​​Is therapy right for me? The most important aspect to consider when choosing a therapist is whether or not you feel comfortable with that therapist.  The relationship is everything!  The choice to engage in therapy is a personal decision. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, self-esteem issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who wants to get the most out of their life by taking responsibility and creating greater self-awareness in their lives.
What can I expect in my first session? The first session is really about information gathering and the very beginning of establishing the therapeutic relationship. This relationship is very important. Research has shown that this is one of the most important parts of success in therapy. It is essential to establish real trust and a feeling of safety in the environment of the therapy office. I want to listen, validate and empathize with your situation.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work? 
I currently accept Blue Shield, Beacon/Value Options, MHN (Mental Health Network), Magellan, MOS (Military One Source, TriCare and I see clients through the Victim Compensation Program. Kaiser now can opt to refer through Beacon or Magellan, so ask your doctor. Many people decide to pay for therapy out of their own pocket after careful consideration of the pros and cons. If you are paying out-of-pocket, I will provide a receipt for you if requested. 
Is therapy confidential? In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include: Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately. If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police. If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
How often do people come for therapy? Generally therapy is scheduled weekly. This can vary depending on individual needs.
What is a LMFT? Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) are relationship specialists who treat persons involved in interpersonal relationships. They are trained to assess, diagnose and treat individuals, couples, families and groups to achieve more adequate, satisfying and productive marriage, family and social adjustment. The practice also includes premarital counseling, child counseling, divorce or separation counseling and other relationship counseling. Marriage and Family Therapists are psychotherapists and healing arts practitioners licensed by the State of California. Requirements for licensure include a related doctoral or two-year master's degree, passage of two comprehensive written examinations and at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience.
Is medication an option? In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right choice. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you. The long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that hinder progress. Sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being can best be achieved through an integrative approach to wellness.