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Understanding Private Pay or Self Pay Therapy West Hollywood

Understanding Private Pay Therapy In Los Angeles


Exploring the Benefits of Private Pay Therapy

In the realm of mental health care and private practice therapists, the concept of self pay therapy or private pay therapy is not uncommon. In Los Angeles, individuals seeking therapy might come across terms like 'cash only' therapist practices, 'out-of-network' therapists, 'insurance panels' and 'out of network benefits'.

One therapist you call might be insurance-based and work with insurance companies, and another might only take private-pay clients, so it can get confusing.

Understanding these terms and their advantages can empower individuals to make informed decisions about their mental health care journey.

What is Cash pay or cash only Therapy?

Cash-only therapy refers to a private practice where therapists do not accept insurance and exclusively work with private pay clients for their mental health services. It's not directly related to paying in cash, which is one of the payment options, but I also accept credit and debit cards.

This model provides financial flexibility for both therapists and potential clients, enabling therapists to set their rates and clients to pay for out-of-pocket services.

It makes much sense to therapists, but we sometimes neglect to share with clients why working with insurance companies is sometimes a challenge. It has been explained to me that for every hour spent with a client, there's at least another hour of the week that has to be spent working with insurance and trying to get compensated for the hour spent with the client. With a simple cash or standard rate, I limit my private therapy practice to fewer clients, ensuring dedicated attention to your evolving needs and a therapy process that is not influenced by insurance coverage concerns and a treatable diagnosis. 

Why opt for insurance-covered therapy when you can enjoy:


  • Confidential records without obligatory secondary reporting

  • No mandatory sharing of mental health diagnoses

  • No sharing details of mental health records with insurance 

  • Prompt responses to your queries and emails 

  • Flexible scheduling options

  • Greater freedom in choosing your provider of mental health services. 

Transitioning to Private Pay Therapy

Transitioning to private pay therapy involves moving away from insurance plans to a model where potential clients pay directly for services. This transition allows therapists to offer more flexible scheduling and personalized treatment options while ensuring confidentiality and autonomy in treatment decisions.

Understanding Out-of-Network Therapy

Out-of-network therapy involves seeking therapy from providers who are not covered by a client's insurance plan and are not part of any insurance panels. While this may entail higher out-of-pocket costs for clients, it offers greater flexibility in selecting a therapist and accessing specialized care tailored to individual needs.

If you have 'out of network benefits' as part of your insurance, you can get reimbursed a certain amount by submitting a 'superbill' to them. One of my clients does this simply by taking a photograph of the superbill I hand them, and uploading it to his insurance using the app on his phone, it can be that easy.

Your insurance policy determines how much you get back from them. Some clients get 90% back, others get 60% back. Either way, it's worth checking in with your policy as it can make the cost of therapy and your therapy experience more affordable.

Exploring Payment Methods and Practices

Therapists offering private pay services typically establish transparent rates and discuss their session fee during their consultation calls, enabling clients to understand the cost of each session before they start working together. This approach fosters trust and transparency in the therapeutic relationship, ensuring that financial considerations do not hinder access to care.

Private Pay vs. Insurance Pay

Private or cash pay therapy does mean that you are responsible for paying for therapy sessions at the end of the session directly without involving insurance providers. Although this may involve higher initial costs for clients, it offers benefits such as prompt therapist payments and greater autonomy in treatment decisions.

Sliding Scale Therapy

Some private pay therapists, including myself, offer sliding scale fees based on income, making therapy more accessible to individuals with financial constraints.

This practice demonstrates a commitment to equity and inclusivity in mental health care, ensuring that individuals from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds can access quality therapy services. My sliding scale slots do go quite quickly, and if there are none available when you call, I will gladly put you on a wait-list and contact you as soon as one opens up. I'll also provide you with a list of other therapists and clinics you can connect with if you'd rather not wait.

DECIDING ON WHETHER TO GO Private Pay: Pros and Cons

Pros of Private Pay Therapy

Private pay therapy streamlines the complexities of insurance billing, enabling therapists to focus solely on client care. Therapists can deliver more personalized treatment approaches and maintain greater control over their practice, leading to improved therapeutic outcomes and client satisfaction.

Cons of Private Pay Therapy

While private pay therapy offers numerous advantages, it may present financial hurdles for some clients who cannot afford out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, therapists must invest in marketing and outreach efforts to attract private pay clients, which may necessitate additional time and resources.

Navigating the Landscape of Mental Health Care

In West Hollywood, individuals have the opportunity to explore cash-pay therapy options and transition to private pay therapy for a more tailored and empowering mental health care experience. By understanding the benefits and considerations of private pay therapy, individuals can make informed decisions aligned with their unique needs and preferences.

About Me

I'm a Licensed Therapist and have a diverse caseload of clients from couples, adults and families, with a wide range of presenting issues. I offer online therapy and see clients in-person in my office in West Hollywood, which means at times, I can offer both to clients if their schedule doesn't allow them to get to the office. 

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