Email: [email protected]
The first few sessions will be focused on me getting to know you, your background, and your goals.
Online Counseling Services for Adults
Hello, my name is Melissa Christensen, LCSW. I am a clinical social worker in San Diego, California. I provide online counseling services for individuals who are experiencing mental health concerns, including but are not limited to:
I work from a trauma-informed background and believe that the therapeutic relationship can be a strong medium for healing, growth, and positive change.
My cash pay rates are as follows:
Initial intake appointment: $175
45-minute psychotherapy session: $125
60-minute psychotherapy session: $150
I am currently in-network with the following insurance providers:
If your insurance provider is not listed above, I am able to provide you a superbill (a fancy receipt) to give to your insurance provider who may be able to reimburse you for out of network services. Please check with your insurance for details.
Should you choose to pay cash whether or not you have insurance benefits, you have a right to a "good faith estimate" under the federal law (section 2799B-6 of the Public Health Service Act). This estimate is regarding your expected medical care costs while you are in therapy. You will receive this estimate both orally and in writing when you begin therapeutic services. The good faith estimate is only an estimate and your actual medical costs may differ. However, if there is a significant discrepancy between your estimate and your actual costs, you have the right to initiate the patient-provider dispute process. For more information about good faith estimates you may visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises.
What sets me apart from other therapists?
I believe in the value of authenticity and transparency in therapy. I am not a blank slate for whom you bounce all of your problems off of. I am a human with my own lived experiences and I am driven to help others as a result. While therapy is always about you and your needs, I will show up for you as genuinely as I can and draw from my knowledge base and my experiences to guide you on your journey.
I have never been in therapy before. What can I expect?
The first few sessions will be focused on me getting to know you, your background, and your goals. I will ask you many questions but will also respect if there are things you do not feel comfortable speaking about right off the bat. Just like any relationship, it will take time for you and me to get to know one another and for you to determine whether you are able to connect with me.
That connection is very important so I encourage you to be open to giving it time to develop, but also be honest if you aren't feeling that with me. I will help you connect with another therapist who may be a better fit.
After the first few sessions, you and I will speak more directly about your goals for therapy (what you want to work on, what is bothering you the most in your life, etc.) and we will discuss a plan for addressing your needs. Then, we will dive in! I may ask you to commit to doing things in between our sessions (remember, we only have a limited amount of time each week and the real work happens when you make changes in your life).
I will offer you support, feedback, guidance, and suggestions. I will NOT give you advice, nor tell you what you should or shouldn't do. Remember, this is YOUR process—I am here to support you and walk alongside you but I am not here to give you answers or tell you how to solve your problems. Lasting change will come when you develop the skills and perspective to be able make your own decisions and changes in your life.
We will monitor your progress, address new concerns that may arise, and ultimately we will decide together when/if it is time for you to end therapy. It will all be a collaborative process and I will always encourage you to share with me what is or isn't working well for you.
Does online therapy work?
I understand that connecting via video or phone is a different experience than meeting with someone in person. I have been providing online counseling services since 2018 and have found it to be just as beneficial for my clients as the work I have done in person. For many clients, being able to connect with a therapist from the comfort of their own homes is not only more convenient but also in some ways easier.
The most important thing is that you are able to find a private space where you will not be interrupted during our sessions. There is ample research that online therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy and, again, I have found that to be true. Of course, if you decide it's not for you, I will always support you in locating a therapist who offers in-person services in your area.