What can I expect if I have never been to counseling before?

If you are new to counseling, here’s what to expect. Either call or send an email to make contact with me. From there, we will talk on the phone to determine if I am a good fit for you. If I am, we’ll schedule a convenient time to meet at my office. During the first session, you’ll complete some basic paperwork and then we can talk about why you wanted to come in and what you hope the outcome will be.

Can individual counseling or family therapy help me?

Yes! Gaining insights into motivations, seeing new perspectives on arguments and behaviors, refocusing priorities, reducing stress and anxiety, healing from grief or depression – all these situations and more will benefit from individual counseling or family therapy.

How long are therapy appointments?

Individual sessions with me are 50 minutes long. Couples or family sessions may need to be longer and can be negotiated during the intake session.

How many will I need?

This depends on the problems or issues you are working on, how consistently you can attend, and your dedication to applying insights and new skills in your life between sessions. Some people get what they need in a few sessions, while others require more time.

How often do I need to come in?

The best outcomes occur with weekly therapy and that is what we will begin with. Over time, you might reach a place where we both agree that bi-weekly therapy is all you require. After your course of therapy is over, you will be welcome to return for a “tune up” as needed.

How can I pay? Do you bill my health insurance?

Payment is made at the start of each session by cash, check or Visa / Mastercard.

At this time, I do not accept any insurance plan benefits. If you are interested in using your benefits, you can talk to your insurance company about using me as an out-of-network provider. If you decide to go this route, I can provide you with a monthly superbill that you would use to submit to your health insurance provider. Many people find that a good portion of the fee is covered.

Please note that for those who qualify, I do take California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) insurance.

How do I know if you are the right therapist for me?

This short checklist may be helpful in deciding if we’re a good “fit”.

  • Early on in our work together you feel a sense of trust with me
  • You find yourself divulging things you’ve never told anyone before
  • It feels like we speak the same emotional language
  • You look forward to appointments every week
  • There’s comfort in being able to be yourself with me
  • Feeling seen and heard is important to you, and you get that here
  • You like that I don’t take sides in couples counseling
  • You like that if I don’t know something, I’ll say so
  • You appreciate that I tell you the truth – with sensitivity

What if I need a different specialist?

If I am not the right person to help you achieve the solutions to relationship challenges and personal distress or dilemmas that you seek, I will certainly tell you that! I want you to have the best person possible to address your unique situation. If necessary, I will happily refer you to a therapist who specializes in whatever it is you require.

Are sessions confidential?

To the extent required and allowed by law, I do not discuss your case with friends or family. Should you and I inadvertently run into each other in public, to preserve your confidentiality I will not greet you first, nor will I introduce you to anyone I may be with. It will be up to you to explain to your companions how you know me should you decide to do so.

As a mandated reporter, I am legally obligated to report to the appropriate authorities if you are planning to commit harm to yourself or others, which includes but is not limited to child or elder neglect or abuse, and homicidal or suicidal intent. You will be given a complete list of situations I am required to report at our first meeting.

Social Media Policy: A similar protection of your confidentiality is enforced on social media. Once you are my client, I will not respond to posts or tweets from you in order to provide you with the highest level of privacy safeguard that I can personally effect. Please do not attempt to “friend” me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn. Again, this is to maintain your confidentiality as I am legally and ethically required to do.

I’m not sure about starting therapy. What should I do?

It’s normal to be hesitant about starting something new. Call me at (916) 622-3996 for a free, no-obligation 15 minute consultation to see if you might like working with me. If I am not a good fit for you, I’ll help you find someone who is. My most sincere hope is for you to get the help and support you need.

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