Questions

Once I start therapy, how often should I attend? And over how long of a course of time?
Although​ there is no all-encompassing answer to this question, usually I recommend clients initially commit to three months of weekly therapy sessions.  During these initial three months, the therapy has an opportunity to develop a depth of introspection which promotes important insight and self-reflection.  Some of my clients feel their therapeutic goals are adequately addressed within their first three months of therapy, while other clients view therapy as an ongoing process which supports their personal commitment to life-long evolvement.
Do you think medication can be helpful for treating different psychological conditions?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right approach to psychological wellness.  In other situations, clients may discover that side-effects caused by certain medications are a hindrance to their emotional well-being.  When considering medication to address psychological issues, carefully consult with a trusted physician.  As a therapist, I welcome opportunities to collaborate with clients and their psychiatrists when determining strategies to best fit the client’s goals for therapy.
How long are the therapy sessions? And what's the environment of your office?
My therapy​ sessions are 50 minutes in length.  The location I work out of is ideally situated in a quiet business center adjacent to a quaint residential area of Pasadena, with plenty of convenient free parking.  The layout of the office has been set with care to be non-distracting, and to promote a sense of calm, comfort and privacy.
How can I make sure what I discuss in therapy remains confidential?
With a few important legal exceptions, therapy is strictly confidential.  The mere fact that you see a therapist and everything you say in therapy are confidential unless you provide the therapist with written permission to disclose this information to someone else.  The legal exceptions to confidentiality include cases of suspected or actual child, elder or dependent adult abuse.  Other exceptions to confidentiality exist when there are perceived threats to harm certain persons or property, or there are significant possibilities of self harm or suicide.
Do you see clients during evenings and weekends?
Yes, I do​ conduct therapy sessions in the evenings and during the weekends.  However, these time slots usually fill quickly, so please try to be flexible with your scheduling preferences.
Do you provide therapy to children?
When parents ​or caregivers contact me to provide therapy to a child, I strongly recommend that all adults involved in the child’s life also participate in the therapy sessions.  Because of this, my therapeutic work with children is equivalent to family therapy.  By working with the whole family there is a greater likelihood for fostering an environment of consistency between the child’s experience in therapy and the child’s experience in the home.  This consistency is vital for lasting therapeutic change.
I've never been in therapy, how do I start the process?
​This is a common and reasonable question.  As you are in the process of deciding to work with a therapist, try to consider what concerns you’ll want addressed in therapy.  Sometimes concerns are related to emotional states (sadness, emptiness, stress), other times concerns can be circumstantial (a recent break-up, family conflict, loss of a job), and often times it’s a combination of things.  Don’t worry if it seems difficult to clearly define all your therapeutic concerns at this point, just try to get a general sense of what seems dissatisfying to you right now.  Then make some phone calls to prospective therapists to determine if any of them feel like a “good fit” for you.  Trust your instincts through this process, and be patient.  Give yourself permission to ask questions and to share your concerns openly.  When discussing the details of an initial appointment the therapist should clearly communicate fees, cancellation policies and intake procedures (which usually involves a very small amount of paperwork).  Initial appointments usually take place as a face-to-face meeting at the therapist’s office, and are about 50 minutes in length.  During the initial therapy appointment, a conversation between you and the therapist will unfold, and considerations will be made on how the therapy should proceed forward.  Remember, this is a collaborative process between you and your therapist.