Stress, Conflict, Anger Management
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve been browsing through this site, you may have already found answers to many of your questions. I’ve tried, on this page, to just add questions I’m frequently asked that I haven’t fully addressed anywhere else. For tips and some more information about how I think about Communication, Anger, and getting along in our challenging world, please take a look at my blog.

I’ve never seen a therapist before. How do I know if you can help me?

You won’t know that – at least not immediately. You’ve already taken the first step by searching to find a therapist you think could help.

The next step is to make that first phone call. I offer a free, no obligation, telephone consultation, so that you can ask your questions, and so that we both can decide if we’d be a good fit.

If you decide to make an appointment, we’ll use the first one or two sessions to continue that decision-making process. By the end of the first session, you should have a pretty good idea if you think we could work together.

If, at any time, you feel that I’m not the right therapist for you, please let me know. In that case, I would be happy to give you some alternate referrals. After all, this is a big step you are taking, and you want to work with the therapist who is right for you.

What happens during the first session?

Starting from the time I meet you in the waiting room, we begin the process of getting to know each other. Between the time we spoke by phone and the date of your appointment, you may have realized you have more questions. That’s how we’ll start – with me answering any other questions you might have.

Next, you’ll have a chance to tell me why you feel you need some help – why you’ve made that appointment. Even if you’ve already told me on the phone, it will be important for me to hear it again, probably in more detail.

You’ll have some paperwork to sign and I’ll take some general information from you for my files.

Then, we’ll just talk! I’ll have lots of questions to ask you, so that I can get a clear idea of your needs and so I will know if I think I can help. All of this will probably take most of the session time. If you think you’d like to return, we’ll talk about goal-setting and how we can work together to help you feel better.

I don’t want anyone else to know I’m seeing a therapist. Is this confidential?

I am not allowed (by law) to tell anyone else I even know who you are. Anything we talk about is just between us. However, there are some exceptions to that requirement. If I think you might seriously hurt yourself or someone else, I must insure that you get help, even if that means telling someone else. If I am aware of abuse of a child, dependent or older adult, that, too, must be reported. When you are in my office, I’ll more fully explain these exceptions.

I like some of the things you say on this website, but I can’t find my particular problem mentioned anywhere! Should I still call you?

I’m not an expert at everything! However, I also can’t always think of every concern that might fit my areas of expertise – so I might be able to help with some issues I haven’t mentioned. If I’ve said something on this site that makes you think we could work together, please give me a call, and let’s talk about it. If I don’t have the specific expertise you need, I’ll do my best to find you a referral to a counselor who has specialties more appropriate to your needs.

What if I want to see you alone, but I also need help talking to a family member (partner, spouse, parent, child, or….)?

After I’ve seen you individually for at least a few sessions, we can then decide if it would be helpful for you to bring a family member (or the whole family) into one or more sessions. Whether or not we do that would depend on your particular situation and if we both agree that this would be an appropriate and important part of your therapy. Another option might be for me to refer you to another counselor for couples or family work, while you and I continue to work individually.

You write a lot about teens and schools. Do you also see younger children?

As a rule, I do not see children under age 16. However, we might decide to invite your children into one or more sessions to work on family communication skills. If more therapy is needed for your child, I can give you referrals to therapists who specialize in children. I do offer consultation/coaching to parents of younger children for school-related communication problems and parenting concerns.

You still haven’t answered my most important questions!

Sorry about that! I offer a free phone consultation. Please contact me and let’s talk – and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.