Psychotherapy and Clinical Consultation
Lisa Gioia, L.M.F.T.
Who do I see?
My practice specialities include working with children (down to age 5), teens, adults and families.
When are appointments?
I see clients, by appointment, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Appointments are generally the same day/time each week.
How do I work?
I incorporate an integrative approach that includes concepts of family systems, narrative, cognitive behavioral, and expressive therapies (including play therapy). I believe that people have different styles of learning, and this impacts how they view their problems as well as avenues to change. I utilize a varieties of techniques so that I can personalize the therapy to your needs and to how you best learn.
When working with children and adolescents I will also be working collaboratively with parents/families as needed.
How do I work with children?
Generally I will meet first with the parent(s) to gather history as well as to better understand what their concerns are for their child. I will then meet with the child three or four times to get to know the child, to observe their interactions and learn about their concerns. After that, I will meet again with the parents to determine a best intervention plan - this most often involves a combination of individual work with the child and parent/family sessions.
Because young children are at a different developmental and cognitive level than teens and adults, I will use a combination of play and talk therapy. I will explain to your child that just like parents have tools in the kitchen to help them cook, or in the garage to help fix things, in my office the toys are the tools we will use to figure out their problems or concerns. Your child will be able to use the various toys and games to help him or her to explore thoughts and feelings. When children have a better awareness and understanding of their thoughts and feelings, they are able to express them in healthy ways, control their behavior more easily, better manage their intense emotions, and make better behavioral choices.
What does it cost?
The standard fee for a 50 -minute session is $140.00 (payable by check or cash; credit card or apple pay/android pay okay if needed).
I do not bill insurance companies, but I am happy to provide a receipt/statement if you wish to submit it to your insurance to see if you can secure any reimbursement. A mental health diagnosis is required in order to be eligible for possible reimbursement, and this would be discussed at the initial session.
How is an appointment set?
Just contact me by email, text message, or phone call.
phone or text: 925.202.4533
Once the first appointment is set, you will receive a confirmation email from my on-line office management system (SimplePractice) that will provide a link to the intake paperwork.
Additional Information About the Process of the Therapy:
The Process of Therapy:
Psychotherapy is often helpful to people who are experiencing some degree of emotional, mental, or psychological stress. The counseling process can assist you in clarifying goals and values, improving relationships, and in solving various other challenges and problems. Counseling involves your participation – in being open and honest, having a desire and hope to have things change, and following through on ideas and plans discussed. During the first few sessions I will explore what has brought you to counseling and assess if and how counseling might be helpful, as well as alternative treatment approaches. The process of therapy can involve some risks – at times difficult feelings and experiences may surface and bring on strong emotions. However, many people report that the outcome of therapy is worth the discomfort they may experience. Attempts to resolve problem areas of your life may affect other aspects/relationships in your life. If at any time you are not pleased with what is happening in counseling I encourage you to discuss it with me. If it is determined that my services are not appropriate, or not of your choosing, I will work with you to find an appropriate referral.
Particular Points in Working with Couples/Children/Families:
When I see a child or teen (under age 18) in individual counseling the parents/guardians do have legal rights to access the clinical records. However, in order to make the therapy a safe place for your child to talk, it is my preference to only discuss general themes/summaries/updates of how the therapy is progressing. If I believe that your child is engaging in ongoing behaviors which may cause serious physical or psychological harm I will be informing you, or working with your child to inform you.
At times I will work with a family in combination – some family sessions, some individual child or parent sessions. I prefer to not receive information from one family member that is not to be told to another family member. If this situation arises I will use my discretion as to whether or not this information should be shared.
Finally, it is important that all family members feel that the therapy is a safe and trusting environment. I advise against using the things discussed in therapy as part of any child custody or divorce related legal proceeding.
Confidentiality and Privacy:
Information discussed in counseling sessions is confidential. Generally, it will be disclosed only with your written permission (for children under age 18 the consent is signed by the parent/guardian). However, disclosure is required by law when there is a reasonable suspicion of abuse and/or neglect of a child, or an elder or a dependent adult; when there is a reasonable suspicion that a client presents a danger of violence to others; or when a client is likely to harm him/herself unless protective measures are taken.
Counseling records may be subpoenaed as part of a legal proceeding, particularly if a client has raised the issue of his/her mental health. My counseling records include only client demographic and contact information (and for children, such information on the parents), a record of dates of sessions, and a brief summary of progress for each session. All subpoenas are reviewed by my legal counsel.
I use a secure, HIPAA compliant web-based clinical records service called Simple Practice.
Messages and Emergencies:
While I am not available 24-7, I will respond to phone, text and email messages as soon as possible and will try to call you back within the hour during most days. For emergency situations please contact 911 or your local emergency room. I generally take vacation for four weeks during the summer months. I will give you advance notice of any planned vacation and also provide names of other therapists that you can contact during my absence should an emergency situation arise for you.
The fee for the 50-minute counseling session is $140.00. Your co-payment is due and payable at the time of each session. Payments can be made with cash, bank check, personal checks or credit card, apple pay, android pay if needed. Checks are made payable to the Lisa Gioia, MFT. There will be a $25.00 service charge for checks returned from the bank, and your subsequent fee payments will need to be made with cash.
You will be charged for missed appointments unless you provide notice 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time, or have a verifiable emergency. Cancellations can be made by phone, text, or email. Counseling will be discontinued for clients who frequently miss sessions.
I do not bill insurance. Some coverage plans may allow for you to see an out-of-network provider. If you would like a receipt I am happy to provide a monthly Super Bill for you to submit. This requires a mental health diagnosis which we would discuss,
Phone calls/collateral meetings:
There is no charge for occasional phone calls in between appointments, but regular or extensive need for phone calls will be discussed and may be charged at the session rates. Session rates will generally apply for meetings I may need to attend (for example, a school conference for your child) unless we discuss otherwise.
Have questions? Don't hesitate to contact me so that you can get the clarification that will help you decide if you wish to proceed with services.