A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) is one of several types of licensed mental health professionals. It requires a Master's degree in social work from an accredited university, 3,200 (now only 3,000) clinical hours post-graduation that includes at least 104 hours of clinical supervision by a licensed mental health professional. It also requires passing a Law and Ethics exam and the National ASWB Clinical Exam before obtaining licensure status. License renewal is required every 2 years that mandates continuing education to remain licensed. Visit the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to find out more about licensing and to verify a license. Need help with choosing a therapist? Take a look at the BBS' publication Self-Empowerment: Choosing a Mental Health Professional in California.
I am a Doctor of Social Work (DSW). I cannot prescribe any medication. Only medical practitioners who are a Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), or Nurse Practitioner (NP) can prescribe medication.
I do not have a physical office location for my practice. I only provide telehealth (online) services via messaging, phone, and video conferencing provided securely through SimplePractice.
It's important to know that telehealth may not be quite the same as an in-person visit due to the fact that we won't be in the same room together, so there may be limitations or differences as to how each of us would fully experience interactions with one another. Although I only use encrypted platforms that are HIPAA compliant, due to the inherent issues that using technology presents, there are potential risks as follows: Unauthorized access to the electronic health record could occur and there may be interruptions and technical difficulties to our communications. I make every effort to secure your protected health information, but it's important to be aware of the potential hazards of using technology. With that said, there are also benefits, which includes clients having greater efficiency with time and flexibility, having easier access to care, and the convenience of meeting from a location of your choice and being able to maximize your privacy (i.e., not being seen coming to and leaving a therapy office). For more information on telehealth, visit the Consumer Information page of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences website and click on the Telehealth tab.
What you talk about and the information provided by you for therapy is confidential except under certain legal limits to confidentiality. I am required by law to break confidentiality for the following reasons: If you pose a substantial risk of being an imminent danger to yourself or others, if I have a reasonable suspicion of neglect, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse of a child, or neglect, emotional, physical, sexual, or financial abuse of an elder/dependent adult, or if a court of law issues a legitimate subpoena or court order to provide information. Other than these exceptions, your information is confidential and is only released if you provide written authorization.
PLEASE NOTE: I do not make any audio or video recordings of live sessions with clients at all. I only take notes of sessions that I use for documentation purposes for your electronic health record. Client records are electronically maintained and stored securely using SimplePractice.
At this time, I am only licensed in California, so I can only see clients who reside within the state. If you are a resident of California and are traveling, we may be able to do therapy sessions while you are out of the state as long as it's short-term, temporary, and I am able to verify that it's allowable for me to do so within that jurisdiction. Otherwise, I cannot legally practice outside of the state in which I am licensed, which is California.
Telehealth (online therapy) is considered to be an inappropriate platform for use with high risk clients. The risk level of high risk clients is likely to fluctuate and change, which would require them to shift from telehealth to in-person sessions in order to facilitate their ability to receive the necessary support and resources to keep them safer than what is possible through a telehealth relationship, which has to contend with the possibility of technology failing at any given time. Moreover, such a change is likely to be disruptive to such clients who need to maintain a sense of stability in the therapeutic relationship; therefore, any unnecessary disruptions to care should be minimized. My clients are adults age 18 to 75 who want to benefit from therapy. I do not work with children. Typically, my clients tend to be working professionals who lead very busy lives, but because they have prioritized their health and wellness, they need the flexibility and convenience that telehealth services provide to fit into their hectic schedules. I work with many clients in the industries of technology and media, but can work with anyone who is receptive to change and self-improvement.
Therapy isn't just for addressing mental illness and dysfunction. It's for anyone who wants a better quality of life. It can help you address emotional and behavioral issues you may have of the past and in the present by helping you sort through difficult emotions, thoughts, and experiences, thereby allowing you to move forward toward a better future and improved quality of life. It's also about working towards achieving and maintaining restoration and wellness, and building resilience in relation to life's adverse events, demands, and struggles.
Although you may have family and friends that are there for you when you need them, you don't want to worry them. Perhaps you're feeling alone and disconnected. Therapy provides a safe space for you to talk about things that you don't want to talk to anyone else about, but is much more than just about talking things out. It's also about unlearning unhealthy thinking and behaviors, learning healthy coping skills, problem solving skills, symptom management skills, and enhancing your ability to work through life's struggles and challenges, and build resilience. In other words, you learn to handle the past, manage the present, and lay a solid foundation to facilitate your ability to cope with future challenges.
The best known online therapy platforms currently on the market are BetterHelp, Talkspace, and 7Cups. The similarities with my own practice are that no services are offered in-person, only via messaging, chat, phone, or video, and that all of our interactions, for example, completing forms and worksheets, are taken care of electronically. The differences are that these other platforms offer professional services based on a monthly paid subscription, and this may not always include live sessions. In my practice, clients pay by the session, which is always a live session, typically for a full 60 minutes, and this includes the ability to message me securely in-between sessions. Also, rather than being limited to the limitations of internal resources available on these other platforms, in my own practice I am not at all constrained in what I can offer in the way of a variety of assessments, tools, and worksheets that I've collected over my years of experience. In other words, I also have access to these same internal resources within these other platforms and much more beyond what they offer. My own practice also allows me to provide more comprehensive care not only by being able to use and provide more resources to clients, but because I'm not encumbered by these platforms' policies and protocols of being a provider on their platform. It's also important to note that, at this time, I'm a practice of one, so no one else, including insurance companies, ever sees my client information since I do not accept insurance.
Trained as a social worker, I work with clients using a holistic and strengths-based perspective. I have an eclectic therapy style, which means that I customize how I work with each client based on needs and goals using a mixture of modalities typically drawing upon elements of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Humanistic Psychology, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Positive Psychology where I favor an approach that is client-centered and solution-focused. As a Certified Evidence-Based Coach, I also incorporate personal coaching, when appropriate, in working with clients. I also tend to favor more structured therapy sessions and may be more direct than other therapists; however, I am flexible and able to adapt to the needs of clients who may not necessarily want or need structured sessions.
It can vary depending on the needs and goals of each client. I prefer to have new clients attend therapy weekly for the first 4-6 weeks in order to allow for our working relationship to grow and build momentum. After that, sessions can be adjusted to be bi-weekly, or on an as-needed basis. Therapy can be short-term for 2-6 months or can be longer depending on what the client wants to work on. Clients who choose to attend therapy for maintenance/preventive care usually prefer to do a check-in session every three months to stay on track.
Fees are $200.00 per 60 minute session. Additional fees apply for time added on to each session. Payment by debit or credit card is collected in advance of or on the day of service for the appointment through online billing.
I'm not in network with any insurance companies, but at your request, I can provide you with documentation called a superbill to provide your insurance company to request out-of-network reimbursement. I suggest it would be helpful to contact your insurance company to get details about your out-of-network coverage.
The reason I don't take insurance is because I focus on proactive and preventive care that the insurance model does not facilitate when it comes to behavioral health. Billing insurance companies for therapy they'll pay for requires that you're given a diagnosis of a mental disorder. Not everyone who comes to therapy will have a diagnosis. A diagnosis, especially for behavioral health, is a serious thing. I do diagnose, but only when appropriate. And to keep insurance companies paying for therapy, they require that progress is reported to them, and depending on how well you're doing, the insurance company might stop paying if you aren't "sick" enough anymore. This is not the way I like to work. People who may not necessitate a diagnosis, but want preventive care, often seek me for therapy to meet their needs.
My hours are generally Monday-Thursday from 10:00 am-12:15 pm and 2:30-4:45 pm. I may consider accommodating evening or weekend appointments by request only.
Once we schedule your appointment, that time is reserved in my schedule for you. If you have to cancel, I require 24-hour notice. No fee will be charged for rescheduling with the required notice. However, if you do not give the required notice, you will be charged the fee for the session.
Yes, I have been in therapy and it helped me to become a healthier person and a better therapist. We can all benefit from having a professional who is compassionate and nonjudgmental to help us sort through our difficulties and areas of concern.
Reach out by phone by calling (323) 688-5156 or fill out the contact form to set up a free 15-minute consultation. I'll listen and ask you questions about your reasons for seeking therapy, what you want to get out of it, and if I can help. If we both decide that I would be a good fit for you, I’ll create a new account for you in the client portal where you'll be able to access the intake paperwork and be able to schedule your first session and your follow-up sessions on your own within my general availability. Evening and weekend appointments are considered by request only.