Frequently Asked Questions

When should I seek professional help for personal problems?


There is never a bad time to better ourselves with insight. If you're asking yourself if it is time to seek professional help or if someone is suggesting it to you, it's probably a good time to start looking for a therapist to help you get through your personal struggle or relationship hurdle.




How do I choose a therapist?


One of the most important factors to consider is if you feel like your therapist's personality is a good fit for you. It is important to choose a therapist you can feel comfortable being open and vulnerable with. Other things to consider are what types of therapy the therapist specializes in, scheduling, and




What if I want to do self-help instead of therapy?


Self-Help is a great start and I highly recommend it, but what you gain by seeing a therapist is an outside perspective and valuable feedback that you can't give to yourself. You also benefit from working with someone who is trained in specialized skills to be able to help.




What should I expect during my first session?


The first session starts with filling out paperwork if you haven't completed it online prior to your session. We'll spend a few minutes reviewing some of my policies and orienting you to the therapy process. The rest of the time will be spent exploring your background and goals for therapy.




How often should I come in and how many sessions should I expect?


This is something we talk about in the first session and its typically best if answered by you. Most people make this decision by assessing scheduling availability, budget, the level of support they feel they need and the rate at which they wish to acheive their desired goals. It is not uncommon for clients to start with sessions once a week and move on to every other week when they feel comfortable doing so. It is also not uncommon to add sessions if a crisis arises and more support is needed. How many overall sessions is different for each client, but the decision is always a personal one. We try to give you the skills to work through challenges on your own as soon as possible. The goal is inner strength and resilience, not long term dependence on the therapist.




What does an initial consultation cost?


We offer a free 15 minute consultation where we can find out a little bit about what you're looking for in therapy, and tell you how we work so you can decide if this is a good fit for you. Occassionally we may recommend you seek help with a more specialized therapist if you are looking for help with something outside of our expertise, but we are able to acccomodate the needs of most people seeking therapy.




How do I cancel or reschedule my appointment?


People need to reschedule or cancel for various reasons. If you know you'll need to adjust your appointment ahead of time you can tell your therapist in session. We have a 24 hour cancellation policy. Please call, text or email your therapist at least 24 hours in advance if you need to reschedule.




What do all of those letters mean after your name?


MA means Master's Degree of Art. MS means Master's Degree of Science. LMFT means Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. AMFT means registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist.




What is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist(AMFT)?


An AMFT is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. An AMFT has completed a qualifying Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and is now a professional practicing therapist, but is gaining the experience required prior to licensure. AMFT’s are registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences and practice under the supervision of a trained and licensed therapist. This means that an AMFT meets with their licensed supervisor on a weekly basis consulting on each client and receives guidance and any necessary training to ensure that the therapy the clients receive is in accordance with California law, ethics, and standards. Christine Willeford currently supervises Amy Keala.




Can I give my therapist a gift or tip?


The MFT law of ethics prohibits your therapist from receiving gifts or money beyond their hourly rate. A verbal expression of gratitude is more than sufficient and is greatly appreciated!