Providing therapy and counseling services to individuals, couples and family for Irvine, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills, CA.

Counseling to those in the following areas: Newport Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Tustin and Aliso Viejo, Rancho Santa Margerita, Foothill Ranch, Capistrano Beach, Laguna Beach, and Ladera Ranch, California. I also refer clients to Dr. Dimitra Takos, a Newport Beach Psychologist specializing in the treatment of adolescents and adults suffering from depression, anxiety, and trauma-and stressor-related disorders.

Marriage and family therapists are trained to focus on relationships and the connections that are created between people. I collaborate with my clients when seeking solutions to distressing problems. Non-judgmental collaboration does not look for winners or losers when relationships are at stake. Rather than assigning blame, time is spent focusing on the “we” in the relationship. These priceless connections become stronger and more enduring. Emotionally Focused Couple’s Therapy is a therapy based on the science of love and attachment. Our most important relationships can trigger strong feelings. Relationships can be a source of massive stress and pain- or a source of great comfort and joy. EFT helps couples to learn to deal with these feelings together- in a positive way. Your relationship can become: Playful and spontaneous Energetic and creative A powerful “dynamic duo” Free from power struggles Clear communication patterns Balanced family life Clear boundaries and rules.

Can my life be more satisfying? Can my relationships feel more affirming? Can I be who I am and have what I want? People come to see me when they are trying their best, but things aren’t working out the way they hoped. I listen, ask questions and notice. Together we collect and look at different areas of your life and fit them together like the pieces of a puzzle. As the picture becomes clearer, problems become smaller and solutions become more obvious. Integrating mind, body and spirit will lead you to understand and express the person you want to be. Counseling helps you to process your feelings, visions, hopes and fears using Emotionally Focused Therapy. Connecting them leads to a greater understanding of yourself and how you want to live your life and relate to the world.

Starting Couples Therapy

Does Therapy Work? Having the “right fit” in a therapist/client relationship is essential for therapy to work. In the very first interactions, you should feel heard and respected, free to ask questions, relatively comfortable in the office space, discussing fee, insurance, and scheduling issues. It is helpful if you are able to articulate your goals and expectations for therapy. You should leave therapy with a reasonable sense that there is hope for change and growth, and that the therapist seems experienced and competent to help you. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

How do you know if you need therapy? Deciding to seek therapy is a big step, requiring you to be open about private matters, attend appointments – even if you don’t want to – and spend a fair amount of money for the privilege. You may fear that others will see you as needy or damaged. Actually, the stigma around therapy is reducing – you’d be surprised how many friends and colleagues have already taken this step. It’s not a weakness to seek therapy; it shows you have strength to face your demons and to change. If you’re still uncertain, ask yourself these questions: Do you feel that you are running into the same problems again and again? Do you think about past traumas for unreasonable amounts of time? Do you feel that your work or home life is suffering? Do you no longer enjoy things that once gave you pleasure? Do you find yourself drinking/overeating/taking drugs to feel better? Answering yes to a number of those questions above would indicate that therapy could help you.

What is therapy like? As a professional therapist, my role is to guide you as you take steps towards positive life changes, healing, and a healthy mind. Together we’ll work to uncover and better understand the life challenges and day-to-day stressors that detract from your life and focus, and begin identifying and practicing things that will make you stronger. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth.

Should I Take Medication? Medication alone is rarely sufficient to address the issues people most seek to change. Often it is a helpful additional intervention, depending on each individuals needs, I recognize and respect that many people prefer not to take medication, and in that case I would never push someone to do so. However, it is a conversation worth having, and while I am not licensed to prescribe medication, I do work with several prescribers who I refer to as needed.

Do you accept insurance? I provide all the necessary paperwork for my clients to be reimbursed by their insurance provider. The majority of my clients receive some form of reimbursement form their insurance. Please call your insurance provider to determine your coverage. As of January 1st, 2014, the new Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act became effective. This law expands the coverage for out-of-network mental health services.

Is therapy confidential? Everything that we discuss in therapy is confidential. If you ask me to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team, I cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission first. That said, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I am a mandated reporter in the event that someone is a danger to themselves or others. Should this issue arise in treatment, we would work together to handle the situation carefully and respectfully.

Contact Me About Couples Therapy

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