Frequently Asked Questions - Awakenings Relational Counseling
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Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

What is a Marriage and Family Therapist?

The acronym “MFT” stands for marriage and family therapist. A marriage and family therapist is a mental health professional who is trained in psychotherapy and relational systems. MFTs receive specific training for counseling couples, families, adolescents, and children. These clinicians evaluate and treat mental health disorders and address a wide variety of emotional issues within specific relational contexts (e.g., marriage).

 

A marriage and family therapist has completed a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and has successfully completed a supervised clinical training period called a practicum, which usually lasts for 1-2 years. Upon finishing practicum and academic training, an applicant must apply to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to obtain status as a marriage and family therapist intern. As a registered intern, the clinician must accrue 3,000 hours of clinical practice under the supervision of a licensed therapist before he or she qualifies to take the BBS licensing examinations. Licensure is granted once the applicant has successfully passed the licensing exams.

 

What should I expect in my first session?

The first session is an opportunity for us to get to know one another. We will discuss the concerns that bring you to counseling, your goals for therapy, some of your history, and some details regarding initial paperwork, scheduling, and payment. Most importantly, however, you will leave with an understanding of why your personal or relational circumstances have become difficult, and you will begin to understand how change in your present situation can occur.

 

How long is a session?

A standard session is 45 minutes long. However, 90-minute sessions are also available; some clients in more pressing circumstances may find these longer sessions more suitable for their needs.

 

What is the session fee?

The fee for a 45-minute session is $150. Please contact me for the rate 90-minute sessions. As I explain below, I offer a sliding scale and I also accept some forms of insurance.

 

Do you offer a sliding scale?

Yes, I do offer a sliding scale in certain circumstances. If you would like to discuss the sliding scale with me, please leave me a voicemail at (805) 256-3497 and I will return your call promptly.

 

Do you accept insurance?

I am not on any insurance panels, and thus I am unable to accept HMO insurance. As an out-of-network provider, however, I am able to accept most PPO insurance policies, which can helpfully offset the cost of psychotherapy. I am happy to provide you with a superbill that you may submit to your insurance company to obtain reimbursement.

 

What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept payment by cash, check, and credit card, specifically Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

 

How do I schedule an appointment?

To schedule an appointment or a free 15-minute consultation, please email me at jmast@awakeningsrelationalcounseling.com or call (805) 256-3497. You are also welcome to use the contact form on this website.

 

How do I get to Awakenings Relational Counseling?

Awakenings has two locations in Sierra Madre at 150 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. (Sync Counseling Center) and in Ventura at 260 Maple Court Suite 130.

 

In Sierra Madre, Sync is located on the second floor of the building. Entrances are off of Sierra Madre Blvd. and in the back of the building. For a handicap accessible entrance, please use the elevator located at the back of the building to get to Sync on the second floor.

 

In Ventura, Awakenings’ office is located within a cluster of office buildings off of Maple Court. Find the 260 building and park in the front, or take the road to the rear parking lot just west of the building. Suite 130 is located within the courtyard.

 

Where do I park?

The Sierra Madre location has a private parking lot behind the building that is accessible from Sierra Madre Blvd. Two-hour street parking is also available on Sierra Madre Blvd.

 

The Ventura location has ample parking around the building. You are welcome to park in front or in the rear of the building.

 

What do I do when I have arrived?

Sierra Madre: If you’ve parked in the parking lot behind the building, ascend the stairs or use the elevator to access the second floor and enter through the back door to find the lobby. If you’ve parked on the street, enter through the front door and climb the stairs to find the lobby. Please have a seat in the lobby and flip the light switch that corresponds to my name to let me know you have arrived.

 

Ventura: If you’ve parked in front, locate suite 130 on the northwest corner of the courtyard. If you’ve parked in the rear, suite 130 will be on your right immediately through the rear entrance. When you’ve found the suite, please have a seat in the lobby and I’ll greet you at your appointment time.