Frequently Asked Questions
1. There are a lot of therapists out there! How do I pick the right one?
There are definitely quite a few mental health clinicians, all with different specializations, licenses, certifications, training, and approaches to therapy. The truth is, the most important thing about choosing a therapist is choosing someone with whom you feel comfortable and safe! We can have all of the qualifications and experience in the world, but if our personality falls flat for you, we creep you out, we bore you, or you feel like you're wasting your time with us, then chances are, we're not the right fit! There's nothing wrong with coming to one session and deciding that you'd like to try someone else. Trust your instincts when you talk to and meet with a therapist. This is especially true when you're seeking therapy around more traditionally sensitive topics, such as sexuality, gender, and grief and loss. You can view an excellent article here to help you navigate the process of selecting someone.
2. What exactly happens in sex therapy?
There are quite a few misconceptions wandering around out there about sex therapy. Sex therapy is not all that different than traditional psychotherapy. There is no hands-on active coaching of any kind, whatsoever. You sit on your side of the room, and I sit on mine. The major difference is this: sex therapy stems from the idea that human sexuality is an innate part of who we are rather than something we just do, and it's something worth talking about! As someone with an extensive background in sexuality training (you can view my qualifications and background on my About Me page), I understand many of the ways sex and sexuality can affect our lives as individuals and in our romantic relationships. Sexuality is about a lot more than just sex. Its about our sensuality (body image, crave for touch, and fantasies), intimacy (vulnerability, caring, loving, and risk-taking), sexual identity (gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender performance), sexual health (feelings and attitudes around sexuality, anatomy and physiology, sexually transmitted infections, and reproduction), and even sexualization (flirting, withholding sex, sexual harrassment, and sexual violence). In therapy with me, you are allowed to discuss any part of sexuality that is important to you, and you are certainly allowed to create an amazing sex life.
3. What are your fees for therapy?
I offer both individual therapy and relationship/couples therapy sessions for $225. I also offer a sliding scale depending on your financial need, as I try to make sure those seeking support can afford services. Please reach out to me even if you need to request a sliding scale fee, and I will do my very best to accommodate you. I can also offer referrals should you require consistent lower-cost therapy. Additionally, I also offer some spots for other marriage and family therapist interns and social work interns at a discounted rate, depending on availability. I currently accept cash, check, and all major credit cards, and I do not accept insurance in my practice at this time. However, provided your insurance covers out-of-network mental health benefits, I can provide you with a "superbill" that you can submit to your own insurance for potential reimbursement.
4. Do I need to be in a relationship to come see you?
Absolutely not! There is great merit in exploring your feelings and values around sex and intimacy outside of a relationship. Whether you are single, dating, monogamously committed, or a member of a larger open romantic or sexual relationship, psychotherapy and sex therapy can benefit you.
5. I noticed you provide counseling for grief and loss, breakups and divorce, eating disorders, body image, adoption, trauma, and shame as well. What does this have to do with relationship and sex therapy?
I am a firm believer in giving voice to the unvoiceable and bringing taboos out of the shadows. Along with sexuality, gender, and relational issues, there are many topics in our lives that society frowns upon us discussing. When we suffer the loss of a loved one, through either death, divorce, deportation, or drifting apart, we are often left with the experience of grief; yet, others' sympathy is usually short-lived, and our friends and family begin to want us to hurry and "move on." When we give a child away for adoption, adopt a child, or are adopted, ourselves, we typically have a profound experience many of those in our lives cannot understand. Those who struggle with body image and distress around food and eating often find "treatment" that purely focuses on nutrition and health rather than on their underlying internal and emotional world. Our experiences with trauma are silenced, as we're told to "suck it up," "get over it," and "move on." These issues share much in common with sexuality. We are expected to navigate them silently, without voice or particular care, caught in a society that doesn't wish to hear about our struggles around death, shame, loss, inadequacy, fear, and anxiety. In my practice, I wish to collaborate to give voice to taboo and bring the "unspeakable" to light in a space you can truly trust.
6. I'm a little nervous to talk about this stuff...
Most people are, and you're definitely not alone in feeling that way. Sex, relationships, breakups, grief, shame, trauma... these are things that most people don't talk about with anybody, much less a stranger in an office. I work my best to create a comfortable space for you in session, and I will never push you far beyond your comfort level. You can share as much or as little as you wish to share. You do not owe me your vulnerability just because "I'm the therapist." That is mine to earn and yours to choose to give.
7. You said that you balance "change" and "acceptance." What do you mean?
Many forms of psychotherapy focus strictly on change--change in your behavior, change in your thought patterns, change in your emotions, and change in your daily life. But, sometimes, certain things don't or can't change because of circumstances outside of your control. In my practice, I work to balance the desire for change with the power of acceptance. I believe that it is only when we truly accept and acknowledge ourselves and our emotional experiences as they are that we can create something anew.
8. Okay, I think I'm ready to try this, but I still have questions. What now?
You can reach me in a number of ways! You can call me directly, e-mail me directly, look at my TherapyDen profile or Psychology Today profile, or fill out my contact form here. I offer a free 10-20 minute phone call consultation to give us a chance to connect and see if we might be a good fit together. I'm happy to answer your questions and discuss your situation further, and there's no pressure to schedule by reaching out. I look forward to meeting with you!