1.  How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, addictions, trauma, grief, stress management, and more. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

 

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values

  • Developing skills for improving your relationships

  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy

  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety

  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures

  • Improving communications and listening skills

  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones

  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage

  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

 

2.  Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.    

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. 

 

3.  Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy.   Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.  Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods.  Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life.   In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives. 

 

4. What should I expect?  How do I get started?

In the first appointment, I will discuss with you your reasons for seeking therapy, ask questions about your personal history and background and discuss what results you hope to achieve. In subsequent sessions, it is my goal to assist you in working through your presenting problem, as well as explore the root causes of your struggles. 

Call my office at 707-479-1158 to schedule an appointment. If you click on the Contact me tab, you will be provided with some instructions on how that process works.  

Professional counseling is most often pursued during a time of crisis and/or distress, therefore I will make every effort to respond promptly to your call, answer any questions you might have, and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

  

5.  How long should I expect to be in counseling?   How long will this take?

That will always depend on the particular person/couple and the particular circumstances. Generally, the average length of time in counseling is 6-12 sessions.  Frequency of sessions will depend upon a number of factors:  individual needs, client and counselor’s availability and finances.      

 

6.  How long is each session?

Sessions are 50 minutes for individuals and 75 minutes for couples. 

 

7.  How much will it cost?  Is the cost different for couples and family counseling?

The cost is $110 for individuals (50 minutes) and $140 for couples (75 minutes) per session. Payment is expected at the time of services. Please refer to our rates and Insurance tab for specific information regarding fees, payment and insurance. 

 

8.  Do you accept insurance? 

I am enrolled with Blue Shield of California and Aetna. I don't bill other insurance companies. However, I will give you the "super bill", a listing of treatment dates, services provided and diagnostic coding. Services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. 

 

9.  What does Faith-Based Counseling mean?   

I believe that God can restore and renew your life. God is able to heal past trauma as well as mend current fractured relationships. As a part of the counseling process we can call upon God to help and guide the therapy. We can set a balance or a combination of faith and cognitive skills in our therapy.

In addition, I will work with those who profess no religious ties or backgrounds, and will not impose my personal beliefs upon others.

 

10.  Do you prescribe medication?

No. I do not prescribe medication. I do assist our clients who have need of these services in making the necessary referral to a physician.

 

11.  Do you provide psychological testing and assessments?

No, I do not provide these services. If needed, I will assist you in finding a professional who provides these services.

 

12.  How does confidentiality work in a professional counseling context?

Counseling often involves sharing sensitive and personal information. In recognition of this, ethical guidelines, as well as state and federal laws, protect the relationship between a client and a counselor and require that all interactions between a client and a counseling service remain confidential. Information cannot be disclosed without written permission. 

The exceptions to confidentiality are:

1:     Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.

2:    If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, I must notify the police and the intended victim. 

3:    If a client intends to harm herself or himself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation to ensure their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures, without their permission, that are provided to me by the law, in order to ensure their safety. 

 

13.  What do I do in an emergency?

For medical emergencies (injuries, suicidal fixation or other at-risk behavior), call 911 or proceed to your nearest hospital emergency room.