How do I get therapy at Walnut?
What happens when I contact you to start therapy?
First, we'll have a few questions to make sure we can schedule with you at all - making sure that we are accepting your insurance plan, and that we have therapists who have hours when you're available.
If that checks out, next we'll have a few more questions to get you into our system: this is mostly contact info, insurance info, and a couple questions about what brings you to therapy and what your preferences are about a therapist. Don't worry, if there's anything you don't want to share over the phone, you don't have to.
Once that's done, you're officially in our "scheduling matrix." Our intake coordinator Biany manages the matrix and when we have the availability to schedule an intake appointment, she'll reach out to you and make an appointment!
What will my first session be like?
When you arrive at our office, you'll talk with our receptionist Kara at the front desk. She'll have some paperwork for you, so take a seat in the waiting room while you're filling that out. After you're done, a therapist will come out to get you. You'll meet with them for a 50 minute intake appointment, where they'll get to know you better and get a sense of who the right therapist would be for you. Afterwards, check out with Kara at the front desk to square away payment.
Are you currently accepting new clients?
Yes, but that doesn't mean we can see you right away! Because we only do long-term therapy, there is always a wait between when you first reach out and when we can schedule with you. We are never able to schedule immediately. That said, we work as fast as possible to get everyone in the door, so as long as you can wait a little while, we'll be in touch.
How long is the wait to start therapy?
It depends on a lot of different factors. We're looking for a therapist who will be someone you can work with for years if you want, so we can't rush the process. We are aiming to find a match for you in terms of personality, therapy style, and specialty, as well as scheduling and payment. It usually takes at least 4 weeks to schedule a new client, but it can take as long as several months.
How much will I pay for therapy?
The actual amount you pay will depend on a few things. Check out our fees page for the details. Here's how we determine your fee:
First, do you have insurance? If we're in-network, we will bill your insurance company. The amount you pay will depend on your insurance benefits. Call your insurance company and ask what your outpatient mental health benefits are, and they'll be able to tell you what you'll pay.
If you don't have insurance, or if we're not in-network, then you can use our sliding scale. There are three different tiers depending on your annual income.
If you find that the sliding scale is outside your price range, then you may want to consider our intern program, which has steeply reduced rates.
Why does therapy cost so much?
All in all, we need at least $75 to come in the door for each session in order to break even. The first $40 to $45 goes directly to the therapist - with a full case load, that comes out to a decent (but far from extravagant) living wage. The next $10 covers the salaries of our small and dedicated administrative staff. $10 goes toward the monthly rent at our strategically located office. The remaining $10 to $15 is split between website fees, software, taxes, office supplies, education and training, professional fees, and credit card processing charges. Every dollar goes right back into supporting the ongoing work of the practice.
What does "long-term" therapy mean?
Long-term therapy means that you'll be seeing the same therapist every week for at least 3 months, but with no upward limit. You could see a therapist here for years and years. It's typical to see the same therapist here for more than a year, and in fact we have clients who started therapy here when we first opened in 2015.
What if you assign me to a therapist that I don't like?
That's okay! We do our best to make a good match but sometimes it doesn't work out, and we'd never require you to see someone you didn't want to. Just be aware that it may take a while to get reassigned, because we'll have to find another match, or wait for one to be available.
How long is a therapy session?
One therapy session is 50 minutes long. That's what's called the "therapy hour" or the "50 minute hour." The extra ten minutes is for your therapist to write notes, get a drink of water, and prepare for whatever's next.
Psychotherapy is a therapeutic treatment that focuses on the mind and emotions. We say psychotherapy to differentiate it from other types of therapy like occupational therapy, physical therapy, or massage therapy. Sometimes we just say "therapy" for short, but at Walnut we're always talking about psychotherapy.
What does "psychodynamic" mean?
Psychodynamic is the umbrella term for a set of psychological theories that believe that the past makes itself known in the present. While there are a lot of different ways to practice psychodynamic therapy, at Walnut, we believe that the ultimate way to access the unconscious mind is through a trusting, consistent and predictable treatment relationship. And it is through the unconscious mind’s unveiling that we can start to better understand why we do what we do and why we feel what we feel.
At Walnut, we try to make psychodynamic treatment serve as a sort of compass or road map that helps our clients to better navigate their own minds. Most of us walk through the world with at least some amount of fear around what lies inside of our psyches. The treatment that we provide is designed to try and help turn the lights on, in the darker rooms, with the guarantee that someone will accompany you through the cobwebs and traps that keep us from our own complex truths.
Why do you require weekly sessions?
We've found that meeting any less frequently than weekly is simply not enough to get good work done. Meeting ever other week, or monthly, leaves too much time in between sessions. Remember that a therapy session is only 50 minutes, so processing 2-4 weeks of life in just 50 minutes doesn't leave any time to make progress on the future.