Psychiatry Consults in Berkeley, CA
Video Therapy Sessions
What is a therapist for?
Therapy is a great tool to help you track your emotions, reduce stress, work on goals like quitting smoking, guide you through major life decisions, hone skills like communication, or address problem areas in your life. Talk therapy has been widely received as an effective health care treatment for many different mental health conditions including:
- Substance abuse
- Eating disorders
- Self-esteem issues
- Relationship problems
- Behavior issues
What types of therapists are there?
Therapists specialize in treating a wide range of conditions. Some of the most common therapy specializations include:
Psychotherapists: Psychotherapists help people deal with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, addiction, and insomnia.
Marriage and family therapists: Marriage and family therapists practice solution-based approaches to working through patterns of behavior within a family unit.
Social workers: Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) work in many different settings including schools, hospitals, human service agencies, private practices, and mental health clinics to help you cope with everyday problems.
Licensed professional counselors (LPC): Licensed professional counselors hold a master’s degree in mental health services and provide treatment options for a wide variety of mental health issues within local communities including services for veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families.
Licensed mental health counselors (LMHC): Also known as licensed professional counselors, LHMCs provide talk therapy to families, couples, and individuals.
Couples therapists: Couples therapists provide counsel to couples seeking to improve their relationship and gain the tools needed to recognize and resolve conflicts.
Marriage and family therapists: Licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT) provide therapy to some or all members of a family unit to help with relationship issues. Family therapy is often short-term therapy with a finite amount of visits. Marriage counselors can also assist couples looking to end their relationship affably.
Can I see a therapist online?
Yes! Telehealth marketplaces like Sesame make it easier than ever to book an online therapy session. Sesame offers a range of mental health care services, including online therapist appointments, that can meet with you over video conferencing platforms to discuss symptoms of mental illness, mental health concerns, treatment options, and more.
To book an appointment, search “Online Therapy” or “Video Therapy” using Sesame’s search bar. Browse the list of available providers, and book an appointment at your convenience. You’ll receive an email confirmation with a link to your video appointment.
Online therapy is a convenient, discreet, and affordable way to get the mental health care that you need from the comfort of your own home. Book an online therapy appointment today - no health insurance needed.
What should I expect from my first video therapy session?
Every provider on Sesame treats patients differently - while maintaining the same level of quality care. Generally speaking, the first sessions are often quite similar - regardless of whether you’re seeing a couples therapist, psychotherapist, or family therapist, you are likely to experience a similar. First sessions are often used as “get to know you” sessions where you may share the history of your relationship, i.e. how you began, where you see yourselves now, and what you would like to achieve with therapy. This is a great opportunity to work through priorities and decide whether or not this therapist a good fit for you. The preliminary couples therapy session may involve separate meetings with the therapist and/or joint sessions that include both parties. In the case of family therapy, you are likely to include some/all family members.
Many therapists use a method called emotionally focused therapy (EFT) which is a short-term therapy with the goal of aiding the bond between partners. This method is based on the attachment theory, which suggests that patterns of attachment are developed early in life and stay with you as an adult.
If you are seeking couples therapy, Sesame makes it easy to find the right counselor with direct-to-patient care. No more insurance companies making decisions for you. Sesame sets fair, clear prices for every service- no mystery billing, no membership fees, no insurance mark-ups. It’s perfect for couples therapy, family counseling, and one-on-one sessions. Book a visit today and save up to 60% on counseling services.
What is the difference between counseling and therapy?
Counseling psychology (or psychological counseling) is a form of mental health care provided as a general practice or as a specialty clinical health care service. Counseling helps patients deal with specific issues over a period of time. Examples of these types of instances include:
Grief counseling: A patient may see a counseling psychologist who specializes in grief to help cope with the loss of a loved one.
Career counseling: A patient may want to undergo career counseling to work through career goals, stress related to work, or depression about work.
Couples counseling: Couples may seek couples therapy with a licensed professional counselor to talk about issues related to marriage or the improvement of communication in a relationship.
There are a number of different types of counseling that can address individual needs and specific needs of a group. But most counseling sessions center around a specific issue or difficulty. Counseling may be a more short-term relationship, as opposed to long-term therapy.
Psychotherapy (or therapy) is often a long-term mental health care service that addresses the well-being of the individual. In some cases, therapy and counseling are interchangeable, but some counselors work through specific needs while therapists help a patient with how they interact and relate to the world. Therapists may help with depression, anxiety, and underlying patterns of action, where a counselor will work on issues related to the topics above. These sessions often take place on a more long-term basis.
What is the difference between a therapist and a psychologist?
While there is a lot of cross-over when it comes to licensed psychologists and therapists, the main difference to keep in mind is education. Most clinical psychologists have received a doctorate (Ph.D. or PsyD) from an accredited institution and all must possess a state license to practice. Certain therapists like marriage and family therapists usually require at least a master’s degree, while other therapists like mental health counselors require at least a bachelor’s degree. Neither a therapist nor a doctor of psychology is considered a medical doctor, but rather, a mental health professional.
No matter the difference, a mental health clinician whether it be a clinical psychologist or a clinical social worker, can work to create treatment plans for mental health disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or personality disorders, though these plans do not include medication as a part of treatment.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Depressive episodes can sometimes be one-time events but are more often recurring experiences. If you have depression, you may experience one of the following:
- Emotions like sadness, worthlessness, anguish, frustration, emptiness, anger, anxiety, restlessness, hopelessness, self-blame, guilt, irritability, anger, or low self-esteem.
- Brain Fog, or fuzzy thinking, difficulty thinking, focusing, remembering, or making decisions.
- Lethargy, sleeping too much, or insomnia.
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.
- A lack of interest in performing normal tasks, including things you may normally enjoy doing like physical activities or hobbies.
- Weight gain, weight loss, increased appetite, reduced or a loss of appetite.
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts.
If you are worried about your safety or the safety of others, please dial 911.
What are the major types of depression?
There are many types of depression caused by a variety of triggers, sometimes chemical and sometimes the result of traumatic life events.
Major depression: People with major depression have depressed moods most of the day for most days of the week.
Persistent Depressive Disorder: If a person has depression for 2 or more years, this is known as persistent depressive disorder. This type of depression has two subgroups called chronic major depression and dysthymia, or low-grade persistent depression.
Bipolar Disorder: Also known as manic depression, a person with bipolar disorder has extremes, ranging from states of low energy and/or mood to periods of high energy and/or mood. Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder can be treated with mood stabilizer medication, such as Latuda, Seroquel, and Olanzapine-fluoxetine combo.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): A person who has seasonal affective disorder will often feel periods of major depression during winter. Because winter days are shorter than the rest of the year, a person receives less and less sunlight which can cause seasonal affective disorder. Antidepressants may be a great option for someone who has SAD.
Psychotic Depression: If a person has paranoia, hallucinations, and/or delusions during periods of major depression, they may be suffering from psychotic depression. This type of depression can be treated with antipsychotic drugs along with antidepressants.
Peripartum (Postpartum) Disorder: Postpartum depression affects new mothers, typically in the weeks and months post-childbirth.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): This type of depression affects people at the onset of their monthly period. Along with depression, you may feel tired, irritable, unfocused, anxious, overwhelmed, or have changes in your sleep patterns. PMDD can be treated with some birth controls and antidepressants.
‘Situational’ Depression (Stress response syndrome): This is caused by a traumatic or stressful event like moving, divorce, losing your job, or a death in the family, and can likely be treated with psychotherapy.
Atypical Depression: Unlike typical depression, this depression follows more unusual patterns such as feeling overly sensitive to critique, finding you have increased your appetite, sleeping more than usual, or your arms and/or legs feeling heavy.
Connect with real, quality mental health professionals on Sesame for affordable, cash-pay prices. Sesame works directly with doctors - not insurance companies - to get you the care you need, minus the copays and surprise medical bills. Save 60% on your next mental health consult when you book with Sesame.
What are some effective treatments for depression?
There are many effective treatments for depression, including medication, talk therapy, and more. Your doctor - whether a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist - will craft a treatment plan that works for your needs. Treatment options for depression include:
Psychotherapy: In-depth talk therapy that is used to examine unconscious or repressed thoughts and feelings and learn tools to address them. If you have experienced trauma, speaking with a mental health professional can be helpful. They can help you learn coping techniques, identify major triggers, and adjust to stressful situations.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): This is a therapy in which small electric pulses course through the brain causing an intentional seizure. This may be an option for someone who has found other therapies unsuccessful.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Behavioral health issues like eating disorders and drug or alcohol abuse can be treated with the use of CBT. This treatment helps change thinking and behavioral patterns. CBT is used to treat a wide variety of conditions including depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse. It can even help with marital problems. CBT offers self-help as it trains you to be your own therapist, teaching you coping skills and how to shift your thinking or behaviors.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT): A common treatment for depression among children, teens, and young adults, IPT is a short-term treatment focused on addressing interpersonal issues.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): Often used when other treatments prove ineffective, TMS is brain stimulation that uses magnetic fields to prompt nerve cells to improve depression symptoms. This is a noninvasive procedure.
After a consultation, your doctor of psychiatry may determine that your treatment plan should include medication. All prescriptions are at the sole discretion of your doctor. Common medications treating depression include:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs: Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil or Pexeva, Prozac, Viibryd, and Zoloft are some examples of SSRIs. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs: Some examples include Cymbalta, Effexor XR, Fetzima, and Khedezla or Pristiq.
Atypical antidepressants: These types of medicine don’t fall into either SSRI or SNRI categories. Atypical antidepressants include Aplenzin, Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin SR, and Wellbutrin XL which are all brands of bupropion, as well as Remeron, and Trintellix.
Tricyclic antidepressants: If SSRIs aren’t as effective for your care, a doctor may prescribe tricyclic antidepressant medications, which can be very effective but can also have more side effects. Common medications include Norpramin, Pamelor, Surmontil, and Vivactil.
There are many risk factors linked with taking these types of medicine. Speak with your doctor about which option is best for you. Connect directly with quality doctors through Sesame on your schedule. With Sesame, you get fair, clear prices on all kinds of care. See who you want, not who your insurance company lets you. Book an in-person or virtual visit near you today.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a condition described as the excessive feeling of worry, unease, or dread. Anxiety can be treated by a primary care physician, therapist, psychologist, and psychiatrist. Having anxiety about a situation or an impending event without a clear-cut outcome is a normal part of life. You may feel anxious before a major deadline at work while studying for a looming test, or while facing a big decision at home. Though most people feel anxious at some point in their daily life, when it becomes intense, episodic, and unmanageable, it may be due to an underlying anxiety disorder.
Not all those who have anxiety disorders are triggered by the same thing. There are many types of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and many types of phobias.
What causes anxiety?
Though the causes of anxiety aren’t yet fully understood, anxiety does have a host of triggers including social situations, trauma, life events, specific phobias, medicine, and medical conditions. There are a lot of risk factors that make a person more likely to have an anxiety disorder.
- Personality: Research has shown that some personality types may be more prone to bouts of anxiety.
- Mental health disorders: Some mental health disorders such as depression are often linked to anxiety.
- Traumatic experiences: Individuals who are exposed to traumatic events as children are at higher risk for developing anxiety as an adult.
- Stress: Stress from an illness, work deadlines, divorces, or deaths in the family can make one more likely to have anxiety.
- Genetics: Anxiety can be passed down through the family genes. If a person has a blood relative who suffers from an anxiety disorder there is a chance that person will also have an anxiety disorder at some point in their life.
- Drugs or Alcohol: The withdrawal, use, or misuse of a drug can put a person at a higher risk for anxiety.
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Are there different types of anxiety disorders?
Yes. The most common anxiety disorders include:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Generalized anxiety disorder is described as a chronic feeling of exaggerated worry or anxiety, though there may be no obvious source of what's causing it. These anxiety attacks are often episodic. People who have GAD may also have other anxiety disorders, as well as depression.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): A person with OCD may have frequent manic thoughts (obsessive) and/or behavior (compulsive). Behaviors such as washing your hands many times, checking light switches, alarms, or the oven repeatedly, and/or the need to have something in a particular order to clear obsessive thoughts from the mind are some examples linked to OCD.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This type of anxiety is brought about by a traumatic event in which a person was or could have been harmed, such as a natural disaster, a car accident, military combat, or domestic violence. Symptoms of PTSD may include flashbacks, severe anxiety, or obsessive thoughts regarding the event(s).
Panic disorder: People suffering from a panic disorder may feel sudden bouts of intense fear, or panic attacks, that are often paired with physical symptoms including but not limited to a fast heart rate, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, or the general feeling of being out of control.
Selective mutism: This is a complex anxiety disorder that affects children. A child who has selective mutism may have the ability to speak in safe, relaxed situations but may find themselves unable to talk in social situations. Though many kids will grow out of this type of disorder, in some cases if left untreated other anxiety disorders may develop and persist.
Separation Anxiety Disorder: A childhood anxiety disorder in which a child has excessive anxiety from a parent or guardian leaving the child, even for a short amount of time.
Substance-induced anxiety disorder: A person with a substance-induced anxiety disorder may have intense anxiety from overuse, use, exposure, or withdrawal from a particular substance or toxin.
Anxiety disorder caused by a medical condition: This is caused by a physical health problem. Conditions such as heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease or COPD, thyroid issues such as hyperthyroidism, and chronic pain can be linked to anxiety. Many phobias also fall under the umbrella of anxiety. These include:
Agoraphobia: People with agoraphobia have a fear of being in situations in which they cannot, or may not be able to escape. Places like shopping malls, subways, and crowded or open areas may cause those with agoraphobia to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Some people with agoraphobia may even find it hard to leave their homes.
Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder: A person with social phobia may find themselves unable to be in social interactions. Anxiety and extreme self-consciousness are symptoms that are linked to this disorder. This anxiety can be triggered by acute circumstances like having to deliver a public presentation, for example. Social phobia can also be felt more chronically, applying to a wide range of social scenarios.
Specific phobia: This is a phobia that is caused by a trigger that often poses little or no threat. This irrational fear can be of a specific object, situation, or activity. This category is wide-ranging and covers a host of topics such as acrophobia (fear of heights), agoraphobia (fear of crowded spaces), claustrophobia (fear of small or enclosed spaces), and ailurophobia (fear of cats).
Can intensive behavioral therapy be used to treat obesity?
One common treatment option for obesity is intensive behavioral therapy (IBT). This type of therapy focuses on teaching patients how to change their eating and exercise habits to more sustainably manage their weight. IBT involves many components that may vary depending on the program you're enrolled in. In general, though, your IBT to include:
- Making and celebrating small, realistic changes.
- Screening for depression. Obesity often goes hand in hand with mental health issues, including depression.
- Self-monitoring. This is a key part of the therapy in which you may be asked to keep a food and fitness journal for a few weeks, or even a few months, to get a clear picture of where you can improve.
- Learning healthy habits. Learning about nutrition, stress reduction techniques, how to identify and overcome weight loss obstacles, and more.
What is intensive behavioral therapy for obesity?
One treatment option for obesity is intensive behavioral therapy (IBT). This type of therapy focuses on teaching patients how to change their eating and exercise habits for sustainable weight management. IBT varies depending on the program in which you're enrolled. This therapy generally involves:
1) Focusing on small, realistic changes.
2) Screening for depression, which often complements obesity.
3) Self-monitoring. This is a key part of the therapy. You may be required to keep a food and fitness journal for a few weeks or even a few months to get a clear picture of where you can improve.
4) Learning healthy habits. Learning about nutrition, stress reduction techniques, how to identify and overcome weight loss obstacles, and more.
Is it better to attend online couples therapy counseling together or alone?
Every couple is different - and your counselor should be able to help you determine whether you should attend alone or together. Consult with your couples therapist or marriage counselor about the issues you are hoping to address. In most cases, attending online couples therapy together is most beneficial, as it helps individuals talk through relationship issues together. That being said, in certain cases a counselor may want to meet with each partner individually, such as when domestic abuse is an issue.
Additionally, your partner may not want counseling services. If you are looking for help, but your partner isn't, you may consider booking a visit with a counselor yourself to talk through any issues you may be facing.
Talk to your counselor/ therapist about what form of online couples therapy/ online marriage counseling is right for you.
What is online couples therapy?
Online couples therapy and online marriage counseling is a form of telehealth psychotherapy that allows couples to have a counseling session with licensed therapists through video chat sessions on Sesame. During couples therapy sessions, couples work with a couples therapist to talk through their relationship, their challenges, their mental health, and more. Online couples therapy is particularly helpful when in-person sessions are:
1) Unsafe (e.g. social distancing guidelines during COVID-19 pandemic)
2) Inconvenient (e.g. based on work/ family schedules)
3) Impossible (e.g. long-distance relationships)
Start healing together today with a real licensed professional counselor (LPC), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), or provider on Sesame.
Where can I find online marriage counseling/ online couples therapy?
Sesame offers video visits with licensed therapists/ licensed clinical social workers in Berkeley, CA. These live video sessions can help couples work through a wide range of issues including:
- Communication skills
- Sexual obstacles
- Financial strain
- Stress management
- Anger management
- Substance abuse
- Infidelity/ communication to regain trust
- Family therapy
- Premarital counseling
You certainly don't need to be experiencing relationship issues to talk to a couples therapist/ marriage counselor. Relationship help can address problems in your relationship, or build a stronger relationship through communication in a safe and confidential space. All you need is an internet connection and a space where you feel comfortable together. If your partner isn't interested in participating, couples therapy can be beneficial for individuals as well.
Book a visit on Sesame with a licensed therapist/ clinical social worker today for convenient and affordable video couples therapy sessions. 60-minute visits start at just $132 - no insurance needed.
Is video couples therapy right for my partner and me?
There are a number of benefits to online couples therapy/ counseling. Speaking with a licensed therapist/ clinician through video sessions lets you address relationship issues even if you are separated, or have barriers that make in-person therapy difficult (such as work or childcare scheduling). If you think you may have a difficult time working couples therapy into your schedule or life, you might consider online marriage counseling/ couples therapy as a way to work on your relationship without the hurdles of going to a clinician's office.
Couples therapy can help your relationship even if you aren't having relationship issues. Some couples use couples therapy as a way to strengthen a relationship or work through thoughts in a safe space. Some things that online couples therapy can help address include:
- Communication skills
- Sexual obstacles
- Financial strain
- Stress management
- Anger management
- Substance abuse
- Infidelity/ communication to regain trust
- Family therapy
- Premarital counseling
What does a couples therapist do?
Couples therapy is a normal, healthy part of every relationship. Couples and marriage counseling by a licensed counselor offers emotionally-focused therapy to address relationship problems including:
- Communication issues
- Sexual obstacles
- Anger management
- Substance abuse
In order to address any issues you may be facing in your relationship, a therapist, psychotherapist, or counselor may offer tools such as:
- Conflict resolution
- Marriage counseling
- Gottman Method
- Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
What are treatments for psychological causes of sexual dysfunction?
If you are experiencing sexual dysfunction as a result of psychological causes, therapy can help address the sexual problems you may have. Common psychological causes of sexual dysfunction include:
- Body image/ self-confidence problems
- Trauma (such history of rape or abuse)
Sex is complicated. Not only do physical factors contribute to dysfunction, but emotional and psychological conditions can reduce your ability to experience sexual arousal and pleasure from sex. Sex therapists can help couples communicate about sex in a safe and open environment. Therapists may also work with individual patients to address trauma, body image, anxiety, and other psychological causes that could be contributing to sexual dysfunction. A sex therapist can also provide behavioral therapy to help patients with self-stimulation or ejaculation control to enhance sexual performance or increase arousal.
What kind of doctor do you see for sleep problems?
Sleep is a complex function, and many doctors are trained to diagnose and treat sleep disorders. Depending on the nature of your sleep deficiency, a primary care physician, psychiatrist, neurologist, or pediatrician could be right for you.
If you're needing a good night's sleep Sesame can help! Sesame offers convenient sleep medicine specialist consultations in Berkeley, CA at affordable cash-pay prices. Book directly with the doctor you want to see and save up to 60% on your appointment when you book through Sesame - no insurance needed.
Do I have a sleep disorder?
If you're not getting enough sleep you're not alone. More than one-third of Americans (about 70 million people) describe their sleep as "poor" or "only fair." The most common symptoms of a sleep disorder are:
- Difficulty staying awake when not physically active.
- Struggling to pay attention or concentrate at work, school, or in social situations.
- Performance problems in school or at work.
- Consistently being told that you look sleepy.
- Difficulty with memory.
- Slowed reflexes or response times.
- Difficulty controlling your emotions.
- Feeling the constant need to nap.
- Snoring loudly.
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What are the most common sleep disorders?
Sleep disorders are as diverse in their effects as they are in their causes. Some of the most common sleep disorders that doctors treat include:
Insomnia: Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night.
Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea includes abnormal patterns in breathing while you are asleep. There are several types of sleep apnea.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS): Restless leg syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a type of sleep movement disorder in which patients feel an urge to move their legs while trying to fall asleep. This can lead to discomfort.
Periodic limb movement (PLM): Periodic limb movement is characterized by repetitive jerking or cramping in the legs while sleeping. PLM is the only movement disorder that occurs only during sleep. While it is often linked with RLS, they are not the same thing.
Narcolepsy: Characterized by extreme sleepiness during the day and falling asleep suddenly during the day.
Sleepwalking (somnambulism): Involves getting up and walking around while in a state of sleep.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall or stay asleep, or may cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep.
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the United States. Roughly half of all people experience acute bouts of insomnia, and approximately 10% of Americans chronically suffer from the condition.
Most cases of insomnia are the result of poor sleep habits, depression, anxiety, lack of exercise, chronic illness, or certain medications.
How can I stop my insomnia?
The best way to stop insomnia is to make lifestyle changes that benefit your sleep quality, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Usually, the first type of treatment recommended for chronic insomnia is a type of counseling known as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). CBT-I draws connections between the way we act, feel, think, sleep - applying a holistic approach to sleep to get you the insomnia relief you need.
There are also, several medicines that can help manage your insomnia and fix your sleep patterns. There are plenty of prescription sleeping pills that have been shown to help improve sleep when tested against a placebo. In some cases, healthcare providers may choose to prescribe medicines for related health conditions that are not yet approved by the FDA to treat insomnia. These may include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants. Many people also see great results with over-the-counter medicines, sleep aids, and supplements like melatonin.
If insomnia is getting you down, it's time to take back control. Save up to 60% when you book a sleep consultation through Sesame today!
Is sleep therapy covered by insurance?
In most cases, yes. Insurance providers will often help pay for the treatment of sleep disorders. Even with insurance, however, the amount you pay depends upon the healthcare provider that you have, and the out-of-pocket costs and deductibles tied to the plan. If you're looking to get better sleep, wrestling with your insurance company might not be your best option.
If lack of sleep is taking its toll on your quality of life, it's time to take back control. Sesame works directly with doctors - not insurance networks - to get you the care you need for affordable, upfront prices without copays or surprise bills. On Sesame, you get to see the sleep doctor who's right for you, not the one your insurance company says is right for you. Save up to 60% on your next sleep medicine consultation when you book with Sesame.