San Francisco-based Two Chairs was founded in 2017 and offers in-person, virtual and hybrid psychotherapy services to adults in California, Florida and Washington. It uses evidence-based practices like acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, mindfulness and positive psychology. It’s in-network with Aetna and Kaiser Permanente, but also has an out-of-network option at $218 per session.
Through the group therapy offering, patients would start with a matching appointment with a consult clinician, like they would for individual therapy. The consult clinician takes into account patients’ goals, preferences, medical history, past treatment and other factors. Then, based on this evaluation, the clinician may recommend group therapy, though the patient could still opt for individual therapy. If the patient chooses group therapy, then they will be put into a group for about 12 sessions, with all members of the group starting at the same time.
Group therapy is valuable as it eases the burden on therapists considering the U.S. is struggling with a major provider shortage, said Alex Katz, founder and CEO of Two Chairs.
“In one session, a therapist can work with several patients simultaneously, allowing our therapists to see more patients over time,” Katz said in an email.
There are positives for patients as well.
“Patients can also benefit from the sense of community and interactive nature of group therapy,” he added. “They can learn from each others’ experiences. They can establish a sense of normalization of what they are going through personally. They can learn some basic skills together in a larger group setting. They feel less alone.”
Through the new care navigation solution, the company’s care navigators can refer patients out to other providers within their insurance network. For example, if a patient is struggling with addiction, they could be referred to an intensive outpatient or inpatient program. If a patient is battling a chronic condition like an eating disorder or a musculoskeletal condition, they can be referred to a primary care provider.
The care navigation support helps patients get the care they need while also reducing the burden on mental health clinicians, Katz said.
“These streamlined and supportive care referrals help deliver the right care faster and with less frustration, preventing patients from pausing or abandoning treatment — a crucial determinant in health outcomes,” he declared. “Conversely, mental health clinicians can also struggle with the time pressures of referring patients to trusted care providers, which adds administrative, process and research work to their daily caseload and cuts into time reserved for patient sessions and treatment.”
Other mental health companies include Alma and BetterHelp. However, Two Chairs differs from Alma because its clinicians are full-time employees of the company, whereas Alma connects patients with individual providers. BetterHelp, meanwhile, doesn’t accept insurance like Two Chairs does and only offers virtual options while Two Chairs provides in-person support in addition to digital support. BetterHelp offers group therapy, while Alma does not. Neither company advertises having a care navigation solution, according to the companies’ websites.
With the group therapy and care navigation offerings, Two Chairs hopes to improve mental health care and serve more patients, Katz said.
“Both of these features were launched with the big-picture goal of improving access to exceptional mental health care and providing better clinical outcomes for patients,” he stated.
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