Do you have to be crazy or not functioning to go to therapy?
Therapy is a way to help and support individuals, couples, and families to cope with the challenges of life and find ways to thrive. Therapy is most effective when it is done consistently and when people take steps towards improving their lives before life gets out of control. There are different levels of care for mental health and office based therapy is most effective for people with small everyday fires that they would like to work on. If you need more intensive mental health support I can provide you with inpatient programs and local hospitals.
How is a therapist different than talking to a friend?
A therapist has extensive education and training in mental health theories and interventions. Additionally, a therapist is a neutral outside party who will listen to your concerns and provide neutral feedback. Also, therapists are not a part of your everyday life so you don't run the risk of your personal information being shared with other friends. Finally, a therapist does not expect reciprocity like a friend does. Your time with your therapist is your time and you don't have to worry about providing support yourself.
Is it a sign of weakness to go to therapy?
Not at all. Therapy is becoming more and more mainstream as society understands the importance of mental health on overall life satisfaction. Coming to therapy means that you wish to improve your quality of life and you wish to do it with a professional. It is similar to working with a personal trainer on your fitness goals in that you are seeking professional support for your personal goals.
What is your cancelation policy?
I have a 24-hour cancelation policy. As long as you let me know at least 24-hours prior to our appointment that you cannot make it you will not be charged for the session. I also understand that sometimes things happen such as a sick kid or a flat tire and so all clients are given 1 free-be where they can cancel last minute and they will not be charged. After this free-be, you will be charged at the full rate ($130). Insurance companies do not reimburse for missed appointments so you will be charged the full rate on the credit card that you left on file.
What is your late policy?
My late policy is 15 minutes. I know that there is a lot of traffic in Southern California and sometimes it can take you longer to get to your appointment than you thought. This is why you have a 15 minute window for late arrivals. Once you arrive later than 15 minutes I won't be able to see you since we won't have enough time to discuss what is happening in your life and find some solutions and you will be charged the full fee. I do make exceptions to this rule depending on circumstances so it's important for you to call me if you are running late.
Who will know that I am in therapy?
The short answer to this question is "no-one". Therapy is confidential and your private health information is not released to anyone unless you request it. The only exception to this is your insurance company will know that you are in therapy should you choose to use it.
Can I bring my kid with me to our appointments?
This is a tricky question and a decision about this is made on a case to case basis. I do not provide childcare so your child would be in session with us. If you have a baby then most of the time s/he does not disrupt sessions and it is OK to bring him/her. I also do not have any issues with you breastfeeding your baby during session. However, should you have an older child who is able to understand what we are talking about then it's better not find someone to watch him/her so that you can speak freely about what is going on in your life. Either way, please call or email me about your specific situation so that we can come up with a plan prior to your appointment.