About Dr. Vuthy Ou
Payment & Insurance,
Getting Started with Therapy,
And Other Frequently Asked Questions
After several years in the arts, I turned to psychology as a way to engage with the world in a more directly prosocial manner. I earned a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Widener University. I was awarded the Clinical Psychology Award for Empathy and Caring from the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology for the "exceptional ability to forge constructive relationships with clients."
In addition to providing psychotherapy in inpatient, adult outpatient, substance use, and college counseling settings, my experience includes personality and neuropsychological assessment, executive coaching, leadership and organizational consultation, and clinical consultation and supervision.
Who I Work With
I work with adults who live with anxiety, depression, trauma/PTSD, personality disorders, and different kinds of addictions. I also work with a number of people who might not meet criteria for a diagnosis, but still would like to change the way they experience self-esteem, perfectionism, their relationships (as partner, parent, child, sibling, friend), identity exploration, spiritual issues, difficulties or stagnation at work, or dissatisfaction despite "achieving success."
Fees, insurance, and sliding scales
My standard fee for individual or relationship psychotherapy is $250 per 55-minute session or $205 per 45-minute session. I am an in-network psychologist with Pennsylvania-based Quest Behavioral Health and Medicare. With all other insurers, I am an out-of-network provider which means that you may be able to receive partial reimbursement depending on your plan and benefits. I do not accept insurance for relationship therapy.
I reserve a limited number of slots to work with people at significantly reduced fees. If your insurance does not cover sessions with me, and you would otherwise be unable to afford treatment, please contact me and we can talk about options.
What getting started looks like
Step One - Consultation
If you'd like to try things out with me, we could meet for a confidential, no-fee, 20-minute video consultation so that you to get a better sense of whether I could be helpful to you and for me to get a better understanding of what brings you to seek out services. I'll also be happy to answer any questions you might have, including those about fees, scheduling, and insurance. If either of us feels like there would be a better fit with another therapist, there is never an obligation to continue.
Step Two - First Session
If we both feel the consultation went well, you can request a full session. In that session, I might ask about your history to get to know you a little better, but often the conversation will naturally turn towards something that feels more salient. For people that are coming in with their partner, we'll work together to establish some ground rules and I'll ask each of you to give me your sense of what is going on in the relationship and what each of your hopes for therapy. At the end of this first session, we will talk about whether it felt productive and whether or not you'd like to continue.
Step Three - Psychotherapy Takes Off
In subsequent sessions, I will invite you to say what's on your mind and encourage you to speak as freely and honestly as you can. Anything you are comfortable (enough) with discussing is "on the table" for examination - immediate things that are happening in your life, emotionally-charged material, the boring and mundane, your sexual life, your history, politics, work, fantasies, and even dreams.
For people coming in with their partners, our conversations will more deeply explore each person's point of view and link those things to each of your histories so that all of us can gain a better appreciation for the factors that influence each person's personality, preferences, expectations, actions, and reactions.
Sometimes, I'll invite you to wonder with me about the process of our work itself - for example, why one set of topics might feel salient while others feel dead, about the timing of a comment, some theme that seems to be popping up again and again, what body language is saying, what is not being talked about, or your thoughts and feelings about me and various aspects of our work together. Looking in the direction of such clues can open up important parts of your mind and experience that were previously totally off the radar.
Step Four - Ending
While in some ways less structured than many other things in our lives, almost all of the people I have worked with have found this process to be rewarding and productive. That said, we will meet less frequently and eventually stop when one of us feels that therapy (at least with me) is no longer likely to benefit you further. Other circumstances, such as financial constraints, physical distance, conflicts of interest, or changing clinical needs can also lead to an end of a therapy relationship, but people generally find that even endings can be generative in their own way.
For people in relationship therapy, any number of factors can bring our work to an end. Both partners might feel a new sense of freedom, intimacy, and trust that makes therapy feel less necessary. In other cases, it might feel to one or both partners that enough formerly hidden "pieces" are on the table to make a decision about changing the nature of a relationship. Or, after some time, one of us might come to feel that it no longer seems likely that our work will result in something productive and that you might benefit from working with someone else. In any of these cases, something generative can arise from talking about the end of therapy and moving on.
Other FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long will therapy take and how often should I come in?
The length and frequency of a course of psychotherapy varies with your specific circumstances and the nature of the issues you're hoping to address. Some problems are quite specific and can be adequately "resolved" in 6-10 sessions, a relatively short span of time. Other problems have their roots in difficult childhood experiences or ongoing present-day stressors and these can take us a longer time to uncover and understand given their depth and complexity. People in relationship therapy can expect to work at least six months or longer before meaningful changes begin to take hold for the long-term.
I meet with most people once per week. However, it is not uncommon for people to find value in meeting more often in service of deeper exploration and the transformation of old, entrenched, and often subtle, yet powerful patterns of thought, feeling, and acting.
Do you take insurance? How do I find out if my insurance will pay for any portion of my treatment?
The only insurances I am in network with are Medicare and Quest Behavioral Health.
For all other insurance companies, I am an "out-of-network" psychologist. Depending on your insurance, you might be able to receive reimbursement for services. Because insurance plans and benefits vary so greatly, I would recommend that you call the number on the back of your insurance card to verify your benefits and eligibility. The following questions might be helpful to you:
Do I have out-of-network benefits for mental health providers?
Do my out-of-network benefits cover telepsychology with a licensed clinical psychologist?
What amount/percentage will I be reimbursed for services (in-person and telehealth) with a licensed psychologist in Philadelphia (Zipcode 19103)? If they ask for Clinical Procedure Terminology (CPT) service codes, you can give them 90837 for Individual Psychotherapy sessions. If they ask for an NPI#, you can give them 1124744701.
What is the annual deductible I need to meet before I can access out-of-network mental health benefits? What is the remaining balance on my deductible? When does it reset?
Is there a limit on the number of sessions my plan will cover per year out-of-network?
Does my plan require pre-authorization for out-of-network mental health services, including individual psychotherapy? If so, what information and forms do I need?
What paperwork/form is required to submit claims for out-of-network reimbursement?
Where can I find the claim form? Where do I file claims and can I submit them online?
How long should I expect to wait for my claim to be paid?
If your plan offers out-of-network benefits, you would pay for your sessions out-of-pocket. Then, when you are ready to file a claim for reimbursement with your insurance company, I would provide you with a "superbill" containing all the necessary information.
Many people find this process at least somewhat confusing and I am happy to do what I can to clarify the process for you via email or during the no-fee consultation.
How much will psychotherapy cost? (Good Faith Estimate)
If you decide to pay entirely out-of-pocket for your sessions and forego reimbursement from insurance, you have a right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of non-emergency items and services over the period of one year. If you receive an invoice that is at least $400 greater than is outlined in your Good Faith Estimate, you are permitted to dispute the invoice. For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises.
Because I don't think there really is a "typical" person, much less a "typical" relationship, the length and frequency of relationship therapy treatment can often be hard to estimate. That said, the following is my best "Good Faith Estimate" for the "typical" cost of services for a calendar year. On average, I meet with people roughly 44 times over a 365-day period. At the standard rate of $205 per session, a 12-month period of treatment can be expected to cost $9020. This amount will increase or decrease depending on the fee and frequency that we collaboratively set and you are welcome to request a new Good Faith Estimate at any time.
How do I pay for sessions if I don't use insurance?
Once we decide to work together, I will ask you to complete a credit card authorization form on my secure client portal. The HIPAA-compliant therapy platform that I use will then charge your credit card after every session.
How do I pay for sessions if I use insurance?
If you are a member with Quest Behavioral Health and your plan requires a co-payment, you'll complete a credit card authorization form and will be charged the co-payment after each session. I will bill Quest for the remaining balance.
For people with non-Quest insurance plans that offer out-of-network benefits, I will ask you to complete the same credit card authorization form on the secure client portal. After each session, the HIPAA-compliant therapy platform that I use will charge your credit card for the full fee. Each month, I will provide you with an itemized "superbill" which you can then submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Insurers vary with how much time reimbursement takes.
In what states are you licensed and/or authorized to provide services?
I am a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania (License # PS019669). I am also authorized by PsyPACT (APIT Mobility #12533) to practice telepsychology in 32 states, including:
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
What are your professional affiliations?
I am a member of the following professional organizations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
APA Division 13 - Society of Consulting Psychology
APA Division 24 - Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology
APA Division 34 - Society for Environmental, Population and Conservation Psychology
APA Division 39 - Society for Psychoanalysis
APA Division 46 - Society for Media Psychology and Technology
Pennsylvania Psychological Association
Philadelphia Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology
Do you see people in person?
So long as you and no one in your household has exhibited any symptoms, and if I have the availability, I am happy to see people who are fully vaccinated in my Philadelphia office at:
255 S 17th Street, Suite 2902, Philadelphia PA 19103
What is your cancellation policy?
I ask for 48 hours notice for cancellations to avoid being charged the full fee. The fee is waived if you are able to reschedule your session for later in the same week.