I Have Never Been to a Counselor Before.

    What Should I Expect?

My style is warm and inviting. I want you to feel comfortable during our initial session. I would like to hear your ideas related to personal goals and potential outcomes from the counseling process. Feel free to ask any questions related to counseling. Perhaps you are hurting so deeply and it seems like no one understands or can help. I hear this all too frequently. I realize it may be difficult to admit that the services of a counselor may help you.  I can assist as you work through issues related to anxiety or depression. Please do not feel embarrassed, everyone needs some help during their life. I can help with overcoming the wounds associated with childhood physical, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse. I can help you rewrite your internal dialog, changing negativity into positive perspectives. My desire is that you be the best you can be, fulfill your potential and follow your dreams. I will listen to you and aid you in determining the best fit for you life. Call my office at 916-804-6471 for a free consultation about my services. I accept cash, check, Visa , Mastercard, American Express or Discover. I take very limited insurance (MHN--Mental Health Network); however, if your insurance company reimburses counseling services for 'Out of Network Providers' I can provide you with a monthly statement that you can then submit to your company. Using your insurance to pay for therapy has benefits and risks. While it can certainly lower the cost of services, it typically will require me to assign a mental health diagnosis, which will become a part of your medical record and can impact your ability to obtain health insurance or life insurance in the future. While many insurance plans state that they cover couples/marriage counseling, often the way they cover it is by requiring a mental
 health diagnosis to be assigned to one of the individuals in the couple.

I Have Never Been to a Marriage Counselor Before. What Should I Expect?
In couples counseling there is often the fear that the therapist will 'take sides' with one of the spouses. That is not how I operate. Both people in the relationship are valued and respected. I work with the two of you to help you create the relationship that you need. Prior to our first meeting I will email you and your spouse an intake form to help determine your unique goals and needs. I want to understand both of you and your unique perspective of the relationship. I often give 'between sessions' activities to participate  in with one another. This helps to speed the process and get the marriage/ relationship headed in the right direction.
I realize that when couples request the services of a marriage counselor their marriage may be in crisis. There may be anger, hurt and pain in the relationship. If this is the case the initial couple's meeting, can be reserved as a 'double session'. This double session lasts approximately 100 minutes. My goal is that by utilizing this extra time you and your spouse will experience some positive changes immediately and leave the first session with new hope.

A Sign of Strength and Wisdom 

Some people may experience a sense of shame or embarrassment to admit that they need professional help. It need not be shameful but rather a sign of strength and wisdom. When you need help with your taxes, you seek a tax professional. When you desire financial planning you see a financial planning expert. If you want to remodel your home you may call a contractor rather than 'DIY'.  That makes sense. That's a good idea as no one is expected to be an expert in everything.  It really is the same for your life and relationships! It is OK to ask for help from a  professional counselor. Would it be more shameful to tell your friends and family "We are getting divorced/ splitting up"? Even if you do decide that your marriage can not mend I believe it is very admirable to acknowledge that you and your spouse invested in counseling and put forth your best efforts.

My Education
30 years real life marriage!

Bachelor of Science degree, Western Michigan University
Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, CSU Sacramento 1997
Level two training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
National Training on Sexual Aggression Counselor Certificate
I attend numerous workshops and conferences each and every year to better serve my clients. These conferences and workshop keep me aware of current trends and up to date with the latest research.
My Professional Affiliations
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)
American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT)
Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA)