Fees and FAQs
What can I expect from therapy?
The overall process of therapy is generally broken down into the following phases.
INTAKE: The first step is called the intake process. In this phase, we assess whether or not the therapist and client are a good match. If the client and therapist are a good fit, we commit to the therapeutic process. We discuss fees, boundaries and expectations, the type of treatment that will be offered, sign the contract, discuss symptoms, and set goals.
BEGINNING: Next we begin therapy. This is when trust, rapport and the therapeutic relationship are established. For children, we often engage in play therapy, art therapy or other non-direct techniques. For adolescents and adults, the process is more conversational – “getting to know you.” If adjunctive services are needed in addition to psychotherapy, we facilitate them accordingly. We learn soothing techniques and ways to regulate emotions, and practice these techniques in between each session.
MIDDLE: In the intermediate phase of therapy, we begin to dig deeper. This can be a more vulnerable time in therapy. We may discuss more difficult dynamics, confront uncomfortable realities and administer therapeutic techniques, including reprocessing with EMDR. This can result in developing insight, changing behaviors and making adjustments.
END: The final phase of therapy involves reassessing any prior triggers, monitoring symptoms to make sure they don’t get worse, and slowly fading out/phasing out treatment. If anything distressing comes up we consider revisiting the earlier phases of therapy or utilizing adjunctive services.
How long will therapy take?
Depending upon the diagnosis, goals, and willingness to commit to treatment, the length of therapy is different for every person. This is generally discussed during the intake and re-assessed periodically throughout the course of treatment.
How often do I have to attend therapy?
Typically, sessions are once per week. On an as-needed basis, a smaller percentage of patients opt to have sessions twice per week.
What services do you offer?
I work with children, teens and adults within the context of individual, couple and family sessions. Based on need, preference and therapeutic approach, we will work together to decide which modality of treatment will most efficiently resolve symptoms and work towards achieving goals.
What are your rates and what type of payments do you accept?
Session fees range from $200 -$300 based on the length of session and type of service being offered. My standard 50-minute session is offered at $200. I accept credit cards or cash.
Why is therapy so expensive?
Therapists work with different levels of training and certifications that are often obtained beyond the required minimum of training to be a licensed mental health professional. And to continue offering a premium service for what is a gold standard treatment of trauma, ongoing consultation and training are essential. Fees reflect the continuous and advanced training and certification needed, as well as the quality and depth of service being provided.
Why don’t you accept insurance?
Insurance companies often place limits on the type and length of therapy, modality and course of treatment, which often interferes with the therapeutic process. Additionally, insurance companies require a diagnosis and don’t pay for relationship counseling. In order to provide the best care available, I do not work with insurance companies to ensure that they don’t preclude me from providing my clients with effective treatment. For those with out-of-network mental health benefits, I am able to offer a superbill to submit for reimbursement retrospectively.
Does my insurance offer out-of-network benefits?
Some insurance companies do offer out-of-network behavioral health coverage, and it’s important to check with your insurance company to see if this is something that is offered. If so, the client pays upfront for sessions, and then a superbill (a document with industry-specific coding) is provided afterward that can be submitted to insurance. Know that even if your insurance does reimburse for out-of-network coverage, it isn’t guaranteed that they will reimburse you for the services you’re seeking. Insurance companies typically only reimburse for certain types of diagnoses.
If your insurance has out-of-network behavioral health benefits, they will likely cover a portion (somewhere between 30-80%) of the fee, after reaching your out-of-network deductible. This will cost you upfront and your diagnosis will be recorded, but it gives you the freedom to choose a mental health professional that is not in-network with your insurance.
What questions should I ask my insurance company?
(1) Do I have out-of-network behavioral health coverage?
(2) If so, what is my out-of-network deductible?
(3) Has it been met?
(4) If not, how much more do I have to spend before it will be met?
(5) Once my deductible is met, what is the reimbursement percentage rate for an out-of-network behavioral health provider?
(6) Is there a limit on the number of sessions my plan covers per year?
(7) What is my out-of-pocket max for out-of-network behavioral health coverage?
(8) How do I submit a superbill to be considered for reimbursement?
How can I afford treatment?
(1) I offer a handful of reduced fee sessions to clients who do not have out-of-network behavioral health benefits. I am only able to accommodate a limited number of reduced fee clients at any given time.
(2) Consult with your tax professional to determine if you may be able to deduct your mental health expenses.
(3) Consider an in-network therapist with your current insurance.
(4) Consider an even lower reduced fee therapist, an unlicensed therapist under supervision, or a lower fee clinic.
How do I know if you are the best therapist for me?
It’s often difficult to find the right therapist. That’s why I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation. If that feels comfortable, we can then meet for an initial intake session. You can meet me in person, see my office, learn more about the type of treatment offered and we can both make a decision about whether or not my services would be the best match for your needs.
If you have further questions, you may contact me for a free 15 minute phone consultation.
Kristina de Bree, MA, LMFT
Kristina de Bree is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) with a private practice in Valencia, California. She is an EMDRIA Certified Therapist and Approved Consultant, meaning she is certified at the highest level to both practice and teach EMDR. She specializes in trauma and trauma-related disorders.