Who does Stella Nova serve?
Stella Nova focuses on serving and centering the needs of women and nonbinary adults. If you identify as a woman or as nonbinary, you’re welcome here—regardless of what body you were born into, what gender you were assigned at birth, what pronouns you use, and how you express your gender today. In fact, we don’t turn anyone away based on gender. If our mission and our values vibe with what you’re looking for in a healing space, don’t hesitate to reach out.
We do sometimes run workshops or events that are limited to specific identity groups in order to create a safe space for participants. For example, we may run a group specifically intended BIPOC individuals, or a workshop for trans women. We trust that participants will self-identify into spaces that serve them and do not police or gatekeep around identity. We expect all attendees at Stella Nova events will abide by our values of respect and inclusivity towards our staff and other attendees.
Not sure if a service or an event is a good fit for you? Send us a message and we’re happy to answer any questions you have.
I’m new to therapy. What should I expect?
If you’ve never been to therapy, you might be imagining something like what you’ve seen on Hoarders or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The reality is far less sensational and, sadly, devoid of musical numbers (so far).
Your first session will be a chance for you and your therapist to get to know each other, discuss your goals and concerns, and develop a preliminary plan for moving forward. That plan might include things like an exploration of your thoughts and feelings, practicing new tools in session, and skills to practice at home. We’re not one-size-fits-all, and we work hard to meet your needs and your preferences on an individual basis.
I hate crying. What if I cry?
You might cry, but it’s not required. In fact, we spend a lot of time laughing, too.
If you do cry, know that you’re not alone. In fact, if you come at any time after noon, there’s approximately an 89.4% chance that you’re not even the first person to cry in our office that day. (Note: That’s a 100% made-up number, but, really, it’s totally normal.)
I live in New York/Texas/New Zealand, can Stella Nova work with me via video?
Video calls are great at connecting people across long distances. Unfortunately, interstate therapy poses a variety of legal, ethical, and practical challenges for therapy. For this reason, Stella Nova is currently only taking on new clients who are physically located within the state of California.
We may, under limited circumstances, be able to work with ongoing clients who are temporarily out of state to offer continuity of care. If you are a current client and anticipate needing to leave the state, please discuss your options with your therapist as soon as possible.
How often should we meet?
Most clients prefer to meet weekly. That seems to be a good cadence for getting some momentum going, especially early on. Setting a weekly meeting time is also a way to prioritize therapy as a part of your healthy routine.
If you are interested in a schedule that’s more or less frequent, let us know! We will do our best to accommodate where we can.
Do you ever take naps on the couch in between sessions?
Absolutely, that’s one of the perks of the job.
What does therapy cost?
Our services vary in price based on the therapist with whom you work, their credentials, and any special skills or expertise. Our rates for individual therapy fall in the $140-250 range, and between $168-275 for couples. After we get a sense of what you’re looking for, we can give you a personalized quote. We do have a limited number of reduced fee slots to allow us to provide services to individuals experiencing a financial hardship.
As per Federal law, you have the right to a “Good Faith Estimate” of what services will cost. But in reality, there’s no estimating or guess work involved — our fees are transparent and we’ll go over all the relevant financial info before you start services with us.
Do you take my insurance?
We are not in-network with any insurance panels; however, many of our clients utilize out-of-network benefits and receive reimbursement for services. We are happy to provide the appropriate paperwork for you to submit. You may also be able to use your FSA or HSA benefits to pay for therapy directly.
Not sure if you are eligible for out-of-network coverage? You can check your insurance benefits and receive a personalized estimate here.
What are your COVID policies?
COVID safety is high on our list of priorities as we welcome clients back to in-person therapy in our San Francisco office. Our community safety is our shared responsibility, and that means both our team and our clients will need to work together to limit our collective risk. This means:
All Stella Nova staff who interact with clients in-person are required to be vaccinated and keep up-to-date with boosters as recommended. We ask that if you want to be seen in-person, you are vaccinated as well.
As required by San Francisco law for healthcare settings, and as supported by science, our staff are provided with N95 or KN94 masks and are required to wear them at all times when interacting with other staff or clients. Clients must also wear a high quality mask at all times during their visit.
For an additional layer of protection, our office uses a portable HEPA air filter to further reduce any risk of exposure.
Our staff commit to never coming into work when they or someone in their household are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have received a positive test. We ask that you also refrain from visiting our office when there’s a possibility you may have been infected or exposed. For the safety of our staff and other clients, you will be turned away if you show up to an appointment visibly symptomatic. We will be happy to meet with you virtually instead of your in-person appointment.
We recognize that our clients’ needs and risk tolerances are different, and there is no way for any one policy to meet everyone’s preferences and expectations. Given that, we’re choosing to err on the side of caution and protecting the most vulnerable among us. We plan to continue offering virtual sessions permanently, and invite you to meet us online if our in-person policies are not a good fit for your needs. We also welcome feedback, especially from clients with disabilities or other medical vulnerabilities, about how we can improve our efforts to keep you safe.
Can I curse in therapy?
No need to apologize for your potty mouth here. If the best way to express yourself in therapy is with a few well placed F-bombs, bring it on. Therapists are generally pretty hard to shock.
What does feminism have to do with my mental health?
Mental health is a feminist issue! It’s impossible to talk about our mental and emotional health without recognizing the impact that oppressive systems have on our lives. Gender inequity means that women and nonbinary folks face unique challenges at work and at home, such as experiences of bias and discrimination, gendered role expectations in our families, or lack of professional support and mentorship—that can profoundly impact our well-being.
As feminist therapists, our work recognizes the impact of the systems we live within, and honors the ways we’ve learned to cope and survive, while creating space to grow towards the lives we want. We stand against sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, fatphobia, ageism, and other forms of oppression as an integral part of our mental health mission.
Where can I find your HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices?
You can find our HIPAA statement here. This outlines your rights and our obligations under HIPAA, which is a federal law. However, in many circumstances Stella Nova policies exceed the privacy requirements outlined there. If you have any questions about our policies and procedures, you can ask your therapist and we’re happy to clarify.
What’s a Stella Nova?
Stella Nova means ‘new star’ – a metaphor for bursting with potential and energy. Like stars, we believe that we shine brighter when we come together. Come join our constellation! (See what we did there?)