FAQs

FAQs

Therapy encourages change by connecting the dots between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Even if you think, “I already know what I’m supposed to do differently, I’m just not doing it. Why do I need to pay someone to tell me that?” The truth is there is no perfect objectivity. Blocks in your life could be longstanding or relatively new. A caring and trained professional is there to point out your blind spots at a pace you can manage. Together, we help figure out what you need to get over the hump. 

This part is like the movies – you come in to an office and have a conversation about what’s going on with you for about an hour every week. The content is based on what’s on your mind and what you’re struggling with. Over time, these conversations with me weave a greater story about what your life looks like now and what relief looks like for you. In couples work, it’s the same principle, but you’re also working toward having meaningful interactions and new ways of communication with your partner.

It can be an unusual and risky experience to open your life to someone unknown to you. It’s common to feel anxious in the early sessions. When you first come in, share only what is comfortable. The quality of our relationship is key to your successful therapy. While getting to know each other, we start observing patterns in one area that are likely playing out in many areas of your life. The therapy becomes richer the more we continue down this path.

There’s probably been one or two things that have happened recently that’s got you wondering if you should seek help. The threshold of who does and doesn’t “need” therapy is not as defined as you think. It’s a self-determined decision to invest in your own life growth. That’s it. The culture at large, families, and gender norms can be the complete opposite of encouraging when you wonder if you need support. You’re not being an overly sensitive snowflake because you’re asking yourself if you need professional guidance. Living with persistent problems can morph into destructive habits.

Common reasons to get started:

  • Difficulty maintaining stable moods – becoming anxious, depressed, or angry very easily.
  • A vague but haunting discomfort that things aren’t okay.
  • Stuck fights with your partner.
  • That one life event you can’t quite “get over”, or that one life skill you really want to learn.
  • Feedback from others that they’re concerned about you.
  • Binging on substances or activities in an unhealthy way.
  • The desire to improve and explore skills you’ve worked on.
  • Experiencing a crisis. Crises are hard enough to get through on your own, and sometimes it’s sending a message. If you’re not in crisis yet and you had the option, would you rather be overwhelmed and feeling out of control when crisis does occur? Or would you rather have tools to manage because you put in the time to have the resources in advance?

So no, things don’t have to be, like, super fucked up already. Therapy is for you, too.

We all want our pain to lessen or go away as soon as possible. It’s part of our DNA to avoid discomfort – even emotionally. “How long do I have to endure this?” is an age-old question. There’s no hard and fast rule about length of treatment, and so much depends on the complexity of what you’re bringing into therapy. Many clients choose to work with me for about a year, sometimes more and sometimes less. Longer term work is most often what leads to lasting changes you’re looking for.

Discuss your expectations of how long you’d like to work. Once you choose a therapist, take a temperature of how things are going after about 13 sessions – a season of your life – to get a sense of how the process is working. Just like the gym, consistency in attendance and your commitment to the process yields better outcomes.

First off, it’s a good idea to check out a few therapists. Think about your budget and how far you’re willing to commute. Do some research or ask others for referrals. Focus on what you’re coming in for. Research shows it’s the relationship between you and your therapist that makes for the most for effective work (1). If you’re looking at their online material (ahem), trust your intuition if you’d like to know more about the therapist. Have a consult call, or go to an in-person appointment to see if it’s a good fit. Your ultimate decision should be the the person that feels comfortable and trustworthy to you.  Here is more about ME.
It’s not unusual that one partner feels more urgent about starting therapy than the other. After completing the consultation call, both partners need to be willing to have an initial session to check it out. I will be listening to both of your wants without shame or blame, and I will invite questions. After that, its really up to both of you to keep returning. If you’re really aching to start couples work and your partner doesn’t, that is actually a great point to start INDIVIDUAL therapy if you haven’t already.

I am not in-network for insurance panels. However, many PPO policies will cover a percentage of out-of-network (OON) mental health treatment as part of their benefit – sometimes up to 70%. I am happy to provide documentation to you as an out-of-network provider for you get that benefit from your PPO. Plans do vary, so it’s recommended you research that info in advance. See the next FAQ for tips!

I accept HSA/FSA funds. HMO’s do not offer out-of-network benefits under most circumstances.

Contact your member services or benefits administrator. I can create a monthly Superbill statement for you to submit to your insurance company. Here are some helpful questions to ask:
  • Do I have any benefit for out-of-network, outpatient therapy? (If yes, continue.)
  • When is the beginning of my plan year?
  • What is my OON deductible and has it been met?
  • Is there a limit to the number of sessions my plan covers or prior authorizations required?
  • What is my benefit (percentage and/or amount) per therapy session? CPT codes if needed:
      -Individual therapy: 90834 and 90837
      -Couples therapy: 90847 and add-on code 99354
  • What is the process to file and receive my reimbursement?

Email me or call my voicemail to set up a free consultation appointment. That call consists of talking about the reasons you’re looking for a therapist, assessment that I am the correct professional for you, and scheduling a time to meet for a first session. For couples, both partners will need to speak to me.

Therapy is at least one session per week. Your investment is $300.00 per 50 minute session and $450.00 for 80 minute sessions. Eighty minute sessions are recommended for couples.  Talk to me more about rates and contact info HERE.

I see clients during weekdays and early evening. During the COVID-19 crisis, I see client by video through HIPAA-compliant Zoom only. My office is located in downtown San Francisco at 582 Market St. located right outside the Montgomery Station reachable by BART and Muni. The building is ADA accessible.

Look at you, overachieving already! I’ve got just the thing. See my RESOURCES page.

“There are no classes in life for beginners; right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
Deva is a psychotherapist practicing in the downtown Financial District of San Francisco, CA (LMFT #103816). She has worked with clients aged 6 to 88 in different settings since 2011. These days, she helps individuals and couples get more in tune with their wants and needs. She has a special focus on sexuality and folks of mixed ethnic or racial backgrounds.

She slightly prefers pie over cake, but loves dogs and cats equally.
582 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94104 · 415-496-6660

© Deva Segal, SF Therapist. All rights reserved. 2021