What is the difference between a therapist and a friend? A good friend has a welcome listening ear and is there to support and comfort you while you do the same for them. A good therapist keeps the focus on you and is there to support you and help you explore your thoughts and world in a way that is objective, compassionate, non-judgmental, and confidential. A good therapist also offers new skills, a fresh way to look at ingrained beliefs, and isn’t afraid to approach challenging subjects and thoughts.
How long does it take before I will feel better? Though this can depend on a variety of factors, it takes time to see changes, especially if the issues being addressed are deeply ingrained patterns. Most clients will remain in therapy for at least 4 - 6 months. Many will choose to remain in therapy for a much longer period of time. It’s a personal decision, and one that can be approached within the therapeutic relationship as we determine what your goals are and how you will know if they have been met. Also, because you may be dealing with feelings that are difficult, it sometimes can feel worse before it gets better. The hardest step is making the call and committing to the process. If you’ve come this far, you are well on your way. Whatever issues you face, you don’t have to face them alone, and having therapeutic support can greatly contribute to your healing.
Will we meet in-person or on telehealth? I am currently offering in-person sessions in Downtown Culver City. You can choose the format that works best for you. Many people have found that therapy has become much more accessible during the pandemic with the shift to telehealth – no commute, no parking, and a greater ease of scheduling during smaller windows of time. However, I want clients to have the option to meet in-person, even if they choose to do so only every now and then. We can decide together what works best for you.
What are your COVID-19 protocols? Masks are optional in the office, and we do have open windows in the office for additional ventilation. I ask that all in-person clients notify me of any symptoms or positive cases that develop in themselves or anyone in their household. I do the same for my clients. Protocols can change as the situation changes and will adjust to any local or federal guidelines. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to ask.
What does therapy look like? If you have ever seen a picture of a client stretched across the couch with the therapist out of view and smoking a cigar, just know, it won’t look like that. Though we might decide that EMDR or mindfulness and breathwork are good fits for you, and incorporate that into our work together, for the most part, it will look like two people sitting in a room together, talking. You may laugh. You may cry. But, hopefully you will feel heard, accepted, and supported.
What is EMDR? Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders. EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions. Rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, EMDR allows the brain to resume its natural healing process. It can be utilized as a stand-alone treatment modality or in combination with more traditional talk therapy.
What do you mean by “mindfulness”? Mindfulness is the practice of being fully aware in the here and now. It seems simple, but as humans we can spend much of our time feeling distracted, overwhelmed by a myriad of thoughts, ruminating on the past, or worried about the future. When we practice mindfulness, we work on bringing our full focus into the present moment to find a sense of calm. Everyone has the ability to be mindful, but for most people it takes practice to incorporate it into our daily lives with ease. Mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety, help us gain insight and awareness, assist us in getting to a place where we can tune in to our thoughts, feelings, and the sensations in our body to work toward connecting them all together. Mindfulness is also a practice of self-compassion that can powerfully impact our overall well-being. Some techniques that are included in mindfulness work are: meditation, breathwork, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, body scans, and embracing awareness during your everyday activities.
Do you accept insurance? I don’t accept insurance; however, I can provide a monthly superbill which you may be able to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. You can find fees listed here.
How do I get started? The quality of the relationship between client and therapist is the key to successful therapy, so if you would like to learn more, I offer free 20-minute consultations by phone or video conference. This gives us a chance to get to know each other a bit to help ensure that you find the best therapist to meet your needs. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-362-6468.