counseling murrieta

That odd feeling could be a panic attack

You think to yourself: "Something is seriously wrong with me." You step into your office and you feel like the walls are caving in. You try to take a few extra deep breaths, but you fear that you will choke. No matter how hard you try, you still can't catch your breath. You begin to sweat, and then suddenly, a wave of embarrassment washes over you. You don't want anyone to notice that you're struggling over here.

You rush to the bathroom as fast as you can to try to get control of yourself and it feels like you might throw up all over yourself. You hope you don't faint. Your body feels hot and you're lightheaded. After what feels like an eternity, you're able to get it together. You stay in the bathroom for a few extra minutes, but after that incident, you spend a lot of time worrying that it'll happen again.

Now it's all you can think about. Anytime you go to the store, you think "Will this happen to me again?" You leave your house and wonder, "Will today be the day?" After a while, your worry actually brings on another episode and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

 If this has ever happened to you, it’s possible that you might have experienced a panic attack. First of all, it’s important to get checked by your physician to ensure that you’re not suffering from a physical health condition. Your doctor would also want to check that it isn’t being caused by a substance or medication.

Panic attacks often create very high anxiety. You try to keep it all under control, then you spend a lot of time worrying that they will happen again, which could then trigger another attack. If you experience panic attacks you might also experience dizziness, a choking sensation, trembling, shaking, hot flashes, nausea, difficulty catching your breath, pounding heart and even fear that you may be dying.

But you know what? Panic attacks are treatable by mental health counselors. Please don't be ashamed. Pick up the phone and reach out for help. The sooner you reach out, the sooner you can begin your journey of recovery. 

So if you’re in the Murrieta or Temecula area and you’ve been struggling with panic attacks or anxiety, don’t stay silent. Click here to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with me so we can decide how we can work together to help you find your calm. You can also all me on 951-905-3181. Sometimes all you need is some therapy or counseling. You deserve all the joy in the world.

If you're not close to the Murrieta area, but you reside in California, I also provide online sessions. Reach out for help today.

What is therapy?

Therapy or psychotherapy or counseling is simply treating mental health disorders while keeping the person's individual relationships and environment in mind. It doesn't matter if you call me a therapist, a psychotherapist or a counselor-I'm fine with all three titles. 'Mental health disorders' sounds really harsh, but what that simply means is some type of psychological problem one has which is causing him or her distress. Depression causes distress, so does anxiety, so does anorexia, so does OCD, and so do schizophrenia, phobias, PTSD, insomnia and Bipolar disorder. Some mental health disorders are very severe and people struggle with them for a lifetime. While others last for a few weeks or a few months at a time. Some are recurrent and come back after a while, and some show up for a few weeks and never return. A mental health diagnosis does not make you 'crazy.' In fact millions of people work and raise families while living with a mental health disorder. 

Think of it this way-there are also millions of people around the world who struggle with physical health disorders and who live fruitful lives. Would you call them crazy? I'd hope not.

When you are on the lookout for a therapist, expect that each therapist you talk to will be very different. Don't expect to instantly form a connection with every therapist you call- simply because they have a master's degree or a doctorate. Some people will talk too slowly for you, some will be too pushy and then one will be just right.

Different therapists work from different perspectives. Some work from a cognitive perspective, which means they focus on the way you think. Others work from a behavioral perspective-they are more concerned with how you act. Still others work from a systemic perspective- taking into account your family background, your upbringing and your environment. Some rely heavily on helping you tap into your emotions, while others will never even mention the word 'emotions.'

Some therapists will take notes as you are talking, others will use a tablet or a laptop and still some will not take any notes. Typically when you walk into a therapist's office, expect him or her to ask you lots of questions about your medical history, childhood history and mental health history. This information is golden for us as we use it to figure out how best to help you. The more honest you are, the easier it will be for us to get you to your goal.

So therapy isn't this weird mysterious thing. It just looks very much like 2 people sitting across from each other and having conversations until the other person begins to feel better. You are free to ask questions and your therapist is your ally.

For a free 15 minute phone consultation with me, click here to email me or call me at 951-905-3181. You can ask me all the questions you want so we can figure out how therapy can help you. And if you decide I'm not the best fit for you, that's okay too. It's all a normal part of the process. But give yourself a chance to be free of anxiety and find the calm you deserve.

Why does therapy cost so much?

You have searched on every website out there hoping to find a good therapist but it just doesn't seem like the ones you like are affordable. Why on earth are these therapists and counselors in Temecula and Murrieta so mean? Why do they cost an arm and a leg? Don't they want to be helpful?

 Well I'll tell you why from my point of view:

 Therapist's background

A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) is a professional with at least a master's degree. Some have PhDs or Doctorate degrees. I even know one who has 2 PhDs! This means it took a minimum of 6 years of college for your therapist to actually learn her specialized skills. Some MFT masters programs take 3 years to complete, increasing the learning time. If the therapist has a Phd it probably took her (or him) anywhere from 3 to 6 additional years of school after the masters' degree. 

To become licensed in the state of California, in addition to spending all that time in school, a therapist must also become an intern while in school. So for 1 to 2 years, not only are we taking a large number of classes, learning about law and ethics, diagnosis, human relationships, child development, research and a wide array of other important topics to help you, we are also spending literally thousands of hours seeing clients to make sure we know what we are doing. We are honing our skills and getting shaped into the professionals that sit in front of you today. It is similar to how a surgeon goes through a residency to sharpen his or her skills.

 Once we graduate from university , we must get 3,000 hours of client experience while we are under the supervision of someone who is licensed. So even though we've studied for years, completed a supervised internship, we still need to continue learning. 3,000 hours of client experience doesn't mean we are just sitting in a room for 8 hours a day and racking up hours. It means the hours that count are those spent sitting in front of clients. It takes years to complete these hours. Anywhere from 2 to even 6 years, depending on the situation. We also meet with our supervisor every week for 1 to 2 hours while we are interns. Our supervisors check our paperwork, ask us questions about the clients and basically make sure we aren't ruining people's lives. So 4 years of undergrad, 2 to 3 years of masters', and possibly another 3 years of on the job work.

After our 3,000 hours are done, we then sit through 2 rigorous exams. It took me months to study for and pass the exams. So when you think of it, your therapist spends anywhere from 8 to 12 years training to get their license. We might not be physicians, but we sure do train like long and hard like them.


Therapist's attention to detail

Usually when a therapist charges higher fees, it typically means that he or she can be very picky about the clients he or she takes on. Why is this important? Because if I took on every client who called me, I would be doing them a huge disservice. I only take on clients whom I know will be a great fit for me. No one is a jack of all trades, so I choose wisely. I see very few clients, but I know that the few I have are getting the best of my attention. Before I even meet you, I am already trying to figure out the best way to serve you. And after you are out of the room, I create a treatment plan-a document that describes what goals and objectives we will be working on together. Let's be honest. No therapist is great at treating all types of clients, so have a conversation with your therapist about who they're great at working with. Don't just sign up with a therapist because they're cheap or they take your insurance. This is your life we're talking about here.

You might think you're paying for an hour-long session, but really your therapist is working on helping you before you sit in the couch and after you're gone.

Before each session, many therapists plan and prepare to make sure we will be of good service to you, and after you leave we do some documentation detailing how the session went and our plan for the next session. It's how we track progress. If your insurance is being billed, then the documentation is a lot longer. We would have to meet insurance standards as well.

 My small client load allows me to give my best work and to be as attentive to you as possible. Have you ever sat in front of a doctor and felt that he was trying to rush you out of the room? Or that he didn't know you? That's a feeling I never want you to have. I pride myself in giving each client 5 star service. But honestly, if I charged lower fees and saw each client for only 30 minutes, I'll start to forget your name and you become inconsequential. But when I charge slightly higher, I only see a few people at a time and I give you the best of my energy. I know what direction your life is going, I know exactly how close you are in meeting your goals-I actually remember you.

Charging very low fees could potentially lead to resentment of the client as the therapist might not be making ends meet-which will be sad considering the years spent on honing one's skills. This will be a waste of my time and yours.

It's similar to the service you get when you go to a discount store, compared to the service you get at a small upscale boutique. Now this doesn't mean that therapists who charge higher are better, it just means that they typically see fewer clients and they have more time to do the back end work.

 So, what do you think of therapists' fees in the Inland Empire or Murrieta area?

If you're tired of carrying around, anxiety, resentment and stress, schedule a free 15 minute consultation call.  It's time to find your calm and get back to the real you. Call me at 951-905-3181 at my counseling office in Murrieta so we can help you ditch the anxiety.