FAQ

 

Where is your office?

In Midtown at 2620 J Street, Suite 9. 2-hour free parking is available on 26th and 27th Street or there is metered parking on J Street. My office is located on the 3rd floor at the far end of the hall

How much do you charge?

Private Pay:
50-minute individual, family or couple’s session is 150.00

Gay Men Over 40 Support Group is 50.00 a session. (Insurance not accepted for support group)

Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net/MHN Insurance:
Client is responsible for all co-pays, co-insurance and/or deductibles as indicated by their policy. Eligibility and authorization for services will be determined before services are rendered.

Consultations and trainings:  Please inquire

Do you have a sliding scale?

Yes. I have some available spaces for a reduced rate. Please inquire about availability and what works best for your budget.

Do you take insurance?

I’m an in-network provider for Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net/MHN. For any other insurance carrier, I can provide you an invoice for you to submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement. Please check with your provider for details about your eligibility and coverage.

                     

How do I make an appointment?

Call 916-572-9442 or email me at info@empoweredlivingtherapy.com. Provide your contact information and whether or not I can leave a message. My voice mail and email are confidential so feel free to leave me whatever information you feel comfortable with. I will respond in 24-hours on business days and set up a time to either speak to you by phone or schedule the 50-minute evaluation session.

What should I expect on my first visit?

My office is in a Victorian building beautifully renovated for therapy offices. The building only has stairs and no elevator. There is a waiting room on the third floor at the very top of the stairs. At our scheduled time, I will come greet you in the waiting room and take you back to my office. This first session is where we meet and discuss your goals for therapy. You will get a sense of how we work together and whether or not we are a good fit. After, you can take time to think about it or you can schedule your next session. I’ll give you paperwork to take with you to fill out and bring back next session if you decide to work with me.

How long are sessions?

Sessions are 50-minutes.

Do you keep what we discuss in therapy confidential?

Therapists are bound by law to confidentiality. What that means is that anything we discuss in person or in any communication, can not be discussed with anyone else without your written consent. There are 3 limits to confidentiality. 1) If you tell me about any child or elder being currently abused. 2) If you tell me you are going to hurt someone or 3) You are seriously considering suicide then I may have to break confidentiality as required by law.

What happens if I’m having thoughts of suicide? Will I be hospitalized?

Hospitalization is the very last resort when helping someone stay safe from suicide. Effective suicide prevention work requires a safe space to talk about suicide. Someone having thoughts of suicide often is alone with these thoughts thinking they are too burdensome and alienating. These thoughts require a space to be voiced and explored to understand the pain they are rooted in. Safety is best achieved through collaboration to find out what works best for you when staying safe from suicide. There are many effective ways other than hospitalization, however, it is a required last resort if there is no other way to prevent a suicide.

How can therapy help me?

My own experience as a client convinced me of the effectiveness of therapy and I’ve also witnessed the positive impact it has on others. For therapy to work and make a difference in your life, two factors are extremely crucial. The motivation you bring to the work and the relationship with the therapist. Depending on the goals, therapy can assist you with problem solving current challenges, learning new tools to understand and manage emotions and negative thinking, improve communication and relationship skills, increase self-esteem and confidence, grieving painful loss, and increasing self-awareness and acceptance. Ultimately, therapy will be what you need it to be and we will work together to find the most effective use of therapy in order to accomplish your goals.

How long will therapy take?

This varies greatly depending on the person and the reasons for therapy. Financial resources and insurance also determine how many sessions are possible. Some clients achieve their goals in relatively few sessions while others I’ve worked with for years. We will identify your goals for therapy together and work at a pace that feels comfortable. Insurance may authorize a certain amount of sessions and we would have to work within those parameters. Otherwise, we would consistently assess the progress toward your identified goals and determine when they are achieved and when therapy feels complete.

What are your credentials?
How much experience have you had as a therapist?
Do you have a specialty?

I received my master (MA) in clinical psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles specializing in LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy in 2007.  I then received my doctorate (PsyD) from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles with an emphasis in Multicultural and Community Psychology in 2011.  I acquired clinical expertise at various training programs including AIDS Project Los Angeles, Los Angeles LGBT Center, South Central Training Consortium, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital-High Risk Youth Program, Institute for Sexual Health and the DBT Recovery Center.  After I obtained my license as a Clinical Psychologist from the state of California in 2012, I worked as the Clinical Director of the DBT Recovery Center in Beverly Hills and then as the Lead Clinical Supervisor at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services – Suicide Prevention Center in Culver City, CA. I’ve also been in private practice since 2009 providing individual, couples and group therapy.

Specialties: 

LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy: (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning)
LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy is the foundation for all my work as a therapist. It’s the most personal and inspiring. I first studied LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy at Antioch University in Los Angeles where I received my masters in clinical psychology. During my clinical training, I provided individual, couple’s and group therapy at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and AIDS Project Los Angeles. Before receiving my doctorate in clinical psychology, I wrote my dissertation examining the effects of homophobia on gay male sexual behavior. I see the work of empowering those who have been marginalized for their sexual and gender identity as my life’s passion. It is an honor to be a part of this process and to observe LGBTQ clients recognize their inherit value and worth.

Suicide Prevention: There are many cases where those having thoughts of suicide have been turned away by therapists for being too “high risk” or they were hospitalized without their consent. Unfortunately, many mental health professionals do not possess adequate training in suicide prevention and therefore do not respond appropriately when working with someone with thoughts of suicide. Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services-Suicide Prevention Center in Los Angeles was the first 24-hour suicide crisis line in the world. As their Lead Clinical Supervisor, I helped to develop programs and run support groups for Suicide Attempt Survivors. I continue to travel the country leading trainings in suicide prevention preparing individuals and organizations on how to best work with those impacted by suicide.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): DBT is a skills based therapy designed to improve your ability to regulate emotions and improve your relationships. DBT is highly effective and has accumulated substantial evidence to support this. For almost 3 years, I provided DBT as the Clinical Director of an intensive outpatient program. Over the course of a few months, clients would spend 9 hours a week in groups learning the tools to help increase mindful awareness, tolerate distress, regulate strong emotions and improve communication. DBT influences all of my work as a therapist. I have experienced the tremendous usefulness of these skills professionally as well as personally. DBT helps people navigate life’s challenges more effectively and improves the overall quality of their lives.

Do you only with with LGBTQ clients or do you also work with people from other diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, religious traditions, etc.?

Absolutely! LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy paved the way for working with other marginalized communities. All kinds of people have experienced the consequences of oppression and shame and as a result have been held back from realizing their full potential. Therapy has the ability to unleash that potential and empower those merely surviving to thriving. No matter where we come from or how we identify, we all know pain and suffering. An empowerment approach to therapy seeks to embolden anyone who has ever felt less than or not worthy so that they can live a life of authenticity and purpose.

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