Frequently Asked Questions
1. What do you specifically do in psychotherapy/counseling?
As Marriage and Family Therapists we are trained to treat a wide range of relational and emotional problems, and we see each individual, family and couple as set within their broader context. Our counseling with you will tend to be solution focused with specific attainable goals. Your time is precious and we want the work we do together to be productive and useful!
Both individual, family and couples work begins with a verbal and written assessment process (usually one or two sessions), followed by a joint effort to set goals for change and growth.
Individual sessions involve dialogue, exploration of past events and patterns that desire to be understood with a focus on learning and practicing new tools to help effect healing and change.
Couples and family counseling is a combination of dialogue, exploring your relational patterns, face-to face couple/family communication and conflict resolution skills practice and at times, individual exploration with the therapist while the partner/family member(s) observe. Various resources may be suggested such as marital/family enrichment videos to watch, articles/handouts to read and homework assignments tailor made for you as a couple/family.
2. How do you know if you need counseling and if it is worth pursuing?
We encourage you to visit the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
These two professional organizations we are affiliated with provide specific detailed information about Marriage and Family Therapy, what it is and its efficacy.
3. How much does counseling cost and do you accept medical insurance?
We individually charge an hourly fee which is standard for the geographical area and for the years of experience we each have. Contact Judy and Brian for their fee details. All clients can receive a monthly statement suitable to submit to any medical insurance for possible out-of-network reimbursement.
4. Do you ever work as co-therapists?
Yes, but only for PREMARITAL counseling...contact us for details.
5. Do you offer group counseling?
Yes, Brian periodically offers a Men’s growth group; Judy periodic women's growth groups and art therapy workshops.
6. What is “coaching”?
Coaching is personalized, focused, dynamic guidance aimed at changing a specific area of your life.
It takes you beyond repair and on to the next level of your career or executive functioning or ministry.
7. Will you work with my medical doctor/other involved professionals?
Absolutely, assuming we have your written permission.
8. Is our work confidential?
All counseling sessions and records are confidential. The law provides for some exclusions (e.g. child abuse or elder abuse). These exceptions can be explained to you in detail.
9. How long are sessions and how many are needed?
Sessions are generally one hour long and usually weekly to begin with. Depending on the severity of your needs, you may come a few times or stay for months. Couples usually benefit the most if they come for at least 6-8 sessions... many stay for up to 6 months in order to grow and cement the changes made. Pre-marital couples usually come for 6 hours minimum. You are encouraged to be an active participant in planning how counseling can best help you. Many people evolve into utilizing counseling periodically throughout the various seasons of their life...
10. I notice you both went to a religious seminary for graduate school, do I/we need to have a spiritual practice/belief to see you?
Absolutely not, we are inclusive; we accept you for who you are! If you do desire to integrate your faith/beliefs more directly into the counseling process we can explore how, together.