Your therapy sessions are confidential. No information about you will be discussed with anyone without your written permission. However, California state law requires exceptions to this rule in the following situations: (a) child abuse or neglect; (b) elder abuse; (c) a threat to the life of another person. Confidentiality may also be broken if you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or if you are gravely disabled (i.e., unable to provide food, clothing or shelter for yourself).

Some plans will reimburse for my services, so you may want to check with yours to see if they will cover individual psychotherapy with a Licensed Psychologist of your choice. I request payment at each session or can set up a monthly payment schedule, but I am happy to prepare a monthly statement for you to submit to your insurance company.

A typical therapy session for individuals is 50 minutes, for couples 90 minutes and longer. 

Fees for therapy sessions are discussed and agreed upon by the therapist and client prior to the first session.  Fees are due at each session, unless otherwise arranged.  Please write out your check before the beginning of your session. This will better allow you to utilize the hour.

My cancellation policy is as follows: a minimum of 48 hours’ advance notice of cancellation of your appointment is required.  Several days or a week is requested.  Full fee will be charged for missed appointments without the minimum of 48 hours’ notice. Cancellations must be made by phone.

Psychologists do not prescribe medication in the state of California. However, if over the course of therapy it is assessed that medication might be beneficial, I can help you find an appropriate psychiatrist. If you are currently taking medications, we can discuss this during the initial appointment.

As we are all are discovering, the managed care system often does not give consumers what they want or need. Managed care's primary focus is on cutting costs and raising profits; its concerns about ethics and quality of care are often secondary.

Some reasons NOT to use Managed Care:

    * True privacy and confidentiality means sharing sensitive, personal information with a single, trusted professional chosen by the patient. Managed care usually requires sharing private information with several people who are not chosen by the patient, such as gatekeepers and utilization reviewers, and storing it in files accessible to hundreds of employees.

    * Managed care sometimes claims to provide all mental health services when it offers only brief therapy — a short-term treatment not effective for many concerns.

    * A utilization reviewer’s decisions may overrule the decision of the professional who is conducting the treatment. However, the reviewer’s decision often is based upon limited information and/or a too-brief discussion of a case with the treating therapist.

    * Medical ethical codes require that health professionals avoid and minimize conflicts of interest regarding their primary obligation to the patient’s welfare. Managed care, on the other hand, does just the opposite. Professionals may avoid dealing with important long-term issues or cut therapy short because managed care prefers to refer new patients to therapists with a record of short-term (less expensive) treatment.

    * Managed care often fails to inform patients of treatment alternatives outside of the plan. This failure to inform serves the purposes of the managed care company because patients who do not know other treatment is possible, are more likely to report satisfaction with the managed care treatment. Unfortunately, this failure to inform also undermines the patients' control, because the patient loses the choice to self-pay for the preferred treatment.

    * Medication is frequently presented as complete treatment. In fact, psychotherapy, either instead of or in combination with medication, is a better treatment than medications alone.

    * Patients who are sent to psychotherapy are usually told that ultra-brief therapy is the treatment of choice, and if they don't improve, they are told that there are no realistic alternatives. The reality is that longer-term psychotherapy is a more effective treatment for many presenting problems. Many people find it so helpful that they will decide to self-pay for longer-term, depth psychotherapy.