Is online therapy as effective as in-person therapy?
Yes and no. It’s different for everyone.
See our page on online therapy for more information
How can virtual therapy be effective for me?
Having your session on a platform that runs videos is convenient. You can access your therapist from anywhere in Pennsylvania. That is if you do not have access to a therapist because you are in a rural part of the state you can now access top-notch therapists further from your geographic location. Additionally, if you are running a tight schedule and the difference between commuting to our office versus staying where you mean that you have time for your session, you can now have a session when you wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
Virtual sessions also provide a different feel to sessions. Technology, in general, tends to help people feel more anonymous. For those who have troubles being vulnerable and intimate, virtual therapy may be a good start to helping you dive into the deep stuff while offering some level of anonymity.
Where you have your virtual sessions matters. For instance, if you are comfortable in your own space (e.g., your living room, bedroom, office, car) you are more likely to feel comfortable going deeper in your sessions. However, if you do not feel comfortable in your space (because you don’t have privacy or your home is not a safe space for you), you may feel limited in how much you want to share in your sessions. Withholding information in your therapy sessions cheats you on getting the most out of them. This is where we might recommend coming in person for your therapy sessions.
Are you seeing people in-person?
Yes! All our clinicians are fully vaccinated, and some have their booster shots. Our employees work within a hybrid setup where they are in the office for in-person sessions one day a week and the rest of the time they are holding virtual sessions on an encrypted, HIPAA compliant platform.
To ensure the safety of our clients, psychotherapists, and building personnel, we are mandating that our clients are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 if they are scheduling in-person appointments.
If you are not vaccinated, don’t worry! We can still see you for virtual therapy. If your vaccination status changes, you are welcome to start booking in-person appointments with your therapist once you upload your proof of vaccination to your online portal.
Please keep an open dialogue with your therapist about your health and well-being. If you have come in contact with someone who is Covid +, we ask that you get tested or quarantine prior to your appointment. If this cannot be done within the timeframe from the time of contact to your appointment, we ask that you reschedule or have your appointment virtually. We appreciate your help in keeping everyone safe and healthy during these trying times.
Do you offer telephone, video, or online therapy?
Yes, we offer therapy through the use of various forums: telephone therapy, video chat therapy, and in-office therapy settings. Please understand that some of these forums may have limitations to them and we highly suggest you speak with one of our representatives if you are interested in pursuing any type of therapy with us.
What is the hourly fee?
Your out-of-pocket expense will vary depending on your out-of-network insurance benefits and which therapist you see. We’d be happy to speak to you over the phone to hear your needs to best match you with a clinician. We are a teaching agency that brings on interns and pre-licensed clinicians as fully licensed therapists. Due to our clinicians’ different experience levels, our fees range from $75-225.
Is there an option to reduce the hourly fee?
We also have a “pay what you can” program. If you qualify for a fee reduction, but the reduction still doesn’t feel doable for your financial situation right now, you can pay what you can for each session. If you are in this program, you will be assigned to work with one of our interns. Our interns are heavily supervised (at least 3 hours a week) by more experienced clinicians. They have case consultations each week with colleagues and can record their sessions or have their supervisor sit in on them to get live feedback if you allow it. With this level of in-house training and support, you receive top-notch care.
Pay What You Can Therapy Program requirements:
- Attend weekly appointments.
- If you must cancel your appointment, do so outside of the 24-hour cancelation window.
- If you do not show up for your appointment and do not communicate this to your clinician or cancel late (with less than 24 hours notification to your clinician), you will be discharged from the program.
- Be honest about the fee you can pay.
- Spots are limited, so we want to ensure we give them to those who truly need them.
Does The Better You Institute take insurance?
Not directly. We are an out-of-network provider. By filling out this form, we can better assist you in knowing exactly what your coverage is and if you can utilize your insurance in your therapeutic treatment.
Please note, we are not an in-network provider. We do work with major insurance companies such as Blue Cross, Aetna, Highmark, Cigna, and others. In our experience, clients who go through their insurance by receiving therapy from an in-network therapist have several limitations to the treatment they receive and find the insurance companies to be somewhat invasive. In-network therapists are required to share more information with your insurance company. By being out-of-network, we are able to keep your information more private, and therefore giving you the best level of confidentiality.
Once you complete this form, we will speak to your insurance company about which benefits you have and email you a write-up of your benefits. We can also file your claims if you choose.
You may also have access to a tax-free Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flex spend. These accounts usually come with a credit card linked to them and can be used for certain medical expenses such as mental health therapy.
You may also be eligible for a tax credit, which we can provide a receipt for that as well.
Phone script to use when calling insurance to check Out of Network benefits
Here is a helpful phone script for you if you would like to call your insurance to see your coverage. However, we’d be happy to contact your insurance company on your behalf, just fill this form out.
You: “I’m interested in seeing an out-of-network therapist near me. I’m aware that you’ll need a CPT code for [individual (90837), couples (90847), or family (90847)] therapy. What is the amount that you cover for this?”
Insurance provider: [Will usually give you a percent or a flat rate and may discuss meeting a deductible.] “Once your deductible of $XX has been met, you will receive XX% reimbursement of the proprietary fee.” OR “You have a deductible of $XX. You have a co-insurance of XX%.” [Co-insurance is the % you are responsible for paying.]
You: [If they do not mention a deductible, make sure you ask] “Do I have to reach a deductible before you reimburse with this percentage?”
Insurance Provider: [Will guide you through your plan and what its benefits are.] “You have a deductible of $XX, of which $XX has been met. You have an out-of-pocket max of $XX.”
You: If the insurance rep doesn’t mention a maximum number of sessions, be sure to ask “Am I limited on how many times I can see my therapist within the year?”
Insurance Provider: [Should provide you with the regulations surrounding the number of visits allowed.]
You: “What is the process for submitting the paperwork to get reimbursement?”
Insurance Provider: [Will instruct you on how to submit the forms, usually pointing out a form on their website or an address in which you send the receipts.]
You: “Is there anything else I should know, such as diagnoses that may or may not be covered?”
Insurance Provider: [Will give you a rundown of the diagnosis limitations to reimbursement.]
Which insurance plans offer out-of-network benefits?
Most major insurances (e.g., Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare) PPO plans offer out-of-network reimbursement for your services at The Better You Institute. However, nothing is guaranteed until you submit a claim and an insurance agent is able to review the claim.
To get an estimate of what your reimbursement will look like for our services, or see if your insurance will reimburse at all you can call the number on the back of your insurance card and use the script below. Or, you can fill out this form and have one of our specialists ask on your behalf.
Insurance that does not offer out-of-network benefits includes Keystone Healthplan East, any insurance provided through the state, and any health plan that is an HMO. We offer a sliding scale structure to our fees for those who are unable to receive insurance reimbursement and who qualify financially through our Fee Reduction Application.
How long is a typical session?
Your session time can vary depending on your needs as a client. For some of you, a 50-minute session will be enough. However, you may experience times when you need a longer appointment. We pride ourselves on being able to accommodate your needs.
How often do I schedule appointments with my therapist?
Ultimately you and your therapist agree on the frequency of visits. Most clients see their therapist weekly or every other week. There are a few things to consider as you decide what frequency of treatment is best for you:
How do you process things?
If you need time to let things sink in or put things into practice because that’s how you function or because your life is fairly busy right now, you may want to try every-other-week sessions.
However, if you are the type of person who needs extra accountability for staying on track, or you process things pretty quickly and are eager to jump to the next thing then you may want to consider an every-week treatment program. Additionally, if you are in the thick of an experience that is difficult for you, the extra weekly support may benefit you.
Another thing to think about in reference to how you process is how long it takes you to get into ‘therapy mode.’ Meaning, do you need more than 10ish minutes to feel comfortable with the therapist to start diving into deeper issues? If so, you may want to think about extending your sessions beyond the 50 minutes. Some individuals take longer to get to the crux of the issues. If you find that your getting to the ‘deep stuff’ too late in the session and are feeling raw or like you didn’t get to finish by the end, think about extending your session. The extra time may work better for your flow.
What is your schedule like?
There are a few things to consider when it comes to scheduling: commute to and from your appointments, your weekly schedule (work/school), anyone that you support’s weekly schedule (kids, partner, parent, etc.), your therapist’s availability, and if doing virtual sessions when is a good time to get privacy?
What works for me financially?
You should make a budget that incorporates the cost of therapy (the session fee, transportation costs, cost of books, or any other resources the therapist may recommend to you). Therapy is an investment in yourself just like a gym membership or going to a physical therapist. You should also consider what you can afford with your time. What needs to be moved around to accommodate your 50-minute session and the emotional experience that you will have where you may need time to decompress and process.
Therapy is a promise to yourself that you are going to work on improving and moving forward. One of those ways you can do that is by seeking out therapy. Therapy does have an upfront cost to it. However, if your mental health issues go untreated, they can cause bigger issues down the road that are much more expensive (e.g., chronic illness, medical issues, loss of your job, dropping out of college, divorce, DUI). By spending 6-12 months in therapy, you could be adding years to your life and saving thousands of dollars in other expenses. Through therapy, you may find the confidence to ask for that promotion, a greater sense of stability, belief in yourself and the world at large to take more risks that lead to greater successes! Invest in yourself, invest in therapy.
What can I expect in the first session?
Your therapist will take a few minutes to go through the paperwork that you will be sent via a secure online portal. In order to save time, please have your paperwork completely filled out before your first session. Going through the paperwork in person will ensure that you are fully informed of your confidentiality and the therapeutic process, and your therapist has all of your information to help Better You. You will also have time to ask any clarifying questions that you may have about the paperwork.
After the paperwork is completed, you will then begin discussing what brought you into therapy. The therapist will take a full assessment of the presenting problem. At the end of the session, your therapist will summarize your issues and help you to create a treatment plan. Depending on the issue, your therapist will send you home with homework for the next session.
What are your treatment modalities?
We see Individuals, Couples, and Families face-to-face at our office, over the phone*, or video chatting*.
At The Better You Institute, we believe people cannot be put into just one category; and, therefore, they cannot be treated with only one mode of therapy. We are eclectic in our work. Some of the more common therapy techniques that we utilize in our work with clients come from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Internal Family Systems (IFS), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Integrated Family Systems, Eco-Systemic Family Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Attachment Theory, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Experiential Therapy, Psychoeducation, and Exposure Therapy.
*Most insurance companies do not cover phone or video therapy. Please call your insurance company for more information.
Are you a safe space for minorities?
Short answer – yes.
Long answer – our clinicians are diverse in their personal and educational backgrounds. We work hard to best understand ourselves, the biases and privileges our backgrounds afford us, and how that might impact the therapy we provide and our client’s experience. We are human; sometimes, we still need room to learn and grow. Our goal in best serving our clients is to expose ourselves to as much educational information as possible within the areas that we may not know much about. We believe one of the best ways to learn is through experiencing the very thing that we are working to explore. Therapy is a collaboration between the therapist and the client where open dialogue can exist about any important topic. Through transparency and discussion, we are confident that we can provide you with the openness and safety you deserve in treatment.
While we strive to create safety for everyone we treat, we also want to be sure our team members feel safe. The therapeutic relationship is set up to be intimate in nature. We want you to feel comfortable discussing difficult topics and being vulnerable. We think it is amazing when clients step out of their comfort zone to learn and grow. However, there is a level of professionalism and certain boundaries that our clinicians require of their clients when presenting information so that it does not force them to step out of their comfort zone in a way that won’t serve you during a session.
What ages do you see?
We see ages 5+.
Children under 14 will need to have their primary caretakers (parent/guardian/foster parent/etc.) present for the first few sessions during the assessment phase. Upon completion of the assessment, the therapist may recommend family sessions over individual child sessions. We frequently see that a child’s behaviors/thoughts/emotions are a product of their environment (aka their school, home life, family dynamics, etc.). If we only treat the individual but send them back to the environment that was triggering the issues in the first place, we are not treating the issues we are treating the symptoms. We pride ourselves on being able to find the cause of the problems. We help individuals, couples, and families shift and fix what’s at the root of the problems so that the symptoms dissipate.
How do I get to your office?
We are conveniently located at 123 S. Broad St., Suite 1835. Our entrance is on Broad St. between Sansom St. and Walnut St. Upon arrival to our building, you sign in at the security desk, and then take the High Bank Elevators (on the right of the security desk) to the 18th floor and follow the signs to The Better You Institute, suite 1835.
*Please note that in all common areas of our building, you will need to be wearing a mask.
The Orange/Broad Street SEPTA Line concourse is connected to our building at the Walnut-Locust St. Station. Follow signs to Walnut St.
The 4, 27, and 32 Bus drops you off within a 1 block radius of our building.
There is a pedestrian connection from the 12/13th St. PATCO Station to the Walnut St. SEPTA concourse that is connected to our building.
If you are coming from 95 S or 76 E (Bucks County or Montgomery County), you will get on 676 and get off at the Broad St. Exit. Stay on 15th Street until you circle around City Hall to S. Broad St.
If you are coming from 95 N (Delaware County, Delaware, S. Jersey, etc.) take exit 17 toward Broad St. Stay on Broad St. until you get to 123 S. Broad St.
If you are coming from 76 W (S. Jersey or SW Philadelphia) take the South St. exit. Stay on South Street until you reach Broad St. Take a left onto Broad St. Stay on Broad St. until you get to 123 S. Broad St.
If you are coming from New Jersey (Ben Franklin Bridge). Take the bridge and stay in the Central Philadelphia Lane. Get onto 676 W. Take the Broad St. exit. Stay on 15th Street until you circle around City Hall to S. Broad St. OR take the bridge to 8th St. Turn left onto 8th St. Follow 8th st. until you get to Walnut St. Take a right onto Walnut St. Follow Walnut St. until you get to Walnut St. and Broad St.