FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are some reasons people seek therapy?
People seek therapy for a wide variety of reasons. While I specialize in treating sex/pornography addiction and sex-related issues, clients also seek my support in addressing: intimacy and relationship concerns, infidelity, sexual abuse, trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Additional issues include: anger management, anxiety, codependency, depression, grief, life transitions, obsessive compulsive disorder, and stress.
Do I need therapy? I can usually manage problems on my own.
People often come into therapy after an unexpected crisis or after an existing issue has continued to persist. Unfortunately, there still seems to be a stigma that therapy is for the “weak” or “crazy”. In fact, therapy takes a whole lot of strength. It takes introspection to recognize some extra support is needed and courage to reach out for help. Some of the strongest and most resilient people I have encountered have been clients in therapy. Maybe you can manage on your own, but you shouldn't have to.
How long should I be in therapy? What does the therapy process look like?
Due to the unique therapy process with each client, it can be difficult to predict exactly how long therapy will last. While some challenges may be worked through in a relatively short amount of time, other challenges can take much longer. We will collaborate on creating a treatment plan for you in order to track progress towards your therapeutic goals.
I normally conduct an assessment that will last from 2 to 4 sessions. During this time, we can both decide if I am the best person to support you. Therapy sessions are weekly and are scheduled in advance. Standard sessions are 50 minutes in length and can be conducted in office or via tele-therapy (video conference/phone) if you are away on business or ill. The fee is the same for in office or tele-therapy, as I must prepare for the session and block out the same amount of time. Longer sessions are available by request and upon availability of my schedule at a prorated fee.
How do I choose a therapist? There are so many!
Once you have made the courageous step to reach out for support, who do you reach out to? Deciding on which therapist to work with is an important choice. You are investing a lot mental/emotional energy, time, and money into your therapeutic work. Not all therapists are created equal, and you want to find a therapist who is a good fit for you and your specific needs.
I suggest requesting a brief phone consultation with 2-3 different therapists before deciding on one to work with. This way, you have an opportunity to describe your concerns and ask what specialties and experience your prospective therapist has working with the types of concerns you are experiencing. You can also get a “feel” for the therapist in speaking with them. If you are interested in working with me, I want to ensure I am the best person to help you. Please feel free to contact me here. What is most important to me is that you get the support you need and deserve, whether it is with me or another therapist.
What is your therapy approach and style?
I work collaboratively and directly with my clients. While I believe listening and holding a safe space for you is important, I am also active in supporting and compassionately challenging you. I believe a balance of being supportive and challenging is essential for your healing and growth. I often integrate Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and experiential therapy with clients. Additionally, I am trained to work “systemically” as a marriage and family therapist. In other words, I consider you as part of a larger system (e.g., within a couple system and/or a family system). I believe this is significant to consider, as we all have an effect on and are affected by others in our life.
How much do you charge? Do you take insurance?
For individuals, my rates are $165+ per 50-minute session and $175+ per 50-minute EMDR session. When longer sessions are needed, my rate is prorated.
For couples, my rates are $175+ per 50-minute session, $235+ per 75-minute session, and $260+ per 90-minute session.
Rates are determined during our initial phone consultation. I am an out-of-network provider, which means I am not contracted with insurance companies. However, if requested, I will be glad to provide a "superbill" receipt that you may submit to your insurance company if you wish for a possible out-of-network reimbursement.
If you are interested in possible reimbursement, I recommend contacting your insurance company and asking what your "out-of-network mental health benefits" are. Your specific insurance plan and your deductible will determine what reimbursement can look like.
What is a LMFT?
A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) is a therapist who has obtained at least a master’s degree in psychology or other mental health related field. In the state of California, a LMFT has completed a minimum of 3,000 hours of experience working under a clinical supervisor and has passed rigorous licensure exams. In order to maintain licensure, a LMFT must complete continuing education through the entire duration of practicing with their license.
What is a CSAT?
A Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) is a therapist who has completed the comprehensive CSAT training program founded by renowned therapist, Dr. Patrick Carnes. The CSAT training is provided by the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). In order to maintain certification, a CSAT must complete continuing education throughout the entire duration of practicing with their certification.
Am I a sex/pornography addict? Is sex addiction even real?
When clients come into therapy for compulsive sexual behaviors, they may wonder whether they are struggling with sex and/or pornography addiction. I often hear clients make comments such as, “Everyone watches porn”, “I’m just living the single life”, or “I enjoy sex, who doesn’t?” Sex and pornography are not necessarily the enemies. Rather, it is the relationship that someone has with sex and pornography that has become problematic for many clients I see. Take a glimpse at my blog "Am I a Sex Addict?" to see what criteria therapists look for when considering if someone is struggling with sex addiction.
While “sex addiction” is not currently a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), this does not minimize the painfully devastating consequences that clients experience as a result of their sexually compulsive behaviors. These consequences may include: profound guilt and shame, conflict in relationships, broken trust, safety concerns, legal issues, job loss, and a myriad of other consequences. The Sexual Addiction Screening test (SAST) is a self-assessment that can help you better understand if your compulsive sexual behaviors indicate the presence of sex addiction. This assessment is not meant to be a diagnosis – it is designed to help you determine whether you should seek further help with a trained professional. To access this free self-assessment, click here.