FAQ

How do I set up an initial appointment?
How do I set up an initial appointment?

Give me a call at (323) 819-0747 or email me at [email protected]. You can ask questions or schedule an appointment! I look forward to hearing from you.

Where is your office located?

I am currently only offering telehealth / video therapy, which has proven to be a wonderful shift. Many studies have shown the virtual space to be just as effective, and it’s flexible too. I do plan to offer in-person therapy again when it is safe to do so.

Patrick Tully Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Inc11500 W Olympic Blvd.Suite 400Los Angeles, CA 90064

Metered Street Parking as well as 24/7 Parking in Building

Do you see people in both California and Florida?

Yes. I’m able to see people in Florida via telehealth, in addition to California!

My Florida registration number allows me to see people there via private pay or through Modern Health EAP.

Florida Telehealth Registration Number Directory

Can I use video therapy or teletherapy in lieu of visiting you in the office, or in addition to office visits?

For the time-being, all sessions are telehealth visits. Many clients who were hesitant at first found that they loved the flexibility as well as realness it provides. I admit that I am a big fan now too! Modern Age Therapy includes Telehealth!

Many clients have found that online video therapy (also referred to as telehealth) by itself is extremely helpful. It’s common to use it in conjunction to in-person therapy: when you might not be feeling well, when you might be overwhelmed by the week, or maybe when you’re out of town.

Telehealth is secure and encrypted, and I encourage you to visit the dedicated online therapy page to learn more! Of course, feel free to ask me questions!

I am hard-of-hearing and would like to have live captioning during our sessions. Is this possible?

Yes! This is possible regardless if the session is in-person or remote. I utilize premium level captioning with the help of Ava Pro and others depending on the client and need for the specific situation.

I pay for premium artificial intelligence captioning (I pay for Ava’s Pro tier of captioning) that can be utilized by clients for free during sessions. If you are a new client or existing client, I can guide you through how to set it up at no cost to you!

It’s extremely easy and there’s a couple of options available to you depending on your preference. This is all free as I pay for a certain solution in order for clients with hearing loss to have secure closed-captioning during their sessions!

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!

What is your rate?

My out of pocket fee ranges from $140 to $185 per 50 minute session for individuals depending on budget and space for sliding scale. You can let me know what fee feels most comfortable to you, or if the fees seem too high for your budget, please do reach out. Out of network insurance benefits can be generous and you can ask them certain questions (listed below) if you wish to utilize those for your therapy.

I am In Network with the following plans (HMO, EPO, POS, PPO):
Aetna / Coventry / Meritain
Cigna / Evernorth
Humana (non-Medicare).

I do accept EAP benefits through:
Aetna, Modern Health, and Lyra Health.

Please note that at this time, Lyra doesn’t make their directory searchable by name. But it’s not necessary to find me in the directory when using Lyra. Simply send me a message sharing you have Lyra and we can work together without the Lyra directory being the point of contact.

Letter of Agreement (In Network Rate), also known as Single Case Agreement

HealthNet / MHN:
MHN often approves Letters of Agreement if the member contacts member services on their card (MHN handles Mental Health for many HealthNet plans).
You’ll be asked the reasons why you would like a letter of agreement. If you’ve been searching for an in-network therapist and haven’t found one that fits what you’re looking for and believe I would for specific reasons, you can tell them that. They’ll ask you for reasons. It’s not a guarantee but worth doing if out of network benefits do not offer coverage, as MHN has historically approved single case agreements.

Accepted Methods of Payment: Credit card, debit card, cash, check as well as certain HSA/FSA/HRA benefits are accepted.

Out of Network:

If you have a PPO or POS plan, you likely have both “in network” (providers who are contracted and agree to a certain rate) as well as “out of network” (no contract exists but the insurance may provide reimbursement) benefits. Upon request, for certain PPO and certain POS plans, I can automatically generate and send you insurance reimbursement forms (“superbills”) that you can send to your insurance company for reimbursement if you have a PPO plan and certain POS plans as well. If you’d like clarification on your out-of-network mental health benefits, simply call the Customer Service number on the back of your insurance card and ask them:

1) Do I have coverage for mental health sessions with an out-of-network Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)?

2) Do I have a deductible to meet before I receive reimbursement?

3) What is the “Allowed Amount” for “CPT code 90837” (A CPT code is used to bill sessions) for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists?

A CPT code is used to bill sessions and they should know what you’re referring to.
The amount I bill may or may not be the same as the Allowed Amount. This amount is only known by the insurance company.

4) If they don’t accept 90837 out-of-network, ask them the “Allowed Amount” for CPT code 90834 and if it is consistent for all their out-of-network LMFTs.

5) Do I pay a percentage or a co-pay of this “Allowed Amount” after deductible?

If you prefer to not use insurance, you can opt-out by requesting an Insurance Opt-Out Form. I cannot make this decision for you or simply suggest you not use insurance. Some people don’t want to use insurance out of personal preference even when I’m in-network and so if this is the case, then this form can be sent to you electronically.

Please also feel free to refer to the question on out-of-network benefits in this FAQ: What is the difference between in-network and out-of-network benefits?

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!

What is the difference between in-network and out-of-network benefits?

Before reading this, know I’m trying to explain complex topics, and we will determine a rate that fits your budget together before we bill insurance. The following information is designed to help bring reassurance to the concept of out-of-network reimbursement, but there are complicated nuances that we can navigate together. Please understand that out-of-network benefits are a courtesy that may or may not end up lowering your therapy rate after you’ve paid me for services.

Please refer to the Rates question Rates question when contemplating what questions to ask your insurance company about your benefits.

The difference between in-network and out-of-network benefits is that providers who are in-network with an insurance company have a contract with them for a specific rate. For an Explanation of Benefits (EOB – often mailed to you by insurance and sometimes viewable online in the insurance website portal), while the Amount Charged by the provider will typically be much higher than the Allowed Amount (lingo might vary depending on plan), the Allowed Amount will be set to a known contracted amount. You’ll also often see Copay and/or Coinsurance on the EOB as well.

This amount is the total paid to the provider by the insurance company as well as by you (Copay/Co-insurance with or without deductible). If you have an in-network Copay, you’ll often only need to pay this amount and not the entire Allowed Amount. If you have an in-network coinsurance (often based on a percentage), you’ll be responsible for the full Allowed Amount unless your in-network deductible has been met. you’ll only be responsible for the listed Copay or Coinsurance (usually with an in-network deductible applying before the coinsurance percentage covers the sessions).

Plans that have Out-of-Network benefits are often either PPO or POS plans (The plan type might use different lingo, so refer to your plan documents or call your insurance company to confirm your benefits). HMO and EPO plans do not have out-of-network benefits as they only allow you to use the providers within their network.

Compared to using in-network benefits, with out-of-network billing, the Allowed Amount (AKA Eligible expense, payment allowance, negotiated rate) is not known by the provider but is typically much higher than the Allowed Amount for the service that you would see if in network. This is because insurance companies are known for allowing a much larger amount out-of-network for each procedure and this is why they like you to use in-network providers so they don’t have to pay the higher amount. The benefit to a higher Allowed Amount is that it would allow the deductible (if you have one) to be met sooner. The Allowed Amount is what the insurance pays for a certain service. And the coinsurance percentage is based on this Allowed Amount, not the Billed Amount.

An example: If your Allowed amount/Negotiated rate/Eligible expense/Payment allowance is $150, and if you’ve met your out-of-network deductible and your coinsurance is 70%, then you would be reimbursed $105 for the session by the insurance company.

Insurance companies do not share out of network allowed amounts with any medical professionals and the amount can vary per policy. As mentioned earlier, insurance companies are known for setting allowed amounts for out of network procedures/services at much higher amounts, as they pay in-network providers less than their worth. There’s no way for out-of-network providers to know what the allowable amount is until it appears on the EOB for the client. The amount can even vary from one client to another. It could be between $100 and $200 if we use Medicare rates as a way to estimate the cost and then lower it a bit (Sometimes insurance base their out-of-network negotiated amounts for commercial plans on Medicare reimbursement rates.

Keep in mind the Allowed Amount is not the same as the amount you and I have agreed on for each session. We will agree to a rate and then bill the insurance and that will likely appear as the Billed Amount (or some similar naming scenario) and then on the EOB, the Allowed Amount would be revealed, and the reimbursement would be based off of that.

With a PPO or POS plan, you could be reimbursed a significant amount after deductible has been met. Sometimes, a plan may allow you to be reimbursed before deductible, or you may not have an out-of-network deductible. The percentage or copay that you are responsible for when using out-of-network benefits can be found in your healthcare plan documents (refer specifically to the Summary of Benefits and you’ll find information on out-of-network deductible, coinsurance, or copays. You can also call your insurance company and ask them).

Here’s an example: You have a $200 out-of-network deductible with a coinsurance of 70%. This means you wouldn’t be typically reimbursed for the first $200 of out of network claims (from any providers who are out-of-network), but you would be reimbursed 70% of the “Allowed Amount” after the out-of-network deductible has been met. Some policies may have different rules for different services/procedures though, so it’s possible you don’t need to reach deductible. I would call your insurance to confirm. Sometimes they won’t know for sure.

Since my rates are on-par and often lower than other providers in the Los Angeles Westside area (often $200+), you’ll potentially end up paying close to an in-network copay by billing your out-of-network benefits. And even with a deductible, the savings could add up over time.

As mentioned earlier, for plans that I don’t have a contract with as an in-network provider, I am unable to find out what the plan-specific reimbursement rates are for out-of-network reimbursement, as these are not shared with providers by insurance companies. But these become clear once you’ve billed out of network and receive your EOB (Explanation of Benefits), which is usually mailed to you and often viewable online through your account with the insurance company when looking up finalized claims.

Please remember that you’re able to use any FSA/HSA benefits to pay for your sessions!

I’m here for you to help navigate through any confusion that you might encounter. I write this as a way for you to hopefully understand out-of-network billing a bit more. But I understand it’s confusing. If you have a high deductible, it can be beneficial to have your therapy sessions go towards your out-of-network deductible since any unanticipated future out-of-network costs during the year (from other providers) would more likely have better coverage.

How long is each session?
Typically, sessions are 45 – 50 minutes long and occur once a week.

If you wish to have longer sessions, this can be discussed either at the start of seeing each other or in the process of our work together.

I have learned that sticking to a consistent timeframe is important for the therapeutic alliance, but that sometimes a longer session, or more frequent sessions, can be helpful.

The most common format is once a week. I see many clients twice a week, especially in the beginning of therapy, as this can help build therapeutic trust and jump-start the process. I also can accommodate every other week as well – but this is not as beneficial as weekly.

Therapy is designed to be flexible just like the human experience and develop boundaries for a healthier self and satisfaction in relationships.

Does insurance reimburse for EMDR?
Yes, EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (Check out my EMDR Therapy page to learn more about the practice.) is reimbursed by most insurance when done in a typical therapy timeframe. But sometimes, extended sessions can be extremely beneficial. However, at this time, it appears that only Aetna and Lyra Health allow for extended sessions to be billed through insurance (Lyra Health only allows it for PTSD and EMDR together). Aetna allows for extended sessions regardless of the modality used during the visit, but of course the need would be documented appropriately. If we do decide to extend sessions to ensure you have appropriate time to process, then what we can do is submit the add-on code for the additional time but also keep in mind an additional fee to be paid, only if the insurance does not approve the additional time. I have submitted claims through Aetna, etc. and been reimbursed, but other insurance companies / EAPs don’t cover the service in the contracts they negotiate with us, and have denied adding such codes. However, I’m still willing to add the appropriate codes to either insurance that I’m in network with or to statements or billing done for out-of-network with to ensure you can get the most reimbursement possible.
What should I expect the first session? I've never been in therapy before.
Welcome! I understand that therapy can be a vulnerable subject and I want to alleviate your concerns as much as I can. I invite you to read the question in this FAQ: How does therapy work? as well as visit the following page: What to Expect Your First Session.

My way of doing therapy is designed to alleviate your troubles. I do therapy in a collaborative and safe setting where you can share and ask me questions, knowing confidentiality is upheld in the highest regard.

My approach to helping you will be based on your goals and the organic process in the room. I work collaboratively and empathically to understand your strengths and concerns. Sharing this information with me is a process, so you can feel relief in a safe setting.

I will check in with you as part of my responsibility to respect what you want out of therapy. Sessions are tailored to you, meaning I see and respect you for who you are. True compassion and caring in a safe and confidential space are among my top priorities!

My training was extensive in terms of incorporating psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, EMDR, and other techniques. There is a common model of empathy that I often use in my own way and either add to or subtract from that’s described in detail here:

https://ct.counseling.org/2017/02/creative-novel-approaches-empathy/

Real empathy that not only reflects but calls to your experience in the therapeutic exchange is essential to a successful therapist-client relationship dynamic. My approach blends this skill with other forms of therapy naturally and when needed (eg. CBT, narrative therapy, family systems, etc.). I aim to be curious to help you delve further into your own curiosity and awareness to cultivate a deeper understanding of events and feelings.

I enjoy incorporating humor into therapy, as it has always been a natural part of my personality to discover humor organically. I feel it also leads to a deepened appreciation of the therapeutic process because I’m being just as genuine with my sense of humor as when I am not joining with you in a joking way.

In addition, being LGBTQIA+ Affirmative means I bring not only my experience of being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community through self-disclosure, but also training of the models of Affirmative therapy. This also includes me acknowledging that I have privileges as a cis gay man that other members of the LGBTQIA+ community do not. I do not aim to ignore these privileges either.

Being Anti-Racist also means I acknowledge my own privilege as a white man in this world. The life experience of BIPOC clients is different and must be brought into session as otherwise I feed into the false narrative that the privileges I have do not make a difference.

I consider myself a feminist as well. I also must acknowledge the privileges that come with being a male that females do not have in our world and society.

What do you specialize in?
I specialize in multiple issues with multiple modalities. These include but are not limited to:

General Anxiety
Social Anxiety
ADHD
LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Therapy
EMDR
PTSD / Trauma
Sex Affirmative Therapy
Understanding Sexual Behavior
Accepting and Coping with Hearing Loss: Parents, Individuals
Coping with Chronic Health Conditions

You can always ask me more about whether I specialize in a certain area and how I treat it by calling / texting 323-819-0747 or by emailing [email protected]

How does therapy work?
My way of doing therapy is designed to alleviate your troubles. I do therapy in a collaborative and safe setting where you can share and ask me questions, knowing confidentiality is upheld in the highest regard.

My approach to helping you will be based on your goals and the organic process in the room. I work collaboratively and empathically to understand your strengths and concerns. Sharing this information with me is a process, so you can feel relief in a safe setting.

I will check in with you as part of my responsibility to respect what you want out of therapy. Sessions are tailored to you, meaning I see and respect you for who you are. True compassion and caring in a safe and confidential space are among my top priorities!

My training was extensive in terms of incorporating psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, EMDR, and other techniques. There is a common model of empathy that I often use in my own way and either add to or subtract from that’s described in detail here:

https://ct.counseling.org/2017/02/creative-novel-approaches-empathy/

Real empathy that not only reflects but calls to your experience in the therapeutic exchange is essential to a successful therapist-client relationship dynamic. My approach blends this skill with other forms of therapy naturally and when needed (eg. CBT, narrative therapy, family systems, etc.). I aim to be curious to help you delve further into your own curiosity and awareness to cultivate a deeper understanding of events and feelings.

I enjoy incorporating humor into therapy, as it has always been a natural part of my personality to discover humor organically. I feel it also leads to a deepened appreciation of the therapeutic process because I’m being just as genuine with my sense of humor as when I am not joining with you in a joking way.

In addition, being LGBTQIA+ Affirmative means I bring not only my experience of being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community through self-disclosure, but also training of the models of Affirmative therapy. This also includes me acknowledging that I have privileges as a cis gay man that other members of the LGBTQIA+ community do not. I do not aim to ignore these privileges either.

Being Anti-Racist also means I acknowledge my own privilege as a white man in this world. The life experience of BIPOC clients is different and must be brought into session as otherwise I feed into the false narrative that the privileges I have do not make a difference.

I consider myself a feminist as well. I also must acknowledge the privileges that come with being a male that females do not have in our world and society.

How long does therapy take?
The timeframe of therapy varies for each person. In my approach, I seek to help you find deeper meaning beyond the issues you bring in so that you can attain deeper insight on a variety of issues.

I work with you for as long as the therapy is beneficial. What you need is going to be different than what another person desires.

During our sessions, I will continue to ask you how you feel about our work together, and at any time you can bring up questions and curiosities. You are the expert of your own life. I will never tell you to be in therapy longer than you desire.

Do you just sit there and not say anything?
No. While I sometimes may take the time to listen or appreciate silence, I’ll be active in the process. I feel a therapist should respond to their clients. If I’m not saying something, I may be taking a moment to encourage you to appreciate how silence can lead to answers. Yes, silence is difficult, even for me sometimes, but be rest assured, we will be communicating as two human beings. But I like to ask questions and so you can expect that I will inquire about certain things.
Is your office ADA-compliant? I have physical challenges.
Yes! My Olympic office is ADA-compliant. So if you have any physical challenges (eg. vestibular issues, walking, use a wheelchair), I will be able to accommodate you. It’s important to me to have an accessible office so people feel welcomed and supported. Having had my own vestibular and other challenges, I understand the difficulty.

In addition, if there is ever a day where you feel unable to commute to my office due to an issue suddenly acting up, I am able to set up secure HIPAA-compliant visits without advance notice. Of course, video therapy is always available to you as part of my offering. I encourage you to request video therapy even if you don’t feel your best. I have found that therapy still benefits clients in these situations.

I have designed my practice around making you feel comfortable even with physical challenges. If you notice something I have missed, please let me know.

Are you Deaf and know sign language (ASL)?

I’m not a member of the Deaf community, and I don’t know ASL. I’m hard-of-hearing, wear hearing devices, and speak English. If you’re searching for therapists fluent in ASL, I’m happy to provide you referrals to well-regarded agencies that have the ability to best assist you.

However! I do pay for premium captions (mentioned in another FAQ question) so clients have access to this high quality captioning solution during each session. I am happy to help guide you through how to set it up.

Isn't therapy just for people who have serious problems?
The belief that therapy benefits only people who have serious issues is a misconception. Often, when we are experiencing any issues we often feel as if the issue is indicative of something that is wrong with us. In reality, many of us can benefit from having someone who is impartial and also held to strict standards of confidentiality, such as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (which I am). Many of my clients enjoy being able to have a safe space to check in and share about their week. There isn’t always a pressing issue. I tailor therapy to your needs. We will work together and figure out if there’s a specific focus or if you’d like to organically allow that to happen during our work together.
I don't know if my issue is primarily "emotional" rather than situational and focused on figuring out my goals. Should I go and see you?
Absolutely yes.

Some people want to first work on their emotions and how the way they’ve been living their life, or life obstacles, get in their way. Other people have specific goals that are not necessarily rooted in emotion.

We are emotional beings, so decisions and life changes often do come with their share of overwhelm and desire for change. So, with my license, I can help all of that and create clarity for you and your future. The intake process is key as it allows you to write down anything you want to discuss during our first appointment.

Therapy for the Modern Age isn’t only for your moments of anxiety, but also for those times you need to figure out the direction of your life! Give me a call or email me and learn more!

Are Marriage and Family Therapists only trained to see families or couples?
No. Being a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) means we have received additional training to treat couples, families, and see things in a relational context in addition to individual or society-level views. But the education we receive, as well as the training we obtain towards our 3000 hours (required for licensing), includes extensive work with individuals, couples, families, and covers a vast array of issues. We are trained in many different areas and happen to receive specialized training in relational issues.

But there are many therapists who specialize in only individuals, couples, or families, so LMFT therapists are able to be very diverse.

I’m happy to answer any questions to clarify this further.

Will you hold my time slot?
I aim to keep your time slot, but can only promise that a time slot can be held if you are coming in weekly, due to changes in schedules that occur with all my clients. I aim to be as flexible as possible. I find that consistent days and times simplifies scheduling for clients. Your time is valuable.

We can figure out scheduling week-by-week, as well, as naturally our schedules can change sometimes. But my suggestion is to think of a few regular times that work best weekly, so when scheduling for follow up appointments we can discuss a time that can be set to repeat on both our schedules to avoid future scheduling conflicts.

How often should I come in for therapy sessions?
Therapy works best when there are regularly scheduled sessions once a week. Trust with a therapist is of utmost importance when in therapy in order for us to begin to examine ourselves.

Best practices for therapy call for us to develop a therapeutic bond that assists you in multiple areas of your life and addresses surprises that come out of your unconscious (what you’re not aware of yet). Insight, continued growth, and other factors continue outside of therapy, and weekly appointments allow us to check in to what is happening.

Our society does not prioritize mental health treatment the way it should. Mental well-being often translates to physical well-being. In addition, the insights you gain are made stronger every single week. Not every session is obviously cathartic or deep. The intent is to allow for a comfortable pace for you to open up freely to a therapist you trust. I hope I have the opportunity to provide this experience to you for your own clarity and overall well-being.

Therapy is the continuation of deeper exploration into yourself and weekly or twice weekly visits allow for emotions that come up throughout the growth process to be identified and addressed so you are able to cope better with yourself. People sometimes are worried about the cost of therapy, but similar to how other physical treatments require consistency, therapy benefits those who come in with consistency.

The therapeutic experience continues between sessions: think about it, the session is the time where “processing” takes place and between sessions, our mind doesn’t stop thinking, and we don’t stop feeling. Having an impartial observer, such as a therapist, assist with processing is very helpful. You deserve to have this time and commitment.

Even when sessions don’t evoke strong emotions, when we meet regularly we are able to work together to increase insight and unpack your experiences. This all has been found to be true through research and my personal experience. Commitment to therapy is important and you deserve it.

Will you go into psychological babble that I can’t understand?
While I was in school for a long period of time where I was exposed to psychological terms, I have spent enormous time in my training to humanize theories. This helped me understand what I was saying, as well as you!

Reigning in theory is an essential component of good therapy, as it allows us both to respond as two human beings working to help you. While you may get a phrase from Freud or a phrase from a movie I’ve seen, it should make sense.

You’re always free to ask questions, and I’m a great reader of body language.

Do you work with certain ages?
I work with most ages, teenagers all the way to elderly adults.
What does therapy look like?
Therapy is an adventure where you’ll be sharing your lived experience. Together, we’ll link that with patterns which you have. Therapy is real life, and, therefore, the relationship between you and me is authentic and through our alliance we can work on whatever is blocking you from your goals.

When walking in, you’ll be met with a gentle demeanor that is curious about your day and wondering about how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking about.

Do you charge extra if I use too many tissues?
No. All my tissues are free of charge. If you need to use all of them, you don’t need to worry about receiving any additional bill. The session is about what you need, and sometimes we need a lot of tissues!