If you are contemplating seeking counseling, provided below are some “Frequently Asked Questions” regarding what to expect from your counseling therapy sessions.

Q. How do I choose a therapist?
A. Every counselor has his or her own unique style and personality that will affect how you feel about therapy. Feeling comfortable with your therapist and being a “good match,” like any relationship, is one of the biggest factors when considering a therapist.

Q. What is the first session like?
A. The first session is a very important session. It gives you the opportunity to meet me to decide if I am someone you feel comfortable with and could see yourself talking with about your life. It’s also an important session for me because I get to find out your reason for seeking counseling and how I will be able to help. Together we will come up with a “game plan” of goals you would like to accomplish.

Q. Do I have to have a mental health disorder to work with a psychotherapist?
A. No. Although I do work with clients with an identified clinical diagnosis or someone experiencing a crisis, I also work with many individuals who are interested in self-improvement and personal growth, or someone who feels unable to deal with a personal difficulty.

Q. What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
A. CBT is a treatment style (theoretical orientation in psychology terms), that emphasizes the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT focuses on teaching specific coping skills to help clients relieve issues as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, self-esteem and self confidence building, stress management, interpersonal relationships, anger management, substance overuse, to name a few uses.

Q. How many sessions does counseling usually take to see improvement?
A. This really depends on the specific situation. Some clients start feeling better right away; while others may take longer in order to maintain their improvements. In order to get the most out of therapy, it’s important to be consistent with your attendance, make a conscientious effort to work on improvements outside of therapy sessions, and really be able to identify what your expectations are for an outcome.

Q. Is what is shared confidential?
A. Yes, by law what we talk about is completely confidential. However, there are a couple of legal exceptions that require me to breach confidentiality: a) suspected child or dependent elder abuse; b) immediate threat of harm to oneself or another person.

Q. Do you do telephone sessions?
A. Yes. I am licensed to practice in the State of California and do offer tele-sessions to clients residing all over California. There are instances where phone sessions are a great option, especially for those who move out of the area and wish to keep working together, as well as for business travelers, and stay at home moms. However, there are some types of issues that are better suited to a face-to-face environment. Please note, phone sessions are limited to individuals only, and not couples.

Q. What types of clients do you work with?
A. Practicing in Orange County I have the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life. I enjoy working with a diverse group of people of varied social status, ethnicity, culture, gender, faith, sexual preference and education level.

Q. Do you accept insurance?
A. No, I do not accept insurance, but I am able to offer lower private pay rates to clients. I also accept all major credit cards, cash, and checks.

Q. What area do you serve?
A. Clients come from all over Orange County:

Aliso Viejo, Capistrano Beach, Corona del Mar, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Foothill Ranch, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Talega, Trabuco Canyon, Tustin.