Frequently Asked Questions
Can I contact you via email and tell you what I want?
Yes. You are more than welcomed to write to me and tell me about your needs/interests. My contact information is:
What can I expect sessions to be like?
Sesssion are typically 50 minutes. I first help you isolate patterns you want to change. Then together we help you discover and practice new approaches to life. At times therapy involves learning. You may learn practical, life skills such as how to reduce the duration of panic attacks, decision making, organization and budgetting skills, parenting skills, effective communication, assertiveness, boundaries, etc.. Other times it’s more about exploration and getting to know yourself better.
What is an MFT?
An MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, requiring an Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy, or Clinical Psychology from an accredited university, 3000 intern hours of supervised work experience, and the successful passing of two rigorous licensing exams. MFT’s are not limited to working only with marriages and families. They are licensed psychotherapists who work with individuals, couples, groups, and families using a variety of therapeutic techniques.
Do you take insurance?
If you have a PPO plan that reimburses for out of network psychotherapy, I can give you an invoice (called a “superbill”) that you can submit to your insurance and they will reimburse you for part of my fee directly. If you would like the entire cost of therapy to be covered by insurance, contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers. You will be able to have a limited number of sessions with a licensed psychotherapist.
I am currently NOT on panels and do not accept insurance at this time. I always recommend that clients pay for therapy out of pocket. It has been my experience that using insurance to pay for therapy has several disadvantages for clients and psychotherapists alike. Here are some of the concerns I have about insurance that you may want to take under advisement before you begin therapy:
For clients: Insurance companies normally require a diagnosis in order to reimburse for services. In many cases, they require a diagnosis severe enough to meet something called “medical necessity”, where the mental disorder in question is seriously impairing a person’s daily functioning. Information about much of the work between a therapist and a client is required in reports to insurance companies which basically means your personal psychological information loses the confidentiality that it deserves.
For therapists: Insurance companies make it difficult for therapists to be reimbursed with untimely and low payments. Long term therapy is usually not covered, and many theoretical orientations that are not cognitive-behavioral and are more relationship and feeling based are not reimbursed. And finally, time that should be spent focusing on client issues and professional consultation is spent on completing insurance company paperwork.
What other languages do you speak?
I am fluent in Farsi.
What is your fee?
After speaking on the phone we make an appointment for an initial consultation session. The initial consultation session is $50, and is 50 minutes. This is the first session where you and I meet, and decide whether or not we feel good about moving forward into a working relationship.
My full customary fee for sessions after that is $135 per 50 minute session. It is my priority to offer effective, expert services to those who need it, and am willing to negotiate a fee that is both practical for you and affordable for me. Discussion and setting of fees will be done during the initial consultation session.
How does psychotherapy work for anxiety specifically?
It really depends on the problem. For ANXIETY DISORDERS specifically, I use a mixture of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. I like to target anxiety by talking about where it comes from (the root of the issue), what it looks like for you now (the behaviors and thoughts attached to it) and what practical, in the moment techniques to practice. I believe in naturally building resilience to anxiety provoking situations so that you can have your life and freedom back again.
Anxiety Disorders typically respond best to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy used together with Exposure and Response Prevention. I also will weave EMDR into anxiety treatment. Years of practice have brought me to conclude that using a combination of these modalities produces the best results.
What other kinds of problems do you work with?
I am skilled in the treatment of disorders resulting from relationship issues, life transitions, trauma, or abuse. These include Depression, grief/loss, Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, Phobias, OCD, problems with intimacy, problems maintaining relationships, problems with boundaries, and vocational dilemmas. I am also very well versed in the issues of the gender variant and LGBT community. I have a particular interest in anxiety and PTSD. I am also bi-cultural, and am interested in the treatment of individuals who are bi-cultural, or are going through issues of assimilating to a new country.
I also work with couples who have tried to problem solve their relationship issues, and are now seeking an alternative method of dealing with each other and their problems. I have found that enlightening couples on their communication styles and helping them communicate effectively can be very helpful. I work to resolve problems that arise from parenting, career differences, lack of commonalities, partner drug/alcohol abuse, difficult relationship with inlaws, special issues of gay and lesbian relationships, and other couple anxieties.
What are your qualifications?
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 18 years of experience in the behavioral field. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UCLA, and my Master’s Degree from Pepperdine University in Clinical Psychology. I have published several articles on various online resources for anxiety treatment, psychotherapy and other mental health issues. I regularly hone my therapeutic skills by keeping up to date with the latest research, therapeutic styles, and theories. I attend trainings and workshops regularly for continuing education. I have worked in a variety of settings treating adults, children, couples, families, and groups. I have been both part 1 and 2 trained in EMDR through the EMDR Institute, an EMDRIA approved institution.
Where are you located?
My office in Los Angeles provides a cozy, warm and welcoming atmosphere. It is close to the intersection of La Cienega and Wilshire, on the border of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, and adjacent to Miracle Mile. This office is centrally located and easily accessed by those living in Hollywood, Culver City, Hancock Park, Downtown, Carthay Cirlce and West Los Angeles.
What methods of payment do you take?
You are welcomed to pay with cash, check, and all major credit cards.
What are your hours?:
Tuesday, Weds, Thurs, and Friday from 11 AM-8:30 PM
Sunday 11 AM-4 PM
What if I just can’t afford therapy and don’t have insurance?
There are a number of low fee/sliding scale clinics in the area, and I will be more than happy to refer you. Your therapist, at these clinics, will most likely be an intern working under the supervision of a licensed therapist. Here Are a few nearby facilities that provide low fee therapy by interns:
- The Women’s Clinic and Family Counseling Center
- The Maple Center
- Southern California Counseling Center
- Los Angeles LGBT Center
- Airport Marina Counseling Services
- Edelman Mental Health Center
- Saturday Center
For low fee psychiatric and medication services try this website: NeedyMeds