My Approach to Helping
Therapy can seem like a mysterious process, but it is not. Depending on the nature of your situation there are often other viable alternatives. Once we have talked about your goals, we will discuss some of these other options to therapy. Your best interests are my sole motivation. The key to success here is for you to feel safe and heard. Your trust in our relationship is critical. Hopefully, this trust will enable you to tell me what is going on with you and allow you to deeply explore your thoughts and feelings. I will not judge you. We will work together, as a team. It is my belief that everyone has the answers to their own particular set of problems somewhere within them. My job is to create enough trust and safety here that you can find the answers that work for you. There are different styles and methods of counseling that can be effective. After doing an initial assessment, I will try to use the therapeutic approach the best fits with you and your specific problems.
More Info About My Practice
My fee is $150 per session and each session will last 50 minutes. I accept payment in the form of cash, check or credit card prior to our session. I am not a contracted provider with any insurance company. Should you decide to use your insurance, I will provide you with a statement, which you can submit to the third-party of your choice to seek reimbursement of fees already paid. There will be times when you might need to cancel a session. Please call my voicemail at least 24 hours in advance to avoid being charged for your session. If there is an emergency that causes me to be unable to make it to a session, and I don't notify you at least 24 hour in advance, then your next session will be free of charge. If I am going to be out of town for any reason I will let you know well in advance.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
I graduated from Stanford University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. I then attended Washington State University where I received a Masters of Business Administration in 1993. For the next 15 years I was firmly entrenched in the business world. In 2006, I contracted a rare autoimmune disease called alopecia universalis, which caused all the hair on my body to fall off in a 5-week period. While not a life threatening disease, it was certainly life altering. I experienced the grief and loss associated with a dramatic and rapid change in appearance and identity. All this led me to seek out psychology once again, at first as a client to help myself, then later as a new career to help others. I graduated from Santa Clara University in 2012 with a Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology. I became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California on 4/14/16 (LMFT#92542). As an intern, I worked for four years at a local high school counseling adolescents & their families. I also worked at a clinic, treating adults, couples and families. I lead grief & loss support groups on a regular basis.
What I Say to People Concerned about the Therapy Process
For most people, psychological counseling is a positive and helpful experience. It often reduces feelings of distress, leads to improved relationships, and teaches new skills to manage specific concerns. There are no guarantees, however. While therapy has helped many people, it doesn't work for everyone. All I can promise is that I will create a safe, trusting, non-judgmental environment for you to explore your life. It is not always going to be pleasant and there are some risks involved. It is often the case that clients feel worse before they feel better. Unforeseen changes may occur in relationships or in familiar ways of coping. You may experience unpleasant feelings or recall distressing memories. Facing such challenging experiences may be necessary to realize the benefits of therapy. On occasion, therapy fails to relieve distress, in which case other resources may be recommended.