Some things you may be wondering...
What are your office hours?
Julie currently has office hours open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Times vary from morning to evening, depending on availability. Book your appointment in advance to guarantee availability.
Is psychotherapy for you?
Why yes, of course! Psychotherapy is for everyone! This is a psychotherapy website, did you think the answer would be, "No?" All humor aside, you are probably exploring this website because you are a curious person, interested in exploring yourself. In which case, if you have a deep curiosity about yourself then psychotherapy is likely for you. This does not mean that you have a "problem" or, some "deep issue." Personal growth, insight and increased feelings of well being are something that everyone benefits from. The Greek aphorism "Know Thyself" can be a guide for a person suffering from intense personal distress, or could simply be the cue for a satisfied person seeking deeper self-awareness. Exploring yourself through therapy is a very personal choice, so the best way to fully answer this question is to get to know what therapy is and determine if that's something that sounds right for you. Portions of this website might provide you with the clarity you need, if not, feel free to call Julie and ask her more about what therapy is.
Is Julie the right therapist for you?
This answer is deeply personal and 100% for you to decide. We would love to just say yes, but in truth, Julie is a very strong advocate of "the right fit." Research* shows that much of growth from therapy is based on the relationship of client and therapist, and has less to do with any therapeutic techniques. Julie advises that you seek out several therapists, talk with them on the phone and if you get a good feeling, schedule a first time appointment. A good feeling could be something like an inner thought saying, I want to talk with this person more, or a sense of safety. Therapy helps us trust ourselves and our inner voice; our first task in trusting ourselves in therapy is through choosing our therapist.
To be fair though, anxiety is usually the first emotion that comes up when we are looking into trying therapy. We commonly think we will be judged and we resist with thoughts such as, 'do I really need therapy?' It can feel like a vulnerable situation-- we've been overwhelmed for a long time; we've become out of touch with our feelings and lost our sense of direction and trust. These are difficult occasions to make a decision. If you are in these feelings of fear, you may benefit from words of guidance by the musician Brian Eno, "Listen to the quiet voice." You've experienced it before... we are each propelled to do things and even though we're afraid, we continue to move forward and trust that voice, wading though our fears. Starting therapy doesn't usually feel breezy, or filled with cupcakes and rainbows. So, your choice may not come from a feeling of safety but rather from an unspoken urge. Trust yourself. Julie is such an advocate that you trust yourself, that if you come to a first session with her, and feel that she is not "the right fit" you will not be charged for that session and she will assist you in referrals to find your therapist. As for some general guidance... If you've had a lot of relationship problems, been through a lot of therapists and generally feel like the world and other people are out to get you, then we advise you stay with your therapist at least 8 sessions; hit and run therapy usually perpetuates relationship problems.
*Research from the book Escape from Babel: Toward a Unifying Language for Psychotherapy Practice
What are the overarching ethics of psychotherapy and how can they help you as a client?
This is a very important question. Psychotherapy is an intensely personal relationship, especially for the client; a client's rights, anonymity and well being are of the utmost importance to protect the safety of the client. The vast scope of laws and ethics cannot be covered in its entirety here, but in the State of California you can refer to The Board of Behavioral Sciences website. Additionally, please read the important pamphlet Professional Therapy Never Includes Sex, not only does it provide important information about sexual concerns in therapy, it also discusses other important boundary concerns. These ethics and laws are designed to protect clients.
What can I expect in a therapy session?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. During therapy sessions it is common to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts 50 minutes. Sometimes individuals who are going through a particularly difficult challenge may request more than one session per week. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book, keeping records to track certain behaviors or attending outside support groups, even recreational activities. Between sessions it is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.
Please note that EMDR therapy and Peak Performance Training facilitated by Julie differ in bot session length and therapeutic quality than traditional talk therapy. Please see those sections in this website for more information.
What benefits can I expect from working with a therapist?
Therapy can provide insight and new perspectives into life's challenges and can help create solutions to difficult problems. Many people find that working with a therapist can enhance personal development, improve relationships and family dynamics, and can ease the challenges of daily life. Sometimes, just having someone there to listen is helpful. Overall, people in therapy tend to have lower levels of anxiety and stress, decreased conflict, and improved quality of life.
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety
Modifying unhealthy behavior and long-standing patterns
Attaining insight into personal patterns and behavior
Increasing confidence, peace, vitality, and well-being
Improving ways to manage anger, depression and moods
Discovering new ways to solve problems
Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
Improving listening and communication skills
Enhancing the overall quality of life
What are the potential risks of psychotherapy?
At times, some people may feel varying degrees of distress as they discover aspects of themselves, or their relationships that they may find unpleasant. Past trauma revisited may cause increased anxiety, feelings of depression and anger. Discussing difficult topics with ones partner in couples therapy may also become challenging. Given an awareness of this, it is important to note that many of these feelings are a normal part of growth. On rare occasion, with all the benefits of therapy, there are times when one’s condition may worsen. Please inform Julie if you feel distress so that she can address these feelings as soon as possible. If these issues go unresolved and you are too overwhelmed by therapy, she will be glad to provide you with referrals to adjunctive treatment, or if necessary, to another therapist.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.