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Finding a therapist who really gets it

is difficult.

We get it.

Let's get started...

On a Video Call

LPS Expert


Your psychotic adult daughter is gravely disabled but the police won’t take her to an ER. What's their reason this time? She’s just a manipulative addict? She has a right to be homeless and eat garbage? You should obtain a restraining order if you really want to help her?

Your manic husband needs extended locked treatment but the hospital won't hold him. Why? He swears he'll take his meds? He hasn't yet "bottomed out?" He may have given all of his money to strangers on the internet but he's clean and smart?


Your care-resistant demented mother will die without long-term locked placement but the rehabilitation center is sending her home. Do they expect you to believe that if she's stable with their 24-hour professional assistance and supervision she'll remain stable at home? 


Mental health and law enforcement systems often diminish the well-being of the severely mentally ill as much as illness does. Tell us about your loved one, we'll tell you about psychiatry and the law, and this won't have to be true for your family.

Prepare to take notes. Receive high-quality audio recordings of our conversations. A wealth of information is coming your way: what the law permits and requires, how every inch of the system actually works, and your recommended next steps.


Of course your focus is on securing appropriate treatment and resources for your loved one.  When the severely mentally ill are in crisis, they are voiceless and marginalized: very often more vulnerable to harm, neglect, and exploitation than children, and very often as imperiled as victims of human trafficking.  But what of your own well-being? 


Whether as individuals or as systems of relatives and supportive others, the families of the severely mentally ill are tested in ways that other families and community members may never fully understand.  A number of organizations offer psychoeducation and social support to the families of those with severe mental illness; NAMI, in particular, shines in this regard.  Sometimes that’s exactly what is needed.  If you need something more, we have some ideas born from decades of working with thousands of severely mentally ill individuals and their families within the context of LPS law.


There is so much that you already have.  Endurance and versatility.  The authority to write your own story and create your own meaning.  Undiscovered possibilities.  The strength to rise above impoverishing cultural norms, biases, and power imbalances.  You are not your problems: you are the expert on your own life.  Our eclectic approach to family and individual psychotherapy, combining Existential therapy with techniques drawn from Narrative therapy and essential, empowering principles of Feminist theory, can help to remind you of this.

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Joseph offers video psychotherapy to the families of the severely mentally ill, as well as to caregivers generally and adults who seek insight and powerful, positive change with respect to identity issues, life transitions, relationships, and crises of faith, meaning, or loss.

Schedule an appointment today. 

Your first 30 minutes are free of charge. 


Hello, I'm Joseph De Vico,

LPS Expert, Psychotherapist, Advocate

​How can I help? Perhaps:

  • Your loved one is severely mentally ill and cannot or will not accept psychiatric treatment.  

  • Your local mental health system in California is staffed by great people but lacks the time, resources, knowledge, and will to deliver the treatment your loved one requires.

  • You are suffering because your loved one is suffering.

  • You are exhausted from trying to make the system see who your loved one is: their humanity, their history, their potential. 

  • You know that stabilization and recovery are challenging under the best of circumstances, but just getting the system’s attention should be so much easier than it is.  


It might feel like none of these mental health professionals are even speaking your language. In fact, they aren’t. But you’re about to start speaking theirs.


What if one person could bring together police and PERT, psychiatrists and hospitals, judges and hearing officers, the public conservator and deputy public defenders, social workers and case managers, as if they were all listening to you, understanding perfectly the urgency of your loved one's need for treatment?


“We are very appreciative of your willingness to share your wealth of knowledge with us…  Your message of understanding LPS Conservatorships was incredibly enlightening to our members.  We here at NAMI are incredibly thankful for your expertise and unrelenting efforts to assist those affected by mental health issues, and their families.”


Michael Bagby, fmr President, NAMI North Coastal San Diego


“You excel in the role of providing comprehensive information and support to the public.” 


Mark Sellers, fmr Public Conservator, Health and Human Services Agency, County of San Diego

Ask Joseph about combining consulting & therapy into one monthly package.

A word about involuntary care.

Ideally, no one would require our services.  We would be thrilled if societal enlightenment regarding the severely mentally ill led to radical systemic reform: everyone would receive the care they required as soon as they required it and for as long as they required it, and we would have no such work left to do.  In the meantime, we’d like to address the possible concern of all who are mindful of patients’ rights that we may be working with families to obtain treatment which their loved ones do not want. 



Thank you for contacting us!

The LPS Act (Welfare and Institutions Code, Division 5, Part 1) governs all involuntary psychiatric service throughout California. Joseph provides Family Action Consultation iand Psychotherapy via video & telephone to residents of all California counties.

Joseph De Vico, MFT, CA BBS MFC49494

Mailing Address:

8898 Navajo Rd., Suite C111

San Diego, CA 92119

Fax: 619-330-9989

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