Here is the run down on what it is like to begin therapy with a Psyched in San Francisco therapist, as well as a look at starting therapy with anyone.
How do I find a therapist?
In early 2014 we took a poll of ordinary folks in the Bay Area, and we learned that the #1 way most people found their therapist was through a recommendation from someone they trust: friend, colleague, doctor or insurance provider. After that, internet search was the second most popular response.
After you have found a few names of recommended therapists, you can check out their websites, schedule a phone conversation with several and even meet in person with several. Many therapists charge full fee for the first meeting even if you have not yet decided to work together. You can ask about what they charge at the time you set the appointment. In our practice you will receive an email confirmation from our scheduling system confirming your appointment as well as a personal email with paperwork to print and complete before your first session.
What happens in a first session?
First of all, people have all kinds of feelings that come up before meeting anybody new, but especially a therapist. Meeting a therapist for the first time can feel scary, exciting, anxiety-provoking, relieving or all of these and more at once. To be expected! When you arrive it can help to remember that you are getting to know this person just as much as they are getting to know you and that the therapist is a regular person just like you.
At Psyched in San Francisco, your therapist's office looks a bit like a cozy living room. This first meeting is a chance to get clear on your goals and get a chance to know this person. You are wanting to get a sense of their skill and their personality, and a little about their way of thinking about what's troubling you. Is this someone you can eventually see yourself exploring sometimes hard topics with, being vulnerable with?
How often will we meet?
We always meet weekly in the beginning and will decide together what makes sense throughout the treatment. Some clients may benefit greatly in the early parts of therapy to come in more than once a week. You and your therapist will decide together what will work best.
How long will therapy take?
Therapy is a process of unfolding; it's not linear like a typical work project you undertake. Setting goals can help us know when it is time to begin the goodbye process. Once goals are reached we spend some time integrating and saying goodbye. For others there are a new set of goals they want to work on that emerge. It is a developing discussion along the way.
Cost & Insurance
How much does therapy cost?
Therapy at PSYCHED ranges from $200 for 50 minutes with Master's Level Clinicians to $350 an hour for Ph.D. level clinicians.
How do I pay for therapy?
Most therapists accept cash, checks and many accept credit cards. Some are on your insurance company’s list of approved providers. If they are, they will bill your insurance. Here at Psyched in San Francisco, we are not on your insurance provider list, however, we do give you monthly receipts and your insurance will usually still reimburse you for part of your session. Others use their healthcare spending accounts sponsored by their company to pay for therapy.
Are there drawbacks to using insurance?
In the past, submitting a bill to an insurance company with a diagnosis may have been seen as a pre-existing condition. However, with the new healthcare policies pre-existing condition limitations may be soon be changing. It is always a personal decision. We keep secure electronic records and can provide you with a receipt at any time.
How can I find out if my insurance will pay for therapy?
Call your insurance provider and ask them the following questions:
1. Am I covered to see a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) or PsyD?
2. What is my deductible and have I already surpassed my deductible this year?
3. What is your accepted fee for MFTs/PsyDs for my area and what percentage of that fee do you cover?
4. Is there an annual dollar or session limit to see a therapist?
5. Do I need a DSM diagnosis on the receipt I receive from my therapist? If yes, what are the covered and uncovered diagnosis? (Do you reimburse for V codes?)
Contact PSYCHED with questions or to book a first call:
Is our relationship confidential?
When you enter psychotherapy everything is confidential unless you are a harm to yourself or another. Your being in therapy and the content of sessions is totally private—between just you and just your therapist. It is not shared with another therapist or person in the practice without your permission. In many cases your therapist may ask you to sign a release giving your permission for them to speak to your doctor, psychiatrist or couples therapist, but that is lways with your written permission first.
Are there things I can do to get the most out of therapy?
Each therapist at Psyched in San Francisco is unique in their approach and style. Some will give homework, some will not.
But if you want to get the most out of your therapy investment:
- - Come weekly and in attendance for the full session,
- - Be willing to take risks, be as open and honest as you can,
- - Be willing to be uncomfortable without getting overwhelmed,
- - Receive the support,
- - Work out any conflicts or hurts with your therapist rather than bailing out when things get tough; as those places are exactly where a lot of the big changes happen,
- - Do the experiments or homework you agree to do.
It's an amazing step towards wellness to investigate if therapy can help you lead a happier, richer life. We are here to work together with you.
You are all over social media and the blogosphere. Do you have a social media policy?
Yes. Our policy is we keep your information private and we do not solicit clients or former clients for quotes or reviews.
We write to educate others on the benefits of therapy and give tools that might help now. It also keeps our skills sharp to always be thinking and writing. Case material is always a fictionalized integration of several cases.
As far as quotes and reviews on social media sites like Yelp!, Facebook or Google+ we discourage clients from posting reviews. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences is pretty clear on its ethical standards for mental health practitioners soliciting reviews on sites like these or asking for quotes for their website. They say "No". The reason - the therapeutic relationship is a unique relationship - a catalyst itself for change and using that defined relationship for self promotion is seen as interrupting the container of therapy.