Frequently Asked Questions
I've never been to therapy before. How can I plan for my first session ahead of time?
If you've never been to therapy before, there might still be a chance that you have either known someone who has been to therapy or you have maybe seen something like therapy on tv. The truth is that therapy can be a completely different experience from one therapist to the next. Because of this, I can't speak to what therapy will be like with other therapists, but I can explain to you what to expect with me. I've devoted an entire page on that. Click here for more information.
Generally speaking, you shouldn't have to do too much ahead of time. Your first session with me will involve completing paperwork, getting acquainted with one another, and figuring out what your therapeutic goals are so that I may begin your treatment planning.
Sure, it's easy to say that there's nothing to be afraid of, but I understand how anxiety works and realize that my reassurance isn't going to magically make nervous feelings disappear. I have, however, heard many people who were new to therapy and reluctant to come to therapy say that they were pleasantly surprised by how much better they felt after their first session. Therapy, at best, can provide a great sense of relief.
How long will I need to come to therapy?
The length of time can vary, considerably, depending on your needs. I can promise you this: I will not try to keep you in therapy if you have made progress and have met your goals.
Sometimes therapy is really brief - five to ten sessions, goals are met, and client moves on. Other times therapy can become a much longer-term relationship (particularly when processing through trauma). I generally recommend that a person come to therapy as long as it is serving their needs and offer an opportunity for clients to wean themselves off from therapy if they are making progress. It is not uncommon for me to see clients weekly and then start seeing them biweekly, then monthly until they feel they don't need to come in for maintenance any longer. This happens a lot with couples, in particular, because they typically want to be sure that the changes they've worked on will be sustainable over time.
What is sex therapy?
Sex therapy is talk therapy with an emphasis on addressing sexual issues and concerns with a therapist who has received extensive training in human sexuality. I hold a position of sex-positivity - meaning that I have a positive attitude about sex and sexuality in general. Sometimes sex therapy can feel more educational than clinical.
Is there any physical touch involved in sex therapy?
No, there is no physical touch involved in the type of therapy I provide. Any type of sexual contact is strictly prohibited by my license to practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist and as a Certified Sex Therapist. Sexual Surrogacy is not the same as sex therapy.
Is it possible to save a relationship after cheating has happened?
Yes. I absolutely believe that it is not only possible, but that working through the emotional challenges that can happen as a result of cheating can actually improve the relationship. It's not always popular to say this, but human beings are not necessarily wired for monogamy; it is a choice that people make to be in a monogamous relationship together. When the promise of monogamy is broken, it can severely damage trust and cause feelings of hopelessness about the relationship for both people - but it does not have to be a death sentence for the relationship. (See Esther Perel's Ted Talk on "Why Happy Couples Cheat")
What do you think of "reparative therapy" or "conversion therapy?"
I think it's extremely unethical and has caused a lot of damage to many people. A lot of my work has involved undoing harm caused by internalized homophobia.
See AASECT's Position on Sexual Orientation and Reparative Therapy for more information.