For any questions you have, you can reach me here:
Nancy Chen Marden, MS, MFT
5266 Hollister Ave. Suite 327
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
COVID-19 Update: All services are currently provided online through secure telehealth video calls.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are you handling COVID-19?
I have been seeing clients through telehealth (video or phone session) since California's shelter-in-place order was issued on March 19, 2020. I plan to continue with telehealth until there is no longer any health risks to resume in-person sessions. Although it is not the conventional way of psychotherapy, telehealth eases the anxiety of having to go into an enclosed office space, wearing masks for an extended period of time, which limits the ability for us to see each other's facial expressions. This limitation is a major component of the therapeutic process; thus, making it not ideal to conduct in person sessions for now. I use a secure, HIPAA compliant video call platform.
What can I expect from the first session?
During our first session, you can expect to learn about the counseling process, my practice policies, as well as the limits to confidentiality to which all therapists have to oblige. Then we will delve into why you decided to come to counseling and some of the issues you are having a hard time dealing with or managing in your life. In essence, our first session will be a time when I try to make sure I have a good understanding of what's going on so I know how to help you best.
How long is a session?
How often do we meet?
In my experience in working with clients and the outcome of their treatment, it is recommended that we begin our work together on a weekly basis. We will also work to establish a set time each week to provide consistency. Generally, the commitment to weekly sessions yields faster and more sustained treatment gains with fewer relapses into old patterns. As we work closer to reaching your therapeutic goals, we can discuss tapering the frequency of our meetings to every other week, then monthly, and eventually a "graduation" from therapy altogether.
How long will I be in therapy?
There is no standard answer to this question. The length of therapy depends on your reason for coming into therapy and what your goals are. For some, they are looking to find relief to their symptoms and decide to leave once they achieve such goals and come back once a new issue arises. While others find that they can benefit from ongoing personal growth and see therapy more as a lifelong process of self-actualization and becoming their authentic selves. Whatever your reason and intent is, I hope to be on this journey of healing with you.
I've tried counseling before and little changed so what makes you different from other therapists?
This is a very valid question. I can probably write out a list of my credentials and various reasons why I may be different or even better than your previous experiences but I’m not sure it will be convincing enough. The truth is, the most healing aspect of therapy lies within the relationship between therapist and client. And that is difficult to put into words. It is far more important for you to get a feel of what it would be like to work together and trust your intuitive knowing.
What I can tell you is that my research training and background has taught me the value of using empirically validated approaches with my clients so that I know the techniques I employ actually work. I focus on what your needs and goals are in therapy and commit to meeting you wherever you are at and however you choose to show up. I do not operate from an expert stance. Rather, I view this process as a journey to your soul’s work – which can be deeply transformative and profound if you allow yourself to be vulnerable – and of which I feel genuinely privileged to be a part.
What is your educational and training background?
I obtained a Master of Science in Counseling degree with an emphasis on Marriage and Family in 2005. I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in the states of California (2009) and Colorado (2011). My license designation is somewhat of a misnomer. While I did receive extensive education on couples and family therapy, I also received significant training in working with individuals and groups. Thus, as a licensed MFT, I am qualified to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals, couples, families, and groups.
After graduating from my master's program, I have pursued diverse trainings of empirically validated approaches in working with both individuals and couples. These modalities include Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Meditation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Additionally, I have completed advanced trainings in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) training through EMDR Consulting, which is an EMDRIA approved EMDR Basic Training and I am in the process of becoming certified in EMDR; Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) level 1 training; and Gottman level 1 training.
What is your fee and do you take insurance?
I am currently accepting clients with Aetna, MHN (HealthNet) insurances, Lyra Health, and private pay. Please check with your insurance plan to ensure that I am an in-network provider. For all other insurance companies, I am considered an Out of Network provider and can provide you with a superbill to submit to your insurance company for partial reimbursement.
My out of pocket rate is $175 per 50-minute session.
Do you provide Good Faith Estimates?
The federal "No Surprises Act" grants clients the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate that shows how much mental health services will cost. Under the law, healthcare providers, including psychotherapists, must give clients who don't have insurance or who chooses to not use their insurance an estimate of the expected charges for treatment services.
Click here for a Good Faith Estimate. For additional questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises/