Welcome to my practice
This section contains important information about my professional services and business policies. It will help orient you to our potential working relationship. Please review this information carefully, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
My background and qualifications
I received my clinical psychology doctorate in January of 2000 from the California School of Professional Psychology. I continued my training as a post-doctoral fellow at Cross Winds Psychological Services, where I stayed on as a staff psychologist. During my training and professional career, I have worked in a variety of mental health clinics, hospitals, and non-traditional settings and have treated patients diverse in ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, gender, and life circumstances.
I am licensed in the State of California (license #19236) and am a member of the American Psychological Association as well as the California Psychological Association. I have more than fifteen years experience teaching psychology at both the undergraduate and graduate level. I served as department chair of the undergraduate psychology department at Argosy University for several years. In 2008 I concentrated on doctoral level training and served as an associate professor, director of clinical training, and internship coordinator for the clinical psychology program at the American School of Professional Psychology.
I have taught and trained future psychologists from a broad range of clinical perspectives and evidence based techniques. Accordingly, in my private practice I work from an integrative standpoint and utilize a variety of interventions, including psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, and family systems. Additionally, as my doctoral research focused on spiritual/religious integration, I have a proficiency in expanding on the health benefits of your faith or sustaining beliefs. As a psychologist, I bring a certain knowledge base and skill to our collaboration, however it will likely be your strength, courage and veracity that will bring you closer to achieving life goals and satisfaction.
The process of therapy/evaluation
I will be transparent with you about how well my skills correspond with your presenting problems. I also strongly encourage all clients to remain deeply attentive to your feelings and level of comfort with any helping professional. To better ensure our therapeutic fit, I offer a free 30-minute consultation visit. I will ask you to complete the new client information form (link to form) and bring it to our consultation. During this first meeting, if either of us determine that another psychologist/therapist might be more beneficial for you; I will offer you appropriate referrals.
Upon deciding that we are a good match, I will highlight much of the information contained in this section and retain a signed copy of your Consent to Treatment. Within a reasonable period after starting treatment, we will discuss my working understanding of your issues, my proposed treatment plan, and therapeutic objectives and possible outcomes of the therapy. If you have questions about procedures used during therapy, any possible risks, my expertise in employing them, or about the treatment plan in general, please ask me. You also have the right to ask about other possible treatments for your condition and their risks and benefits. If you could benefit from any treatments that I do not provide, I have an ethical obligation to assist you in obtaining those treatments.
I offer a sliding scale to students and to those with financial hardship; however, the availability of sliding scale appointments is limited and restricted to certain time slots.
The fee is due at the time of service unless other arrangements have been made in advance. For your convenience, I accept Visa, MasterCard, checks and cash. If you choose to pay by credit card, there is an additional consent procedure I will review with you.
The fee is not pro-rated for lateness. if you are late neither the fee nor the scheduled session end time will change.
Balances: I do not permit clients to carry a balance of more than two sessions. If you are unable to pay this balance, we will discuss whether it makes sense to pause your care or develop another strategy so that you can avoid incurring additional debt. Please let me know if any problem arises during the course of therapy regarding your ability to make timely payments.
Insurance: If you have outpatient mental health coverage, some or all of your fees may be covered by your health insurance. Many plans have a flexibility provision so that you may see a provider outside the plan’s network. I can provide you with a monthly billing statement for reimbursement if you wish to submit it to your insurance company. This monthly statement is also your receipt for tax or insurance purposes. Insurance companies may not cover all conditions that may be the focus of psychotherapy. It is your responsibility to verify the specifics of your coverage. Please remember that my services are provided and charged to you, not to your insurance company. You are responsible for payment. Fees you pay for therapy services that are not reimbursed by insurance may be deductible as medical expenses if you itemize deductions on your tax return. As described my HIIPA information notice (link to forms), be aware that submitting a mental health invoice for reimbursement carries a certain amount of risk in terms of maintaining confidentiality.
When unforeseen situations do arise, I ask that you please cancel or reschedule your session with 48 hours’ notice. Canceling or missing an appointment with fewer than 48 hours’ notice will result in $100.00 missed session charge to be paid on or before your next session.
If you are late for your session, the fee is not pro-rated and we will still end at our regular time so that I have time to prepare for my next appointment.
If you need to contact me between sessions about a clinical matter, please call and leave a voice message for me at 415-867-8936. I check my messages daily unless I am out of town. If I am planning on being out of town, I will let you know in advance. I will also let you know who I have covering for me if I am unable to respond to phone messages.
If an emergency arises, please indicate it clearly in your message to me. If your situation is an emergency and you need to talk to someone right away, contact the closest 24-hour emergency psychiatric service:
- Dial 911
- Go to your nearest Emergency Room
- Call Crisis Support Services of Alameda County 1 800 309-2131 – trained crisis intervention counselors are available 24 hours a day.
During your treatment I may become aware of preexisting relationships that could compromise our work together. I will do my best to resolve these situations ethically and, if possible, in coordination with you. Rarely, a dual relationship cannot be resolved and a referral to another psychologist may be required.
I have lived, worked and played in Alameda for over 12 years. Our wonderful town is tight-knit. If you live here too, you understand that we might run into one another or have friends or colleagues in common. We will discuss the possible complications that could arise while living in the same community. Whether or not you are a local Alamedan, we will discuss how you would like to handle possible “other context encounters”.
In therapy you will be asked to remember and talk about unpleasant events, feelings, or thoughts. Often this has immediate benefits, but it can also cause significant discomfort, strong feelings, anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc. Working on issues that brought you into therapy may cause you to make decisions you didn’t expect at first, such as changing behaviors, employment, substance use, schooling, housing, or relationships. Change can occasionally be quick and easy, but more often it can be gradual and even frustrating. No psychotherapist can guarantee that therapy will yield positive or intended results.
- Disclosure is required by law when a client presents a danger to self, to others, to property, or is gravely disabled,
- Disclosure may be required in a legal proceeding. If you place your mental status at issue in litigation that you initiate, the defendant may have the right to obtain your psychotherapy records and/or my testimony.
In couples or relationship therapy, or when different family members are seen individually, confidentiality and privilege do not apply between the couple or among family members. I will use my clinical judgment when revealing such information.
Emergencies: If there is an emergency during our work together or after termination in which I become concerned about your personal safety or the possibility of you injuring someone else, I will do whatever I can within the limits of the law to prevent you from injuring yourself or another and to ensure that you receive appropriate medical care. For this purpose I may contact the person whose name you have provided on your Client Information form.
Health Insurance and Confidentiality of Records: Your health insurance carrier may require disclosure of confidential information to process claims. Only the minimum necessary information will be communicated to your insurance carrier, including diagnosis, the date and length of our appointments, and what services were provided. Often the billing statement and your company’s claim form are sufficient. Sometimes treatment summaries or progress toward goals are also required. While insurance companies claim to keep this information confidential, I have no control over the information once it leaves my office. Please be aware that submitting a mental health invoice for reimbursement carries some risk to confidentiality, privacy, or future eligibility to obtain health or life insurance.
Confidentiality of e-mail, voice mail and fax communication: E-mail, voice mail, and fax communication can be accessed by unauthorized people, compromising the privacy and confidentiality of the communication. I use a variety to tools to keep your information secure. Please notify me at the beginning of treatment if you would like to avoid or limit in any way the use of any or all of these communication devices. Please do not contact me via email or text and share personal information and/or circumstances. A phone message is the safest way to leave information.
Consultation: I consult regularly with other professionals regarding my clients in order to provide you with the best possible service. Names or other identifying information are never mentioned; client identity remains completely anonymous and your confidentiality will be fully maintained. If, for some reason, I believe it is important to consult with another professional in-depth, and I believe identifying information about you may be shared, I will have you sign a release of information allowing me to share this information. Without such a release, I will not consult with another professional providing information that might lead another person to be able to identify you.
Release of information: Considering all of the above exclusions, upon your request and with your written consent, I may release limited information to any person/agency you specify, unless I conclude that releasing such information might be harmful to you. If I reach that conclusion, I will explain the reason for denying your request.
If I assess that our work together is not helping you reach your therapeutic goals, I will openly discuss the situation with you. If appropriate, we may need to terminate treatment. I typically will provide you with referrals to other helping professional(s). It may be helpful for me to provide information to your new therapist to assist with the transition. If you want this consultation, we will discuss explicitly what information will be disclosed and you must sign a release authorization.
I am committed to correcting and refining my own skills, and I will invite you to evaluate my services via a feedback form. If you choose to receive this form, I will email it to you approximately two weeks following termination.
Board of Psychology
1625 North Market Street, Suite N-215 Sacramento, CA 95834 1-866-503-3221
You are free to discuss your complaints about me with anyone you wish. You are in control of your therapeutic confidentiality and you have no responsibility to maintain confidentiality about any aspect of your therapy, including what I do that you don’t like.
I hope this answers some of your questions. Please let me know if you have concerns or additional questions about any of these policies and procedures.