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FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question below to see the answer. If you have further questions, please call us at 951-290-2997 or contact us here.

What is a Sigil?

Back in the middle ages, when a kingdom would send a message from one place to another they would impress their seal or sigil upon the wax that sealed the letter. It was their way of saying, this is the legitimate communication and you can trust that it is from me because I have put my sigil on it. Our Sigil that we use is a square with SSF inside it, standing for Sigil Social Foundation. It looks like this:

sigilsfsquarelogo

We use Sigil in our name because communication is the cornerstone of a healthy social foundation.

Discover more by googling sigils, seals, signets and japanese woodblock signatures.

Who is a LMFT?

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) are relationship and individual specialists who treat persons involved in interpersonal relationships. They are trained to assess, diagnose and treat individuals, couples, children, adolescents, families to achieve more adequate, satisfying and productive marriage, family and social adjustments. The practice also includes premarital counseling, child counseling, divorce or separation counseling and other relationship counseling. Marriage and Family Therapists are psychotherapists and healing arts practitioners licensed by the State of California. Requirements for licensure include a related doctoral or master’s degree, passage of two comprehensive written examinations and at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience.

Why see a LMFT?

Marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) practice early crisis intervention and brief, focused psychotherapy to resolve problems or reduce symptoms in the shortest time possible. They also have the expertise and skills to work with persons where more intensive, long-term treatment is necessary to alleviate or relieve mental or emotional conditions. Clients who are treated by marriage and family therapists are more productive at work, visit their doctors less often, and have lower average lengths of stay at in-patient facilities. (according to the Board of Behavior Sciences) Marriage and family therapists believe that an individual’s mental or emotional problems must be treated within the context of his or her current or prior relationships if the gains are to be meaningful and productive for the patient.

Competent therapists do not offer solutions or take sides. They help clients work out solutions according to individual values and lifestyles. Seeking professional assistance is a sign of courage and a willingness to deal with life’s many changes. How private is my session with a therapist? The issues you discuss with your therapist are protected by confidentiality laws. Examples of times when confidentiality must be broken are when child abuse has occurred or where the patient threatens violence against another person. Prior to seeing a therapist you will be asked to read and sign a confidentiality agreement. This agreement goes over your privacy rights and any legal limitations.

What types of issues can therapy help?

These include, but are not limited to (and in no particular order):

  • Depression or other mood disorder, such as bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorder, phobias, social anxiety, or panic attacks
  • Grief and loss
  • Anger management
  • Abuse or trauma
  • Medical illnesses such as chronic pain
  • Marital/Relationship problems
  • Attention deficit disorder, learning disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder, Asperger syndrome
  • Work problems
  • Eating disorders
  • Divorce and separation
  • Family problems, including blended family issues
  • Stress management
  • Child behavioral and emotional problems
  • Obsessive thinking or compulsive behavior
  • Combat-related trauma or other post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Life coaching and social skills
  • Communication skills
  • Self-esteem
  • Independent Living Skills
  • LGBT
  • Rape crisis
  • Self-injurious behavior
  • Trust issues

What is marriage or couples therapy?

Marriage therapy is a special type of mental health service where partners meet face to face with a trained marital therapist in a private and confidential setting. In this setting the couple expresses their feelings, problems and frustrations about themselves and their partner. Through the skilled interventions of the therapist, the couple is able to identify mutual goals and establish a more positive and satisfying way of interacting. Marriage therapy, or couples therapy, helps couples, married or not, understand and resolve their problems and improve their relationship. With therapy, couples learn tools to communicate better, find solutions to differences, problem solve and even disagree in a healthier way.

What happens in the first session?

The structure of the first session is basically an Intake, which entails information gathering. You will be asked to fill out various forms which your therapist will verbally go over with you -a registration form, consent to treatment and confidentiality form, information on your insurance, a document outlining the office policies and fees, and your rights and responsibilities. This is called “informed consent.”

After a few “icebreaker” comments, your therapist will ask questions to gather information in order to better understand the stressors or problems for which you are seeking help; questions such as present medical conditions, current medications, past or current depression, stress or anxiety issues, suicidal or homicidal thoughts or actions, hallucinations, sleep and appetite concerns, and whether or not you have any difficulties concentrating. You will also be asked about alcohol or drug use. While the issues that brought you to counseling cannot be resolved in one session, many people start to feel better because they have had the chance to talk to an objective listener and have begun to take action to change their current situation.

What can I expect from therapy?

Therapy is a process that requires your participation and commitment. Problems build up over time and they take time to resolve. Some of the potential benefits of therapy are:

  • Figuring out how to better cope with old problems and new stressors. Often these issues have many sides. Through therapy you have a chance to examine life issues within a positive, supportive environment and gain better coping skills.
  • Breaking harmful habits. Sometimes unhealthy habits form in response to stressors, to escape emotional pain and/or to feel more socially comfortable. Therapy can help put you back in the driver’s seat, re-establishing control over your life.
  • Creating healthier relationships–one of the essential factors of thriving. Therapy can be beneficial in fostering healthy relationships throughout your life.
  • Discovering personal strengths. Therapy can help you discover your strengths and begin to use them for personal growth and to overcome obstacles in life.

What do I need to do to maximize the potential benefits of therapy?

  • Attend scheduled sessions regularly as determined by you and your therapist.
  • Be specific and honest about the concerns that led you to seek therapy.
  • Together with your therapist, establish goals for your sessions.
  • Participate actively in sessions.
  • Begin to practice and integrate what you are learning through therapy in your everyday life.
  • Tell your therapist if you do not think the sessions are helping.

What if I feel that I am not a good match or I'm not comfortable with my therapist?

It is best to address this with your therapist. He/she can assist you in communicating any preferences you may have and discuss any problems that occurred with regard to your comfort in therapy. Although limited, we do have multiple therapists available and are happy to transfer you to another therapist if needed. We can also provide you with referrals to a community provider if that best fits your needs and preferences.

Isn't therapy just for mentally ill people?

No. While therapy is one type of treatment for people with a mental illness, just about everyone can get a lot from therapy at some time in his or her life. Clients who are treated by therapists are more productive at work, visit their doctors less often, and have lower average lengths of stay at in-patient facilities. (according to the Board of Behavior Sciences)

Wouldn't it be better just to tough it out?

 Things might blow over if I just hang in there. Sometimes this can work, depending on how bad your problems are and how much support you have. But think about having a bad toothache and not going to the dentist — you keep on hurting and the problem will probably get worse. The earlier you get help, the more you can stop things from getting worse.

Are there any potential risks to seeking therapy?

Discussing personal matters with a therapist may be a new experience. You may possibly experience some uncomfortable emotions such as feeling nervous or sad during the therapy process as you put forth effort toward understanding your problems and how to overcome them. Your therapist will help you to move through these feelings.

For hypnosis related questions, click here.