Help For New Clients
If you’re a new client, please complete the following forms and bring them to your first therapy session.
- Client Psychotherapy Intake Form
- Limits of Confidentiality/Therapy Cancellation Policy
- Informed Consent for Services
If you would like me to coordinate care with another provider (for example, your psychiatrist, primary care physician, etc.), complete this form to authorize release of psychotherapy information:
Associations & Institutes
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
American Counseling Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
Association for Psychological Science
Canadian Mental Health Association
Center for Mental Health Services
National Institute of Mental Health
Mental Health America
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Child Abuse and Domestic Violence
SAMHSA’s Children and Families
SAMHSA’s Protection and Advocacy
Questions and Answers about Memories of Childhood Abuse
The National Domestic Violence Hotline Website
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
DSM-IV-TR: Diagnoses and Criteria
Dissociation and Traumatic Stress
Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute
Journals & Magazines
Anxiety, Stress and Coping
Depression and Anxiety
Drug and Alcohol Review
Early Child Development and Care
Journal of Gambling Studies
Journal of Happiness Studies
Journal of Mental Health and Aging
Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Language and Cognitive Processes
Loss, Grief & Care
Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Metaphor and Symbol
Personality and Individual Differences
Psychology of Men & Masculinity
Stress and Health
Studies in Gender and Sexuality
Trauma, Violence & Abuse
Medications and Health Supplements
Drug Interactions, Drugs.com
Drug Interactions, DIRECT
Medication, Internet Mental Health
Mental Health Care General Links
Internet Mental Health
Let’s Talk Facts, APA
Mental Health Counselor Resources, About.com
Mental Help Net
University of Michigan Health Library
Web Sites You Can Trust, Medical Library Association
The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.
Getting Started is Easy
Free 20 Min Chat
Schedule a free chat with me to see how I can support you best.
After our free chat, if you feel I can help, schedule an appointment with me for a 1-hr consultation.
We’ll meet in my office where your comfort and privacy are my priority.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
What are your rates?
$140 – $180 per 50 minute session
I am currently only accepting PPO and out of network provider.
Reduced fee services are available on a limited basis.
Cash, check and all major credit cards accepted for payment.
If you do not show up for your scheduled therapy appointment, and you have not notified us at least 24 hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of the session.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.
Ask a question or book an appointment below.
Debbie G. Ramirez, LCSW
1230 Rosecrans Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266