Choosing someone to support you is an important decision.

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To help you decide if you would like to work together, I’ve included some answers to the most common questions people have when considering therapy or coaching with me.

What are your fees?

My fees are $150/hour for a 50-minute session.

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Therapy’s expensive. Is it worth the cost?

Therapy is a financial commitment. It’s an investment in yourself and your ability to become aware of self-sabotaging patterns and more capable of practicing new, more effective thoughts and behaviors. This – this ability to think and behave more effectively – can profoundly and positively impact your future relationships, your work, your health, and even your finances. If you’re like most of the individuals I’ve worked with, you’ve likely already invested a lot of time and energy and money into your education, your career, your home, and your physical health. I truly believe that investing in therapy as an act of self-care can be a continued investment in your overall wellbeing and success in life.

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I only want to come into therapy every other week. Is that something you do?

While I can appreciate the urge and desire to come to therapy every other week, I only see clients on a weekly basis. Psychotherapy works best within the context of a trusting and caring relationship and, in my experience, it takes weekly sessions to create a strong, and effective-enough container that allows for us to deepen the work and for you to experience the change you desire. Working on an every other week basis simply doesn’t allow the work and change to deepen or happen as quickly and as effectively.

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Do you accept insurance?

No, I don’t accept insurance. However, I’m happy to work with you to provide itemized receipts for your insurance company for partial or full reimbursement for your out-of-network therapy benefits.

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How do I know if you’re the right therapist for me?

Choosing a therapist is a very personal decision. Therapy is only as effective as the relationship between therapist and client and because of this I believe the best way to determine if a psychotherapist is right for you is to book a session and simply meet with her or him and to trust your instincts when you are with them. Ask yourself: “Can I see myself feeling safe and comfortable with this person? Does it seem like they *get* me ?” You can also ask yourself this question during and after an initial phone consult before you book that first session.

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What kind of clients do you work with?

I work with individuals, couples, and families of all different identities and ethnicities from all over the world. Many of my clients are professionals and I also work extensively with graduate, undergrad, and high school students, too. Also, while some of my clients have been to therapy before, the vast majority of my clients – about 80% – are first-timers to therapy. Finally, while my clients’ professions, ages, ethnicities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, religions, family backgrounds, and lifestyles vary widely, all of them share something in common: they are people who are in pain and who are at a point where they’re willing to commit and invest in themselves and in therapy in order to change and create something different in their lives.

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What exactly is therapy?

Put simply, therapy – also called psychotherapy or counseling – is the process of meeting with a trained and credentialed professional on a weekly, ongoing basis to help you recognize and change deep-rooted and potentially self-sabotaging mental and emotional behaviors, thoughts, and patterns that are keeping you feeling stuck, in pain, and away from the life you want to live.

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What can I expect from our first session?

Our first in-person meeting is what’s known as an intake session. It’s different from a traditional therapy session because this will be a time for me to gather your case history, and together we’ll talk about why you have decided to pursue therapy and what your goals are for our time together. It’s also an opportunity for you to get to know me, to ask me any questions you may have, and to see how you feel in my offices and with me. At the end of the session, we can decide together if it feels right to move forward in scheduling another session and beginning the rest of the therapeutic journey.

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How long does therapy last? How will I know when I’m done?

The duration of therapy looks different for everyone. For some, six months following an acute stressor (such as a breakup or loss of a loved one) is adequate. For others looking to change deeply rooted patterns and belief systems, the process may take longer. On average, I see my clients for minimum 12 months. You can trust that you and I will keep checking in throughout our work together to determine if it feels appropriate and timely to end therapy.

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I don’t want to just talk about how I’m feeling; I actually want things to change in my life.

I think there’s a big misconception out there that therapy means just talking and talking about the past without ever taking action on the present. I certainly don’t operate that way as a therapist. While we will always create space to talk about your past and the feelings that surface as we explore this, I’m a very direct and engaged therapist and actively work with my clients to design interventions, exercises, and thoughtful action steps if that’s what you’re looking for as part of therapy.

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If I go to therapy there must be something wrong with me; I should be able to handle this/figure it out on my own, right?

Making the decision to seek out therapy isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a wise act of self-care to reach out for support from professionals when there’s a challenge you need help with. You’d reach out to a doctor for help setting your broken bone or to a lawyer if you needed help filing divorce paperwork, wouldn’t you? When it comes to your mental and emotional health it’s no different. Reaching out for professional support is an act of self-care to address the challenges you’re facing.

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What are some reasons people might want to work with you?

I would say that almost all of my clients begin working with me because they have a sense of wanting something better for themselves – whether it’s a loving, committed relationship, work that they adore, or a greater sense of freedom, joy, and ease in their lives – and yet they don’t quite fully know what it will take to get there. My clients also share that they work with me because I blend East Coast Ivy-League rigor with West Coast California warmth, and because they know I’ve walked my talk and share a path of overcoming and creating something different for myself, too.

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Do you have expertise in working with issues like mine?

I invite you to read more about my areas of expertise here and if you would like more information about whether or not my skills would be a good match for you at this time, contact me so we can set up a complimentary 20-minute phone call.

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How do you work as a therapist?

As your therapist, I work to create a safe and really special environment where, for 50 minutes each week, the world can slow down and together we can compassionately explore, understand, and transform behaviors, thoughts, and patterns that may be holding you back from ultimately living the life you want to live. My style as a therapist is warm and challenging, direct and engaging, and I’m relationally-oriented. What that means is that I truly believe that it is through our early relationships that certain patterns get established and certain wounds created; and it is only then through relationship that these patterns and woundings can shift and be healed. When we work together as therapist and client, it’s actually the relationship between us that becomes the therapy in addition to the all of the ways we explore, address and clarify the content you bring into the room.

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How long is a therapy session?

Therapy sessions are 50 minutes in length. Occasionally, and as my schedule permits, my clients will book a double session of 100 minutes if they are experiencing a crisis or acute stress in their lives that week.

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Is what I share confidential?

Absolutely. What you share with me in our sessions is completely confidential except in the case of 1) immediate threat of harm to self or other, 2) suspicion of child or dependent elder abuse, 3) in the case of a court subpoena. We’ll discuss all of this and my other office policies during your initial intake session.

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Where are you located? Is there parking?

I am located at 2820 Adeline Street in South Berkeley in a beautiful Victorian building. My offices are central and conveniently located (kitty-corner to the original Berkeley Bowl so you can easily combine errands!) and can be reached either by driving or by public transport. If driving and parking, please note there is some unlimited street parking near the building, 2-hour parking on some sides of the streets and some days and times when there is no parking allowed so please be mindful of street signs. If arriving by BART, the Ashby Bart station is a direct, seven-minute walk and multiple bus lines run and drop-off in front of the building. Finally, do know that there is a cozy, sunshine-soaked sitting garden enclosed in the gate around the building; it’s an excellent place to enjoy before or after your session.

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What if you’re not the right therapist for me?

I know that choosing the “right” therapist can sometimes feel overwhelming and confusing and I want to help you make this decision and feel totally at ease about booking a session with me which is why I encourage you to check out my specialties, my bio, my FAQ’s, my testimonials, and my blog. After this, if you’re still not sure if I’m the right therapist for you, please feel free to contact me to set up a 20-minute consult call so I can answer any remaining questions you have. And, what’s more, if it turns out that I’m not the best therapist match for you, I guarantee you that I’ll provide with you additional referrals to other therapists who may be a good fit.

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Annie Wright Psychotherapy | Therapy & Counseling in Berkeley, California

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