FAQ: Answers to Common Questions About Starting Therapy
This FAQ (or list of frequently-asked questions), hopefully answers the majority of your initial questions prior to starting therapy. If you have additional questions or concerns, feel free to use the contact form below and ask away!
Yes, I am currently accepting clients with flexible scheduling including Sundays and some evening hours to meet your needs.
As you may have noticed from the rest of the site, my focus is developing resilience in individuals who practice non-monogamy (and supporting those who are thinking this may be for them). This may or may not dovetail with identifications within the LGBTQIA+ and/or Kink/BDSM communities.
On the more clinical side, I am experienced at treating depression, anxiety, and working through childhood beliefs that get in the way of satisfying relationships. With my young adult clients, I also really enjoy helping them through tough life transitions and handling stress at university (the quarter system and graduate studies at UC Davis can be rough!).
Absolutely! While I have chosen to focus on the needs of the non-monogamy community, I also value my work with monogamous individuals and couples. In particular, I enjoy helping those seeking to better understand why and how they choose to be monogamous as well as navigate the dynamics in their relationship.
Additionally, if you're looking for mental health treatment, please take note that my strong areas are include depression, anxiety, and some forms of trauma. If you need a very directive or structured approach, then I probably won't be a good fit. Clinical issues that often demand such treatment include ADHD, neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism, Social Anxiety Disorder, and others.
This is a very important question that I have considered carefully and continue to reflect and seek consultation on. Certainly Davis itself is a fairly small community. The non-monogamy community is even smaller. It's possible we may encounter one another in public settings (e.g. farmer's market), in groups settings, or have a mutual contact, etc. And of course on social media and dating sites, it's pretty easy to cross paths as well.
Here are some of the steps I've done to ensure that I act ethically and professionally within my role while not being too stilted about it:
- Developed guidelines and strategies for managing boundary issues. This includes things like anticipating contact that may arise outside of sessions, open communication with you around such interactions, consultation with other professionals, etc. I also screen for possible dual relationships that may complicate working together and avoiding these whenever possible.
- A clearly thought-out social media policy that speaks to my commitments to your privacy as well as associations that I will refrain from online.
My standard rates are as follows:
- FREE Initial Consultation (phone or in-person) 20-30 minutes.
- 45-minute individual/family session (most common) - $120
- 60-minute individual/family session or Intake - $150
- 25-minute individual session - $60 (if shorter session is appropriate for your needs)
- Group sessions - $30 for 75-minute group / $40 for 90-minute group; commitment
Possibly, depending on the nature of the services and your coverage.
Sessions may be covered by insurance for mental health treatment ONLY (i.e. relationship issues are only included if directly impacted by a mental health condition being treated). I am currently in-network for Anthem Blue Cross (including UC SHIP). If you have out-of-network coverage with another insurer, I would be happy to provide you a super-bill for you to seek reimbursement after paying my fees out-of-pocket.
For relationship-focused services - including non-monogamy or kink/BDSM issues, this would not be covered. This is because too much of the focus would be on non-clinical topics; remember, insurance only covers mental health treatment. Not using insurance and paying privately for these matters actually helps protect your privacy and not have any restrictions from insurance placed upon your sessions.
If you have questions or concerns related to insurance, please send me a message and I can walk you through your options.
Money is often a stressful topic to discuss. I can definitely appreciate if you struggle to afford the help you need/desire. Here are some options to paint a better picture of how you can make this work:
First, if you are ONLY seeking mental health treatment, insurance is likely to cover the sessions and you usually just have a small co-pay or co-insurance (after you meet your deductible, if any applies). Requirements of medical necessity apply and your records may be audited to insure this is the case. You are responsible for any services rendered that aren't covered by insurance (or later determined to be).
Now, if you're paying privately - either for therapy for relationship-focused consultation services - here are some creative options to consider:
- Process Groups ($30 for one-quarter the cost of a typical individual session and over 50% more time). This is actually a great environment in which to work on how you relate to others and practice new relationship skills with multiple people providing feedback.
- Shorter individual sessions (25 minutes for half cost). For the highly motivated down-to-business clients! Great to fit in during your lunch hour or other small windows in your schedule.
- Less-frequent sessions (e.g. every other week). This is a solid choice for more personal growth counseling where there is no serious mental illness or crisis services needed. However, if you're still in the throws of major depression or significant anxiety, weekly frequency is generally recommended.
- Polycule, pod, network sessions! This is somewhat like family therapy but with non-traditional relationships. Not only does this approach benefit more people at the same time, but the cost-per-person is lowered and can be shared! This can be a great option, particularly if there are relationship dynamics and issues that are best addressed with all the relevant parties in the room together (e.g. sensitive topics and big decisions that will affect multiple people)
If, after exhausting all those options, you still need a lower fee or need someone who accepts your insurance, I would be glad to help you with some referrals.
When choosing to pay my fees directly (self-pay), the cost of service will be a bit higher, however your privacy will be better protected so that what is said in therapy is truly just between us. Of course, some disclosures that may be required by law but these are very rare). No insurance company would review your session notes, know any of the sensitive information captured in treatment notes (I try to limit this but sometimes this cannot be avoided), limit treatment, and you wouldn't need to receive a formal diagnosis. We can immediately focus on what matters to you most without interference. And of course, for relationship-focused services like non-monogamy and kink/BDSM (not mental health focused), insurance will not cover these services anyhow.
At this time, I do not. This is something I am exploring because I recognize the niche focus on non-monogamy counseling is not available in all areas. And if you just dig my style and want to work with me, then I would like you to be able. If this is of interest to you, please let me know so I can gauge the demand for this! I value the immediacy that comes with being in-person, however videoconferencing - with the quality of today's technology - comes pretty close to being in the room.
Call or email me to set up a consultation during which we can discuss what you're needing and looking for. Your consultation call (or in-person if you prefer) is approximately 20-30 minutes. This is a great time to have any addressed any questions and concerns you might have. It's also the start of getting to know each other, so we can decide if it sounds like I can address your concerns and that you are fully informed about the commitment you would be making. We can discuss scheduling then if it seems like a good fit.
The process depends a bit on the service your initiating and whether you're coming in for mental health treatment or not.
I have some opening paperwork for all clients to complete as well as some specific to the service you're requesting. Those will be accessible in the secure online portal with a link emailed to you for access.
The first session, after we quickly take care of reviewing practice policies and informed consent, I'll ask questions to get a better understanding of your situation, your needs and aspirations. In addition to questions based on your presenting concerns/goals, I do have some standard questions that I ask all patients, some of which can feel intrusive if you're new to therapy. At any time, you are welcome to decline to answer a question I ask (or wait until more trust is established). Having been a client myself, I definitely understand and honor your process of coming to trust and share when you are ready.
In these first couple sessions, we should reach an agreement about the needs and goals and at least outline our approach. I say 'our' because I view this as a collaborative endeavor we undertake together. I do not force change but rather invite it. I will offer possibilities and seek your input regarding your preferences. We can consider what has worked or not worked in the past. After we chart our course, we embark the challenging but rewarding journey towards resilience and empowered presence in your relationships!
Depending on your mental health condition, I may discuss with you the possibility of a referral to your primary care physician or a psychiatrist for medication evaluation. I can assist you with referrals to providers, if needed.
Only a board licensed physician may prescribe you medication. I do not make recommendations about medication or changes to existing prescriptions. When clients are linked with such a provider for medication, generally I will coordinate with them regarding your care.
All forms are available in my SimplePractice portal, a secure service where you can complete and sign all standard paperwork. Please complete the intake paperwork at least 24 hours prior to your first appointment.
My office is located in downtown Davis at 260 Russell Blvd, Suite D-1, Davis, CA. This is at the corner of Russell Blvd and B Street, across from City Hall and Central Park. For directions and parking info, click here.
That's perfectly OK! If this is your first time seeing a therapist, the process can be a little weird and you understandably feel vulnerable when asked personal questions from a stranger. Even if you've seen a therapist before, it makes sense to be cautious until you perceive sufficient trust to share. My commitment to you is to honor your pace. I may nudge in certain areas (particularly during assessment) but will respect your boundaries about what you share. You can let me know when you wish not to answer and I will also monitor your reactions and adjust accordingly.
If there are any questions I can answer that will ease your nervousness, please let me know and we can discuss them in our consult call.