Frequently Asked Questions

 

Does therapy have to take years?
Therapy  does not have to take a long time.  Professional therapy can be  brief  for many clients (1-2 months).  Therapy can also be lengthened  for  people ready to make significant changes in their life (more than 3   months).  In my office, many people report that they have had good   changes within four sessions.   Counseling services include using  Client Centered Therapy, EMDR, Cognitive Behavior Therapy as it is  often used  in treating depression and anxiety.
 

People  that come to my office are in charge of their therapy, as a counselor, I provide the guidance, support, and the expertise and they may start  and  stop at anytime.
 

Do I have to take medication?
Maybe  or maybe not.  You are in charge of what you put into your body.   I  have never pushed medication nor do I prescribe medication for my   clients, because I don't do that.  If you feel that you need medication   management I would refer you to your General Practitioner or   Psychiatrist and maybe have you consider counseling first, and see if   there are measurable changes.  I have assisted many people considering   medication and after a few to several sessions, they have felt no need  for the meds, for which I supported their decision.
 

Lastly,  you  also need to know that there can be very dangerous and also  minimal side effects for using certain medications and for quitting  medications without being weaned off of the medication properly under  doctor's  care.   However, there are some medication that can be perfect  for  certain people, but not for all.
 

What if I do not want to continue counseling?
You  may begin and end counseling at any time - regularly scheduled  sessions  usually work very well for all of my clients.  If something in   counseling is not working for you, I would really be happy to assist  you  during this time of need, so please let me know what is not  working.   Sometimes when a caring professional may say something that  was not  intended to be offensive, becomes offensive to the individual,  this  might be an experience "from the past" reminding you of the pain  from  the past and you may want to abandon your progress.  My job  requires  many traits and one of them is to consistently respect the  client, so  please feel free to express yourself in therapy. 
 

Do I have to use EMDR and what is it?
EMDR  is never required.  EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement  Desensitization  and Reprocessing (or Bi-Lateral Stimulation) and it is  an approved  treatment for PTSD symptoms.  Agencies like Kaiser  Permenente, the Vet Center, and the Veteran's Administration have used  EMDR as a means to help their clients who have been traumatized to  decrease the PTSD symptoms.  These clients are usually military combat  veterans, rape  victims, and crime victims.  I have performed EMDR since  2005.  I have  witnessed considerable success in clients at about a 94%  success rate  with decreasing their PTSD symptoms and I follow the  prescribed 8 phase  protocol, because it works.  For more EMDR info,  please refer to the  EMDR website at: 
www.EMDR.com
 

Do you have hours of availability at night?
I have hours of availability during certain days, late afternoons and evenings.
 

How do I get help for Alcohol or Drug Dependence, Eating Disorders and Domestic Violence-related help?
I  do not specialize in these specific areas.  I do provide   emergency/crisis related support, but I would suggest to continue   looking for a different clinician.
 

Do you have a strict 24 hour cancellation policy with a 100% penalty like other clinicians?
No!   I have a reasonable 6-hour cancellation policy with an initial $60  missed session fee to promote self-responsibility and consideration of  other people.  Additionally, if a client cancels within the 6 hours, I   will reasonably try to fill in the time slot for another client and   there will be no penalty assessed if I am able to fill in the time slot   vacated within six hours.  I believe in flexibility and I understand   that life happens.
 

What insurance do you accept?
IEHP  is accepted.  I am an out of network provider for all other  insurance  companies.  If you would like my office to proceed, I will  charge the  normal fee and I will bill your insurance company for  reimbursement.
 

I, like other professional therapists do not accept all insurances.
 

What are your views, therapeutic orientation, and time frame on marriage counseling?
I  have counseled thousands of people from different cultures,   ethnicities, and in different languages. I care about the people I see   as clients, because I know that they are often stick at an impasse or   are considering divorce and permanent separation and many times they  are  hoping someone skilled can assist them through this overwhelming  time  in their life.  I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, at times, the   Gottman Methods, and Family System Theories and other skills that I  have  gleaned over the years from my interest to help support  healthy   marriages.
 

I assist couples whom have religious beliefs and many who do not.  I   respect their religion as I have not pursued theological seminaries, I am very serious about what is at stake, and even moreso when children   are involved.  My theoretical orientation is to lean on the side to  help  a marriage recover and continue.  Often times, but not every time,  many  couples have already made up their minds about splitting up when  coming  into counseling.  When I listen to the ways that a couple has   devastated each other verbally, I can clearly see why their minds have   been made up.  I am married and I know, that noone likes to be   criticized, show contempt against, be defensive against, nor to be   stonewalled.  I focus on the communication styles being used,  unresolved  issues, listen to patterns of decision-making, personal  responses,  identify each person's needs and their past, present, and  future goals.   If you (or your spouse) have rage in your marriage it is  likely because  of unresolved past issues.  Similar to a disgusting  infection, the  problem needs to be purged out, cleaned up, and follow a  plan to recover  and it may not be painless.
 

Marital counseling success depends  on each person in the couple (doing their homework) and a willingness to  forgive, taking responsibility, recognizing their own contributions to  how things went wrong, and a willingness to practice new behaviors from a  different approach.   
 

**Warning about divorce - with the exception of domestic violence, as it is appropriate to seek protections.
 

You may want to take extreme caution of friends or even therapists   suggesting to you or your spouse to divorce, as they will not be there   during the divorce process.  It is easy from the "cheap seats" that   friends and therapists speak to somehow promote divorce.  I have heard   of many stories of misdirected friends and know it all therapists that   certain couples should divorce.  Unless there is physical abuse, my   policy is if you have a therapist or Psychologist suggest divorce  within  6 sessions, feel free to walk out on the "professional" because   they (usually) do not have the tools or patience to work with couples  or  still have significant issues of their own.   
 

For the friends or therapists that suggest divorce, have them answer these questions: Will they give you the money to divorce and the money for  the  court ordered 730 Psychological Evaluation (anywhere between $3,500  -  $15,000 - feel free to look that up)?  Will they provide the missing  income or provide free babysitting during and after your divorce?   Will  they be there for every court-ordered meeting?  Who will bathe or watch  your toddler while your ex has a new boyfriend or girlfriend?  Will they  be there for you every step of the transition process when it  comes to custody?  Will they provide free support services for your  children that  may miss your spouse?  So, please be careful for  soliciting advice on whether or not you should divorce.  Whether one  divorces or not, one will still have the unresolved pain from the  marriage and actively  participating during therapy will often decrease  the pain.  
 

I   provide Marital Therapy in Riverside and Moreno Valley because I know   that good marriages do have a good fighting chance and our society is   lacking in having strong families.  If anything, our society (and   Hollywood) promote divorce and the ONLY people who usually get ahead in   divorces are the lawyers!  If you don't believe me, ask any good  Family Lawyer, because most of them need your money to pay for their  new BMW  and to fund their child's college education with your money or travel to  Paris or the Cayman Islands with your and your children's  money.  Also,  the courts have no problem taking your money, as their  docket is full  almost on a daily basis and do you really believe that a  government  official is going to listen to every problem that you will  be presenting  especially when they have had a long day listening to  adults bicker at  each other?   Laws get interpreted differently in  different family courts and more than likely, you and your lawyer have  no control over  that.  Also, you will notice that soon after you file  for divorce, you  mailbox will be filled with lawyer mailers who would  love your money.