Frequently Asked Questions
Do you take insurance?
I accept: Lyra, Medicare, TriWest (VA Veterans Choice Program) and some forms of Tricare (please see below).
Medicare - For Medicare beneficiaries with secondary coverage with a private insurer, I should have no problem with your insurance so long as your primary Medicare coverage is current.
Tricare – As of January 1, 2018, I am an approved out-of-network provider for Tricare. Due to recent changes in Tricare administration, the rules for your specific plan have changed. The changes effect 3 important areas:
- Which providers you may see (network vs. non-network)
- Cost for co-pay and cost sharing
- How to get authorization for seeing specific providers
Please be sure to learn more about your specific plan directly from Tricare. For more information, please visit: www.tricare.mil.
I am no longer accepting new patients on Medi-Cal.
I do not accept private insurances. I am not a part of any HMO. I can provide you with a detailed receipt of your payments to me, called a SuperBill. (Please see below, PPO.)
If my health insurance is a PPO, can I use this to pay for your services as an out-of-network provider?
Many PPO plans reimburse their members directly for a percentage of out of pocket expenses for care with out-of-network providers. Each health insurance plan is different. Please contact your insurance company to learn your policy. I am happy to provide a SuperBill for you to submit but cannot ultimately know how your insurance company works.
What are the rates for your services?
My current rates:
Initial evaluation (90 min): $200
Psychotherapy session (50 min): $175
Psychotherapy session (90 min): $275
Other requests will be determined on case-by-case basis.
I am an active duty member of the military. Can I request to work with you?
Maybe. Most active duty service members seeking care from outside of military medicine with out-of-network Tricare providers must first receive authorization from their primary care doctor at a military treatment facility (MTF). Please make an appointment to see your primary care doctor* to initiate the process.
*Please note, not all doctors at MTFs are familiar with the process of submitting an authorization and may need time to seek assistance. You may want to let them know before your visit that you intend to request an authorization to seek care from an out-of-network mental health provider specializing in treatment of insomnia and PTSD.
I am a Veteran. How do I use my VA healthcare benefits to work with you?
I am a VA-preferred, non-VA Provider of evidence-based therapy for insomnia, nightmares, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression (Zip Code: 92108), I am a provider you can see using your VA healthcare benefits if you qualify to receive the same care from the VA but are unable to access the care due to excessive wait time or physical distance (Veterans Choice Act). Please first make a mental health appointment with your local VA (in San Diego, call 619-400-5000), then call me to learn more.
Do you prescribe medications?
No. As a clinical psychologist in California, I am not authorized to prescribe medications. However, I am very willing to work with your psychiatrist if your condition can be helped by psych meds.
What is your opinion about the use of psych meds?
My general philosophy is that medications can be helpful in getting many people to a more stable and productive place that enables them to make full use of therapy. For instance, it is difficult to engage in meaningful psychotherapy if you can’t even get out of bed most mornings. For many people with depression or anxiety, a carefully monitored use of antidepressant medications can be a great start.
I also believe that “less is more” and that the type of medication and amount you take should be no more than what is needed, based on your specific needs. It does you no good to go through therapy with me while on an excessive amount of medications that make you feel like a zombie or numbed out to emotions.
There are 2 specific types of medications that I prefer for people to minimize or potentially eliminate using due to documented evidence that they can interfere with making gains in psychotherapy: large doses of sleep medications and certain uses of benzodiazepines (fast-acting anxiety medications prescribed for use “as-needed”). If you are interested in psychotherapy with me but want to stay on these medications, please talk with me further.
I would like to get help without others knowing about it. Can you guarantee my privacy?
I applaud your courage to seek out help and will do my best to help you in the most discreet manner possible. As a psychologist in private practice, I will not report your care or status of your care to anyone unless I am professionally obligated to do so. Below are some examples of those obligations.
If there are safety concerns at any point, I must privilege safety above all else and use my best clinical judgement to prevent harm, even if you do not agree with me. I am always willing to stop and answer questions to help us assess a way to move forward together.
I also may have obligations to other entities, especially if they are paying for your care. If you use your insurance benefits to pay for your therapy, I am obligated to report your diagnosis, dates of visits and on occasion, a summary of your progress to your insurance company to justify asking for further treatment sessions. If your care is being paid for by a non-profit organization, we will need to clarify exactly what they expect and make sure that you are comfortable with this before we begin treatment.
If you are being sued or anticipate you may be involved in the courts, there is always the possibility that your therapy records may be subpoenaed. If this is your situation, do let me know in advance so that I can help you take extra precautions. However, if demanded to do so by the court, I must turn over the subpoenaed records.
If we see each other outside of therapy (for example, at a restaurant or party), I will not acknowledge you unless you acknowledge me first. I will likely make the interactions as brief as possible so as not to create a situation in which others may ask questions.