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PSYCHOTHERAPY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

What is psychotherapy, our privacy and cancellation policies, and other important information.

 

The Psychotherapy Process

Psychotherapy is the treatment of emotional, behavioral, personality, and psychiatric disorders. It is based on verbal and nonverbal communication and interventions with the client. Psychotherapy aims to alleviate psychological distress through talking, rather than drugs.

Psychotherapy helps the client understand what helps them feel positive or anxious, as well as accepting their strengths and weaknesses. If people can identify their feelings and ways of thinking, they become better at coping with difficult situations. Psychotherapy is commonly used for psychological problems that have had a number of years to accumulate. It only works if a trusting relationship can be built up between the client and the psychotherapist. Treatment can continue for several weeks, months, or even years.

 

Psychotherapy may be practiced on a one-to-one basis, in pairs, and in groups. Sessions often involve discussing unpleasant aspects of a person's life; as a result, the client may experience uncomfortable feelings (like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and/or helplessness). However, therapy often leads to better outcomes; better relationships, solutions to specific problems or concerns, and  significant reductions in feelings of distress.

 

The first session (intake consultation) involves an evaluation of your needs and history. At the end of the evaluation, we will offer you treatment and a preliminary treatment plan. The second session will consist of a finalized arrangement and continued psychotherapy until your symptoms have significantly abated, as evidenced by increased life functioning.  

 

Confidentiality

California law requires the therapeutic relationship to be both professional and confidential. What is revealed in this setting is protected by legal, professional and ethical standards, such that, with few exceptions, all material is confidential and no material regarding you, the client, is released to a third party unless authorized to do so by you and/or your authorized representative. Confidentiality means EVERYTHING  that you say during the course of treatment, and the fact that you are being treated, is not released to anyone without permission, EXCEPT under the following conditions:

  • If you discuss plans with the clear intent of hurting yourself or someone else

  • If you tell us that you or someone you know is at serious risk for abusing a child, dependent adult or elderly person, we are required by law to report this to the agency that can help prevent further problems or possible harm

  • If your treatment records are subpoenaed by court order, we are required to release the client's records pursuant to that order

  • In certain cases of domestic violence

 

Release of Information

Information about your treatment will be provided to a third party ONLY if you complete and submit a signed release of information form which authorizes us to do so.

 

No Show/Cancellation/Change Policy

In an effort to provide you with the best quality care, we ask that you cancel or change any appointment(s) that you will not be able to keep as soon as possible. Missed appointments hinder our ability to provide proper care to you and other patients. Please allow a minimum of 24 hours notice for cancellations or changes. Cancellations less than 24 hours in advance will result in a $75 charge. Failure to arrive for an appointment (no show) will result in the full charge for the service. For any cancellations or changes, please call 323-943-8588.

 

Medical Records

During the course of treatment, you may be asked to obtain the following: (1) a copy of your medical records; and/or (2) to complete a medical exam in order to rule out any medical condition(s) relating to your symptom(s)/case. 

 

Email Policy

When corresponding by email, remember that this is at your own discretion with the understanding that absolute confidentiality of unencrypted email cannot be guaranteed. We will make every effort to ensure that the person sending the email is truly you, the client. Under NO circumstances should email be used in an emergency or to communicate urgent information.

 

Vacation Coverage Policy

In the event that your therapist is not available due to being on vacation, you must wait until he or she returns to schedule a follow-up visit. In case of a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

 

Suicidal/Homicidal Policy

If you are suicidal or homicidal, you must call 911 immediately. Be aware that we are ethically bound to inform your family (partner, children, parent), and/or the appropriate authorities, and possibly hospitalize you (5150) if you are suicidal. If you are homicidal, be advised that we must inform the intended victim(s), the police, and possibly hospitalize you (5150).

 

Fees

Fees are competitive and vary per service procedure conducted. Please call for detailed information on the pricing for Psychiatric Intake Evaluations and Follow-Up Sessions.

 

For court presentations and/or professional letters for the court, please request the "Court Presentation and Legal Fees" document.

 

Payment

Payment can be made by cash, check, major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover) or PayPal.