Dona Laressa Desmond, Ph.D. LMFT
|Professions: Counseling Psychology, Marriage & Family Therapy, Mental Health Counseling|
|License Status: I'm a licensed professional.|
|Primary Credential: LMFT|
|Secondary Credential: Couples Therapist - 22 years experience.|
Billing and Insurance
Fees: There are two ways that therapists can deal with health insurance. One is if they are "in network providers." The other is if they are "out of network providers." The difference in these two will determine what and how much you pay out of pocket for therapy. For an explanation about how these differ and how I handle insurance as it relates to my clients email me.
REDUCED FEES...The way that I handle sliding scale fees is by offering a number of prepaid package deals as well as some sessions that are shorter than 60 min. To see these you can go to the Fees Page on my website which has a link under my photo.
INITIAL CONSULTATION...Should you need an initial free consultation before scheduling a session with me we can do it via email, which is fastest or a 20 min face to face at my office as my schedule permits.
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22 years experience ~ Solution Focused Relationship Expert
MARRIAGE COUNSELOR ~ PREMARITAL COUNSELING ~ COUPLES THERAPY
Communication expert helping you get past problems and get closer
It's so easy for good love to slide into bad patterns. Life gets busy, communication falls off and suddenly there is a barrier between you. I understand how that happens. I'm here to help you move past conflicts, get on the same page and feel closer to each other.
Relationships have a powerful impact on our emotions whether we are dating, living together or married. When love is off course it can distract you from focusing on other areas of your life.
Frustrating power struggles and unfruitful communication increase when a Couple gets out of sync. I'm here to help you reverse that trend and get into a loving zone with each other.
I can help you prevent or undo emotional damage, solve problems together and learn gentler communication. All of this will reinvigorate your connection so that you experience each other in new and more positive ways.
As a Couples Therapist I will give you a safe place to explore, vent and grow. We'll define the challanges and focus on solutions. I'll honor your feelings while helping you get unstuck.
Lack of trust, differences in personal rhythms and vulnerable mood patterns can often cause confusing resentments to form a wall which separates and frustrates leading to unhappiness in the relationship. It's not always easy to fix this on your own and sadly the passage of time doesn't always heal the differences between people.
If you find yourself in this spot I can help you. You will know that you have an experienced Couples Therapist working with you to improve your relationship. If you're struggling with issues of trust, communication or in emotional distress email me, let's see how I can hep you.
I counsel all relationship issues including the non-traditional. I have an unflinching fascination with all facets of human nature and I am happy to extend my expertise to you. Bring me your relationship issues; I will help you sort things out and find solutions.
I look forward to speaking with you. Email me for fastest contact. Feel free to visit my personal website for extensive info on who I am and what I can do for you. (The link to my website is above under my picture.)
Dona Laressa Desmond PhD
Couples Counseling Los Angeles
Email or Call Dona Laressa Desmond, Ph.D. LMFT at 1-800-651-8085 ext. 12060
More Info About My Practice
FEES AND INSURANCE
My fees are as follows:
$87.50 ~ 30 minute session
$131.25 ~ 45 minute session
$165.00 ~ 60 minute session if payment is via cash
$175.00 ~ 60 minute session if payment is via check, Pal Pal or Credit Card
I am an out of network provider for all several major insurance PPO's. For an explanation of what this means email me. I'll be happy to translate it for you!
Remember that payments made to your therapist go toward your deductible.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
Letting Go of the Past
Problem Solving as a Couple
Time Management and Intimacy
Conflict Resolution for Relationships
Needs vs Wants
Privacy and Taking Personal Space
Collaboration in Relationships
Making a Fresh Start
Infidelity and Cheating
Affair Proofing Your Marriage
Healing from the Past
Sex and Passion
Sex Therapy for Couples
Long Distance Love
Understanding the Opposite Sex
How Psychotherapy Can Help
Therapy helps by giving you undistracted time in a safe place. Couples therapy gives you, encouragement, understanding and a warm environment to define issues and implement real solutions. I dedicate considerable experience, wisdom and focus to each client. My goals are to understand you, your unique situation and to help you implement real and concrete solutions to your problems. I am happy to help you improve your relationship and to share with you emotional skill sets that can make that happen. If you are nervous about seeing a therapist, no worries! Email me for details.
My View on the Purpose of Psychotherapy
Well this is a huge philosophical question. On one hand psychotherapy is an adaptation to failures in our social structure. It's safe to say that if we all had happy childhoods, competent education, good bosses and faithful spouses psychotherapy would become obsolete. That said, psychotherapy is many positive things. It's a safe haven. It's a think tank to improve your life. It's a private and undistracted time for you to sort through things with a compassionate expert who has your well being in mind and wants to help you be happier. It's access to a well-honed person who can bring wisdom, insight, perspective and empathy to you. It's like having a Life Consultant who can help you when things get off track.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
This is simple. What I love about being a Psychotherapist is.......everything.
My Role as a Therapist
My role as a therapist is to help you, to guide you and work with you to generate solutions for problems that you may be struggling with. I work with you to have clear emotional goals, to change difficult behaviors and to have a more cooperative and fulfilling relationship.
What I Usually Need to Know to Help
Most clients have a pretty good idea of what they are struggling with because most issues are recurring in a person's life. An exception to that might be disaster-related trauma, an unexpected infidelity or sudden death. What I need to know to help you is for you to tell me what you are struggling with. You don't have to understand why or what the cause is, that's my job. I will help you sort through your feelings until we are able to get clear on what you need and what your relationship or marriage needs. Once I understand what the problem is I can formulate a strategy on how to help you. I will also need to know what your level of motivation is for making changes. After that it is a process which includes things like information gathering, working through emotions, examining patterns and making a plan for change. I will help you each step of the way.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
This is a favorite topic of mine and one that I welcome. It's perfectly natural to feel uncertain about seeking counseling. If you are on the fence about going to therapy remember that you are in charge. You can pick a therapist that works for you and that understands your challenges. You can always tell a therapist that you want to only schedule one appointment and see how it goes. Any confident therapist will be fine with that.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
There is an intellectual and emotional intimacy that happens between client and therapist so ultimately choosing a therapist is really all about chemistry. You will likely get a strong sense of who the therapist is and how they work by reading their profile and then, if you are still unsure I suggest booking just one session with the therapist to get a feel for the chemistry. A good therapist will make you feel understood and safe. A good therapist will listen to you and ask relevant questions. The right therapist for you will communicate in a way that you can understand. A good therapist will be committed to helping you make actual changes and see real results.
The Duration and Frequency of Therapy
How long does therapy take? This is such a great question. I believe that you should only continue in counseling for as long as you feel some benefit. That could be a few sessions or for a longer duration. I am completely accommodating on this point. Some of my clients feel that they need see me twice a week initially and others only want to see me once a month. Some of my clients like the traditional one hour session, others like to have extended sessions up to 3 hours once a month. It varies widely and I am fine with all of those variations, schedule permitting.
On anther point, counseling is both a healing professional and a service. It should be up to the client when they want to stop therapy and not for the therapist to decide unless asked. No therapist should ever make you feel guilty for stopping therapy!
Services I Provide
- Family Therapy
- Individual Therapy & Counseling
- Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
- Online Counseling / Phone Therapy
Ages I Work With
Groups I Work With
Angry Relationship Recovery
Resentment Release and Letting Go of the Past
Marriage Counseling and Enhancement
Long Distance Relationship
Infidelity and Affair Proofing Your Marriage
Conflict Resolution and Fighting Fairly
Sex Therapy for Couples
Communication and Problem Solving
Enhanced Listening Skills
Gender Styles in Communication
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