You’re probably here because you’re thinking about going into therapy. If you’ve been in therapy before, you know that it can be a life-changing process. If you haven’t, you may not be sure what to look for. Either way, you may not know what questions to ask of a prospective therapist. I want to make that process easier for you.
But first, I want you to know that I now conduct psychotherapy only online. How does that work? Basically via an online video-conferencing platform, such as Skype. Sessions are the typical 50 minutes. I’ve been doing online therapy for more than a year now and it works! Yes, there are the occasional technical glitches – we are still in technical infancy in many ways – but the relationship that we form provides the ground for your healing, online as well as in person.
What do you need? A working computer with good bandwidth and an attached camera – newer computers come with a camera embedded or you can buy an external one inexpensively. Plus you’ll need a private space where you won’t be interrupted.
The pluses of this format? It is very time efficient. You don’t have to deal with commuter traffic to get to my office. Even if you are traveling for business, we can still do your session as long as you have a private space. Even medical procedures or injuries don’t interfere with our work. I’ve worked with some clients post-op, who wouldn’t have been able to drive to my office for their session, but feel comfortable and grateful to be able to meet online. Payment is made via PayPal.
More and more therapists are including online work in their practices. If you think you might like to give online therapy a try, call me at 408-486-9202 to set up an appointment time. I’ll be glad to answer any questions.
Psychotherapy is about making changes. Letting go of beliefs about how life and relationships work that aren’t bringing you happiness – in fact, may be making you miserable. Often before people enter therapy, they’ve tried just about everything else to make changes in their lives. To feel better. But nothing has worked – at least not for long.
And then the mental/emotional discomfort can become anguish and people ask themselves, “Why not get some professional help? I have to do something to stop the pain.”
However, when humans are hurting a lot, we typically don’t think clearly. And it’s hard to know what to ask of someone you are “interviewing” as a prospective therapist. So here are some ideas:
- Which age groups do you work with?
- What issues do you work with?
- What kind of education and training have you had?
- How many years have you been practicing?
- Have you been in therapy yourself?
- How much do you charge?
- How long is a session?
- How do you work with clients to help them heal?
- Do you belong to a professional organization?
- Do you update your education and training?
You don’t have to ask all of these – especially in a first session when you need a lot of time to talk about yourself. But do ask some of them. And trust your sense of safety with the therapist in the first session. If you don’t feel comfortable, safe, it will be nearly impossible to do the deep, honest work necessary to heal and grow.
By the way, here are my responses:
- I work only with adults – all ages.
- My specialty is working with adults who were abused and traumatized as children – emotionally, sexually, and/or physically. This includes ACAs (adult children of alcoholics) and adult children of narcissists or those in adult relationships with narcissists. And the mood disorders that are usually a part of trauma – depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder. I truly love the work that I do.
- I have a master’s degree in clinical psychology. I’ve had special training in working with survivors of sexual abuse and sexual addiction.
- I’ve been licensed for 26 years and I also saw patients for three years prior while in training.
- Yes, I have. And I return as needed. I can’t imagine doing this work without having been in therapy. I see mental health as periodically requiring maintenance, just like dental health.
- My fee is $180 for sessions with individual clients. $190 for couples.
- Each session is 50 minutes.
- I explore a client’s belief system that is leading to behaviors that are counterproductive. We look at the behavior’s origin, explore unexpressed feelings or ideas that keep the old belief in place, and then look at what other options a client has that would work better to bring personal and relational happiness.
- Yes, I’m a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, as well as the local Santa Clara Valley chapter.
- Additional training and education are required to maintain an MFT license, and thus workshops, seminars, courses, etc. are part of the profession. But no one has to talk me into attending them. I love the learning. I have been especially fascinated by the research coming out of academia re cognitive neuroscience, particularly about how the brain changes. I studied with Dr. Dan Siegel in Los Angeles monthly for five years to learn Interpersonal Neurobiology and how to use this information in my work with clients. I combine this information with the work on attachment theory (how you and I form relationships from day one). All of this helps me to identify what mental health is, and to help my clients achieve it as quickly as possible.
If you would like to make an appointment, or have additional questions, please call me at:
I would be happy to work with you. But whomever you decide to do your healing work with, I admire your courage for taking that step. The person you are about to really meet isn’t me – it’s you!