Frequently Asked Questions
If your questions aren't answered here, ask me anything you're wondering about therapy, psychology, or me.
What's an LMFT?
An LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) is a licensed clinical therapist that is a "relationship expert". In other words, how individuals interact in relationships with each other. We have specialized training in marriages, families, group, and friendship dynamics. In addition to standard training for LMFT licensure, I have specialized training in marriage and couple relationships, and trauma and anxiety.
LMFTs do not prescribe medication (like psychiatrists or medical doctors) or perform testing/assessments for various disorders (like psychologists). A good LMFT will consult with your treatment team to insure that you're receiving the best coordinated services.
What should I expect in my first session?
It's very common to be nervous prior to starting a therapeutic relationship. I invite you to come to the first session with questions about treatment, how symptom improvement works, and long-term treatment planning.
Our first session is a time to confirm that we're a good fit in a therapeutic relationship. Tell me about your needs regarding symptoms and relationships. I will review therapy policies so that you know what to expect during our work together. It's important to me that you feel safe and comfortable and able to communicate (or figure out) your emotions while we're together.
What's the difference between regular therapy and Christian Counseling?
Being licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences means that an LMFT follows specific legal and ethical requirements. As a licensed clinician, I ensure that I am up-to-date on treatments that are recommended for different relationship problems and mental health symptoms.
As a Christian, I believe that God intends and has given us the grace and mercy to experience freedom and peace. Working through relationship difficulties can open opportunities to develop relationships with a healthy community. Christians are called to live in healthy community with each other, and to depend on each other.
In my distress, I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Psalm 118: 5-6
What's CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) treatment?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a collaborative type of therapy that focuses on identifying how thoughts and feelings interact with decision-making and behaviors. It can help to figure out barriers to changing negative behaviors to positive. It involves teaching about how our brain/emotions work, and may include types of relaxation techniques and journaling to figure out what's interfering with positive change.
Do you accept insurance?
I do not bill insurance directly for therapy sessions. For insurance plans that accept Out-of-Network Mental Health providers, I can provide a "superbill" or detailed invoice for services that includes a diagnosis, in order for you to be reimbursed. Contact your insurance company to see if they are willing to reimburse you for this option.
My Doctor is giving me medication for anxiety or depression. Why should I do therapy if I'm feeling better?
Medication is a good way to change immediate uncomfortable symptoms, and to address more severe mental health symptoms. If medication is recommended by a doctor, then it may be a needed method to improve symptoms that wouldn't improve with therapy alone.
Therapy adds a relationship support, and should encourage finding additional community support from loved ones. Along with recommended medication, therapy is a method to work through relationship problems that trigger mental health symptoms, instead of just medicating the symptoms.