QUESTIONS ABOUT THERAPY
What is Therapy?
Therapy is the process where individuals, couples, or groups receive help from professional, licensed mental health practitioners (usually possessing a minimum of a Master's degree and thousands of hours of supervised clinical work) for the purpose of psychological and interpersonal healing and growth.
"The application of marriage and family therapy principles and methods includes, but is not limited to, the use of applied psychotherapeutic techniques, to enable individuals to mature and grow within marriage and the family, the provision of explanations and interpretations of the psychosexual and psychosocial aspects of relationships, and the use, application, and integration of the coursework and training required by Sections 4980.37, 4980.40, and 4980.41." (
What should I expect in the first session?
Our first few sessions (1 to 2 sessions) will involve an assessment to see what your needs are. By the end of the session(s), we will have an idea of what your needs are including a general plan for treatment. This will also be a good time for both of us to decide if we are a good fit. If we decide that I am not the best person, I will do what I can do to refer you to another therapist who may be more suitable. At this time, I am focusing mainly on Individual Psychotherapy.
How often do we meet and how long does each session last?
Typically we would be meeting once a week. A standard therapy is 50 minutes long.
How long does therapy last?
It is difficult to predict how long it would take for you to complete therapy because it really depends on your situation, your treatment goals, and the speed of your recovery. It can take as little as a few weeks to several months. Some choose to stay for years. We will work together to establish your therapy goals, and we will continue to modify and adjust our treatment approach as needed. We will also track your progress periodically to assess whether you are achieving your goals.
What do you specialize in?
I am a member of the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science, an organization devoted to the advancement of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an evidence-based psychological approach that has been shown to be effective with a wide range of human problems including anxiety, depression, trauma, addictions, relationship issues, chronic pain, and more. It is really a transdiagnostic approach that goes beyond labeling and categorizing people. For additional information about ACT, please check out:
What are some of your interests? I am particularly interested in the following issues:
--Self-Cultivation (inner work, self-improvement, emotional intelligence)
--Clarifying and Practicing one's Values
--Life Transitions (grief, caregiving, changes)
--Anxiety (social anxiety, lack of self-confidence, constant "worrying")
--Addictions (including substance abuse, compulsive sexual acting out & pornography, gambling)
--Creativity as vehicle for healing
--Trauma (including immigration, emotional abuse, religious abuse)
--Religious & spiritual issues (use of spiritual resources in therapy, anxiety/depression due to crisis of faith)
--Cultural Identity (bicultural identity development, overcoming internalized racism)
--how healing intersects with social justice
QUESTIONS ABOUT OFFICE POLICY
Is what we talk about confidential?
All information and issues discussed in therapy are absolutely confidential and cannot be disclosed to anyone without your written permission except where such disclosure is required by law.
How can I make an appointment?
You can make an appointment by filling out a form online, via e-mail, or by calling me at (415) 515-0227. Please leave your day and evening phone numbers including best times to reach you. I will return your call within 24 hours.
How are fees for therapy determined?
Fees for therapy are generally based on the therapist's education, level of experience, expertise, location, and setting. In cases involving economic hardship, I am open to discussing how we might adjust the fee on the basis of what we can mutually agree upon.
Can I use my health insurance?
At this time I am not accepting any insurance. This may change in the near future. So stay tuned.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
Please contact me at least 24 hours prior to postponing or canceling your appointment. I reserve the right to charge for no-shows and cancellations with less than 24 hours notice.
PHILLIP CHA, LMFT
310 3rd Avenue
San Francisco, California 94118