Frequently Asked Questions
Who are your clients?
I work with adults, including individuals and couples, who present with a range of concerns, people of diverse cultural backgrounds, religions, origins, lifestyles, interests and occupations. Although I find that there is much to learn about each person I meet and treat, I can say that common concerns among many people who call me are anxiety and depression, relationship, work and life transition concerns. I welcome people who are confronting specific issues as well as people who are questioning identity, life purpose, self development.
Appointments can be had Tuesdays through Saturdays. My earliest appointments begin at 8:00 and my last at 4:00. I offer both office appointments and online appointments.
Locations – California and Nevada
My office is in Encino, California. I offer office appointments and online/telehealth appointments to clients in California. I offer online-only psychotherapy to clients in Nevada.
I am licensed in both California and Nevada.
How often should I come to therapy?
Weekly appointments are necessary at the start of therapy, with few exceptions. As you benefit from your therapy we can discuss a plan to modify the frequency of appointments to biweekly visits and then eventually taper off.
Do you believe that medication is helpful?
Some people benefit from medication intervention, some do not. There are many possibilities to consider. I am happy to talk with you and your prescribing doctor or psychiatrist (M.D.) about combining therapy with medication intervention. I can also recommend a few excellent doctors who are happy to work as a team and share information if you wish.
Will mindfulness-based, existential psychotherapy conflict with my religious beliefs and practices?
The mindfulness-based therapy that I offer is psychotherapy. It is not spirituality or religion. However, you are free to discuss your religious or spiritual beliefs and practices in therapy, but only if you wish to, and I do not require you to do so, and I do not need to become involved in your religious beliefs or practices to help you. I respect your beliefs.
Mindfulness-based therapy is a clinically valid and scientifically verified method of treatment for depression and anxiety, not a religious practice or “spiritual therapy”. Mindfulness-based therapy and existential approaches can be used in harmony with whatever tradition or beliefs you hold, observe or practice.
Psychotherapist or spiritual teacher?
Please know that I am a mindfulness-based psychotherapist and I meditate, but I am not a spiritual teacher. I offer meditative and mindfulness practices in psychotherapy that include some philosophic principles from Zen practices. These approaches are certainly well regarded by the mental health community and referenced in the mental health literature (see Marsha Linehan, Dan Siegel, Jack Kornfield, John Kabat-Zinn and Mark Epstein). I practice psychotherapy as permitted by in California by my license as an LMFT or marriage/family therapist (MFC # 38351). I incorporate mindfulness practices into psychotherapy to help people achieve more satisfying interpersonal adjustments.
What is your background?
I have graduate education in psychology and sociology and twenty years of clinical experience gained in private practice, outpatient community clinic, acute care and psychiatric hospital and residential treatment settings. I have also been a clinical supervisor of psychotherapists in residential outpatient, private practice and community clinic settings. My specializations are in the areas of mood and anxiety disorders, experiences of borderline and narcissistic personalities, relationship and stage-of-life adjustment difficulties. I practice mindfulness-based, existential psychotherapy with multi-cultural sensitivity. I am also gay/lesbian, transgender friendly and have alternate lifestyle awareness.
Is therapy confidential?
With a few important exceptions provided by law, therapy is strictly confidential. The mere fact of seeing a psychotherapist, and all of the spoken and written content generated in and around that contact, everything you say in therapy and any notes the therapist takes on those sessions, are confidential unless you provide the therapist with written permission to disclose this information to someone else. Exceptions to confidentiality exist, however in the following circumstances and events: certain legal proceedings where there is a court order for records, cases of suspected or actual child, elder or dependent adult abuse, or when there are threats a client makes to harm him- or herself or certain persons or property, or when the therapist learns of a threat from the client’s family members.
How much does psychotherapy cost?
My fee is $200.00 per sixty-minute psychotherapy session.
Do you accept insurance?
While I do not bill your insurance company, you might wish to use your PPO plan and find out if your insurance plan will cover some part of your therapy expenditures. On request, I will provide you with “superbills” reflecting what you paid for psychotherapy. You can send these superbills to your insurance company.