You've got questions.
Here are the answers.
Below are questions commonly asked by folks considering therapy and those currently in therapy at SHIFT, each with a brief answer. If you're a current client, you are welcome to click the button below to skip to that section--and, no matter who you are, don't hesitate to reach out if you have further questions or can’t find what you are looking for!
What is therapy?
Fantastic question! At SHIFT, we think therapy should feel like a conversation with a trusted, open, and understanding friend. We’ll talk through what’s happening in your life and how you think and feel about those experiences—and, while we’re doing that, we’ll work together to make sense of it all. Along the way, your provider will use techniques best suited for your individual situation to make sure each interaction has the best chance of moving you closer to your therapeutic goals.
How do I know if SHIFT will be able to make sense of my specific issue?
We get it—it’s hard to know if the person you’re connecting with has experience and training with what you’re going through. We welcome you to reach out, regardless of what’s bringing you in—we’ll ask you some questions and make sure that we’re the best place for you. On the off chance that we’re not the best fit, we’ll happily provide referrals to other providers who would be better able to help get you closer to where you’d like to be. In general, we’re equipped to handle issues relating to mood, relationships, motivation, life transitions, and general functioning.
I’ve heard there are different types of therapeutic techniques. Which ones are utilized at SHIFT?
Your provider is trained in several different modalities, and can flexibly draw on each when a specific situation indicates it would be best. Previous treatment plans have drawn on attachment theory, Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Emotion-Focused therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic exploration—each in play when called upon in the service of specific therapeutic goals.
How many sessions will it take for me or my child to see an impact?
This is such an important question—and the answer depends on so many different factors, including session frequency, presenting issue, therapeutic goals, social environment outside of the client, engagement in therapy, motivation for change, and so forth. Throughout therapy, your provider will check in with you regarding your progress so that we can keep track of where you are in treatment. It is important to keep in mind that most folks seek treatment when they want to make enduring changes—and in some cases, achieving an enduring change means that we’ll be reworking thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that have been consistently used for years prior, all while building up a new toolbox of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors more in line with your goals. Simply put, change can take some time—and some changes take more time, while others take less. If you’re concerned about the potential length of treatment, we invite you to reach out so we can think it through together.
How long does each therapy session take?
Sessions at SHIFT are 55 minutes in length, and session times are available late morning, throughout the afternoon, and in the early evening.
How often will I need to come?
For most presenting issues, weekly sessions are recommended. This is individualized--in some cases, multiple sessions per week may be advised, and as things improve, fewer sessions may be preferable.
Does SHIFT accept insurance?
SHIFT does not accept insurance, and we are not contracted with any specific insurance companies. This can be a bummer—although after careful consideration, we feel this is for the best in some significant ways. In a small practice like SHIFT, the additional paperwork required to work with insurance companies unfortunately results in large chunks of time spent away from one of our main goals—to work with clients in session—and limitations set by third-parties can sometimes result in larger caseloads that reduce provider flexibility. Together, these factors increase the risk of reduced scheduling flexibility and decreased time spent with clients or in professional training and collaboration—all of which run counter to SHIFT’s core values.
How much do sessions cost?
Sessions at SHIFT range on a sliding fee scale from $220-$350 per session, with a limited number of lower fee slots.
Does SHIFT provide Superbills so that I can submit them to my insurance company?
At the end of each month, you can log into our secure client portal to access your Superbill—a special invoice coded with specific, standardized information required by insurance companies. Some clients choose to submit these documents to their insurance company for reimbursement (typically, partial reimbursement). Clients wishing to pursue reimbursement may find that companies require contact with their provider to do so; given that this process can be time consuming, providers may bill for time spent in contact with insurance companies if clients specifically request that they do so.
How do I know if my insurance company will cover the cost of treatment?
The best way to find out is to contact your insurance company directly and ask about their policies regarding use of “out-of-network” benefits specific to your particular insurance plan. Please note that insurance companies weigh several factors when making decisions on reimbursement/use of “out-of-network” benefits, and we’re not able to guarantee that the cost of treatment will be reimbursed.
I’m nervous about starting. What are sessions like?
Makes total sense—and we’ll make this as easy as it can be. Before your first session, your provider will invite you to electronically fill out a few forms—sort of like when you go to a doctor. From there, we’ll sit down and talk—at a pace and level that feels best to you. Whether you struggle with words and are worried about running out of things to say, or are brimming with topics to discuss and are worried about talking too much, you’re welcome here—and either way, we’ll find a groove that works for you.
How does billing work?
You can choose to pay by check, card, or cash after every session—or, in the interest of making therapy as stress-free as possible, you have the option of paying the total monthly bill by credit card at the end of each month. Most clients choose to keep their credit card information on file in our secure, encrypted practice management system, allowing for automatic processing of charges once per month.
Where are you located?
SHIFT has two primary offices—one in Newport Beach, California and one in Claremont, California. **Please note that at the current time, all sessions are held remotely, using private, HIPAA-compliant teleconferencing software. This reflects our commitment to minimizing documented risks associated with COVID-19 in office spaces and is in line with general guidance provided by state and county governments, licensing boards, and professional associations (e.g., California Psychological Association, American Psychological Association).**
Do you conduct video or phone sessions (e.g., telehealth)?
Yes! We utilize a HIPAA-compliant teleconferencing software accessible through devices with an internet connection or data connection. You do not need to download special software; your provider will email you a link for each individual video session, and in most cases, clicking the link automatically opens up your private and confidential video connection. Your provider will provide a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this process, and will formulate a backup plan with you in case the internet connection is spotty.
Current Client With Questions?
Here are the answers.
Below are questions commonly asked by currently in therapy at SHIFT, each with a brief answer. As always, don't hesitate to reach out if you have further questions or can’t find what you're looking for!
How do I access my own--or my child’s—Superbills?
Great question! You can access Superbills after the 7th of each month by logging into our secure client portal with your unique username and password (for most, this is the same place that you filled out consent forms, etc.). You can then download and/or print your Superbill.
How can I securely contact my provider?
There are several ways to get in contact with your provider, depending on the reason for reaching out. For specific, therapy-related concerns or questions involving private or confidential information, we highly recommend that you send your provider a secure message using the client portal. While many folks choose to email or phone their providers, the secure messaging system in our client portal offers the highest level of security, and we are not able to absolutely guarantee the same level of security for messages sent using emails or text messages. If you’re unsure which method would be best, we’d welcome the chance to talk it through with you in session.
Could you please remind me about the cancellation and rescheduling policies?
Absolutely! Our office has a 48-hour cancellation policy in order to ensure that providers are spending as much time with clients as possible—and, in the event that you need to cancel a session within this window, the full fee for the session will be billed. If you had an appointment time on the books already and would like to shift it to another day that week, please reach out and we’ll do everything we can to coordinate an alternative time for you. In the unfortunate case where we can’t find another mutually agreeable time to meet that week, you will have the option of keeping your original appointment time or canceling it (in which case the 48-hour cancellation policy would be in effect).
I think I’ve forgotten my username or password for the client portal—what do I do?
This stuff happens all the time—no sweat at all! On your login page, you should have an opportunity to reset your password or username. If that doesn’t pop up, or you’re still stuck, please feel free to reach out to your provider for some additional guidance and we’ll reply as soon as we can.
My child is seeing a provider at SHIFT and I have questions about their treatment and/or would like an update. How should I go about this?
You are welcome to contact your provider directly by email or by phone, and they’ll gladly find a time for you to connect. In most cases, providers will not discuss private health information via email given potential security risks—so, if you reach out by email, your provider will work to schedule a phone call or in-person session time to work through your questions and provide updates. In some cases—especially in cases where your kiddo is a teenager—your provider may wish to first meet with your child first to ensure that any concerns they have about sharing treatment details are understood and worked through. In our experience, this helps ensure that parents/guardians are involved in their kiddos’ treatment in a way that both protects the deep therapeutic alliance between therapist and client and provides collaborative and open communication between every party involved in the therapeutic process. Please note that phone calls or session updates longer than ten minutes are billed at your pro-rated hourly rate.