Frequently Asked Questions

About Our Therapists

Our team is made up of consult clinicians, therapists, and care coordinators. Our consult clinicians and therapists are Licensed Clinical Psychologists (PhDs and PsyDs), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs). You can learn more about them on our clinical team page.

What is the role of a consult clinician?

The primary role of our consult clinicians is to match you with one of our therapists. Consult clinicians meet with you during your first visit—a 45-minute matching appointment. After your initial appointment, they use the data from your Two Chairs profile and the information you shared during your appointment to match you with one of our in-house therapists and services best fit for you. Your consult clinician will serve as an additional resource if you have any questions or concerns about your overall care experience at Two Chairs and can help facilitate a rematch if necessary.

What is the role of a therapist?

Therapists have the clinical training and skills to help you learn to cope more effectively with life issues and mental health needs. Unlike your consult clinician, your therapist will serve as your ongoing care provider and will be your go-to person for questions related to your care, scheduling, and coordinating your care with other health professionals.

What is the role of the Care Coordination team?

Care Coordinators are available to answer any questions that you have about payments, insurance, or the matching process at Two Chairs. If you have any questions about our services, including the complimentary Two Chairs Insurance Support program, you can contact us via phone at (415) 202-5159, email at support@twochairs.com, or find more information here. You can also set up time with a Care Coordinator here.

What is a Psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists manage medications related to mental health needs and can work alongside therapists to provide comprehensive mental healthcare. If you are looking for a psychiatrist, your Two Chairs therapist can provide you with a referral to a psychiatrist within our network and will work with them to coordinate your care.

About Therapy

What is therapy?

Therapy is a collaborative process based on a trusting relationship between you and your therapist. This strong therapeutic alliance allows you to talk freely and openly in a supportive, unbiased, and non-judgmental environment. Together, over a series of appointments, you and your therapist will challenge current patterns that keep you feeling stuck as well as identify and work towards fulfilling goals.

Is therapy right for me?

Yes! Therapy is right for everyone. Therapy can help you improve your relationships with your family and friends, help you overcome fears and insecurities, cope with stress, and communicate effectively. You may choose to engage in therapy on a more short-term basis during a time of need or for a longer period of time for support and maintenance. Therapy is about making yourself a priority.

How do I find the right therapist?

Too often searching for a therapist is a daunting task. Especially when you’re feeling hopeless and vulnerable, finding the right therapist can seem impossible. Where do I even start? How quickly will I be seen? What type of therapy is right for me? At Two Chairs, our licensed therapists work with you to understand your needs, goals, and preferences. Through a rigorous, data-driven approach backed by research and clinical expertise, we match you with the right therapist and type of therapy for your needs.

Why is it so important to find the right therapist?

Research shows that the therapeutic alliance between you and your therapist is the best predictor of successful treatment outcome. Psychologists define the therapeutic alliance as the strength of the therapist and client relationship and how aligned you are on goals. Once you have developed a strong therapeutic alliance with your therapist, studies show that individuals are more productive at work, have more fulfilled relationships, can cope more effectively with daily stressors, and engage in less risky behaviors.

Who can attend therapy at Two Chairs?

Currently, Two Chairs offers psychotherapy services to those over the age of 18. While we don’t currently offer psychiatric or adolescent services, our therapists can help work with outside providers for your care.

Our Matching Process

What should I expect from my matching appointment?

The 45-minute matching appointment is a conversation with one of our licensed therapists who we refer to as the consult clinician.

During the matching appointment, your consult clinician will work with you to identify your needs and preferences for therapy, and your scheduling availability. This appointment augments the information gathered from your Two Chairs profile and provides an opportunity for you to discuss personal questions or concerns you may have about therapy or receiving care at Two Chairs. Based on your conversation, your consult clinician will recommend a therapist who's a good fit based on your needs, goals, and preferences.

You can sign up for your matching appointment here.

What should I do before my matching appointment?

Once you schedule an appointment, you will receive a link to complete your Two Chairs profile and questionnaire. Please answer all questions before your matching appointment, as it helps us get to know you so that we can do our best to match you with the right care. The profile should take about 15-20 minutes to complete and needs to be finished at least 3 hours prior to your consult. If you would like to enroll in the Two Chairs Insurance Support program (for more information on this complimentary program, please click here), we encourage you to enter your health insurance information into the profile. If you have any questions at all before your matching appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact the Care Coordination team at (415) 202-5159 or by email at support@twochairs.com.

When will I receive my match?

We take care to emphasize the fit between you and your therapist and to honor your preferences, to ensure you get the most out of therapy. This means that it may take a few days to match you with a therapist who is a great fit. We are typically able to connect clients to ongoing care within 1-2 weeks. However, if you have strict scheduling constraints, it may take longer to find a great match that meets your scheduling needs. You'll hear from your consult clinician as soon as we've identified a great match for you—feel free to reach out with questions in the meantime.

Availability and Scheduling

Is Two Chairs accepting new patients?

Yes! At Two Chairs, we believe in providing you with quality care, quickly. To set up a matching appointment, you can call us at (415) 202-5159 or you can schedule your appointment online here.

Do you offer evening or weekend appointments?

We know you are busy, that’s why we offer extended office hours in the evenings and on Saturdays. We have appointments from 8am - 6pm Monday through Friday. Currently, matching appointments are only offered Monday through Friday. If you don’t see a time that works for you, call us to see if there is additional availability.

Can I attend Two Chairs sessions if I am out of state?

Two Chairs can provide therapy over secure video to anyone physically locating and residing in California. Although our locations are currently currently closed due to COVID-19, Two Chairs also provides in-person care in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. If you travel outside of California while in care at Two Chairs, we will not be able to provide care due to licensure regulations. In rare cases, accommodations can be made depending on where you are traveling. If you are an established client with upcoming travel plans, please reach out to your therapist to discuss your options. For matching appointments, you must be physically located in the state of California.

I just had my matching appointment, how do I schedule my first therapy appointment?

You'll hear from your consult clinician as soon as we've identified a great match for you. When your consult clinician reaches out, they'll share a link to book your first therapy appointment. You'll need to use that link within a week, as we can only guarantee a therapist's availability for you for 7 days.

How do I schedule ongoing appointments?

Once you meet with your therapist, together you can pick a time that works best for you. Your therapist can schedule regular appointments several weeks in advance to ensure that you have that time together.

How do I cancel or reschedule appointments?

If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, you can do so by emailing your therapist. If they are out of the office or if you are unable to reach them, please reach out to the care coordination team at support@twochairs.com or by calling us at 415.202.5159.

Attendance and Cancellation Policy

What is your cancellation policy?

You can cancel your appointment up to 48 hours before your scheduled therapy without a fee. If you cancel less than 48 hours before your appointment, you will be charged for the full cost of your appointment. To ensure the continuity needed for high-quality care, you are allowed 4 missed appointments (cancellation or no shows), every 6 months (Jan-Jun, Jul-Dec). Our detailed cancellation policy can be found here.

I have an unpredictable schedule due to work—how should I schedule ongoing therapy appointments with my therapist?

At the start of care, your therapist will discuss your schedule constraints with you and work to find a time slot that works best. If your schedule changes during your course of care, you and your therapist will work together on a new schedule. The more regularly and frequently you attend, the closer you get to accomplishing your treatment goals.

I had a personal emergency or got sick within 48 hours of my appointment—will I be charged?

We recognize physical illness and emergencies can’t be predicted. If you are not well enough to meet in-person, 48-hour notice is greatly appreciated, though rare exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis for illness or emergencies. Please discuss with your therapist directly at your next therapy appointment.

I told my therapist that I had to cancel before the 48 hour window but was charged—what do I do?

Please reach out to support@twochairs.com and cc your therapist's e-mail and we would be happy to refund the appointment via the payment method that was charged.

I rescheduled my appointment within the 48 hour window to another slot during the same week—will I still be charged?

With earlier notice, we might be able to reschedule your session. If you give us more than 48-hour notice and we are able to reschedule your session within the same Monday - Friday week, it will not count as a cancellation or towards your missed appointment count. If notice is given less than 48-hours in advance, the appointment will count as a cancellation/missed appointment regardless if we are able to reschedule.

How do I keep track of how many missed appointments I’ve had?

Your therapist will let you know when you are getting close to your allowed number of missed appointments for the 6 month period (Jan-June, July-Dec) and will be able to tell you how many you have at your request.

What will happen if I have more than the allowed number of missed appointments (cancellations and/or no shows)?

After 4 missed appointments in a 6 month period (Jan-June, July-Dec) your clinician will have a conversation with you to discuss your care and find a timeslot that might work better for you.

I will be missing more than 4 appointments during the time period due to extended travel. Will I still be able to keep my time slot?

Your therapist will do what they can to keep your timeslot on their panel, but due to other client’s needs we cannot guarantee that your slot is kept if you are unable to meet physically or virtually during that time period. The farther in advance you are able to give notice, the more likely we will be able to schedule around your travel. As soon as you know of your trip, please tell your clinician so you can plan together accordingly.

Individual Therapy at Two Chairs

What should I expect from my first individual therapy session at Two Chairs?

During your therapy appointment, you will meet with the therapist with whom you matched. They will also use the first session to understand your goals for therapy and to start building a collaborative therapeutic relationship. This will also be an opportunity to further discuss what frequency of visits is best for you and what to expect from future visits.

What should I expect from ongoing individual therapy?

During the first few sessions, you and your therapist will work together to determine your goals for therapy, which will serve as a road map for your work together. Throughout your care experience at Two Chairs, our care coordination team will check in with you to monitor your progress, assess what’s working and what can be improved.

How frequently will I have appointments?

Typically, our therapists recommend coming in for appointments on a weekly basis until you have accomplished your initial goals for therapy. However, this varies from person to person, and you and your therapist will work together to determine the cadence that is optimal for your care.

Does Two Chairs offer couples counseling services?

While we don’t offer couples counseling at this time, our therapists can offer individual therapy to you and your partner to discuss any relationship and communication issues. If you and your partner are interested in therapy at Two Chairs, you may book individual matching appointments and be matched with therapists that match your personal needs and preferences.

Measurement-Based Care

What is measurement-based care (MBC)?

Measurement-based care (MBC) is the systematic use of self-reported data to track clients’ progress, to aid clinical decision making, and to better inform and tailor care. MBC has been clinically-proven to improve overall outcomes of therapy by providing consistent, objective insight into your care journey. Experts in the mental health field have advocated for use of MBC to inform treatment for several decades. Yet, today, only a fraction of mental health providers incorporate it into their care. Two Chairs hopes to not only maintain best practices in the field of mental health, but also provide an excellent, tailored experience for our clients.

Why is MBC important?

MBC has been clinically-proven to improve overall outcomes of therapy by providing consistent, objective insight into a client’s care journey. MBC provides insight into treatment progress, empowers transparent conversations between you and your therapist, and provides increased awareness and understanding of what you may be experiencing and why. Here at Two Chairs we believe strongly in evidence-based practice, and MBC is a core component that helps us ensure we are delivering the highest quality care possible.

How does this affect my care at Two Chairs?

All clients receive two brief surveys, one before and one after each session, directly in their email inbox. The pre-session wellness survey monitors general well-being. The post-session alliance survey tracks your therapeutic relationship with your therapist and your experience in-session. Your therapist will automatically see your results, so you can review and discuss them in-session to help inform your care. These digital surveys will in some cases replace existing in-session paper surveys, and in other cases supplement existing surveys and other measurement tools. By combining in-person clinical expertise with your client feedback, MBC enables us to better tailor care to you at every step of the way.

Do I have to take part?

At Two Chairs, we believe strongly in care tailored to you. A core pillar of this mission is enabled through measurement-based care. Our MBC approach helps us monitor your progress and tailor care to match your unique needs, goals, and preferences. While MBC has been clinically-proven to improve outcomes of therapy, we realize there are certain situations where an exception should be made. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to discuss with your therapist at your next session or email us at mbc@twochairs.com.

How is my data being used?

We take the security and privacy of your personal information very seriously. What you share with your therapist through the pre- and post-session surveys will remain confidential and compliant with all applicable privacy regulations. We follow industry best practices to ensure that your personal health information is kept secure. For questions about the privacy or security of your data, please contact MBC@twochairs.com.

Am I able to access my data?

Currently, there is no direct way for you to view your data outside of session. Your therapist will have access and can review your results and progress with you during each session.

Using Insurance at Two Chairs

Will my insurance company cover my care with Two Chairs?

Two Chairs is an out-of-network provider, meaning that we are not contracted to work with any insurance companies. However, if you have a PPO plan, you may be eligible for reimbursement for a portion of the costs of care once you meet your out-of-network deductible. While we cannot guarantee reimbursement, enrolling in Two Chairs Insurance Support ensures you are not alone in dealing with insurance companies. A member of our dedicated Care Coordination team can help you understand your benefits and we’ll do everything we can to support you through the process. Contact the Care Coordination Team at support@twochairs.com for more information about your specific plan.

How do I submit claims to my insurance company?

When you sign up for your initial matching appointment, you can choose to enroll in Two Chairs Insurance Support. By providing us your most up-to-date insurance information in your Two Chairs profile, we’ll have everything we need to get started and in most cases, we’ll be able to submit your out-of-network claims on your behalf!

What are PPO and HMO health plans?

A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) is a plan with few restrictions to see out-of-network providers. PPO plans typically cover a portion of out-of-network costs. This means that if you have a PPO plan, once you meet your out-of-network deductible, you may receive reimbursement for a portion of your costs of care with Two Chairs.

In contrast, an HMO, or a Health Maintenance Organization, is a plan where your primary care provider coordinates your care to in-network providers. HMO plans often do not have any coverage for out-of-network care. This means that if you have an HMO plan, you will not receive any reimbursements for care at Two Chairs. This is the same for EPOs, or Exclusive Provider Organizations. We encourage you to call the phone number on the back of your insurance card to confirm your out-of-network coverage if you are unsure.

Often Open Access and POS plans function as PPO plans; and often Medi-Cal, Medicare, and Medicaid operate as HMO plans.

How much money will I get back?

This depends on your specific insurance plan, out-of-network deductible, and the type of medical service you received. Reimbursement rates vary widely by zip code, insurance company, and plan type. Please reach out to support@twochairs.com if you would like help in understanding your out-of-network benefits.

What is the allowed amount?

The allowed amount is the maximum amount an insurance plan will cover for a certain health care service. It may also be referred to as the “eligible expense,” “payment allowance,” or “negotiated rate.” This amount is used in most calculations made by insurance companies. This number is often tricky to obtain, and to do so, you’ll need to call the Member Services number on the back of your insurance card, or wait for your first Explanation of Benefits to come back after your first claim is submitted.

What is a deductible?

A deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket for care until your insurance benefits kick in. As an out-of-network provider, the allowed amount for services at Two Chairs will count toward your out-of-network deductible until you’ve fully met that deductible.

For example, if you have a $1000 out-of-network deductible and an allowed amount for an ongoing therapy appointment of $130, it will take ($1000/$130) about 8 sessions to reach your deductible.

What is coinsurance?

Coinsurance is the percentage of costs that you pay for a health care service after you've met your deductible. The coinsurance percentage is applied to the allowed amount, and you are also responsible for any remaining difference between the allowed amount and the actual cost of an appointment. Most coinsurance rates vary between 10% and 50%.

For example, for a $195 Two Chairs appointment, if you have an allowed amount of $120 and a coinsurance of 30%, you are responsible for paying (30% of $120) + ($195 - $120) = $111 per appointment after you've met your out-of-network deductible.

How long will it take to get reimbursed?

This depends on your insurance company and the complexity of your claim. On average, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for claims to be processed. Once the claim has been submitted, the best contact for a status update is your insurance company’s Member Services, or your online insurance portal.

How do I receive reimbursement from my insurance company?

Your insurance company will issue you a check and send it to the mailing address they have on file for you.

What happens if Two Chairs receives my reimbursements?

Since we will have already accepted payment for our services, we will attempt to have the check re-routed correctly to you. Given that this typically happens as a mistake of the insurance provider, the correction process can take up to several months to resolve.

What are flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts?

Flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA) are programs that allow you to set aside money (before taxes) for specific health care expenses. These accounts are intended to help you pay for out-of-pocket costs. If you’re unsure whether or not you have an FSA or HSA, please check with your employer or insurance company.

Can I use my HSA or FSA to pay for Two Chairs appointments?

Yes, you can! Two Chairs accepts FSA/HSA dollars as long as your FSA/HSA card is affiliated with a major credit card. If you would like to use your FSA/HSA card to pay for your care, please enter the payment information when you schedule your initial matching appointment or call us at 415.202.5159 and we can help get you set up. We can also provide you with any necessary paperwork to get reimbursed if your FSA/HSA account doesn’t have an associated debit card. A note that submitting receipts tends to be easier if you are also submitting your claims to your insurance company, and can ensure that you are making the most of your FSA/HSA benefits.

Your Data and Privacy

What do I do if I have questions about data and privacy?

We take the security and confidentiality of your personal information seriously. What you share with your therapist will remain confidential following the rules of the HIPAA. We follow industry best practices to ensure that your personal health information is kept secure. For questions about your data or privacy, please contact support@twochairs.com.