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.


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.