Starting therapy with me is an easy process. I hope this guide makes it even easier as you approach your first session.
1. Make an Appointment
The easiest way to make your appointment is to use my online scheduler and view available openings and choose your appointment time. When you make an appointment, you’ll be emailed an appointment confirmation with date and time confirmation and a link to my video platform.
2. Access Your Portal
After you book your appointment, I’ll set you up and email you an invitation to access your online portal. There you can fill out all necessary paperwork and access secure messaging, invoices in the future, upload documents if desired and more.
3. Use Video Platform Link for Appointment
Most people want to utilize video for their appointment although phone calls are an option if you desire. For video, use the link included in both your initial appointment confirmation and 24-hour confirmation emails. Laptops of Desktop computers work best for video appointments, but phones and tablets can also be used. I use a telehealth platform that is HIPAA secure and compliant requiring no downloads or passwords. Just click to enter my “waiting room”, type in your first name and I’ll connect us at our appointment time.
4. During Session
Sessions are 50 minutes. If nervous, remember the pressure is not on you. The first session I like to get a general overview of your struggles and goals. Again, there is no pressure and if you’re on the quiet side I’ll have plenty of questions. Feel free to have pen and paper on hand to make notes and you are always welcome to come with a list of priorities, questions or topics of importance… or not! There is no “right” way to engage therapy except that way that’s comfortable for you.
An important part of anyone’s life is building healthy connections with others. As a San Diego individual and relationship counselor, I have created this page as a diverse guide to community resources in the San Diego area. I have tried to include a wide range of local contacts and opportunities. Also included are some general resource sites that are educational and not San Diego specific. This list will grow over time and if you have a suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact me with your idea.
Important Phone Numbers
- San Diego Crisis Hotline - (800) 479-3339
- San Diego Domestic Violence Hotline - (888) DVLINKS
- San Diego Child Protective Services - (800) 344-6000
Emotional Well-being & Mental Health
- Psychology Today – Good stop for general questions, assessments, resources, etc for mental health.
- Natural Health Web – Guide to natural health and alternative medicine.
- MentalHealth.com – A comprehensive online mental health resource.
- NAMI - Another general site which provides a wealth of information for emotional problems ranging from common to severe, acute or chronic.
- Alcoholics Anonymous - Listing & information for San Diego's twelve step meetings.
- Narcotics Anonymous - Listing & information for San Diego's twelve step meetings.
- Harm Reduction – An informative site on harm reduction theory.
Community & Volunteer Connections
- Meetup.com – Find Groups on virtually any interest in any city. Great resource to connect with others.
- Volunteer San Diego – Nice comprehensive site to search for varied volunteer opportunities in San Diego.
- Humane Society – Volunteer opportunities for animal lovers.
- Animal Welfare Opportunities – A very comprehensive list of the many animal welfare organizations in San Diego that rely on volunteer help.
Recommended Places of Worship
(all the places of worship below are to the best of my understanding open and accepting of all people regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation)
- First United Methodist Church – Mission Valley Methodist Church that is progressive, open and welcoming to all.
- Pacific Beach United Methodist Church – Pacific Beach Methodist Church that is progressive, open and welcoming.
- El Cajon First Presbyterian Church – Great pastor, warm congregation, and accepting.
- First Church of the Brethren – An historic peace church that has a very warm and friendly congregation and work hard to create community.
- First Lutheran Church of SD – A good reconciling church in downtown San Diego.
- University Christian Church – Comes highly recommended!
- MCC – Primarily Gay & Lesbian Church in Hillcrest area.
- Beth Israel – An active Reform community located in University City.
- Hsi Fong Temple – Buddha’s Light Internations Association. Temple and community on Park Blvd. In San Diego.
- Vajrarupini Buddhist Center – Buddhist temple and community in Hillcrest.
- Deer Park Monastery – A beautiful setting in Escondido area that is a wonderful resource for retreats and practice of many forms.
- Unitarian Universalists – Website for the various UU congregations in San Diego.
Domestic Violence & Abuse
- Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-888-DVLINKS
- NCADV - National Coalition Against Domestic Violence - great DV site.
- Verbal Abuse – "Dr. Irene" – a unique and comprehesive site for verbal abuse.
- Verbal Abuse – Patricia Evan’s verbal abuse site. Good resource.
Gay & Lesbian Resources
- Being Alive – Organization working with people who are living with HIV/AIDS.
- Gay & Lesbian Center – link to San Diego’s GLBT center.
- GayChurch.org – a good site for gay Christians complete with a directory to find welcoming congregations.
- KnowCrystal.org – a site for gay men who struggle with crystal meth and its effects in their lives.
Counseling is hard work and many clients want to do more of it between sessions. Aside from putting into motion ideas of change we discuss in the office, several people read between sessions to gather more information and facilitate greater insight. I strongly believe that doing more work between sessions will help sustain motivation, increase knowledge and improve one’s self and relationships. Reading is a great tool to complement sessions and below are some topic areas and books I highly recommend. Bookstores are lined with a sea of psychology books, and I hope this list will help you choose a quality read. The list of suggestions will continue to grow, so feel free to check back for further additions. I believe that most questions are best answered by a professional so get in contact with a San Diego therapist today and call (619) 318-1901.