What To Bring To Your First Appointment:
Forms: Email this completed INTAKE PACKET to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to your first appointment
Payment: Cash, Check, Credit Card, Venmo (@AngelaMariaCostello)
An open mind
1460 7th Street Suite 306, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Parking: Metered on 7th/Broadway)
28310 Roadside Drive Suite 202, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Frequently Asked Questions:
1 – When is the right time to start therapy? Every client’s needs are unique. Some clients start therapy when they are already in the middle of a crisis or major change in their lives, such as a divorce, recent death, or they are trying to stop an addiction. Other clients begin when they are going through a life transition or emotional distress and are curious about exploring it further with someone outside of their social circle. The main requirement to start therapy is a willingness to participate. An initial assessment is done in the first session to determine if the client and therapist are a good fit, and if this is the appropriate level of care for the client.
2 – I’m looking for a therapist for someone else, but I don’t know how to bring the subject up to him/her. What should I do? Telling someone you think they should see a therapist can be daunting. Select an appropriate time and place to talk to them, with limited distractions. Approach them with empathy by giving them information, use “I” statements, and let them decide. You could say something like, “I really care about you, and I’m worried about you. I found someone that might be able to help change how things are now. I’m here to support you. Here’s the information, and I’m here for you when you’re ready to talk about it.”
3 – Do you accept clients of all ages? I work with clients ages six and up.
4 – Do you accept insurance? The short answer is: no. I am an out-of-network provider with all insurance companies. Each client will pay the private pay rate (listed directly below). At your request, I can provide you with a receipt for you to submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.
5 – What is the cost per session? $250/session for individuals and $300/session for couples/families. Sessions are 45 minutes in length.
6 – How often should I see a therapist? Clients typically meet with a therapist on a weekly basis. The frequency may increase or decrease depending on the client’s individual needs, the severity of their symptoms and personal preference. Some clients participate in brief solution focused therapy for a few months until their crisis is resolved, while others participate on a consistent weekly basis for years as an integral part of their self-care.
7 – How long does it take for me to see the results of the therapy? When a client actively participates in treatment (attending sessions on a weekly basis, applying learned skills and tools between sessions, practicing rigorous honesty), there is greater probability of life-enhancing change and experiencing noticeable improvement. Keep in mind that therapy is a process; not a quick fix. Some clients experience a gradual change that is subtle and slowly noticeable over the course of a few months, while others report experiencing a clearly noticeable shift within the first few sessions. It all depends on the individual client.
8 – What is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)? LMFTs are relationship specialists who treat people involved in interpersonal relationships. They are trained to assess, diagnose and treat individuals, couples, families and groups to achieve more adequate, satisfying and productive marriage, family and social adjustments. Marriage and Family Therapists are psychotherapists and healing arts practitioners licensed by the State of California. Requirements for licensure include a master’s degree, passage of two comprehensive examinations and at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience regulated by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (Reference: California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists – CAMFT).
9 – Can you explain the different kinds of theoretical approaches you use in your practice?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Aims at changing the way a person thinks in order to manage feelings and behaviors.
Family Systems Therapy: Focuses on the family as a system, whereby the individual problems are a result of the members influencing each other. Therapy is aimed at alleviating current symptoms through altering a family’s transactions and organization. This can be done with an individual, couple or family.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: Guides the client in practicing the mental discipline of intentional thought process and behaviors, and accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment.
Psychodynamic Therapy: Examines childhood and adulthood experiences to better understand how the subconscious is affecting a person’s current thinking and behavior. Through the client/therapist relationship, the client is able to discover new ways to perceive and live life.
Solution Focused Therapy: Assists the client in focusing on the here-and-now by building upon their strengths in order to find solutions, rather than placing emphasis on the problem.
The Model of Developmental Immaturity: Helping the client understand the family of origin issues that brought them to the symptoms of their addictions, mood disorders and relationship struggles.
If you are interested in getting help or want information for a loved one: