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Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains

Common Questions

How can medication help me?
A number of benefits are available from certain medications. For some people, therapy alone may help them through difficult times but for others, medication may be recommended or sometimes necessary. While your therapist or I  can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, grief, stress management, and body image issues, you might be interested in trying a medication. Medications are available to calm your nerves, improve your general mood, enhance your focus and problem solving skills, alleviate negative thoughts, racing thoughts, or strange and unusual thought patterns. The benefits you obtain from medication depend on your own body chemistry and other changes you make in your life as well. These changes could include therapy, better sleep, better nutrition, exercise, and relationship building skills. 


Do I really need medication?  
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there might be a time when you need some extra help. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation. Sometimes medication is a temporary situation for people while other people may want or need medication for a lifetime.  In addition to medication, therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face. 

Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy.   Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.  Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods.  Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life.   In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives. 


Who do I go to for therapy?
While I am not currently providing psychotherapy, I am happy to refer you to a therapist who I think would be conveniently located and most helpful for you. 
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?  
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause may not be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.  Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. 
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them.  Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers.  Some helpful questions you can ask them:
  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per appointment for a psychiatric appointment or appointment for medication management (not therapy)?
  • How many appointments does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

Currently, I am becoming a provider on several insurance plans or I accept cash. I am in the process of adding more plans so it is important to call the office at 805-650-3888 to discuss with the receptionist which plans I am currently on. Also, you may still be able to see me as an out of network provider but you may have to pay a slightly higher co-pay.



Does what we talk about during appointments remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and their provider. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the provider's office. Sometimes, however, you may want your provider to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your primary care provider, therapist, etc.), but by law I cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.



However, state law and professional ethics require providers to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the provider has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.


Helpful Forms

Click here to view and print forms for your appointment.