Are you accepting new clients?
Yes. (January & February 2023)
What is your weekly availability like?
I am not currently available on weekends with regularity. During the week, I have early (8am PST), mid day, and nights (until 9 pm) available. This availability is subject to minor changes impacted by my teaching schedule (semester based). I have found my availability capable of comfortably meeting most needs for both my NY and CA clients.
What is the wait time to get an initial assessment?
It depends. On average, for new Clients, around 1-3 weeks depending on availability and scheduling. This is primarily due to my current clients scheduling 1-3 weeks ahead of time.
Are you providing Face-to-Face sessions?
Yes. I am still primarily providing services via Telehealth, however I have some Face-to-Face availability Thursday/Monday nights, and M/W/Th/F days. When scheduling an intake, please discuss your preferences regarding Telehealth vs. Face-to-Face sessions and we will discuss my current availability.
Where are your Face-to-Face sessions held?
West Hollywood, off of Santa Monica Blvd.
How do I pay for sessions?
You may pay for sessions by Zelle, cash, check, transfer, or credit/debit card.
Do you take my insurance?
No. I am an out-of-network provider, so I am not in insurance networks and I do not accept insurance. I am able to provide you with superbills that you can provide your insurance company if you are eligible for reimbursement (see below).
Why don’t you take insurance?
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to work with insurance companies as a private practice psychologist, and especially as a therapist that often works with relationship issues. First, insurance usually does not cover couple therapy, family therapy, sex therapy, or relationship therapy for individuals. Second, if services are covered, insurance companies pay psychologists rates that are far below the market value of our work and expertise. Finally, taking insurance takes up a lot of time related to documentation and paperwork, answering questions, scheduling phone calls, etc... and it is not feasible for me to devote hours of time to paperwork rather than my clients.
Will my insurance company reimburse me for your services after the fact?
They may. If your insurance plan provides out-of-network coverage, you may be able to submit a claim for reimbursement for part (not all, usually) of your session fee. Please note I cannot guarantee you will get reimbursed from your insurance. Coverage and reimbursement rates vary significantly depending on the insurance company and plan, and you may need to meet your deductible first.
If you are interested in using your PPO insurance, it is suggested that you call your provider and ask about their policy on out-of-network behavioral health care. You will want to know (1) the amount of your deductible and (2) what percentage of behavioral health services they will reimburse you.
You mention relationships a lot, do you do individual therapy?
I absolutely do. I have expertise in evidence-based psychotherapies for a range of individual mental health concerns, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I have extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the gold standard treatment approach for anxiety and depression. I view my work with individuals as being richly informed by my additional specialized training. The merging of these skill sets promotes thinking about long lasting change that starts with you, but also focuses on how you grow and find enjoyment and wellbeing in all of the contexts that you live in (i.e., relationships, family, work, culture). It also allows for rich case conceptualizations and treatment goals that take into consideration how the world affects you. Change is personal, but also impactful. Individual therapy with me promotes resilience in the nuances of your life, and also fosters skills to successfully (and gracefully) navigate your understanding of who you have been, who you are, who you spend your time with, and who you want to be.
How long does treatment last?
Therapy with me typically lasts for 12 to 20 weekly sessions. The length of time will vary based on whether we both feel you’ve made significant progress towards each of the goals we outlined at the start of treatment. Research suggests that when therapists use effective methods, there is not much benefit to continuing treatment beyond 25 sessions. Towards the end of treatment, some clients choose to have occasional monthly sessions to check in on how well they’re independently maintaining progress.
Treatment length may need to be reevaluated over time if we uncover/discuss new areas you’d like to work on. Sometimes, individuals benefit from a longer treatment course — especially if we are addressing more than one concern or goal, or ongoing stressors. I will be able to offer you a better idea of the course of treatment after the initial assessment period.
What is your cancellation policy?
Sessions must be cancelled with at least 48 hours’ advance notice or the client is charged the full session fee. This is because I’m typically unable to fill a session with such short notice and I have scheduled others around our designated time. Please note that if you are being reimbursed through an out-of-network arrangement, you will be responsible for the full price of a missed session out of pocket regardless of your regular payment methods as these methods do not cover no-show fees.
Do I have to have weekly sessions?
I am ethically bound to engage in treatment that is beneficial to you. I have often found that a bi-monthly structure prevents accurate self-monitoring, and often prevents me from understanding what is most helpful for clients at the onset of therapy. For individual therapy, I will require that we meet weekly for 6-8 weeks, after which we can discuss the benefits or concerns of a bi-monthly format. For couples therapy, I require 8-12 weekly sessions at the onset of therapy. For evidence based trauma-focused therapy, weekly sessions are required for the duration of the 12 week evidence-based modalities.
Do you treat children?
I treat Adolescents (13+) in individual, group, and family/relational contexts. I do not treat children younger than 13.
How do I/we know if it is a good fit?
Often we have a brief chat prior to your intake session and we can usually pick up on any major differences at that time. However, you won’t know if it is a good fit until we meet for a few sessions. Having a good relationship with your therapist is essential for reaching your goals and positive therapy outcomes. (For couples/relationships, this means everyone attending the sessions.) I understand that my approach will not fit with everyone. After a few sessions together, we will touch base to check on how everyone is feeling about our sessions. The best chances of success in therapy are made when you feel a positive connection with your therapist. So, if it is not a good fit, I would much rather refer you to someone with whom you can have that supportive connection.
How do I know if I need couples/relationship therapy?
I strongly believe every relationship can benefit from relational/couples therapy - whether it is to help with existing problems/challenges or to strengthen an already stable relationship. If you are unsure if you need to seek a therapist, some things to consider are if you feel like your relationship is negatively impacting your sleep, job, parenting abilities, appetite, decision-making abilities, or relationships with friends/loved ones. If you feel like you are having the same arguments over and over, or there is a lack of communication/affection/intimacy, or you are finding yourself like "roommates" instead of romantic partners, these may be indicators that it is time to seek a trained professional for help.
How do I know if I need Sex Therapy?
A fulfilling sex life is vital to your health for many reasons. Physical and emotional elements of a healthy sex life have far-reaching benefits, including lower blood pressure, better heart health, and reduced stress. Sex is also just a natural, fun part of life and provides peak experiences for you and/or your partner(s).
However, for some people, sex is a source of great anxiety, worry, pain, or distress. Sex therapy is an integrative approach to treating and eliminating underlying challenges. These concerns may be physical, such as low circulation. They may also be psychological concerns, such as anxiety, stress, and confidence issues. For this reason, sex therapy begins with a thorough assessment that addresses which paths to explore: like a medical/physical exam, individual therapy, and/or relational therapy. It is not uncommon to require a checkup with your doctor before moving forward with talk therapy.
Sex therapy can help individuals and couples find a way to have open, honest communication so that they can work through any concerns or challenges toward a joyful, rewarding sex life.
What should I expect in Sex Therapy?
It is important to know that sex therapy sessions NEVER involve any physical contact or sexual activity in session among clients and/or therapists.
Sex therapists usually assign “homework”—practical activities that clients are expected to complete in the privacy of their own home.
Some clients choose to attend sessions alone; others bring their partner(s) with them. Session frequency and length usually depend on the client and the type of problem being addressed.
It is normal for clients to feel anxious when seeing a sex therapist, especially for the first time. Many people have trouble talking about sex at all, so discussing it with a stranger may feel awkward. However, most sex therapists recognize this and try to make their clients feel comfortable. Often, early sessions begin with questions about the client’s health and sexual background, sex education, beliefs about sex, and the client’s specific sexual concerns.
What types of couples/relationships do you work with?
The relationships/couples I work with come from diverse backgrounds with regards to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. In addition, the intimate relationships I work with present in a variety of different types of relationships. Intimate partners may engage in therapy in their early dating stages, for pre-marital work, for marital therapy/coaching, or for long-term relationship therapy/coaching. I also work with friendship relationships, work relationships, or really any sort of relational context where all of you would like to work on relating with each other more effectively (whatever that may look like in terms of goals).
Do you offer home appointments?
Yes, concierge services (house calls) are currently provided. I empathize with clients who have busy schedules and discreet privacy concerns. Additional fees apply to in-home services and are based on location and other additional costs/accommodations. At this time, COVID precautions must be discussed prior to the appointment. I received my first vaccine dose in 2020 and have been fully vaccinated since early January 2021. I received my 1st booster shot in October 2021. I have rapid tests on hand for day-of testing. Concierge services have a 72 hour cancellation policy (rather than 24 hours).
What is minority stress theory and how does it impact mental health?
Minority stress is experienced by members of any stigmatized minority (as opposed to majority) group where members are marginalized through interpersonal prejudice, stigma, and/or discrimination. Minority stress process is a mechanism through which societal bias adversely impacts the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of minority people. The minority stress model, particularly as it relates to processes that disproportionately impact the LGBTQIA+ community, is based on factors associated with various stressors and coping mechanisms, and their positive or negative impact on mental health outcomes. Experiences of minority stress, or becoming aware of one’s stigmatized sexual orientation or gender identity, can further isolate individuals and highlight already difficult deficits in family or peer support. These experiences can be disruptive or even traumatic, and create an atmosphere of uncontrollability and unpredictability that often occurs with feelings of anxiety and depression. Often, attempts to control these emotional experiences lead to the very feelings one is trying to regulate. LGBTQIA+ affirming therapy can disrupt this cycle.
What are your therapy Intake fees?
After your free (and optional) 10-minute consultation phone call with me we will schedule your intake session. This first scheduled meeting with me as an individual therapy client is 80-minutes and charged at $450. Relational (multi-person) intake sessions are 50-minutes and are also charged at $450. In these sessions we will begin a thorough diagnostic intake assessment process based on your goals, your experiences, and who (if anyone) is joining you for therapy.
For our intake session, several documents need to be read and completed PRIOR to beginning. To send them to you, I will need full names, email addresses, and telephone numbers from you and any partner(s) who will join you for sessions. If you have questions about these documents as you read them, leave them unsigned and have them available for the beginning of our intake session where I will be discussing them with you and answering any questions/concerns you may have. If you feel that they may prohibit you from wanting to engage in services, please call me prior to my 48 hour cancellation policy to discuss and/or cancel.
What are your therapy fees?
In general, 50-minute telehealth sessions are rated at $250+ for individual sessions and $275+ for couples sessions, with session formats such as telehealth, face-to-face, and evenings/weekend times impacting session price. I also offer 80-minute sessions on a case-to-case and clinically indicated basis at $450 per session.
What is a Good Faith Estimate and how do I get one?
Beginning January 1, 2022, health care providers are required to provide a “Good Faith Estimate” (GFE) to clients who either do not have health insurance or are choosing not to use their health insurance to pay for services. The GFE must detail the costs that might reasonably be expected to accumulate over the course of one calendar year. The law requires that this estimate be provided when an initial therapy appointment is scheduled, prior to evaluation or creation of a treatment plan. Because of this, clients that pay for services out of pocket will be provided with a GFE that estimates cost for one year of weekly sessions. Please be aware that the majority of clients I see attend sessions for less than a year, but this estimate will be provided to comply with this new legislation.
For all uninsured and self-pay patients a good faith estimate of expected charges is:
- available in a written document that is clear, understandable, and prominently displayed;
- orally provided when the service is scheduled or when the patient asks about costs; and
- available in accessible formats, and in the language(s) spoken by the patient.
Why is therapy so expensive?
This is a fair question. After all, isn’t therapy just sitting down and talking to someone for an hour? The answer to this question is a resounding “No.” I am a doctoral-level psychologist with extensive training and multiple certifications who works very hard in session to actively see you, hear you, think about a plan of action, and help you reach your goals for treatment. Outside of our session times, I actively consider your concerns and treatment, complete your paperwork and assessments, and actively engage in consultation and training related to the work I do with you. This is especially true about the intake sessions you engage in. I invest an enormous amount of time and emotional energy into each client I have the privilege of working with, and this is reflected in the fees that I charge. In fact, I take this depth of service so seriously that I strictly limit how many clients I see per week, ensuring that I am offering the best care possible. This is in contrast to many larger systems where clinicians have a very heavy caseload and do not have the time or energy to invest fully in their clients, leading to therapy sessions that can feel aimless or more like “venting.” So in sum, there is a lot more that goes into therapy than meets the eye — you are paying not only for the therapy hour, but years of training, experience, and expertise, as well as the work I do for our sessions outside of the session hour. This additional work, consideration, and paperwork is why 'session hour's are 45-50 minutes rather than a full hour, however 10 minutes is nowhere near the amount of time I spend outside of session working on your treatment.
Do you accept HSA/FSA's?
You can easily pay for services with your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) established with your employer. Please confirm that this payment method works for you when paying for your intake. When paying for the first time, allow enough time to make any appropriate inquiries/calls if need be prior to our start-time. For Debit cards, please use this link: Affinipay.
Brief Bio for Presentations:
Dr. Solano received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University in New York and is a licensed clinical psychologist in CA and NY. Dr. Solano obtained a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Hofstra University in New York prior to obtaining her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. She completed a Postdoctoral Residency in the Family Mental Health Program at the VA San Diego Health Care System at the University of California, San Diego. She has also obtained the Clinical Fellow designation through AAMFT. During her doctoral program, she was trained in LGBT-Affirming therapy through a 2-year externship with Yale University. Currently, Dr. Solano is an Assistant Professor and core faculty at Alliant International Universities' Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) Program in Los Angeles. Dr. Solano’s research interests include understanding how relational factors, taboo experiences and identities, and concealing one’s authentic self and experiences impact mental health disparities and risk in intimate relationships. Her clinical work has focused on relationships, systemic contextualization, sexuality, identity, and interpersonal trauma (i.e., sexual assault, intimate partner violence, discrimination). Dr. Solano identifies as queer, and is interested in focusing on diversity issues and advocating for the Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) community, as well as non-traditional relationships and sexualities. Dr. Solano is currently developing an international, CE-granting, CFT-focused Lecture Series hosted by Alliant's CFT program.
Do you provide research consultation?
In addition to private practice, I provide training services and supervision, as well as research consultation. I’ve been involved in research on PTSD, domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, sexuality, pornography, and Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) research.
What are your coaching fees?
Telehealth enables individuals and couples around the world to engage in valuable coaching. You can improve important aspects of your life like your wellbeing, work life balance, motivation, inspiration, sexual health, and relationship satisfaction all from the comfort of your own home. I offer coaching services using behavioral analyses, motivational interventions, psychoeducation, mindfulness practices, narrative techniques, and more.
There is no 'intake' session for coaching. Payment for coaching sessions are due at the time of scheduling, and purchased on a package basis (See Below). This allows me to prepare my individualized coaching agenda and we can jump right in to make the most of our time working together. I must receive your coaching questionnaire and consent forms at least 72 hours prior to our 1st coaching session.
Individual Coaching Fees:
Individual coaching sessions are sold in packages of 50-minute individual (just you) coaching sessions.
- 2 sessions: $500
- 4 sessions: $950
- 6 sessions: $1,400
Relational Coaching Fees:
Relationship (you +) coaching sessions are sold in packages of 50-minute relational coaching sessions.
- Capsule: 2 sessions: $590
- Essentials: 4 sessions: $1,100
- Full Course: 6 sessions: $1,650
What are your film/TV expert intimacy consultation fees?
Expert intimacy consultation fees vary based on scope of the request (i.e., script review, actor workshop, etc.), advocacy, and the nature of the project. At minimum, they will be similar to my hourly rate for other services.