Frequently Asked Questions
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Still have a few more questions? No problem…read on!
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 give you a receipt for services (called a superbill) to submit to your insurance for you at the end of every month. Once your superbill 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 (30-60%) but every plan is different so call your insurance to ask about your coverage.
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 90834. For couples therapy, ask about code 90847.
- 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.
What is the cost of working with you?
Our session rates are comparable with other masters and doctoral level specialists in Los Angeles. The cost of your treatment truly depends on your unique needs but services typically range from $175-$375 depending on which of our therapists you work with and the length of the session. Our 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. Please setup a free 30 minute consultation to learn more about the rates for the specific services you are seeking.
We do not offer a sliding scale due to the limited number of client hours available. However, we know that not everyone is in a place to invest in individual therapy during certain life seasons. Although nothing can replace the value of personalized one-on-one or couples therapy, we do offer opportunities to learn and engage via blogs, videos, workshops, community events, and speaking engagements.
Do you offer in person sessions?
We do not currently offer in-person services. 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 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 in to 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?
Yep! That is one of the many benefits of online therapy. When you book an appointment, you will receive a confirmation email with a link. Just send the link to your partner and he or she can connect by clicking the same link. All 3 of us will be in a video chat together and we all can see each other at the same time.
Do you have evening appointments?
Yes! Dr. Sarah’s last session is at 6pm but our other therapists have later availability as well as weekend appointments. Most people find they can fit the free 30 min consult during work hours. Then, if you become a client, you can schedule an evening appointment. If you are doing a consult for couples therapy, it is fine if you and your partner are in separate locations for the consult. You can both just click the link and will be in the same video chat.
Do you have weekend appointments?
Yes, some of our therapists do offer sessions on weekends.
What services do you provide?
We provide individual and couples therapy and coaching via an online video chat service called Zoom. Sessions are typically once per week with the option to reduce to bi-weekly or monthly as we resolve some of the issues you are experiencing. We’ll also be offering online self study programs and master classes presented through webinars in the near future.
Is your practice inclusive of all types of clients?
Absolutely! Same sex couples, LGBTQ individuals, non-binary individuals and couples living alternative lifestyles (i.e. polyamorous, kink, BDSM, etc.) are all are welcome.
What are the sessions like?
Because each person has different issues and goals, sessions will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous session. Depending on your specific needs, our work together can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. It is most common to schedule regular weekly sessions in the beginning 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 actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy/coaching is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of sessions to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.
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
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 completed over 3000 hours of supervised experience with clients before getting licensed. They all passed rigorous licensing exams and are regulated by a board that ensures they maintain the highest ethical standards.
Most of our therapists have over a decade of experience working with clients just like you. We only hire therapists are highly skilled and possess advanced training in couples therapy, attachment, and all things love & relationships. Some also have advanced training in sex therapy and trauma. 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?
- 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
What is the difference between therapy and life 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, 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. 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. Couples Learn therapists use a blend of both of these depending on the needs and desires of our clients.
Do I really need a therapist or coach? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, coaching and therapy are sought out by people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need support, and that is something to be admired. Often, working with a coach or therapist helps you learn things about yourself and your capabilities you would never have seen on your own. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking help. Therapy/coaching provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to overcome whatever challenges you face and lead a happy, successful, life.