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Rates & FAQ

  1. Where is your office? 

My office is at 415 W. Foothill Blvd., Suite 123, Claremont, California 91711. I’m in the historic ‘old schoolhouse’ part of a business office and shopping area. The old schoolhouse is right next to / connected to Elvira’s restaurant. 

  1. Do you offer online counseling / therapy? 

Yes, I do. I handle this through secure online services; there is no app to download and you just need a link I send to you. If you are coming in-person and have trouble scheduling, are slightly ill, and so on, I also use online sessions to keep session continuity.

  1. What are your hours? 

I am open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, from my earliest 8 a.m. appointment until my latest 5 p.m. appointment (I close by 6 p.m.). I recently added availability on Monday and Thursday for 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. sessions.

  1. How long are sessions? 

Approximately 50 minutes.

  1. How much do you charge? 

My current fee for a 50-minute session is $175.

  1. Do you take insurance? 

I can work with a few insurances through a special arrangement and special practice platform. Contact me for details.

I am also an out-of-network provider, which means that if we cannot bill your particular insurance directly, we can see if you have out of network (OON) in your plan. If so, you pay my full rate but I then give you a periodic receipt called a superbill. Often, plans with OON benefits will then give you significant reimbursement.

A good first step is to check if your plan has OON, what your deductible is for it, and its percent reimbursement of my fee. Otherwise, you can see me privately. Many clients see good reasons for that–see #7, next.

  1. Why would I pay privately instead of using insurance benefits? 

Many prefer to pay privately. In psychotherapy, a diagnosis is required even if it is a mild condition, along with an approximate estimate of fees.

If you pay privately, that diagnosis (if any) is highly likely to stay private, between just you and me, with some rare legal exceptions. Using health insurance makes that diagnosis go into broader health records. 

Second, insurance companies can limit the number of sessions, even when you need more for the best resolution.

Third, there can be a disruptive interruption of services and an inconvenient, possibly revealing records process if an insurance company looks back to question whether services were necessary.

  1. How do I set up an initial appointment? 

Call me at 909-766-2221 or use the appointment request button on my website. I will have an initial, free consultation with you (on the telephone) before setting a first appointment. The brief call is to assess our fit, and my fit with your difficulty.  

  1. What is your cancellation policy? 

If you cancel with less than 48 hours’ notice, I charge the full fee. This helps get more people into their preferred time slots and makes my schedule more predictable and manageable. There are two exceptions to a charge for such a missed session.

1. A true emergency (unpredictable, uncontrollable negative circumstance makes you suddenly unable to attend) or

2.  If you reschedule the missed session for the same calendar week (M-F, the ‘business week’). I do not allow pushing a reschedule into the next business week.

  1. How much paperwork do I have to fill out? 

I use an online patient portal, to which you are invited. I have two such portals, depending on how you are paying. All paperwork is done there. That makes it easy to do ahead of the first session, which keeps the full focus on helping you.

  1. What can I expect in a first session? 

You have already done the paperwork, which feels freeing. You walk into my office waiting area or pop into my online waiting room. If you were unable to finish e-paperwork, I help you in person or walk you through it online.

Next, we do basic introductions. I may ask you a few more things about what you described on the intake paperwork. Then, I will simply ask that you start talking about what comes to your mind or what you would like to work on today.

If you are at a loss for words, I will considerately bring up what you mentioned already. But I’ll do it in a general way so you can elaborate and let your thoughts flow. 

I listen a lot, especially at first. But I’m not a statue. Soon, I will want more information, or I will hear some key things that seem to form a pattern or theme. That is when I ask a question, comment, verify something with you, or present an idea to consider. 

Eventually we find useful, sometimes surprising, insights about your problem. That leads to some ideas about what to do between sessions, if that is appropriate. 

  1. With whom do you work? 

As a broad summary, I work best with those who try too hard, are too hard on themselves, or feel socially out-of-place or mystified. Often the main issue is one of the following:

  • People-pleasing, over-devoted, or ‘fawning’ with others
  • Social anxiety / imposter feelings
  • Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs; sensitive thinkers and feelers who need quality stimulation and depth, rather than quantity and high intensity)
  • Boundaries / Breakup and toxic relationship help
  • Unexplained body symptoms, body-mind symptoms
  1. What is your approach? 

There are three main elements that I integrate (not just throw together):

  • Psychodynamic / Psychoanalytic–listening and speaking in metaphors about your desires, fears, conflicts, and unknowns, both conscious and unconscious (unaware).
  • Cognitive-behavioral–applying the principles of learning and behavior, to what #1 reveals. Reduce unhelpful thoughts and behavior, while increasing adaptive ones.
  • Existential–using my presence and close attention, we explore how your problem links to the meaning and experience of being human in this situation called life.
  1. How long does therapy take?

This depends on the complexity and intensity of the trouble. I use the metaphor of problems being like unwanted ruts in a dirt road. They derail your wagon and pull it in directions you don’t want and didn’t intend. 

As an estimate, if there is only one set of ruts that is not deep, resolution can take several sessions. For multiple sets of ruts, or deep ones, it can take significantly more work to smooth out. 

To get a good, durable resolution, many cases fall somewhere in between. Finally, the consensus (and my experience) on ‘single-session cures’ is they are very rare and generally not highly durable.  

  1. Will I have homework? 

When it applies to your problem, sometimes. I present it more as suggestions and ideas for how to respond differently in the world, or in your mind. I also ask for your input about what is actually going to be practical for you.

  1. How often are sessions? 

In my experience, once weekly is a solid and effective minimum. Sometimes more sessions per week are needed after we discuss it. Less-than-weekly is reserved for maintenance after you feel a good resolution to the initial difficulty.

  1. Tell me something fun about you!

I like audience-participation movies, shows, plays. For example, when people watch a cheesy film, show, or play, and then make funny comments, put lines in the mouths of the actors, or (if live) interact with on-stage actors. (But only when that is supposed to be a part of the show!) Meta- is my thing.