Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I be sure that what I discuss in Counseling is kept private?
The work of psychologists is regulated by state laws and a professional ethics code that protect clients’ confidentiality. A psychologist is prohibited from disclosing any information about a client’s use of psychological services or the content of interactions with a psychologist providing those services. Thus I am ethically and professionally obligated to maintain the highest standards of confidentiality with respect to any information shared during the Counseling session. You will be informed about confidentiality and certain exceptions that apply in greater detail during our first Counseling session.

Can I talk to you first to see if we are a good match for Counseling?
Yes. I would be happy to provide a free and confidential phone consultation to answer your questions and help you decide if I might be a good match for you and if you want to go ahead and schedule an initial Counseling appointment with me.

How do I make a Counseling appointment?
Call me at (650)224-1731 to set up a Counseling appointment. If I am not available, leave me a message with your contact details and let me know the best time to reach you back.

What to expect during the first Counseling session?
The first Counseling session will typically be 60-90 minutes in length. Our first few Counseling sessions will involve exploration of the nature of your concerns and an evaluation of your needs. By the end of these first few Counseling sessions, I will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our Counseling journey will include and a treatment plan to follow. If we seem to be a good fit, we will schedule ongoing Counseling sessions.

How often should I come for Counseling sessions?
Most of my clients have weekly Counseling sessions. However, many times Counseling sessions might be recommended twice a week depending upon your needs. Most Individual Counseling sessions are usually 60 minutes or occasionally 90 minutes in length. Couples/Marriage Counseling sessions are usually 120 minutes in length.

Would I need to take medication?
I may refer you to a psychiatrist for a “medication evaluation” if you are open to it, when I believe that medication may be a useful part of a treatment plan. However, the specifics of any client’s treatment plan depend upon the nature of the symptoms and the individual’s personal preferences. In most cases, Counseling alone can be highly beneficial.

How does Counseling work?
Counseling varies depending on your personality and that of the counselor’s personality, as well as the particular problems you are experiencing. There are many different methods I may use to deal with the problems that you hope to address. Counseling often calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for the Counseling outcome to be most successful, you will have to work on things we talk about both during our Counseling sessions and at home. Counseling often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. With effort and follow-through on recommendations made during Counseling, you can make positive progress in addressing your goals.

How long do I need to receive Counseling?
Together we will set Counseling goals and estimate how long it should take to accomplish those goals. Many clients experience some improvement fairly quickly–within 6 to 12 Counseling sessions! You may soon begin to realize there really is hope for overcoming the obstacles in your life and you will look forward to meeting for therapy. You may decide to finish therapy upon meeting your goals or you may discover new goals along your journey and decide to continue counseling.