Frequently Asked Questions
What if something comes up and I cannot keep a scheduled session?
If that happens please notify me at least 48 hours in advance. If you cancel with less than 48 hours notice, you will be charged the full price for the session. Please note that my insurance company contract is subject to cancellation if I bill for sessions that did not actually occur. You are personally responsible for the full insurance payment for missed sessions, not just the co-pay.
Where is you office located?
My office is located at 1885 The Alameda in San Jose on VTA Bus Route 22, not far from Clara University and very close to the I-880/The Alameda interchange. See the Directions page or click here for bus route, driving instructions or a local map.
Do you accept credit cards? What kind of payments do you accept?
I accept cash, check, MasterCard or Visa credit/debit cards. The copay and any other amount not covered by your insurance must be paid at the time of service. You are also responsible for any fees which my bank charges me if your check does not clear.
How long do I need to be in therapy?
It is not possible to give a single answer. For some issues it may be only a few weeks. Some persons find it helpful to be in therapy for many months. This is something we will discuss at your first session and then review again from time to time to assure there are no misunderstandings.
How long is each session and how often?
The standard “therapy hour” is 50 minutes to allow time between sessions for clients to leave and enter, and for me to take a quick break. The frequency of the sessions can be adjusted according to urgency and need.
Do you do on-line or phone counseling?
I find that face-to-face sessions in the office are the most effective so I do not make a practice of on-line or phone counseling except for extenuating circumstances with private pay clients I have already been seeing regularly in my office. Insurance companies will only pay for in-office sessions.
What age groups do you serve?
I am devoting my individual and couples practice to adults and seniors. My couples practices is for partners regardless of marital status or sexual orientation.
Do you see clients with addiction problems?
While I do not specialize in treating addiction, I do see clients who are sincere about working on their emotional or trauma problems regardless of whether they are in recovery or have relapsed, but with one clear understanding: I will not conduct a therapy session with any client who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or engaging in any potentially dangerous or threatening behavior. It is counterproductive to attempt therapy under such circumstances. The client must come to each session physically and emotionally sober.
Will my employer find out about my coming to see you?
Since the group rate that the insurance company charges your employer depends on the
employee usage of the plan, the insurance companies do have to tell the employer information about overall utilization of the plan without identifying individuals. How much detail is provided varies among insurance companies so it is best to check directly with your health insurance company if this is a concern to you. I can, however, assure you that in no case will I divulge ANY information about your personal life or our therapy sessions.
What are the benefits of therapy from a bi-lingual therapist?
After World War II the US Army of Occupation in Japan found that soldiers who were bi-lingual had much less difficulty interacting with the unfamiliar culture of Japan than soldiers who spoke only English. It did not matter what the second language was – French, Mexican, German, Navaho, or whatever – just the experience of being bi-lingual gave the soldiers an increased ability to relate to other people. Having lived half my life in an ancient (Chinese) culture with traditional parents and half in a modern (American) culture with an American partner, I can readily see life from a wide point-of-view.
What is NARM?
NARM (Neuro Affective Relational Model) is a modern understanding of relationships and self-regulation. When core biological and psychological needs are not fully met in early in life, our ability to self-regulate, build positive identity and feel self-confident are compromised. At that time we developed limited - and often disorganized, disconnected, or poorly regulated - social survival styles. Unfortunately these styles become unconscious habits which we continue to use far beyond their usefulness. As a NARM therapist I work bottom-up, noticing such habits and nervous system shifts as they occur, pointing them out so the client can build new more mature habits. I also work top-down, using ideation and positive emotions to build internal strengths and develop positive connections with self and others.
What is PsychoDrama?
PsychoDrama is a technique in which the room is imagined to be a stage and the client becomes a movie “director” who places on the "stage" various props representing characters from the client’s real-life problem. As the "director"(client) who knows the “story”(problem) has the characters “talk”, “move”, or otherwise act out various scenes of the problem, the assistant director(therapist) may, for example, suggest that the client move to a different spot on the "stage". Viewing the “scene”(problem) from a different angle the client now “sees” the problem in a whole new light.
What is Somatic Experiencing?
Somatic Experiencing® is a body-awareness approach to healing shock trauma developed by Dr.. Peter Levine. By releasing the overwhelming energy that was stored in the body during a traumatic event, SE restores self-regulation, and returns a sense of aliveness, and wholeness. For a dramatic description of SE by Dr. Levine himself, click HERE or go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSjityEv4M8.