Location: 1148 Manhattan Ave Suite 9 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266      Email: suziedupee@drdupee.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions

frequently asked questions

Patients & Treatment

Does Dr. Dupée accept insurance?
Dr. Dupée is not an insurance provider and therefore does not accept any insurance plans. Dr. Dupée provides a superbill for insurance reimbursemnt. 
Will my health insurance plan reimburse me for treatment?
Most PPO plans reimburse for out of network providers. It is best to check with your insurance company
regarding their reimbursement policies. The most common codes are 90792 +99214 (initial diagnostic evaluation)
and 99214 (medication management).
How does payment work?
Payment is due at time of service.
Does Dr. Dupée see adults in her private practice?
Yes, Dr. Dupée accepts adult patients in her private practice. She does not specialize in geriatric psychiatry.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and psychologist?

Psychiatrists and PhD psychologists are referred to as doctors. 

A psychiatrist is a physician or medical doctor (MD) who graduated from medical school or osteopathy school.  Medical school exposes the psychiatrist to all medical specialties with limited training and expertise.  A psychiatrist completes a four year residency program in psychiatry including rotations in internal medicine and neurology.  They work in hospital settings for their training.  Psychiatry residency programs are governed by the ACGME (Accreditation Counsel for Graduate Medical Education), which governs all medical specialties.  

Psychiatrists diagnose mental disorders, order investigative testing such as blood tests, MRIs, and imaging.  They also prescribe medications.  Some psychiatrists, usually forensic psychiatrists have training and expertise in psychological testing since they use testing often in legal cases.

A psychologist is not a medical doctor and do not have medical expertise.  Psychologists study emotional behavior.  They have completed a Psy.D., Ed.D or Ph.D in psychology.  They complete 3000 hours clinically supervised by a licensed psychologist including 1500 hours supervised by a board-certified psychologist. 

Some psychologists specialize in psychological testing, and/or neuropsychological testing (which requires additional specialized training). 

Psychologists do not prescribe medications or order investigative tests such as blood testing or radiology.  They do not diagnose medical conditions causing mental illness.  While they might be familiar with psychiatric medications, they do not have expertise to opine about effects of drugs on behavior or medical conditions. 

What does board certified mean?

According to the ABPN, an ABPN Board-Certified Psychiatrist has specialized skills and knowledge to diagnose and treat mental illness.  They can order diagnostic laboratory tests, prescribe medications, provide psychotherapy, and treat psychological and interpersonal problems, and give continuing care for psychiatry problems.  They can act as consultants to primary care physicians, medical specialists, and non-physicians such as psycholigsts, therapists, social workers, physician assistants, and nurses.

Board-Certification means that a psychiatrist has

  • Successfully completed an ACGME-accredited residency training program
  • Is licensed to practice medicine in at least one state, commonwealth, territory of the US or province of Canada
  • Fulfilled all Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements
  • Passed an ABPN examination at least every 10 years

How do I know if a forensic psychiatrist is board-certified?

The ABPN has a link ABPNverifyCERT; https://apps.abpn.com/verifycert/

frequently asked questions

Family Law

Does Dr. Dupée evaluate a child in divorce without the consent of the other parent?
No, Dr. Dupée will only evaluate a child with the consent of both parents in the case of divorce.
The only exception is if there is a court order or stipulation
Does Dr. Dupée perform financial mediation?
No, Dr. Dupée does not perform financial mediation.
Does Dr. Dupée give advice or prescribe medications without an initial diagnostic evaluation?
Does Dr. Dupée discuss potential legal cases with litigants?
No, Dr. Dupée might be disqualified as an evaluator if she has any substantial unilateral conversations with potential litigants.
Does Dr. Dupée accept payment plans for legal cases?
Payment is due in full for all legal cases. Evaluations, deposition or court appearances will only be confirmed with payment
no less than five business days prior.

Does Dr. Dupée consult with family law attorneys and litigants?

Yes, Dr. Dupée has a lot of expereince consulting with family law attorneys and litigants to help them acheive the best outcome for their case.

frequently asked questions

Legal Cases

What is a child and adolescent forensic psychiatrist?

An even rarer specialist is the child and adolescent psychiatrist who also has training and Board-Certification in forensic psychiatry.  There were 12,180 Board-Certifications issued by the ABPN as of December 31, 2021 (from 1959), with 432 certificates issued in 2021.  Unlike pediatricians who solely treat children, child & adolescent psychiatrists also treat adults.  There are very, very few Board-Certified psychiatrists who have triple board certified in General psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 

What is a forensic psychiatrist?

This is the most common question I am asked.  Forensic psychiatry is the interface between psychiatry and the law. 

There are only two disciplines in medicine with specific forensic training – psychiatry and pathology.  While pathologists often work on cases with the deceased, psychiatrists work primarily on cases when people are alive.  There are some cases where forensic pyschiatrists might be involved when the case involves a decedent (suicide or wrongful death).  For the most part, forensic psychiatry is an interactive discipline where legal questions are answered by a psychiatric evaluation, often called an IME. 

Forensic psychiatrists complete board certifications through examinations governed by the American Board of Psychology and Neurology (ABPN).  Forensic psychiatrists must be board certified in general psychiatry before they can be board certified in the subspeciality of forensic psychiatry.  The exception for undergoing board certification examination is for some psychiatrists who were grandfathered into their board certification in the 1990s before the ABPN mandated completion of forensic psychiatry fellowship training programs (which are governed by the ACGME).  There is a very small population of board certified forensic psychiatrists in the United States.  As of December 31, 2021, there were 68,000 total certificates issues to psychiatrists (from 1935) with 1,844 issued in 2021.  There were 2,675 total certificates issued in forensic psychiatry since the Board began issuing certifications in 1994, and 143 issued in 2021.  Only half of all board certified forensic psychiatrists are still practicing. 

The practice of forensic psychiatry is not limited to being an expert witness.  There are many forensic psychiatrists in the US who practice clinical psychiatry in forensic or legal settings such as correctional facilities such as jails, and prisons. 

What are your fees?

My fee schedule is available on request. My office will be happy to provide a fee schedule upon enquiry by attorneys about a case they might need my expertise. 

How much will the case cost?

Just as attorneys do not quote costs of a case, I am unable to give a specific cost for a case.  The best I can give is a vague range based on my experience but only after learning details of the case. 

It is all but impossible to give a total cost at the outset.  I never know what lies ahead in a case, even if it is billed as “straight forward” or “garden variety.”  I have found that EVERY case has complexity and deserves time and attention. 

How many times have you testified in depositions?

This is another question that is asked more often than I can count.  I have a penchant for being as accurate as I can, so if I could turn back the hands of time, I would have literally counted every deposition I have done.  After 20+ years of practice, I have simply lost count.  I have often wanted to ask the attorney how many depositions they have been involved in.  My best estimate is over 100. 

How many times have you testified in court?

The nature of legal cases is that most cases settle before trial, whether it be in criminal, family, or civil courts.  I don’t know exact percentages, but in my experience less than 10% of my cases end in trial.  I testify in more ‘hearings’ in Family Law that are not necessarily trials, although I have testified in many Family Law trials.  Like my answer in the above question, my best estimate is over 100.  During COVID I have been involved in far less trials since the courts have been very backed up. 

Which courts do you testify in?

I have testified in the following Courts:

  • Criminal Court
  • Civil Court
  • Family Court
  • Federal Court (criminal and civil)
  • Dependency (child welfare) Court
  • Juvenile Delinquency Court
  • Administrative Law Hearings (ALH)
  • Arbitrations

Do you accept cases outside of California?

Yes.  I have testified in multiple courts in the US in State and Federal Courts. 

How many cases have you been retained by the plaintiff’s or defense counsel?

Probably the third most common question I am asked.  My case load fluctuates as in any practice.  My plaintiff v. defense breakdown is on average 25-30% plaintiff v. 70-75% defense.  I am not a plaintiff or defense “expert.”  I give my independent opinion regardless of which side retains my services. 

My work covers various different courts, including Family and Criminal Courts, where there are no ‘Plaintiffs’ or ‘Defendants.’  In Family Court, litigants are the Petitioner and the Respondent. These labels are different because the issues are not necessarily plaintiff or defense oriented.  In Family and Criminal Courts, I am often appointed directly by the judge or “court-appointed.”  I am therefore, the Court’s expert, and not retained by either side. 

In Criminal Court, I am more often retained for the defense ‘defendant’ through their counsel, either private criminal attorney, Public Defender or Alternate Public Defender.  Criminal defense counsel often request competency to stand trial evaluations when they suspect mental illness that is compromising the defendants ability to communicate effectively with counsel.  Defense counsel might also request a psychiatric evaluation for insanity cases or more often, cases where the defendant might has mental illness that could have mitigating effects on their criminal case outcome and sentencing e.g. diversion. 



frequently asked

Our Location

The office is located in beautiful Manhatttan Beach.  We are one block from the ocean and Manhattan Beach Pier.

1148 Manhattan Ave, Suite 9 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (310) 335-1288

The office is located in a building above a restaurant called Fishing With Dynamite.  PLEASE NOTE:  there is NO direct entrance from the restaurant to the office.   
The entrance to the building is on 12th St. there is no direct access on Manhattan Avenue. Please enter the waiting room at the top of the stairs on the 2nd floor. 


There is ample two- hour metered parking around the office. Parking is a little more difficult during summer due to beachgoers.
There are five-hour meters on the beach in front of the Manhattan Beach pier or on the top floor of the parking structure on 12th
St east of Highland Avenue.
There are 10-hour meters in the underground parking structure on Morningside Avenue, two blocks east of the office.