What is clinical psychology? Clinical psychology focuses on using research based information to provide comprehensive behavioral and mental health care. Clinical psychologists often use psychological testing to clarify difficult diagnoses and help determine appropriate therapeutic interventions to help people obtain and maintain mental health. Mental health is a central part of one’s overall healthy functioning and when we are not functioning well our personal and professional relationships can suffer. One way of improving mental health is identifying maladaptive thoughts and behaviors and learning how to make healthy changes to the way we think and behave. How do I know if I need therapy? I have good friends and family that are really helpful. Friends and family are an important part of overall mental health, that is true. The difference with a therapeutic relationship is that a psychologist does not offer advice, post conversations on social media, or chat about you with other friends and family. The therapeutic relationship is unique, in that it is all about focusing on you and your needs while maintaining your confidentiality. We work together on identifying therapeutic goals and how to cope with stressors in a healthier, adaptive way.
Some common goals for seeking out psychotherapy include:
Understanding how thoughts, feelings, and actions my be contributing to unhealthy experiences in life.
Exploring unhealthy coping skills that were helpful at first but often end up creating other problems to deal with.
Understanding that there is a healthy range emotions (including but not limited to anxiety, depression, and grief) that helps us create change and adaptive growth in our lives.
Learning new ways to cope and manage with unhealthy and chronic feelings of trauma, emptiness, anxiety, or depression.
Improving self esteem and feelings of self worth in order to live more authentic lives.
Learning how to communicate our needs to foster healthier personal and professional relationships.
What should I expect at first? Taking the initiative to reach out for help is a big step and I am grateful for the opportunity to be of service. A complimentary 20-minute phone consultation is offered in order to provide an opportunity to get to know each other and jointly decide if we might make a good fit in working together and if I am able to meet your needs. My sessions are usually 60-minutes in length although I do offer shorter or extended sessions when it is beneficial. You will be provided new client paperwork prior to your first session to be completed beforehand so we can focus more on getting to know each other during the session. I’m happy to answer questions you may have about the therapeutic process, me, or my philosophies.
Generally, sessions occur weekly, although this frequency may vary depending on needs. Many people choose to attend multiple times per week or every other week. We can work together to decide what will work best with your goals.
What kind of treatment will I receive? My therapy style is to look at how one’s thinking affects mood and behaviors and how past events may be influencing current relationships and overall functioning. We can work together on identifying what you want to get out of therapy and how we can reach these goals.
I provide individual therapy and include partners and family members when it is beneficial to your treatment goals. I also provide psychological assessments to help clarify diagnoses and/or identify deficits in social, emotional, or behavioral functioning.
Do you provide medication? Medication is provided by a psychiatrist or a primary care physician. Research has indicated that a combination of medication and psychotherapy may be more effective than either alone. If your symptoms indicate that medications may be beneficial, I will refer you to a psychiatrist or your personal physician.
How much experience do you have treating people with problems like mine? I am a Clinical Psychologist (PSY28017) and have been providing services in various capacities within the field of mental health and social services since 2004. I have provided psychotherapy services with a wide array of populations including adolescents and young adults learning to navigate the journey towards adulthood, the LGBTQIA+ community, people coping with trauma, and people experiencing grief and loss. I have worked with older adults who are becoming less mobile and more dependent on others as well as caregivers (often the children) learning to manage the unique stressors of caring for older adults. I also have extensive work with people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts and behaviors, impulsive behaviors, and substance abuse.
I believe that every person’s experience is contextual and unique, influenced by family of origin, life experiences, and view of the world. I am passionate about helping others discover how to effectively manage what life throws at us by learning the value of vulnerability, understanding how our thoughts influence our emotions and behaviors, developing healthier relationships, and learning how we can live in a way that is genuine and authentic.
5230 Carroll Canyon Road Suite 316 San Diego, CA 92121