So, why is it so hard to find in-person therapy in the LA area?
TBH, just like the rest of humanity, a lot of therapists got comfortable working at home and didn't want to go back. Many therapists gave up their office spaces during the pandemic and never got new ones.
As much as I've grown to love telehealth, I still have a place in my heart for in-person therapy. There is something about being in the same room as someone else that is hard to replace, even with the best technology.
Benefits of in-person therapy
Increased sense of connection with the therapist
I hear from many clients that they feel a stronger connection with their therapist when they meet them face-to-face. There is something to be said about occupying the same physical space with someone and the energy exchange that occurs.
Greater privacy from family members
Sometimes the people that you want to talk about are right there in your house! Having issues with your husband? Maybe you don't want him overhearing what you have to say about him in your therapy session. Meeting in my office ensures that the space is 100% confidential.
More visual cues for me to assess and use in therapy
One of the biggest advantages of meeting in person is that I can see not only your facial expressions, but also how you move your body, your gait and your posture. I'm a somatic therapist, which means that I pay extra special attention to things like body language.
Integrating holistic practices into in-person therapy sessions
One thing you'll get to know about me is how I integrate a holistic approach into everything I do. Being in-person allows us to practice mindfulness in the same environment. I will be able to prompt you to pay attention to certain sounds in the environment, visual cues or sensory stimuli to help guide you into the moment.
It will also be much easier to track for subtle signs of relationship harmony like eye contact and our vocal rhythm with one another, without the interference of the computer.
What to expect in a first session
I'll make sure you feel comfortable and settled
It's very important to me that my clients feel comfortable in my space, so I'll ask if you need water and encourage you to get comfy. You can take your shoes off and move pillows around to your liking. I can adjust the A/C up or down, too.
We'll set goals collaboratively for our work together
The first session is all about getting to know you and establishing goals for your therapy. Studies show that when the therapist and client are on the same page about goals, therapy is much more successful.
We will get to work on at least one of your concerns
I like to say that when you walk out of your first therapy session, you should have at least one new tool or one new mindset shift to bring with you into the week. It's also my aim to help you feel a sense of relief after the first session, like you've begun to unburden yourself of things you've held onto for months or even years.
How to make the most of sessions
Keep a journal of your thoughts from the week
Even if you had a lot on your mind the previous week, you may find that you struggle to remember things. Keeping a journal can help you make note of concerns, questions or insights that you can explore in more depth in your session.
Bring your therapy journal with you to session
Have that journal with you, not just to reflect on the previous week, but to make note of any revelations you had in session that you want to revisit. If there was something I said that you want to remember later you can also pop it into the journal. This can help crystalize the new neural pathways you're creating.
Gift yourself an environment free from distractions
Your therapy time is 100% focused on you. By turning notifications off on your phone and removing your Apple Watch, you'll make it so much easier to tune into your inner thoughts, emotions and body sensations, without getting disturbed by the outside world.
Are you currently accepting new clients?Yes! I am currently accepting new clients. I have in-person availabilities in Pasadena on Thursdays and Friday afternoons (pre-screening required for Covid safety) and virtual appointments on Thursdays, Fridays and every-other-Monday. Fill out the questionnaire above and schedule your free 15-minute phone consultation to get started.
Do you take insurance? What is the per-session rate?I choose not to take insurance in my practice to ensure that every decision made about psychotherapy treatment (such as length of treatment, frequency and duration of sessions, therapy modalities, etc.) is between my clients and myself, not a third-party payer. The only way to ensure the highest quality of care and best possible outcomes is to take insurance out of the equation. If you have a PPO insurance plan, I'm happy to provide you with a monthly superbill, if applicable. I also accept HSA and FSA plans to cover the cost of therapy. The rate is $250 per 50-minute therapy session. Longer sessions are pro-rated at the usual rate.
Do you work with couples, children, teens and families?Nope, I do not. As much as I love the whole fam, I have found that working with individual adults is my true calling. Please see my referrals list for amazing therapists with these other specialties.
Do you offer in-person therapy? Virtual therapy?Yes and yes! I have in-person availabilities in Pasadena on Thursdays and Friday afternoons (pre-screening required for Covid safety) and virtual appointments on Thursdays, Fridays and every-other-Monday. Virtual appointments are only open to clients who will be residing in California for the duration of their therapy.
What do all of those letters mean after a therapist's name?A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who prescribes psychiatric medication A psychologist is a doctorate level clinician who can provide psychological testing and talk therapy A counselor is a general term for licensed clinicians (such as Licensed Mental Health Counselor or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor) as well as people who provide other types of counsel (such as a spiritual counselor) A clinical social worker is a clinician who also has an educational background in social justice A therapist is a general term that could describe a number of different types of healing professionals (such as a physical therapist or massage therapist) A psychotherapist is someone who practices talk therapy and often carries the designation of Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and helps people with issues in their life related to mental health and difficulties in relationships A life coach can support people in a number of areas of life but isn't licensed by a state board Phew! I am a psychotherapist with an LMFT license.
How long is a therapy session? How often do I need to go?Therapy sessions are generally 50 minutes in length. From time-to-time I will recommend longer sessions (70 or 90 minutes) for trauma-focused work or other reasons. We can discuss this further in our phone consultation. Weekly sessions are highly encouraged for the first 6-8 weeks of therapy. If you are only able to commit to every-other week to start, we can discuss further in the call if you're a good candidate for that frequency of meetings. I cannot provide therapy for a frequency less than every-other-week.
How long does therapy take to work?This is completely dependent on the client's severity of presenting symptoms, goals, strengths, readiness to engage in the process and willingness to make behavioral changes outside the therapy room. Shorter-term therapy that is more focused on resolving a particular stressor or life phase typically ranges from about 12-18 sessions, whereas longer-term therapy that is focused more on developing insight and creating lasting transformational change on a deeper level can last 1-2 years or longer.
What can I expect in a first therapy session?If you have any questions about confidentiality, we will clear those up before getting started to make sure you feel comfortable sharing. We will get very clear on your goals for therapy. This ensures that your therapy is 100% focused on your unique needs and objectives. I will do everything I can to help you feel safe, heard and supported to build your trust in me. You'll share about what's bothering you and I'll ask clarifying questions so that I understand your history, strengths and areas of opportunity. We'll get to work helping you meet your goals! This is completely tailored to you, so it could include increasing awareness, practicing relaxation techniques, reframing thoughts, improving self-compassion or any number of other tools in my toolbox. Lastly, we'll set an intention together for what you'd like to take from our session and put into practice until our next meeting.
Is everything I say in therapy 100% confidential?Almost! There are rare instances in which I may need to break confidentiality such as if you are a serious danger to yourself or someone else, if you report suspected abuse or neglect of children, elders (aged 60+) or vulnerable adults or in certain legal situations. Here is a full list of situations in which I would need to break confidentiality in therapy.
Is virtual therapy as effective is in-person therapy?Yes! Research has consistently shown that online therapy is just as effective for individuals as face-to-face therapy. There are also added benefits such as scheduling convenience, not having to pay for parking and gas, reduced time in traffic and not having to worry about childcare. You can have your therapy session in any location that is both safe and private.
Your questions about in-person therapy answered
Finding the right in-person therapist in Los Angeles
The top predictor of positive outcomes in therapy is the relationship between you and your therapist.
The easiest way to find the best fit is to speak with a few different therapists over the phone and see who you connect with the most.
This is why I provide every potential client with a free 15-minute phone consultation to determine a good fit.