Wendy J. Salz, MFT
Marina Psychological Services, Inc.
4560 Admiralty Way, Suite 255, Marina Del Rey California, 90292
How do I choose the right therapist for me?
When choosing a therapist it is important to pay attention to how you feel in the room with that person. Are you comfortable? Do you feel heard? Understood? Cared about? Does this person seem genuinely interested in what you have to say? It's also important to know the kind of therapist you want. Do you want someone who mostly listens or do you want to work with someone who is interactive and offers feedback?
Your ability to relate to and feel safe with me is critical for the most positive outcome of therapy. My office becomes a microcosm for the rest of your world. You get to talk about issues that you may not be able to talk about in other places. You may express feelings that until now you've felt restricted from expressing. You have an opportunity to work out relationship issues with friends, partners, parents and family members that have been difficult to resolve. So finding someone who listens without judgment is very important.
Feeling safe is also important in order for you to be open with me. What if I say something that angers you or hurts your feelings? This is the place you learn to address these feelings and if you can't safely do it with me, then you can't learn to do it with others. You need to find someone that you can disagree with, express emotional wounds to and trust that they will process it with you in a therapeutic manner.
How long does therapy last?
This is often on clients' minds at some point during the process of therapy. Each person is individual and how long your work takes depends on the kind of therapy you choose to do. Usually people come to therapy with an immediate issue. It can be a trauma or problem in their life that they are having trouble resolving. Often while working through this issue, other areas of concern present themselves or the client discovers other issues that he or she wants to talk about. Some people work on the presenting problem and feel comfortable stopping the work when it is resolved. Others want to enhance their lives further and find that continuing the work is very valuable for them as they continue to work through any issues they wish to resolve. Still others find that therapy benefits them in lots of ways and want to continue to grow. These people may choose to remain in the process for a longer period of time. You get to decide, but as with all areas of this work, it is best to talk it through with me so you can explore all of your options and make the best decision for yourself.
How long are therapy sessions?
Therapy sessions are typically 45 to 50 minutes. If you find you need a longer session we can arrange to meet for a double session which would be an hour and 40 minutes.
How often do I need to come to therapy?
New clients typically come to sessions once a week. In some cases we may want to start meeting twice a week to deal with more severe feelings or issues or to move more quickly into the work of therapy.
Do you take insurance payments?
I am a contracted provider for Aetna Insurance Company. I accept your copayment and bill Aetna for the remainder of the fee. If you have other PPO insurance, you will pay my fee at the time of your appointment and I will provide you an insurance claim form at the end of the month that you may submit to the insurance company. Payment for the session is due at the time of our meeting. I accept checks or cash.
What is your cancellation policy?
I require 24 hours notice for all cancellations. If you cancel your appointment the night before, that does not qualify as a 24 hour cancellation unless your appointment actually is the next evening. If you do not give 24 hours notice, you are required to pay the entire fee, not just your copay if you are using insurance. I certainly consider true emergencies and if that is the case and the reason you canceled late, I will work with you to find another appointment during the same week to make up for the missed appointment.
Why is consistent attendance important?
Much of the successful work of therapy is dependent on the trust built between client and therapist. This trust develops over time and allows you to do the deeper work of therapy that helps you make the significant changes in your life. The relationship grows through regular time spent together and that is why minimally weekly sessions are so important.