The growing popularity of online therapy in Los Angeles
Tele-therapy wasn't very common until Covid hit. I only knew a few therapists who offered it. But once the pandemic started the mental health community got online as quickly as possible.
I remember seeing clients in-person only on a Thursday and then the next Monday seeing clients 100% online. I really embraced technology and have loved seeing clients virtually ever since.
Advantages of online therapy
Increased safety of online therapy in Los Angeles
If you are immunocompromised, pregnant, undergoing IVF or have a baby or elder loved one who can't afford to get ill, tele-therapy provides a safer option for you and your family than meeting for in-person therapy.
Accessibility of online therapy throughout California
Rural areas in California don't have as many licensed mental health professionals, making it more difficult to find someone who specializes in your particular issue. Seeing a therapist virtually allows you to find the best therapist in California versus choosing someone within driving distance.
Flexibility and convenience of online sessions
Let's face it. Los Angeles traffic is a doozy. Meeting your therapist virtually means less time and frustration spent driving and parking, and more time spent on things that improve your mental health. You can also take sessions anywhere in Cali, meaning that you don't have to skip therapy when traveling within the state!
Benefits of online therapy for high-profile clients
Are you looking to stay away from the spotlight when it comes to your therapy?
You may love center-stage in your life as a musician, politician, actor or public figure, but when meeting with your therapist, who may prefer to keep a low-profile.
I totally understand. Virtual therapy can help you stay away from the paps and the fans as you focus on your mental health.
Online therapy vs. traditional therapy
Ensuring privacy and security in online therapy
I use an online therapy platform called SimplePractice that uses HIPAA-compliant software for virtual sessions and for storing your data online. It uses bank-level encryption and is an industry leader.
Effectiveness of online therapy for individuals
Studies repeatedly indicate that online therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy. Anecdotally, I have also witnessed over the past 3+ years that clients meet their therapy goals just as quickly with telehealth as with in-person.
Efficacy of app-based mental health treatment
You may have seen the rise of tech companies attempting to deliver mental health services at a low cost. What most people don't know is that these companies are notorious for leaking client data and underpaying their therapists (leading to therapist burnout, and thus poor quality of care.) Working with a private therapist ensures your confidentiality and the best care possible.
Tips for doing online therapy
Make sure your internet connection is stable
Having a strong WiFi connection on both ends will help with our connection. It will mean that I can catch every word and every facial expression to give you the best therapy experience possible.
Put some light on the subject
Be sure to situate yourself so that the lighting is on your face and not behind you. Lighting is an important consideration on my end, too, so rest assured that you'll be able to see me. The better we can see each other, the more emotionally supported you'll feel.
Create a distraction-free zone
If you have kiddos, see if you can arrange childcare so they aren't interrupting your "me" time. Put your phone (and computer!) on "do not disturb" mode so that you don't get any annoying dings during your aha moments. Give yourself a few minutes of grace period before and after your session so you don't feel rushed or stressed.
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 online therapy answered
Finding the right online therapist in Los Angeles
The number one determinant of success in therapy is the relationship you have with your therapist.
The best way to find the right fit is to speak with a few therapists and see who you catch a good vibe from over the phone.
This is why I offer every prospective client a free no-pressure 15-minute phone consultation to see if I seem like a good fit for helping you.