a coaching client if your needs and goals are aligned with coaching. Whether or not you qualify for coaching versus therapy is something that can be determined in your free 30-minute consultation. Also, check out our FAQ below this titled “what is the difference between therapy and life or relationship coaching?”
What is the difference between therapy and life coaching or relationship coaching?
Both therapy and life coaching are great alternatives for someone looking to make a change in their lives. Therapy is typically better suited for someone with a diagnosed mental illness such as severe depression or anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction, PTSD, etc. Therapists have different modalities they work from but therapy will generally be less directive than life coaching and more focused on feelings, gentle support, and exploration of past issues. Therapy is reimbursed by some health insurance plans if the client has a mental health diagnosis.
Life coaching tends to be a more directive approach where the coach helps the client define and achieve goals, develop a plan and structure for creating the desired results in their life, and holds the client to a high level of accountability to their goals. Life coaching is typically better suited for a client that is already functioning relatively well but would like some guidance or motivation to enhance specific areas of their life. Life coaching is not reimbursed by insurance companies.
Relationship coaching and couples therapy look similar in a lot of ways. Both will focus on skill building, providing tools for the couple to improve their relationship, and working towards goals the couple has for their relationship. Like with life coaching, relationship coaching is more appropriate for folks without severe mental health diagnoses or substance abuse. Folks dealing with those issues will likely need couples therapy and would not be appropriate for relationship coaching.
What qualifies you to do this?
This is a great question because there are a lot of people in the marketplace today branding themselves as coaches with very little formal training or experience. It is important to know what qualifies someone to be working as a coach or therapist so you can make an informed decision as a consumer.
All of our therapists have a masters or doctorate degree in psychology and and are regulated by a board that ensures they maintain the highest ethical standards. All of our therapists have completed additional training in the area of love & relationships after and in addition to their graduate degree and continue to hone their skills by attending courses and reading books on the topic regularly.
Most life coaches are not regulated by a board and do not have to undergo any sort of supervision or certification process to practice. They also are not required to complete any ongoing education (which we as licensed professionals are) to ensure that they stay up to date with changes and developments in the field.
While many life coaches are wonderful, it’s important to do your due diligence when hiring someone that is not regulated by a licensing board. In reality, it’s important that you do your due diligence no matter who you are hiring!
How can therapy/coaching help me?
A number of benefits are available from seeking the services of a therapist or coach. Therapists/coaches provide support, problem-solving skills, motivation, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as insecurity, relationship troubles, grief, stress management, and creative blocks. Therapists/coaches can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the challenges of daily life. Therapists/coaches can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy/coaching depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek guidance
- Learning new ways to reframe and cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need a therapist or coach? I can usually handle my problems.
How often will we meet?
It is most common to schedule regular weekly sessions at least for the first 4-6 weeks and many clients choose to move into a bi-weekly or monthly schedule as they progress. It is important to understand that you will get the best results from our work together if you stay consistent and actively participate in the process.
Do you have evening/weekend appointments?
What is your cancellation policy?
We require at least 24 hours advanced notice of cancellation for all types of appointments including free consultations. You will be charged the full session fee for appointments canceled or rescheduled with less than 24 hours advanced notice.
If you are rescheduling a free consultation with less than 24 hours advance notice, you will be charged $50 to the card you put on file when booking the appointment.
The reason we have this cancellation policy is because we have reserved that time for you and it is virtually impossible for us to fill an open slot with less than 24 hours advance notice.
I need to cancel/reschedule my appointment. How do I do that?
If it is more than 24 hours until your appointment, you can use the turquoise “change/cancel appointment” button in the confirmation email you got when you scheduled the appointment (or any of the reminder emails you received). If you’re having trouble finding one of those emails, search for the email address [email protected] in your inbox and they should popup.
If it is less than 24 hours until your appointment, you’ll need to contact your therapist and let them know you cannot make it. You can do this by replying to the confirmation or reminder emails from Acuity. Please note that you will be charged the full session fee for appointments canceled or rescheduled with less than 24 hours advanced notice. If you are rescheduling a free consultation with less than 24 hours advance notice, you will be charged $50 to the card you put on file when booking the appointment. The reason we have this cancellation policy is because we have reserved that time for you and it is virtually impossible for us to fill an open slot with less than 24 hours advance notice.
What services do you provide?
The therapist I want to work with is full. What can I do?
Send us an email at [email protected] to inquire about getting on their waitlist. Most of the time, we can fit you in within a couple of weeks.
Is your practice inclusive of all types of clients?
What are the sessions like?
Does what we talk about in session remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist/coach. Successful therapy/coaching requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but in session. What you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone as outlined in the Informed Consent form that all clients sign before working with Couples Learn. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law we cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require us to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children and/or elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
How do we know if we need couples therapy?
Great question. The short answer is, if you’re considering it, you probably needed it a long time ago. Most couples wait way too long to seek help. Unfortunately, the longer you have been fighting in unproductive ways and building up resentment, the harder it is to turn things around. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible by any means but, the sooner you get help, the better chance you have of saving your relationship.
Many young couples think that if they need couples therapy before they are married, there is something seriously wrong and they should just break up. This is not true! Having relationship challenges does not mean it isn’t meant to be. It just means you need to build some skills in the communication and relationship department. That is what much of couples therapy is about; teaching you stuff that will benefit you for the rest of your life – whether you end up staying together or not.
For more tips on whether you should seek help, check out our blog post on 7 signs your partner needs couples therapy
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