Frequently Asked Questions

Where is your office located?

Center for Effective Psychological Services is located at the following address:

1634 I St NW
Suite 550
Washington, DC 20006

How much does therapy cost?

Our fees vary, depending on the therapist’s licensing type, status, and type of service. Here are our general hourly rates:

Intake Session

Our 90-minute diagnostic consultation fee ranges from $380 to $400, depending on the therapist.

Psychotherapy Sessions (45-53 minutes)

Master-level graduate therapist: $170
Master-level, independently-licensed therapist: $195
Doctoral-level psychology associate: $210
Licensed psychologist: $230
Dr. Salazar: $250

Psychotherapy Session (54-60 minutes)

Master-level graduate therapist: $180
Master-level, independently-licensed therapist: $205
Doctoral-level psychology associate: $225
Licensed psychologist: $240
Dr. Salazar: $260

Family Therapy Session (60 minutes)

Master-level graduate therapist: $185
Master-level, independently-licensed therapist: $210
Doctoral-level psychology associate: $230
Licensed psychologist: $250

Do you take insurance?

Understanding your out-of-network benefits…

We don’t participate with any insurance plan, so we’re considered “out of network.” Before scheduling your therapy appointments, make sure you understand your out-of-network insurance benefits.

Here are some questions you can ask your insurance carrier:

What is my deductible for out-of-network providers?

What percentage do you cover for 90834 (45-min psychotherapy) and 90791 (therapy intake)?

If you have out-of-network benefits, you’ll likely have to meet a deductible before receiving reimbursement for therapy fees. To qualify for reimbursement, please be aware that we must provide you with a diagnosis during the intake session.

For more information on using your out-of-network benefits, we prepared a video for you.

Searching for an in-network therapist…

We completely understand if you decide to stay in-network with your insurance company. The best way to find a provider within your network is to call your insurance carrier and ask for assistance identifying an available provider.

Another way to search for an in-network provider or reduced-fee services is to use an online therapy directory such as:

We also have a limited number of spaces for Alma Therapy clients.

What’s your cancellation policy?

We require a 24-hour cancellation notice. We charge the equivalent of your full fee for late cancellations or missed appointments.

We understand that unexpected situations may interfere with a scheduled session, and you may have to reschedule. Our clients have access to self-scheduling through our client portal, which makes it easier to find alternative times to meet with their clinicians.

What can therapy do for me?

Therapy can be a deeply transformative experience! Therapy aims to:

Provide symptom relief…

It’s common to experience anxiety and depression relief within the first three months of treatment. Sadly, by the time people reach out for help from a therapist, they are likely to have been struggling with moderate to severe versions of emotional suffering (anxiety, depression, phobias, trauma, grief, despair), which means treatment will take longer.

Help you reset to a previous level of functioning…

Often people experience events that overwhelm their capacity to cope. These traumatic experiences can inflict significant pain and cause temporary impairments in different areas of life. Therapy can help you get back to your optimal level of functioning so that you can continue moving forward toward your personal and professional goals.

Help you reclaim your ability to fully love, work, and play…

Mental health is not merely defined by the absence of a symptom. By examining how you’re doing in any of the following areas, you can have a quick idea of how you’re doing regarding your mental health:

Therapy can help you on the LOVE front by improving your relationship with others and yourself, increasing your sense of belonging to a community or group, or helping you heal from racial or immigration trauma.

On the WORK front, therapy can help you overcome the inhibitions keeping you stuck in your professional development, defeat long-standing patterns of self-sabotage, or learn to handle stress so that you don’t burn out and can keep enjoying what you do.

PLAY refers to our ability to be free, stay curious, create, solve problems, and experience pleasure. It’s one of the first things that goes away when we struggle and an often-overlooked marker of health.

How long does therapy take? How many sessions will I have to commit to?

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to estimate the duration of a psychotherapy treatment unless you and your therapist have agreed to work within a limited time.

Everyone’s circumstances are unique, and the time needed to meet your therapeutic goals depends on your coming to therapy consistently.

We offer time-limited therapy for those with time or financial limitations preventing them from engaging in long-term work. Time-limited therapy is not for everyone. The decision of treatment frequency and duration is based on clinical judgment and is made in collaboration with your therapist during your initial assessment.

I’ve always dealt with things on my own! Why would I need to open up to a stranger about personal things?

Many people feel confused when they need help with their emotional health because they have always been very successful under very stressful situations… or have overcome a lot of adversity.

Everyone needs help now and then, even those of us who are pretty good at doing it on our own. Therapists go to therapy, too!

Even our most successful adaptations to stress and pain eventually stop working well – for whatever reason. That’s when situations become problematic, or we develop symptoms like anxiety, difficulty sleeping, or depression.

And some people tend to be really good at plowing throw life, ignoring their pain. But at some point, the “mind-body” rebels and calls their attention to the problem more loudly. That call might take the form of an illness, loss of a job, or an impending divorce.

In therapy, you will be doing most of the work! After all, therapy is only 50 minutes a week. That’s why your readiness and commitment are so important!

What’s the difference between talking to a therapist and a trusted friend, wise family member, or mentor?

The work of therapy goes beyond just talking to someone or getting advice. Therapy taps into our need to feel safe and connected to others and ourselves.

In therapy, you have no pressure to take care of another person’s feelings or needs. Just yours. And by the way, no, going to therapy doesn’t make you selfish or self-centered.

In therapy, you’re invited to be kind to yourself and suspend judgment so that you can better understand your current problems.

The healing nature of therapy, at least how we see it at the Center for Effective Psychological Services, is in the relationship itself. We also pride ourselves on our willingness to be innovative and creative… and to tailor our interventions to what works best for you.

Bear in mind that what’s best for you doesn’t necessarily mean what’s easiest for you. Therapy is not comfortable, and it shouldn’t be. But we’ll always work within your “window of optimal tolerance.” From research and experience, we know that you can’t expect change if you are not feeling challenged in therapy. And if you feel overwhelmed during treatment, there won’t be change either because we can’t learn when we are flooded with emotions.

How does therapy work?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual and the therapist’s style.

We tailor our therapeutic approach to our client’s specific needs. Our mission at the Center for Effective Psychological Services is to provide highly intentional and experiential therapy so that we can help you achieve your goals in a time-effective manner. We believe that everyone’s time on this earth is precious.

We strive to provide therapy that goes beyond solving symptoms. We want your time in therapy to be a life-changing experience for you.

How do I get the most out of my therapy sessions?

Your active participation and dedication are crucial to your success. After all, therapy is a minimal amount of time compared to the rest of the activities that you do during a week!

An essential aspect of therapy is the work you do outside of our sessions, for insight without action isn’t enough to bring change. Although we all wish for magical solutions, therapy is hard work both in and outside sessions. Only through committed application and integration of what you learn about yourself in session can those areas in the brain responsible for our emotional well-being be “rewired.”

Being intentional about what brings you to therapy is helpful. Also, we rely on your ongoing feedback to let us know what is working and what is not.