Where is your office located?

I am exclusively hosting individual and group sessions online via telehealth (Zoom, Facetime, or call).

What are your hours?

I am in the office Tuesday – Thursday between 8am – 5pm. I offer make-up sessions on Mondays for clients who need to reschedule and focus on my podcast on Fridays (www.codependummy.com). 

How long are sessions?

Individual sessions are 60 minutes. 

Group therapy sessions are 75 minutes. 

Do you see clients through insurance?

I am an out-of-network provider with all insurance companies. If you’re unsure if you have coverage for out-of-network services, here is a step-by-step guide to help you call your insurance and confirm your benefits: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oadh2ONrjCHrxdNfBINLkEkWuupwPJlE/view?usp=sharing

As an out-of-network provider, I can give you a superbill on a monthly basis for you to submit to your insurance company to then be reimbursed for the previous month’s session fees that qualify as out-of-network services. Please note, however, that providing a superbill requires me to provide you with a mental health diagnosis which will be added to your medical record.

For the purpose of confidentiality, I will not be communicating with your insurance provider directly.

Email me, Marissa, with any questions! marissa@therapywithmarissa.com 

How do I set up an initial appointment?

Yass! Let’s set up that initial appointment. Email mariss@therapywithmarissa.com and we can schedule your free 30-minute therapy consultation. During the call, I will ask questions to get to know you, your situation, and make sure that we are a good fit. You’ll also have time to ask me questions as well to ensure we have a good vibe. Therapy is like dating in a sense so we want to make sure you and I are compatible!

What is your cancellation policy?

I have a no-cancellation policy for individual and group sessions. 

For individual sessions, you can make up for cancelled appointments within the week before, during, or the week after the date of your cancellation. 

I will make every effort to find a time for you to reschedule and meet in person or online and keep my Mondays free for that purpose.

What is this telehealth option?

In fancy language, telehealth is defined as a method to deliver therapy using information and communication technologies to facilitate the diagnosis, consultation, treatment, and care management while the patient and provider are at two different sites.

In English, telehealth is a way to meet with a therapist when ya’ll are in two different locations. You can call or video chat from the comfort of your home, office, hotel room, etc. 

Telehealth for therapy also is referred to as televisit, telesession, telemedicine, telepsychology, virtual therapy, virtual session, video therapy, video session, online therapy, etc. 

They all mean that we can meet while you and I are in different locations. This option is for California residents.

With what age ranges do you work?

20 and 30 somethings! My clientele range in age from 18-40.

Do you work with men?
Yes! In addition to serving young women, I strive to help young men struggling with stress, overwhelm, and a lack of direction in life.
What do you do in sessions with clients?

In our first few sessions, we will be talking about your past, present, and future: experiences you have had; how they are impacting you now; and what you want to do, be, and have by the end of our time together. 

Once we have that established, we will set goals for therapy and I’ll customize our activities to help you reach them.

Moving forward, our sessions will revolve around you and your therapy goals. I’ll achieve this by bringing in cool activities like a Genogram (for more info on this, please go to the What Modalities question below), discussions about experiences from your past week that ruffled your feathers (and figuring out what about it caused the ruffling), and creating a strong connection between yourself and me. 

Through our relationship, you will be able to confront what has been holding you back, achieve your therapy goals, and find your inner compass to move towards your true North. 

Do your clients receive homework in between sessions?

In order to build momentum and create real change, I sometimes assign my clients light homework. I will only assign you something as long as it complements what we are doing in sessions. But have no fear – these homework assignments are amazing. It won’t be sitting down and completing a worksheet – eff that. 

I have my clients listen to podcasts related to mental health, read books that relate to their current experience, or tune into comedy specials on Netflix or relevant TED Talks to help them develop better self-awareness. That way, in addition to the hour we spend in therapy, my clients are spending some of the remaining 167 hours per week taking action to create real and lasting change. 

I’ve also benefitted immensely from devouring books, movies, shows, and other content that complemented my therapeutic work and am enthused about doing the same for my clients.

What modalities do you use with your clients?

Bowenian – We will be using a Genogram (the original ‘gram!) to make a family tree. However, this isn’t your typical family tree – we will start with that as a foundation and then be looking at it through a therapeutic lens.

Typically, I use this at the beginning of our work together, as it helps paint a picture of you, what you have been through, and what experiences from your past are continuing to impact you in the present. We will be working on this in session, so don’t worry about having to add another project to your to-do list.

Once I start working on this with clients, they typically come to the next session excited to add a detail about their family that they forgot. We gain a lot of momentum by shedding light on your unique experience of the past.

Experiential – With the use of Experiential activities, we will be looking at how patterns of relationships in your family are possibly being re-enacted with your partner, friends, bosses, etc.

What the eff does that mean? Well, if you were pleasing to your mom and dad while growing up, then you likely are pleasing to most everyone as an adult. Through Experiential work, I will help you identify what patterns of interaction (pleasing, competitive, enabling, etc.) are helpful and not-so-helpful.

Then, you get to decide if you want to a) keep those patterns or b) make room for some new ones that are likely healthier and sustainable. This is done through writing, role-play, and identifying your feels (all the feels) that I’ll walk you through.

Inner Child – This type of work is making its way more into the mainstream, and all the therapists on Instagram are talking about it. So, you ask, what the eff is inner child work?

We will be getting in touch with the thoughts, emotions, and conclusions you came to during tough experiences as a child (watching your parents fight, getting into trouble at home, being bullied by your siblings or kids at school, etc.) and give that inner child whatever it needed (compassion, protection, patience, etc.).

It is likely that you are striving to have a certain need fulfilled as an adult that went unmet as a child, but you are looking in all the wrong places – partners, work, income. With inner child work, I will support you in giving to yourself what you didn’t get as a child, so you can stop searching for it in others.

Object Relations – In our work together, I will be using activities from this modality that is one of the OGs of all therapy modalities. It’s the beez neez.

Basically, it suggests you are interacting with the world in a manner that is largely influenced by your family. If you were always anxious about getting in trouble with your mom and dad, then you likely are afraid of getting in trouble in school, at work, or with your partner.

If one of your parents left (either through physical absence or emotional absence), then you likely have a fear that you can do something to make people leave. This relates to your attachment (your emotional bond with your parents) that we also will be talking about, as well as that you can create a secure attachment as a grown-ass woman (since you have an emotional bond with yourself!).

Then, you won’t worry about people leaving, getting in trouble, and so on, and just be free to be you.

What is your professional training and experience?

I graduated early from UC Santa Barbara for my undergraduate, where I minored in partying (tehe). In 2015, I graduated early from CSU Fullerton for my Masters in Clinical Psychology (noticing a pattern of me graduating early, right?). My Masters thesis was related to the connection between an individual’s faith and symptoms related to depression, which I presented at the Western Psychological Association Conference in 2016.

My experience includes working with individuals and groups at a community clinic in La Mirada, providing therapy to foster and probation youth in community mental health all over Los Angeles County, and working at a group practice in Claremont.

In 2018, I became licensed as a Marriage & Family Therapist. In 2019, I completed a 52-hour training for EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and am currently working toward certification. I also have experience teaching at my alma mater, CSU Fullerton, in the Human Services Department, where I was often mistaken as a student as opposed to the professor.

I also have been a regular attendee in therapy since I was 20 years old. Talk about gaining experience! I have worked with female therapists, male therapists, white-and-bald therapists, women-of-color therapists, and attended therapy at school, in super cute offices, as well as online.

Through these experiences, I have gained countless hours of what it is like to be the client on the other side of the room. I have had some good therapy – and some bad. And despite multiple successes in my professional and personal life, I still a) walk the talk and b) deal with whatever sh*t comes up in order to avoid it coming up in the therapy room with my clients. I too check myself before I wreck myself regularly.

What else does a client need to know to make the most out of working with you?

You likely have an expectation of what therapy with me will be like. I want you to hold that image of our work together in your mind and take a breath. Inhale. Exhale. 

Now, I want you to brace yourself since, despite that image likely being something beautiful, the work we are going to do together will be SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. 

You are reading this for a reason. You made it this far in the FAQ for a reason. You are ready, willing, and able, and I am, too. We are going to get you where you need to be. By the end of our time together, you will be thinking to yourself, “Wow. This was so different than how I thought it would be. It was way better, way more helpful, and way beyond what I pictured when I first called you.” 

You will want to thank me, but I’ll be telling you to thank yourself for picking up that phone and scheduling that first session.

How come you say you’re “…not like a regular therapist; you’re a cool therapist?”

It is from Mean Girls! Remember when Cady goes to Regina George’s house for the first time? Mrs. George tells Cady, “I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom.” The image most people have of therapists are bald white guys with circle-rimmed glasses – and that is not me!

Thus, I’m not like a regular therapist, I’m a cool one: young, understanding, and relatable. You will not need to filter your weekend shenanigans with me – whether you had a one-night stand, cheated on a final, or found out something awful through your Finsta. No judgment from me, as opposed to other therapists who remind you too much of your parents.

What are you writing on that note pad during sessions anyways?

If something you are saying stands out to me, I will write it down while you are sharing about a recent experience to make sure I remember your words precisely. Then, I will read it back to you to help you get in touch with the emotion or expand more on how the experience impacted you. 

I wish I could remember all the insightful things you say; but sometimes, there will be a few sentences that are so profound that I must jot it down in order to honor it.

Do you ever get tired of hearing people talk about their problems all day?

I don’t hear people talking about their problems all day, and I will not be doing that with you. We will not be discussing your problems as much as how your overbearing boss is impacting your performance at work, how your friend’s flakiness is making you feel about yourself, and about that random comment from your mom that is keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep. 

We will be talking about what is underlying your problems, and I absolutely LOVE that part of therapy. It excites, entices, and keeps me energized through my sessions.

Can you tell me some therapy jokes?

I have a few:

Why did the chicken cross the road? Because her therapist told her to try things that scare her!

Why did Waldo go to therapy? To find himself!

What did the therapist say in response to a client who asked her to validate their parking? “You did a great job! You pulled in evenly between the two lines. Parking well done.”