Family Phases Counseling

Growing and changing together...

Frequently Asked Questions:
21243 Ventura Blvd., Suite 121 Woodland Hills, CA 91364 818.883.9962

Psychotherapy is a joint effort between both the client and therapist. And it is a process in which time is set aside on a regular basis to discuss a myriad of issues, events, experiences, and memories for the purposes of creating positive change so that life can be experienced more fully. Opportunities are provided to better and more deeply understand oneself, as well as any problems or difficulties that may be occurring.

It is not unusual for people to feel a little anxious when talking about their concerns with someone they have just met. You will become more comfortable and less anxious each time you meet. Progress and success may vary depending upon the particular problems or issues being addressed, as well as many other factors. The length of treatment varies from person to person, from issue to issue. Sometimes it only takes a few sessions to resolve a specific issue, other times it takes longer. The length of psychotherapy conforms to your needs.

Some people report feeling better after the first session, usually because this is the first time they have really spoken to someone about their issues. Others may feel worse initially. Realistically, it may take a few sessions to notice a difference or to see a different outcome. Periodically, the list of goals that you created will be checked to see if progress is being made.


Marital therapy is a discovery process with the goals of controlling symptoms and restoring a couple to healthy functioning. In regularly scheduled sessions, a couple works with a therapist to identify, learn to manage, and overcome problems. This active discussion process requires concentration and commitment by all parties. The couple must be candid and honest, willing to reveal uncomfortable feelings/thoughts, be open to new ideas, and willing to carry out 'homework' activities. The therapist will point out associations that may not be obvious, and guide the couple to recognize and modify patterns of behavior. Both parties must participate in treatment decisions. In marital therapy, your 'marriage' is the client. Even if single sessions are occasionally necessary, the focus and intention remain on the married couple.


People of all beliefs are welcome at FAMILY PHASES and all of the licensed therapists and registered interns are sensitive to the beliefs of every client who seeks assistance. However, several of our therapists are equipped and qualified to meet the needs of clients who are Christians, and they have received specialized training and instruction in this area. For the Christian client, we understand that affirming Christian principles is fundamental to the change process and therefore, the therapist will apply the resources available along with his/her professional training and experience in addressing issues with the Christian client.


Confidentiality is the hallmark of a counseling relationship. It is designed to create an atmosphere of safety in which anything can be said or discussed. The information disclosed is generally confidential and will not be released to any third party without written authorization; however, there are certain legally defined situations that are exceptions to the rule of confidentiality. These exceptions are:

*situations involving child abuse, elder abuse, or the abuse of a dependent adult
* individuals threats of self-harm
*threats of harm to another

In instances of child abuse, elder abuse, or dependent abuse, the therapist is legally bound to report to the proper authorities. In the case of self-harm, the law allows therapists to take all reasonable steps to prevent suicide. In the case of harm to others, the therapist is required by law to inform the intended victim or victims and to notify the police.


Neither FAMILY PHASES nor any of the therapists are contracted providers with any insurance company or managed care organization. However, your therapist will provide a monthly statement which you can be submit to the insurance company to seek whatever reimbursement of fees already paid.


Our policies and guidelines are intended to clarify the working relationship and to enhance the therapeutic experience. Feel free to speak with your therapist regarding any questions concerning this information:

* You may leave the psychotherapy relationship any time you wish. It is customary/ advisable to discuss the termination of the therapeutic relationship to ensure proper closure.

* Your therapist will discuss your fee with you prior to your first visit to
FAMILY PHASES. You will be charged per session. Our policy is to collect payment at the beginning of each session. You may pay by cash, check, or credit card. At the end of each calendar month you may receive, if you wish, a statement that can be submitted to your insurance company for the purpose of reimbursement. The therapeutic session is 50-minutes in duration. Sessions longer than 50-minutes are charged for the additional time pro rata. Your therapist reserves the right to periodically adjust this fee. You will be notified of any fee adjustment in advance.

* Your session has been set aside for you; therefore you will be financially responsible for all scheduled appointments. The full fee will be charged for cancelled/missed sessions without 24 hours notification. Late arrivals to sessions will end at the regularly scheduledtime and be charged the full fee.

* Phone calls will be returned in a timely fashion should you need to speak with your therapist between sessions. In the event that a lengthy call is required or requested, you will be charged at the regular session rate.

* Should inpatient care become necessary, all treatment for the duration of the care will transferred to the facility and staff.