What should I expect during the first session?
When you arrive at my office you can expect a friendly and safe environment, where everything we discuss will be confidential. We will talk about what is bringing you into therapy and go over the initial paperwork you completed before your arrival. You will be free to ask any questions and I will always respect what you do and do not want to share. We will schedule a follow up appointment based on this first meeting.


Will therapy work for me?
The success of a client’s therapy depends on many things, including motivation for change, level of comfort with the process and the relationship between client and therapist. Sometimes therapy can be uncomfortable as people face difficult challenges and realities of their situation. An open and trusting relationship between you and your therapist is crucial in order to be able to talk openly about your feelings. Therapy has been very successful for many individuals and families who wanted to create lasting change and healing in their lives.There is no guarantee regarding the outcome of therapy, but the client’s motivation will create the opportunity for a desired change.


How long will I be in therapy?
There is no way to predict at the start of therapy how long treatment will last. Some of it depends on how severe a client’s symptoms are. Another consideration are the changes that occur after therapy starts – there are often layers to what people come into counseling for. At times people start therapy for one reason and then begin to uncover feelings that may have been buried for years. For example a client may come in with issues related to chronic pain and discover that a trauma experienced in childhood has been contributing to the pain in ways that were unknown before starting therapy. The therapy can then change from working on ways to manage pain to treating the underlying trauma that is contributing to the symptoms. Feel free to have a conversation with your therapist regarding any questions or concerns you have about your therapy process.


How long are the appointments?
An individual or family counseling session usually last 50 minutes. EMDR sessions can be longer and will be discussed in detail prior to starting.


How does therapy work?
The first step in therapy is to build an honest and trusting relationship with your therapist. Depending on the symptoms you are having, your therapist will determine which type of treatment would be best to help decrease symptoms and help you feel better. Every therapist has their own style of working with people, as well as years of education and training. Here is a list of some types of therapy I use. Feel free to click on them to learn more information about how I work.


What is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker?
A Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of California has a Master’s Degree from an accredited university school of Social Work. Upon completion, 3,200 hours of supervised clinical experience and 104 weeks of clinical supervision must be obtained under a licensed professional. After the hours are obtained, mandated course work and two licensing exams must be passed in order to apply for a license. In order to maintain this license, 18 hours of continuing education credits are required per year . You can verify a license through the Board of Behavioral Sciences.


Will I need to take medication?
As a licensed clinical social worker, it is not within my scope of practice to prescribe medication. However, it may be helpful to coordinate with your primary care doctor or psychiatrist to determine if medications will help based on the symptoms you are experiencing. Medication in combination with therapy has proven to be successful with some people. In other cases, people have success treating symptoms with other modalities, including working with an herbalist, acupuncturist, chiropractor or other trained professional. Together you and your therapist can determine which is the best plan of action for you or your child.


Should I use my insurance?
Using your insurance for therapy is something to discuss with your therapist before your first session. There are often problems that can be associated with using insurances – for example insurance companies often try to dictate how many sessions a client can have and will often limit the number of sessions allowed, which in some cases can cut therapy short before a client may be ready to stop. Some insurances can be billed directly by the therapist, while other insurances reimburse the client for out of pocket payments. Some confidential information will need to be disclosed to your insurance company in order for services to be covered.