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What is individual psychotherapy? 

Individual psychotherapy is a joint, collaborative process in which a client and trained mental health professional/therapist/clinician come together for a common goal. Goals will vary from person to person, but typically goals of counseling are to improve the overall quality of life, find meaning, alleviate depressive symptoms, anxiety, or support through life transitions. While most importantly, fostered through a safe and supportive environment.


What should I expect from individual psychotherapy? 

The first session of therapy typically involves gathering information, the reason why you have chosen to seek therapy, what you hope to gain from the experience, and it is the place to ask questions any additional questions you may have. From there, we will work on identified goals, processing, and interventions based on your needs. Throughout your therapy journey, it is not unusual to be uncomfortable at times, ignite emotions, or be challenging. But I strive to support my clients and meet them openly and compassionately as they meet their goals.

How long does individual therapy "take" to begin to notice differences in myself?

Therapy can take some time depending on what your needs and goals are. Therapy is not always a quick fix and it takes work to make changes in our lives for the long term. Think of it as building a new habit. Habits, especially ones that require us to delve into our thinking, emotions, and behaviors take some time. As with couples therapy and family therapy, individual therapy has three stages; beginning, middle, and end. The initial session - ideally done in-person in my therapy office in downtown San Luis Obispo - and beginning phases of therapy are about getting to know you, your needs, your wants, and your goals. Typically this involves asking more questions and building trust. This phase is extremely important in counseling as it helps build trust and support. To me, this is the most important part of counseling and fostering meaningful change; in the relationship between the counselor and you. The middle stage is the meat and potatoes of counseling where we will work together processing your experience, learning new tools, and make changes. The end of counseling comes when you have reached your identified goals and have made the progress you have hoped for. 

What is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)?

CBT is a data-driven approach to therapy with its foundation in the interconnectedness between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When we begin to notice how we think about ourselves and situations, we can learn how to manage our behaviors, and in turn, positively impact our feelings. I believe in the power of CBT and have seen client's life transformed by learning how to manage their thoughts through this perspective. That being said, I do not believe in a "one-size-fits-all" model to therapy and will work with you to identify what treatment technique will be best for your specific needs. I have experience working with acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness techniques, family systems theory, and attachment. 

What age group do you typically work with?

I enjoy working with young adults up through individuals in their seventies (and up) from diverse backgrounds and cultures. 

Keep on trying!

As I mentioned above, I truly believe in order for positive change to occur, you have to feel comfortable with your counselor. Research suggests the best indicator of positive results from therapy is the therapeutic relationship between counselor and client, and as such, it is essential you find the best fitting counselor for your needs. I encourage all of my clients to be open and honest, ask me lots of questions, and if I am not a good fit for you, I will help you find one who is so you can keep on your journey! 

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