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Common Questions

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits can come from participating in therapy. Therapists provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, and body image issues and career blocks. Many people also find that therapy can be helpful for personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the stressors of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and your vaules

  • 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, 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 relationships

  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What is therapy like?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and process new insights gained from the previous therapy session.  Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.  

You will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in sessions back into your life.  Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, I will suggest some things you can do outside of our therapy sessions to support your process.


Do I really need therapy?   

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. 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. 

 
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, or are not handling stressful circumstances the way that they would want to.  Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, and identity issues.  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.   People seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives in a different way and are ready to make changes. 

Therapy is generally terminated when the agreed upon goals have been reached.  We can discuss this at the beginning of therapy and re-evaluate throughout the course of treatment. You always have the right to stop treatment at any time.  If you make this choice, referrals to other therapists can be provided if desired.  I typically ask clients to attend a final termination session to acknowledge the work accomplished in therapy and discuss any unfinished work.  
 

Risks associated with therapy.

Although therapy begins with the hope that your life and relationships will ultimately improve, there is no guarantee that this will occur.  Like many things in life, psychotherapy has inherent risks.  Often times as individuals begin to explore difficult emotions or events things can begin to feel worse before they get better.  Some of these possible risks to you include, but are not limited to, experiencing:

  • Disruptions in your  daily life that can occur because of therapeutic changes

  • Emotional pain due to exploring personal issues and/or family history

  • Emotional pain within your current relationships
     

Do you take insurance?

I do not participate in any managed care networks or insurance panels. However, I can provide a statement, called a Superbill, which may allow for reimbursement, depending on your insurance plan. It is your responsibility to pay at the time of the session and then to contact your managed care provider for reimbursement.  I make no guarantee whatsoever that your insurance company will reimburse you.
 

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. As a licensed psychologist in the state of California, I am legally and ethically bound to maintain confidentially and normally everything we discuss will be held confidential.  Unless you provide a signed authorization, I will not speak to, or correspond with, anyone about you. 

California laws and ethics, including standards of practice, either mandate, or permit therapists to break client confidentiality under certain circumstances. Some exceptions to confidentiality include situations in which there is reasonable suspicion that any of the following has ever occurred or is occurring now:

  • You present a danger to yourself or others

  • If there is reason to suspect child abuse (anyone under 18 years old)

  • If there is reason to suspect dependent adult abuse

  • If there is reason to suspect elder abuse (anyone 65 years or older)

  • The court of law orders information from treatment to be released as a part of a legal proceeding

In any of above circumstances, I will make every effort to alert you before releasing confidential information.