Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
I know that deciding to come to counseling is a big deal…it’s an investment of time, money and most of all mental and emotional energy and you might be wondering is therapy worth the investment? I would love to help you figure out the answer to that question! Below I’ve listed some questions that I’ve found people commonly ask when they are trying to #1: decide whether or not counseling is for them and #2: trying to find a therapist after deciding they are ready to give therapy a try.
How Long will i need to come to Counseling in order to feel better?
It really varies, depending on what we’re working on and on the pace that feels most comfortable to you. Sometimes the work goes very quickly; other times it can take 6 months or longer. On average, I’ve seen people make good progress in 2-3 months of weekly therapy sessions, so that’s what I recommend committing to at the start in order to set the stage for progress to be made.
What is a typical counseling session with you Like?
Sessions are typically 50-55 minutes long. We usually spend the first few minutes catching up on how you’re doing, and then we pick up where we left off the week before. I focus on being present with you and helping you to be present with yourself during the session. For the last 5-10 minutes of the session I check in with you to make sure we’ve reached a good stopping place and we identify things for you to work on over the week until we meet again.
how can therapy help me?
Counseling with me allows you the opportunity to learn how to connect with emotions that you’ve previously never been able to connect with due to feeling too overwhelmed by these emotions. Through connecting with these emotions, you learn that they aren’t as overwhelming or difficult to control as they seemed, and your confidence in your ability to manage these challenging emotions grows. As a result, your life is no longer so constrained by the energy it takes to deal with your challenging emotions, freeing you up to live life with more joy and peace.
what therapeutic techniques do you use?
I have training in Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), which is an evidence-based approach that has been found to be effective in healing a wide range of emotional distress. To learn more, watch this video or read more about it at the IFS website. I also utilize techniques from Emotionally-Focused Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, as well as faith-based techniques for those who desire to incorporate their relationship with God into our work together.
I’ve tried therapy before and it didn’t help. How is therapy with you different?
If this has been your experience, I’m sorry. If you’ve tried counseling before and it hasn’t helped much, there are a number of reasons why that might have been your experience. Sometimes when people go to counseling, they’re not actually ready to change so they don’t stick with it long enough for change to take place. Other times maybe the counselor isn’t a good fit, or the therapist’s approach isn’t the best fit for you and your life experiences/personality. Or sometimes therapy doesn’t focus enough on getting to the root issues causing your distress, instead teaching coping skills that feel more like a band-aid than a true solution.
Counseling with me will go at your own pace and focus on getting to the root issues that are contributing to how you feel. I will help you not to feel overwhelmed as we walk together through this process, and I’ll check in with you frequently to make sure that therapy is feeling worthwhile and that progress is being made.
how will my life Be different after therapy With you?
If we decide to work together, my hope for you would be that you gain a sense of freedom from emotions that have felt like too much to bear; that you might feel surprised to learn that you’re not as stuck as you feel, and that you have the ability to relate to yourself and your overwhelming feelings in ways that actually help these emotions to feel less intense; and that you leave our sessions feeling more grounded, peaceful and confident as you move through life.
i feel skeptical about Whether or not things can change. how can counseling help something i’ve tried for years to fix?
Oftentimes we go about trying to “fix” emotions we don’t like by trying to suppress or avoid them - ignoring them, numbing them, shaming them, etc. Unfortunately, these efforts typically aren’t successful, and usually guarantee that these unwanted emotions stick around. I specialize in helping people to face these emotions with compassion and openness, which ultimately helps these emotions to resolve and gives you confidence in your ability to handle intense feelings when they arise in the future.
See below for answers to other frequently asked questions:
Are you taking new clients?
My schedule is frequently changing, so please contact me to see if I have any current openings for new clients.
What Are your hours?
Tuesdays: 1pm to 8:30pm
Wednesdays: 1pm to 7:30pm
All therapy sessions take place at my office in Aptos: 3040 Valencia Avenue, Suite 6 /Aptos, CA 95003
Who do you work with?
I work best with individual adults and couples who are ready to dig deep to finally find freedom from feelings, behaviors, relationship patterns, etc that they have tried to get rid of and that are making them miserable.
What are your fees?
15-minute initial phone consultation: FREE
50-55 minute individual/couples therapy session: $130*
*I do offer a $5 discount for people who pay with cash or check at the time of the session.
Are you on any insurance panels?
At this time I am not a contracted provider with any insurance panels; I am an out-of-network provider for those insurance plans that offer out-of-network benefits. If you have questions about how this works, let me know - I’m more than happy to walk you through how to find out if your plan offers out-of-network benefits and how to submit claims. If your place does offer out-of-network benefits, I can provide you with receipts that you can submit to your insurance provider and they will reimburse you directly for any costs that your plan does cover.
Do you offer discounted fees?
I offer discounted fees on a very limited basis. Please contact me regarding availability.
Does my spouse have to come with me for couples counseling?
No. While it is often helpful for both people to work together to improve the relationship, it only takes one person in order for change to happen. So, if your spouse is unwilling to come to counseling, you can still take steps to help your relationship to improve!
Why aren't you on more insurance panels?
It is my goal to provide the very best treatment possible in order to make your investment worthwhile. Unfortunately, I’ve found that being on insurance panels takes away from this goal for a number of reasons:
The low reimbursement rates offered by most of the major insurance companies require therapists who contract with these companies to carry large caseloads, often reducing the quality of care that these therapists are able to provide.
Insurance companies often want to manage care through dictating the number of sessions allowed, questioning the work being done in sessions, and requiring therapists to submit paperwork detailing treatment provided.
The amount of work often required for therapists to deal with billing errors, treatment authorizations and other insurance-related questions takes time and energy away from focusing on actually helping you to feel better.
I’ve found that many people are able to utilize out-of-network to help cover some of the costs of therapy.
I see you offer faith-based counseling but I’m not a christian…how does that work?
I am trained in faith-based counseling techniques, and I do offer this approach if desired, but I work with clients of many different spiritual backgrounds and beliefs and I don’t incorporate a faith-based approach unless specifically requested by the client.