Frequently Asked Questions
What is your approach?
I help couples learn to master the messiness of couplehood, together. And I help individuals make sense out of what's working in thier lives, what's not + what they can do about it.
Who do you work with?
I work with adult individuals + couples throughout all stages of life. I have a sweet spot for helping couples and individuals explore trust and make space for deeper intimacy in relationships.
Where do sessions take place?
Sessions generally take place in my private therapy office (located on the edge of Irvine + Laguna Hills off the 5/405 split at the Lake Forest exit.) though occasional phone or secure video conferencing sessions are available upon request.
Non-Hosted intensives or weekend retreats are located at various hotels in Orange County, CA (additional fees may be associated).
How long are the sessions?
As we enter into our work together we will outline session length + frequency specific to our work together. This may be adjusted as our work goes on + needs change.
Individual + Couples sessions are generally 50-minutes in length.
I suggest weekly sessions until goals are met or longer intensives, as needed.
I offer 90-minute sessions, upon request.
What are your session fees?
50-minute session, $200
90-minute (couples) session*, $300
*90 minute couples sessions are generally recommended every other week
weekly couples sessions/intensives also available upon request/as needed
Add on services such as phone consults over 10-minutes and lengthier sessions are pro-rated off the 50-minute session fee.
When is payment due + What are payment options?
The full fee for your session is collected at or before the time of service via cash, credit card, debit card or check. We can also securely record a debit or credit card so you will not have to take time for payment during your session. I do not bill for services, or carry account balances.
I accept cash, check, debit, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express. I can also accept HSA cards for in-office therapy sessions.
Do you accept insurance?
I am an out-of-network provider. If you have mental health insurance benefits you may be eligible to submit a claim for reimbursement of out-of-network services. While insurance may reimburse for psychotherapy sessions conducted in my office, please note that sessions via phone/video conferencing will likely not be eligible for reimbursement.
You pay me in full at time of service and upon your request I will provide you with a special statement —referred to as a superbill or CMS-1500 form— for you to submit for reimbursement to your insurance provider. I make no guarantees about the level of reimbursement you will receive from your insurance company.
I suggest you contact your insurance company, either online or via the member services number located on the back of your insurance card, to ask questions about out of network coverage as they pertain to your plan so that you can make an informed decision before beginning therapy.
What questions should I ask my insurance company about out of network benefits?
- Do I have out-of-network mental health benefits?
- Do my benefits cover couples therapy?
- Are services rendered by a licensed marriage and family therapist covered? My license in the state of CA is LMFT53280
- Is any pre-approval required before obtaining out-of-network mental health services in order to be reimbursed?
- If I have out-of-network benefits, will I be reimbursed the full amount I paid or a portion?
- Do I have a deductible and if so, what is it?
For relationship therapy, ask if they cover the service code 90847 AND the relational Z-Code 63.0 [see why below]
Why might relationship/couples therapy not be covered by insurance?
Relationship conflict itself is not considered to be a problem that therapy is “medically necessary” to treat. This means that in order to use your benefits, either you or your partner will need to meet criteria for a mental health diagnosis.
Your insurance may cover a service code 90847 for your spouse to be present in therapy. But treatment not only includes the service code, but also the diagnostic code. The diagnostic code tells the insurance company what mental illness the patient is being treated for. This is what they base medical necessity on. The diagnostic code for relationship/couples therapy is Z-Code 63.0, problems in relationship with spouse or partner. This code is often rejected by insurance companies for not being medically necessary.
What are the pros + cons of giving one of us a mental health diagnosis for couples therapy?
If the Z-Code is not covered, then in order to use health insurance to cover relationship therapy, one of you would have to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder. One partner may have a diagnosed disorder, but that alone is not the focus of the treatment. The focus is on the relationship, and what is happening there. The partner with the diagnosis will forever have a “mental illness” in their permanent medical record. This may have consequences, as this information will be examined when you apply for life or health insurance, and it may be considered when you apply for employment, life insurance, credit or loans, a security clearance, or other things in the future.
There is also the real risk that labeling one person as the “patient” will unbalance the treatment and pathologize the partner. Couples issues are best seen as something that the pair of you are addressing together, and even subtle notions that someone’s diagnosis can be blamed for all of the issues can create difficulties in therapy.
Insurance companies often request therapists share detailed information about what is being discussed in therapy sessions (they have the right to access my notes about sessions) and they also often limit the number of sessions they'll approve — unfortunately, such insurance-coverage-led endings to therapy can lead to problems resuming and couples mistakenly concluding that “relationship therapy didn’t work.”
As an out-of-network provider there are no limits on the number of sessions you can have with me and I don’t have to provide any detailed information about your sessions..
Your investment in therapy is something that is highly personal. My clients want the best, and are willing to invest in their marriage/life just as they would invest in their futures in other ways.
Weekly therapy isn't a fit - what other ways are there to work with you?
Many of services are customizable — email me to discuss further.
Do you ever sell any products, recorded video series, or exercises that you've created?
I do. Head over to my Epic Products page + have a look.
Giving you access to interviews I've conducted with other relationship experts, worksheets I've created + tools to strengthen relationships has proven to be invaluable. These are especially great as supplemental to the work we do in therapy or if you're not able to come in + meet with me in-person.
Relationship therapy for adults and couples struggling in love, communication, connection, and more | located in laguna hills, california | serving the surrounding irvine, san diego, los angeles, laguna beach, newport beach, rancho santa margarita, costa mesa, san clemente, dana point.