FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions:
Have a question that you don’t see listed here? Feel free to email me, and I will be happy to send a reply and add it to this page for future reference.

What happens in a therapy session?
I’ve seen other therapists before. Do I have to tell my entire life history again?
How much does it costs?
What types of therapy are there?
What is the difference between an MFT, an LPCC, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist?
How do I know I can trust my therapist?

What if I am nervous or ashamed about starting therapy?

What if I have concerns about taking medications?



What happens in a therapy session?

  • FAQO4We laugh. We cry. We talk. We breathe. We move. We draw. We explore. We face reality and find it is not as bad as we feared. We name and explore old, unhealthy behaviors and beliefs. We discover and practice new ones. We heal and grow.
  • In a typical therapy session, many things happen. With a new client, information is gathered, ground rules and confidentiality are discussed, and therapist and client work to establish trust and relationship. As therapy progresses, goals are established and many different modalities are used to accomplish those goals. Examples are: art therapy, mindfulness practice, EMDR, movement, breathwork, psychoeducation, and practical solutions such as working to change thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.

I’ve seen other therapists before. Do I have to tell my entire life history again?

  • Different therapists work in different ways. I typically gather a basic history using questionnaires, then ask the client what significant things I need to know. You are free to say as much or as little in the beginning as you are comfortable with. As we work together, the relevant history tends to come in as needed. An exception is any history of self-harm, substance abuse, or suicidality – that is important to talk about in the beginning.

How much does it cost?

  • Each therapist sets their own fee schedule. The amount of the fee should be agreed upon before the first session takes place.
  • For new clients, I offer a free half-hour session so clients can decide if we are a good fit. My standard fee for a 50 minute session (therapy hour) is $95.00. Fees for longer sessions and for treatment reports and documents will be based on a pro-rated basis and agreed on in advance. In some cases, I do offer a reduced fee to clients with financial difficulties. Please call my office to discuss your situation.

What types of therapy are there?

  • Clients may be seen individually, with members of their family, or as a couple. When children or teens are in therapy, it is essential to have a good relationship with their parents so family therapy is often an adjunct. Group therapy is also available for specific issues.
  • There are many different orientations for psychotherapy. An orientation is a way of thinking about human behavior and relationships. In my practice I incorporate multiple orientations starting with whole-person, body-oriented (somatic) psychotherapy and EMDR (eye movement, desensitization, and reprocessing). Additionally, I utilize concepts and interventions from trauma research and therapies, sensorimotor psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), person-centered therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and strength-based therapy.

What is the difference between an MFT, an LPCC, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist?

  • A MFT is a Marriage and Family Therapist – masters level. In this type of psychotherapy, relationships between clients, family, friends, co-workers, and other people are considered to be very important in the focus of treatment, though often the person is seen individually. This kind of therapist cannot prescribe medications.
  • An LPCC is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor – masters level. This is a newer type of therapist in California, starting in 2011. In this type of therapy, symptoms, behavior, and problem-solving are more the focus of treatment. This kind of therapist cannot prescribe medications.
  • A psychologist has a doctorate level of education and provides psychotherapy as well as sometimes conducting research and conducting psychological testing. Therapy tends to be in-depth and psychoanalytical. This kind of therapist cannot prescribe medications.
  • A psychiatrist has a doctorate level of education and is also a medical doctor. They can prescribe medications; because medication management has become such a primary function for psychiatrists, many no longer provide traditional psychotherapy. They do often work in collaboration with other types therapists.

How do I know I can trust my therapist?

  • Therapists are governed by many legal and ethical guidelines. See the Ethics page for details. A trustworthy therapist will be willing to discuss these guidelines and how they affect their practice at length with you.
  • On a personal level, the best way to know you can trust your therapist is to meet in person and pay attention to your own instincts.

What if I am nervous or ashamed about starting therapy?

  • FAQO3People often feel nervous about going to therapy, especially if they haven’t been before. They may be scared that it will be painful or upsetting. It is also common to feel ashamed about deciding to utilize therapy, as if it means you are not strong enough.
  • In my practice, I strive to create an environment that is safe and comfortable for doing work that is sometimes very difficult. Some material that comes up in therapy is scary or embarrassing; however, the path to healing leads through this muck, and once you walk through it you will find that it wasn’t as bad as you’d imagined.
  • In session, you always have the choice about what to disclose, what to address, and whether or not to continue in the direction we are moving. I believe that there are many paths to the same destination. If the one I suggest is overwhelming or not right, we will find another one.
  • When your car is not running right or you have the flu, are you embarrassed about seeking out professional help? Although there has historically been a stigma about seeking professional psychotherapeutic help, it really is the same situation. After you have tried everything you know to try, it shows real strength of character to ask for help.

What if I have concerns about taking medications?

  • Medication can sometimes help people reach a place where they can feel better faster, but I do not push people to take medications. That is an issue for you to discuss with a psychiatrist or primary care physician.
  • I may suggest that a medication evaluation might be helpful in situations where it is appropriate. You always have the choice about what goes into your body.
  • If you are taking medication, I can assist in the process by communicating with the prescribing physician periodically, as clients typically see their therapist more frequently than their doctor.