Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's):

What is your fee?

$180 per 50 minute therapy session.  I accept cash, check, and major credit cards. 

Do you take insurance? 

I am not accepting insurance at this time. 

*Some insurance plans allow you to access “Out of Network” benefits, in which case I can provide you with a form which you can submit to your insurance company to try and receive reimbursement.

 

I recommend calling the number on the back of your insurance card to find out what your specific plan’s policy and reimbursement rate is for "Out of Network" mental health providers.

 

Who do you work with?

I work exclusively with individual adults, age 18 and older. 

I do not provide therapy for children, adolescents, or teens.  Please note that I also do not offer couples counseling or family therapy.

Do you offer online therapy?

I offer online video therapy when it is appropriate and only for California residents.  For more information about online therapy, visit my Online/Video Therapy page by clicking here.

 

How often would we meet?

I generally recommend meeting once a week for at least the first 4-6 weeks in order to have consistency and get some traction, so I can get to know you, learn about your situation, and offer some suggestions for strategies for you to try between sessions. 

 

I’ve found that the week between sessions is a good amount of time for you to try the new strategies and then report back so we can discuss what worked and what didn’t and make any adjustments, as needed.  After those first few weeks, we can then discuss whether you’d like to make any changes to how frequently we meet.   

I understand that sometimes there are circumstances that may make it difficult to attend weekly appointments.  If this is the case, let me know and we can discuss the options and plan accordingly.

 

How long will therapy take?

I offer brief and long-term therapy and the length of therapy will vary depending on your needs and goals.  For help with deeper-rooted issues or long-standing problems, therapy tends to be longer in duration.

What can I expect from an initial phone consultation?

I offer a free 15 minute phone consultation during which I’ll ask you to tell me a little about your current situation and what you are looking for from therapy.  If I determine that I can help with your specific issues, then I'll tell you more about how I can help you.  It’s also an opportunity to ask any questions you might have and to get a sense of what it’s like to work with me.  This way we can see if working together would be a good fit for your needs and if so, we can set up an appointment.

What’s your background and training?

Prior to becoming a therapist, I received a Bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and then returned home to the Bay Area to work as an educator and environmental advocate for several years.  My long-standing enthusiasm for teaching and helping others eventually led to my decision to pursue further education and training in counseling.  I received a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University and went on to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  I have training in psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based treatment, and trauma-informed care.

 

Do you prescribe medication?

I cannot prescribe medication or make recommendations about which medication is best for you.  Prescribing medication is outside of my scope of practice and training as an MFT (Marriage & Family Therapist).

In some cases, I may recommend that you consider medication as a treatment option, in which case I would refer you to an appropriate professional.  If you have questions about medication treatments or you are wondering if medication would be a good option for you, I recommend consulting with a physician or a psychiatrist.

How do I make an appointment?

You can schedule an appointment for an initial phone consultation or request a therapy appointment by clicking the button below.  I will respond to your request as soon as I can, within one business day.

Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and tired of worrying so much?   Online therapy can help.

© 2019 by Melanie Lopes.

Therapist in Oakland, CA

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