Frequently Asked Questions
These are questions I am often asked. I have put them all in one place to make things easier. If you have additional questions, please feel free to call or email me.
Q: What is my specialty?
I specialize in Solution-Focused Therapy. This means that together we will focus on helping you find the strength, hope, resilience, and resources you need to move forward into a better life than you have now. I also utilize elements of Narrative Therapy to help people modify their internal beliefs about their story/narrative, and the agreements they have made with themselves about who they are, what matters, what they can/can't or will/won't do, and what they truly want and deserve. Helping people improve their self-esteem/self-confidence is often at the core of the work I do. I addition, I employ a Family Systems approach, in which your experiences in your family system are explored in terms of the meaning they create in your life and how they affect your relationships. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) interventions may be employed to address specific issues.
I work with people to help them in their relationships, with depression, anxiety, adjustment, stress-management, and coping with life stressors and challenges. I help individuals, couples, and families work on themselves and their relationships, as well as on divorce/relationship recovery for both men and women. I also work with stable, older adolescents (my postgraduate thesis: "Resilience In Adolescents Following Parental Divorce Or Separation"). For more information on my specializations, please refer to the menu at the top of the screen. To find out if I can help with something not mentioned here, please contact me. If I cannot help, I will do my best to find you someone who can.
Q: DO I treat children or Teenagers?
Developmentally, adolescence is defined as having three distinct phases: early adolescence (ages 10-14), middle adolescence (15-17), and late adolescence/young adulthood (18-24) (basic information about these stages can be found here, on the AMCHP website). I work with stable, older adolescents who are not abusing drugs or alcohol, primarily on issues related to confidence, self-esteem, anxiety, school performance, and finding their direction in life. Children old enough to participate constructively are welcome in family therapy, where everyone attends sessions and participates.
Q: AM I AN ALLY?
Yes! And I am a vocal equal-rights ally. I have experience working with the LGBTQ population, both individually and in groups. Of course, I welcome people of all genders and orientations in my practice.
Q: WHERE IS MY OFFICE LOCATED?
I see clients in Encino, California (on Ventura Blvd near White Oak) at the Change Within Reach counseling center. We are located in a modern medical/dental professional building, with free parking in our private lot. A few pictures of our offices:
Q: IS WHAT WE TALK ABOUT IN THERAPY CONFIDENTIAL?
Confidentiality is a key part of therapy, and your privacy is extremely important to me. Except under the circumstances described below, or where the inclusion of others is absolutely necessary, or when a court of law subpoenas information, what we discuss in therapy is strictly confidential. Exceptions to this include:
1) California law requires me to report suspected past or present abuse of children, elders, or dependent adults to the appropriate authorities. This includes sexual, physical, emotional, and financial abuse and neglect.
2) California law requires me to act to protect the well-being of my clients and other entities if I have reason to suspect the client or another person(s), or their property is in danger.
This and additional, related information regarding confidentiality is covered in the intake process. Please give me a call if you have questions about this.
Q; Will Going TO therapy help me?
Therapy can be very beneficial when you genuinely commit to helping yourself. Each person has their own reasons for seeking out a therapist, and a correspondingly unique experience in therapy. Those who are willing to enter into the process with an open mind about their beliefs and assumptions, along with a willingness to grow can benefit tremendously. Perhaps the best answer to this question is: you will get out of therapy what you put into it. Your mind is like a muscle: if you go to the gym and work on your muscles, they will grow and change, and you will get stronger. Therapy is like a workout for your mind—if you work on it, it too can grow in terms of understanding and ability. René Descartes said, "I think, therefore I am." What you think and do determines how you feel—and interestingly, the reverse is often true as well. Therapy may help you change negative or harmful thought patterns and replace beliefs that hold you back with new ones that let you grow and flourish. What you get out of it depends largely on what you put into it. Are you ready to get down to work?
Q: Can I bring a friend or family member with me into therapy?
Bringing someone with you to a session can be beneficial in certain circumstances, and should be discussed with your therapist in advance so the potential risks and confidentiality concerns can be addressed. If you wish to bring someone in with you, please let me know at least one or two sessions in advance. Due to the legal/confidentiality issues inherent with bringing someone into session with you, there are no exceptions to this policy.
Q: I am struggling with substance abuse. Can you help me?
I am here to help you change your life, but I cannot see you if you are actively drinking or using, or are under the influence at the time of your session. Drunk therapy is like drunk driving: you may harm yourself or others and you might not remember it. Once you have truly stopped drinking/using we can work together to help you set and accomplish new goals. You must be sober to attend therapy, and I have firm policies regarding this—please call if you have additional questions.
Q: Can we text or communicate On social media?
Due to the nature of social media and concerns regarding safety and confidentiality, the answer to this is unfortunately a firm no. Please call or email me instead. I must also ask that you refrain from including therapy-specific and/or personal content in email or voicemail. Social media is not as private as you might think—everything you say, share, or post on social media, including private messages, may live in perpetuity on a server somewhere, and may be accessible to others. Please use discretion on the internet, in social media, and with text, messaging, or other communication platforms or applications. This also includes sites like Yelp, Facebook, NextDoor, LinkedIn, etc.; therapists are not allowed to respond to posts from current or past clients on social media sites due to confidentiality concerns, and we are not allowed to solicit reviews, testimonials, or ratings in any public forum. Out of concern and respect for you and your privacy, I respectfully ask that you refrain from using any such media in this manner, or to communicate with me. Please use email and telephone (preferred) only. *Rescheduling or cancelling appointments should always be done via telephone call.
If there are additional questions I can address for you, please feel free to call or email me.