Frequently Asked Questions
Why go to a therapist?
There are many reasons why someone would choose to see a therapist. Generally, people come to see a therapist about normal, everyday issues that have begun to interfere with their lives or their enjoyment of life. Reasons for therapy may include:
- Gaining help with major life changes or specific issues like anxiety, depression, insomnia, academic problems, dealing with peer pressure or substance use, conflict, work or school related issues, divorce or co-parenting.
- Help with relationships (friendships, spouse/partner, child/teen family) and communication
- Support and assistance during a crisis
- Self-exploration and growth
What does a therapist do?
As a therapist, I listen, observe, mentor and coach. I’m there to help you see the patterns and possibilities, not just pressures and problems. Therapy is a partnership where we collaborate and work together to help you resolve whatever brought you in to see me. What I can’t do is “fix” or “cure.” Changes do require work on your part – there’s no getting around it. While I’m intuitive, I am not a magician and can’t read minds. What I do is act as an objective, caring listener who points out patterns, provides support and expertise and teaches strategies and skills that will help you communicate more effectively, build stronger relationships with others or make decisions or changes in your life that will leave you feeling better and more confident.
How do I know you’re the right therapist for me?
Therapy is about relationship and studies show that the fit between client and therapist is one of the most important predictors for a successful therapy experience. The best way to determine fit is to call and talk with me. Indicators of good fit (with me or another therapist):
- You feel comfortable talking with me
- You feel your concerns are heard and understood
- You feel accepted
- You feel you can be your true self (open, honest)
- You feel that I’m qualified to help you with the concerns that motivated you to call me
- You’re willing to do the work necessary to reach the goals you’ve set
No therapist is an expert in everything so please do ask about my experience or approach to see whether it meets your expectations and needs.
Does therapy work?
Each person’s therapy is unique and is frequently very successful. Success in therapy is strongly correlated with wanting to succeed. Success also depends upon your expectations for therapy and whether those expectations are compatible with what a therapist will do. Successful therapy also depends upon maintaining the momentum of the work meaning that you are willing to commit to regular sessions. While most clients find weekly sessions the most useful, others feel that having more sessions (twice a week) or fewer sessions (twice a month) to be most productive. I encourage clients to commit to regular weekly sessions, particularly at first as we’re getting to know each other and building our relationship.
How long does it take?
The length of therapy depends upon a number of factors that are unique to you and to what you’re trying to achieve making it difficult to predict. However, my goal for my clients is to help you achieve your goals as quickly as possible. Most clients decide that therapy has been successfully completed when the issues or challenges that brought them in have been resolved or feel more manageable.
I take confidentiality very seriously. My goal is to help and protect your privacy. In addition, I am ethically and legally bound to keep what you say confidential and will only release information to others (such as to teachers or other health care professionals) with your written permission.
While there are some exceptions to this, the exceptions are primarily around keeping you safe. If the issue of privacy and confidentiality worries you, be sure to ask me about it during your first meeting. It’s important to feel comfortable with me so you can talk openly during our sessions.
Can we communicate by text or email?
Email, texting and social media present challenges to confidentiality. While many internet providers are providing secure connections (https://) and my phone and computer are encrypted, there is no way that I can guarantee the security of all parts of the system. For example if you send me an email from work, your employer’s network administrator has access to messages even if it is highly unlikely that he or she will look at it. For this reason I ask that emails and texts be used only to confirm appointments or discuss schedule and that if you choose to use one of these methods for communication you agree that you do so knowing that it may present a risk to confidentiality.
Can we connect on Facebook or LinkedIn?
While I do have a professional Facebook page and LinkedIn profile, I do not “friend” clients, again for reasons of confidentiality and I don’t respond to messages posted on these forums. If you need to contact me, please give me a call.
3468 Mt. Diablo Blvd, #B301 (Mail: #B201)
Lafayette, CA 94549