Susan Tschudi, LMFT - Marriage and Family Therapist - Westlake Village, CA
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I know I need therapy?
Some of the key warning signs are listed below to let you know when you should seek out a therapist, or refer a friend or relative to a therapist:
•Persistent unresolved problems
•Lack of communication
•Anger/withdrawal/isolation
•Ongoing depression/anxiety
•Any suicidal thoughts
•Lack of energy
•Decreased sexual intimacy
•Severe change in mood/attitude
•Emotional outburst
•Traumatic events that continue to be bothersome
•Major life crisis: death in the family, major crisis with jobs, divorce, chronic illness or terminal illness
•Life cycle changes: marriage, birth, adolescence, empty nest, and aging parents

What can I expect from individual therapy?
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 we meet.

The length of treatment varies from person to person, from issue to issue. Sometimes it only takes a few sessions to resolve a specific issues, other times it takes longer. The length of psychotherapy conforms to your needs.

The frequency of sessions also depends upon the presenting issue. Some find once a week meetings necessary for a while; others come in every other week until things are resolved.

What can we expect from marital therapy?
Marital therapy is a discovery process with the goal of restoring a couple to healthy functioning. In regularly scheduled sessions, I work with couples to identify, overcome and learn to manage problems by helping each partner to understand better ways to communicate with each other and to resolve current conflicts.  

Frequency of sessions depends upon the current situation, but generally, I meet with couples every other week.

In marital therapy, your ‘marriage’ is the client. So, even if single sessions are necessary from time to time, the focus and intention remains on the relationship.
 
Do you take insurance?
I have chosen not to participate in any insurance panels as my previous experience has been that the insurance companies, in their effort to cut costs, limit sessions and ask too many intrusive questions.

My clients pay me when I provide services and then, once a month I give them an 'insurance reimbursement ready' form that can be turned in for the purpose of reimbursement. Each insurance company and policy is different so there are no guarantees.

You are a Marriage and Family therapist, does that mean you don't treat individuals?
While one area of my expertise is in helping distressed couples regain marital harmony, I also work with many individuals. The ages of my clients vary, but generally speaking I work with older adolescents and adults.

What problems do you treat?
I treat most of the common problems that people face including, but not limited to: Adult (and older adolescent) ADD/ADHD; Anxiety; Panic attacks; Anger and resentment; Grief and bereavement; Bipolar disorder; Depression; Parenting problems; Phobias, Trauma and trauma experiences; Sexuality and sexual addictions; Spiritual issues.

What about confidentiality?
Confidentiality is the hallmark of the therapy process, which means that everything that is said in a therapy session will be kept confidential. This rule is in place in order to create a safe atmosphere for the client because it can be hard to talk about personal things with someone that you don't know. However, there are exceptions to every rule and the exceptions to confidentiality fall into two categories: 1) Abuse of children, the elderly and the gravely disabled. Any information regarding abuse must be reported by the therapist to the appropriate authority; 2) Confidentiality can be broken if anyone has a serious threat of harm to self (suicide) or harm to another (homicide). In both cases, the laws are in place to protect those who aren't able to protect themselves.

What are your hours?
I am in my office Monday - Thursday during the day and evening and Fridays during the day. I hold evening hours during the week in order to accommodate those who work and can't get away during the day.

For more information or for answers to any questions please contact me:
Telephone: (805) 557-0405
Email: therapybysusan@gmail.com

 


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