Rachel Ward,LMFT, ATR​​

Frequently asked questions


So how does this whole thing work?

When you call me, I'll gather enough information to see if I am the right person to help you. I offer a free 20- minute phone consultation. We will schedule a session, typically 50 minutes, where we will continue to get to know each other and set some goals for therapy. Generally, therapy works best when it is consistent, usually weekly, until goals are met. Often clients like to come back for check-in sessions and maintenance. Preventative care is also important. I also offer longer sessions for families and those in crisis.  

Are you accepting new clients?


Does therapy work?

YES! Therapy is a collaborative process. If you want to make changes, feel better, set goals and meet them, move past some tough stuff you've experienced, you can. The results of therapy can be things you can see and things you can feel. Both are incredibly valuable to feeling better.

Do I have to fill out a bunch of forms?

Not really. When we schedule our first appointment you will receive an email from me asking you to enter the secure and confidential client portal for my practice. There you can enter basic contact information as well as read and sign the consent form and a basic questionnaire. It's helpful to be as thorough as possible. 

What if I would like to use my insurance?

Ah, insurance. Most insurance companies require a mental health diagnosis to pay for therapy. Sometimes this is possible, sometimes we aren't working with something that requires a diagnosis. If you would like to use your insurance, I can help you find out what your coverage is and provide you with what we call a Superbill that you can submit to insurance for reimbursement. Typically, but not guaranteed, if you have a PPO, you can receive some percentage back. When not using insurance, you have the flexibility of managing your own care without the oversight of an insurance company which may limit care and tell us what to do.

How can I pay?

​I accept cash, checks and credit cards. My clients pay me weekly or monthly.  

Do you offer Online Counseling?

I offer counseling services online within California. Sometimes you can't make it to the office. I believe the office is a better way to connect, but in today's world Skype or online video services are often used. Let's say your teen is going to college, you have a short business trip, something came up -- online counseling can be a wonderful tool. 

Not sure you need therapy?

If you are perusing my site, I would encourage you to call me and talk about what it is you are looking for. Therapy isn't meant to be scary, it's meant to be a way to find a better you. I think you will find me approachable and lovingly direct. Making a commitment to yourself or your family is an important part of living a great life. 

Do you have a speciality?

Yes. My passion is teens. The ones who feel people don't get them and have a hard time talking to their parents about what is really going on. But that doesn't mean I don't see younger children or adults. In fact I have quite a few of both in my current practice. Every teenager was a kid and will become an adult. My training as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist is broad and constantly evolving as I consider lifelong training very important. It takes all MFTs at least 3,000 hours of training as an intern before they can even take a license exam. 

I'm also particularly interested in the effects of divorce on adults and young people alike. Both can have significant questions and concerns when there is a divorce in the family. 

Are you going to diagnose me?

I can, but that's not really the focus of what we will be working on. Thinking about diagnoses can inform what we do together in the room, but it doesn't define you. 

What is confidential?

Short answer, basically everything. The only exceptions are very specific to whether you are safe or in danger. Otherwise, I am required by law and ethics to maintain your privacy.