FAQs about Fees and Insurance
What are your fees? Is there a sliding scale option?
Couples Counseling/Sex Therapy sessions are $200 for a 50-minute session.
Individual sessions are $170 for a 50-minute session.
Longer sessions are prorated accordingly. These fees reflect Dr. Clark’s level of education & expertise, diverse & in depth experience, and her commitment to ongoing advanced training in sex therapy and couples counseling modalities. There are a limited number of sliding scale slots set aside for folks facing extreme financial hardship. Please contact me to get more information.
I would like to use my insurance to pay for therapy. How do I go about doing that?
Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. is a fee for service practice. Dr. Clark is considered an out of network provider- meaning she is not on any insurance panels and does not accept insurance. However, if your insurance plan offers coverage for out-of-network individual and couples therapy, you might be able to get reimbursed, partially or in full. It is your responsibility to contact your insurance company and determine their out of network coverage for mental health. Payment for therapy is due at the beginning of the session in the form of cash check, credit/debit card or bank transfer. At the end of each month, you will receive a super bill/invoice with your diagnosis that you will be able to submit to your insurance company, in order to get reimbursed. You can also use your medical/health savings account to pay for counseling.
How do I find out if my insurance offers reimbursement/benefits for out of network therapy?
Here are some questions that you can ask your insurance company to determine your coverage for out of network therapy:
Does my plan cover out of network couples/individual therapy? If yes, what is the reimbursement percentage?
Does my plan have a deductible for out of network mental health services and has it been met? How much of the deductible will I have to meet before my plan reimburses me?
Is there a limit on the number of sessions reimbursed per year?
Do I need a referral from my PCP?
What are the pros and cons of selecting a therapist that is out of network versus someone who accepts insurance?
As a consumer of mental health services, you are encouraged to make an informed decision about seeing a therapist in network vs. out of network.
Benefits of working with an out-of-network therapist:
Your case record is completely confidential unless you request a super bill or request information to be released to a third party.
You don’t have to carry a diagnosis, if you don’t actually have or need one.
You, the consumer, decides how often and how long you want to receive counseling services.
All decisions pertaining to your therapy are made by you and your therapist, as opposed to a third party.
You have access to therapists that have advanced training and expertise in treating specific issues and utilizing specialized modalities of treatment such as sex therapy & couples counseling.
Limitations of working with an out-of-network therapist:
Out of pocket costs are typically higher.
You have to pay for services upfront and get reimbursed later, depending on your coverage and benefits.
Benefits of working with an in network therapist:
Low out of pocket costs.
You are not responsible for submitting claims to your insurance company.
Limitations of working with an in network therapist:
Certain issues and diagnosis are not covered by insurance and thus cannot be treated.
Your insurance company determines the number of sessions you are entitled to, for specific issues and once you reach that limit, your sessions are not covered.
You therapist is required to give you a diagnosis, even if your issue does not require one. Carrying a mental health diagnosis can impact your ability to get approved for life insurance.
Your insurance company has access to your case record and insurance officials have the final say about whether your treatment is considered medically necessary.
Majority of therapists that possess advanced training and expertise in treating specific issues or using specialized modalities of treatment do not accept insurance.
Why should I/we pay for therapy?
Therapy is an investment in yourself and in your relationship. In addition to the financial investment, you are investing your time & effort in your commitment towards a changed and restored life. Therapy is not cheap, especially efficient & effective therapy. However, the rewards of good therapy are worthy of everything that you invest in the process, depending on the value that you place on healing yourself and your relationships. Being able to enjoy a restored & rejuvenated sexual & emotional connection with your partner, exchanging a life of depression & anxiety for a more authentic & joyful existence, learning to love yourself and develop unconditional self- acceptance are some of the many benefits of therapy, all of which are empirically proven to improve health, well-being, financial safety & longevity. For couples struggling with the decision to stay together or say goodbye, therapy is a cheaper option than divorce.
We/I am new to therapy. How many sessions will it take for me/us to feel better?
There is no reliable method of predicting how many sessions a client or couple will need to accomplish their goals in therapy. The number of sessions depends on factors such as the complexity of the problem or issue, motivation and commitment of the client to actively participate in therapy and if additional issues surface, once therapy is underway. Usually, couples & sex therapy tends to be more short term than individual counseling, with the average number of sessions being 15-20. However, couples struggling with complex relationship issues such as infidelity and trauma require more sessions than couples looking to strengthen their connection or improve their communication.
What is the structure of sessions? How often will I/we have to come in?
The first session is typically 75 minutes for individual and couples therapy and subsequent sessions are 50 minutes long. At times, couples therapy sessions can be 90 minutes long. In order to maintain consistency, continuity and momentum, sessions are conducted on a weekly basis. However, in certain cases of scheduling conflicts, we can meet for longer sessions every other week. 3 hour intensives are also available for couples that are dealing with very complex issues such as infidelity and require additional support to navigate the crisis. Day long intensives (6 plus hours) are available for couples that reside out of town and are unable to make the weekly or bi-weekly appointments.
Do you have evening appointments? When are you available to see clients?
I offer afternoon, evening, and late evening appointments. Please contact me for current availability.
What is sex therapy?
The field of sex therapy is a highly specialized area of talk therapy or psychotherapy and focusses on the psychological aspects of sexual functioning. Sex therapy can help both individuals and couples struggling with:
Low sexual desire or desire differences in a couple
Not being able to orgasm
Problems with achieving and maintaining erection
Performance anxiety or lack of confidence
Not being able to control the timing of ejaculation
Experiencing pain during sex
Impact of infertility, aging or chronic illness on sex
Sex therapy is also useful for:
Individuals wanting to explore their sexual orientation or gender identity
Individuals and couples who are coming out as non-monogamous or polyamorous
Folks interested in exploring kink or fetishes
What does a sex therapist do?
An AASECT certified sex therapist is a specialist in treating sexual issues and has specialized training as opposed to a regular therapist who may only have the minimal amount of training in sexuality needed for their professional license. Certified s
ex therapists possess extensive post graduate training or a named specialization or degree in sexuality such as a doctorate. Professionally trained sex therapists possess advanced knowledge of the anatomical & physiological responses of the sexual response cycle, are skilled at providing psychotherapy and have expertise in relationship/couples counseling.
Clients searching for a sex therapist are encouraged to request a list of training experiences in these specialized areas if they are unsure about the qualifications of the therapist. Seeing a sex therapist is similar to seeing a gynecologist for gynecological concerns rather than seeing your family doctor.
Does sex therapy involve a sexual relationship between the therapist and the clients?
Sex therapy is talk therapy and does not involve any type of sexual/physical relationship or touch between the therapist and the clients. In fact, if you are seeing or have seen a professional who claims to be a sex therapist and your sessions involve touch or sexual contact of any kind, that professional is in violation of the ethical and legal guidelines that govern mental health professionals, including sex therapists. Professional sex therapy and psychotherapy never involves sex or intimate physical contact.
It is also important to understand the difference between a sex therapist and a professional surrogate partner. The latter is sometimes a part of the treatment team and works in conjunction with a sex therapist. A professional surrogate partner’s work with a client involves sensual & sexual touching, in addition to helping the client build self-awareness in terms of emotional & physical intimacy skills.
In sex therapy sessions, does a sex therapist observe clients having sex?
Sex therapy uses various clinical approaches of psychotherapy to help clients identify and modify thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that are contributing to the sexual difficulty. A part of the treatment is focused on behavioral exercises that are prescribed for the couple or individual to engage in and practice, in the privacy of their home. A sex therapist NEVER watches clients having sex in person or via video.
Can I trust a sex therapist with my issues?
Most therapists recognize that it is not easy for clients to talk about their problems or feelings in therapy. It is even more difficult for clients to open up and confide in a sex therapist due to the very intimate nature of their issues. A lot of clients are also preoccupied with feelings of anxiety or perhaps even shame due to their sexual issues. They mistakenly believe that the sex therapist would be embarrassed or uncomfortable to hear what they are going through and would not be able to help them. As a professionally trained sex therapist, there is nothing that I have not heard before and I always reassure my clients that my office is a judgment-free and failure-friendly space. I appreciate the courage that my clients show by seeking sex therapy as well as general psychotherapy and part of my job is to make them feel comfortable and safe enough to be able to discuss their problems without any fear of judgment.