If you’re ready to start bringing change to your life, you’re in the right place! 

In the LEFT column, you can learn more about the logistics of our work, and download the forms needed for our first session.
In the RIGHT column, you can learn more about “How to Get the Most From Your Individual Therapy” – a few guidelines that will help you before you set foot in the door.

If you have questions or are ready to schedule your initial consultation, please contact me directly at 310-268-7792 or e-mail.

The Logistics…

For the initial session, I ask that you complete three forms that will help us begin our work together. You may download and complete each form (attached below in Adobe Acrobat). Completing these will give you time to reflect upon the concerns that have led you to seek help and provide me with some background information about you. If for any reason you cannot download these forms, you may come to my office 30 minutes prior to your initial appointment and complete them there.

Forms you can download & complete prior to the initial appointment:

Our initial session is 80 minutes in length; weekly sessions thereafter are 50 minutes.  The fee is $250 for the initial session, $175 thereafter. Fees are collected at the time of service. Changes in the frequency and duration of sessions can vary based on your needs and clinical recommendations. Weekly sessions are generally recommended, especially in the beginning. After this period, it is possible to do couples work on an every other week basis. During times of crisis, increased frequency may be needed.

A note about fees & insurance… Deciding the best course of treatment is a decision that should be made between you and I.  So that such decisions are not influenced by an insurance company, I have chosen not to be an in-network provider for any carrier.  This further protects my clinical independence and your confidentiality.

As a licensed clinical psychologist, my services are covered under most insurance plans for which you can utilize out of network coverage.  Should you wish to bill your insurance, monthly statements are provided with the necessary information for you to be reimbursed.  You may want to consult your insurance provider as co-pays, deductibles and reimbursement rates vary from plan to plan, and may change based on diagnosis. When you call, ask about out of network coverage to see a psychologist.

Get started now… Call (310) 268-7792 or e-mail.

How to Get the Most from Your Individual Therapy…

Individuals are often uncertain what to expect from the process of therapy.  Perhaps you’ve never been and it seems mysterious, perhaps you’ve been many times before and it’s quite comfortable.  Either way, you want to get the most out of your therapy.  Here are a few guiding principles that can help start the process.  I’ve found that persons who can consider these factors will get the most out of the process.

  1. Make the investment. Therapy is a significant investment of time, finances and energy.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were the issues that are leading you into therapy.  Respect the process… It isn’t endless, but you should be ready to commit to a minimum of 3-6 months of weekly therapy to really get the most out of it.
  2. Vision your goals for therapy. Spend time considering your goals for therapy.   Often we know what we don’t want, but have a harder time knowing what we do want.   Frame your goal in the affirmative.  What would your life look like if therapy was successful?
  3. Accept Responsibility. The only person that can change in therapy is you.  Sounds simple, but so often much time is devoted to complaining about other people and situations – things over which we lack control.  This provides a quick path to stress, anxiety and depression.   Look in the mirror.  Don’t get stuck in blame, rather take responsibility for your part and explore what you can do differently.
  4. Learn from history. “History repeats itself, but in such cunning disguise that we never detect the resemblance until the damage is done.” (Sydney J. Harris).  So often we think it’s in the past, we should be over it or I’ve already worked through it, nevertheless we’re all affected by it.  Rather than ask if it your history affects you, ask how it affects you.  This is key in breaking the repetition.
  5. Listen to your body. All those emotional issues we carry around with us live in our body.  If we’re not taking care of our body, we’re not taking care of our soul.  Good physical health promotes good mental health, and vice versa.  Put simply, eat healthy & exercise.
  6. Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness is all the rage these days.  Truth be told, these practices have been known to be healing for centuries.  Engaging in a mindfulness activity – deep breathing, meditation, prayer, yoga, etc. – is essential in our fast paced culture to slow down body and mind, and become more present.
  7. Be Compassionate. We all know that we can be our own worst critic, beating ourselves up over just about anything.   I’ll be the first to say that therapy can be hard work – sharing your story, warts and all, can expose feelings of vulnerability, shame, regret.   Developing a compassionate response to your story is catalyst for healing and change.

It Can Be Done!  Some of this may seem daunting to you, but I want you to know that it can be done.  The first step is having the curiosity and openness to start the process.  That’s all.   I will help you from there.

Start now.  Contact me at:  310-268-7792 or Michael@DrMIchaelD.com