Frequent Asked Questions
What is a Marriage and Family Therapist?
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT’s) are psychotherapists specializing in relationship issues. As a psychotherapist I can assist individuals or couples with a wide variety of issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, grief, relationship issues. I also can help children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral issues.
How to choose a psychotherapist?
The best way is to attend your first appointment and evaluate how you feel with your therapist. Do you feel comfortable, listened to, accepted and confident that you will receive the help you are looking for?
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a process in which you, and your partner or family, decide to collaborate with the psychotherapist to confront your difficulties in order to find new ways to deal with them, by improving your feeling, thinking and acting. Psychotherapy helps you to change the feelings and thoughts that are detrimental to your emotional and mental health, and reduce unnecessary symptoms, leading you to a general state of wellbeing.
Who needs psychotherapy?
People who are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, sadness or excessive worry. If the person has difficulty in controlling their emotions, or experiences frequent changes in emotions that go from intense happiness to extreme sadness. If the person has anger management issues, if they feel confused or in despair, have difficulty in making or keeping relationships. Also anybody who is going through a difficult situation, such as a life-transition and has the desire to change internally, and find new ways to deal with their life, can benefit from psychotherapy.
What are the kind of therapy do MFT’s utilize?
MFT’s have training in different techniques and approaches, such as Cognitive-behavioral, Solution focused therapy, Systemic approach, Mindfulness, Play therapy and Narrative therapy; and Psycho-education for parents, among others.
The Systems approach I often use is composed of a series of highly effective techniques to help families resolve their difficulties by removing vicious cycles of negative patterns of interaction between members.
MFT's approach individual's emotional issues, from the point of view that those issues are best addressed when treated within the context of the individual’s current relationships.
What should you ask the therapist before agreeing for treatment?
Inquire about the therapist's training; licensure status, focus of treatment, and commitment to development to their practice.
What the treatment agreement between patient and therapist should include?
The agreement for treatment should include, but is not limited to, information about therapist training and experience; fees and payment; policies for appointments, and cancellations, limits of confidentiality; therapy process; contact between sessions; risks & benefits of therapy; expectations, and termination policies.
How many sessions are needed and how frequently they would be?
The number of sessions needed depends entirely on the person, the situation being addressed, and the type of therapy used.
In general, I see my patients once a week. Although I can recommend more or less frequent sessions depending on the case. The success of any treatment depends, in great measure, on the effort you put into the therapeutic process.
How long are therapy sessions?
Sessions with an adult or a couple are typically 50 minutes. Sessions with children are in general shorter, between 35 to 45 minutes. Sessions with families or groups may be up to 90 minutes.
What should you expect at a first session?
The first session is the opportunity to meet a professional who is willing to listen to your concerns from a non-judgmental stance. With acceptance of you as an individual. Conducted in a comfortable confidential environment, which has been prepared for the purpose of making you feel free to express any concerns or difficulties you may be experiencing. The first session gives you also the opportunity to know more of the therapist’s experience and approach to therapy. Establishing a trusting patient-therapist relationship starts at the beginning. As the therapy sessions progresses, mutual collaboration and confidence to use the tools of therapy will become easier.
Getting ready for your first session.
After your phone consultation and the set-up of your initial appointment, I ask you to please go to the “Forms” page of this site, and print out the form called “Intake”. Then fill it out (try not to leave any blanks) and bring it with you to our first session. To ensure confidentiality please do not e-mail it to me. Remember that payment is due at the time of service, if you have any questions about this, they should be discussed prior to your appointment.