Where is your office located?
Currently, we work remotely via email, phone, and our tele-therapy portal through the HIPPA compliant Simple Practice service.
How long are sessions?
As a rule, therapy sessions are 60 minutes, though some clients may benefit from novel formats. Our other services often require more time; for example, it is not unusual for Family Action Consultation meetings to exceed an hour.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards.
Do you accept insurance?
We do not accept insurance. We are able to send you a bill with a medical code for therapy services to submit to your insurance. Our consultation services are not covered by most insurers.
How much do you charge?
Joseph's fee is $200 per therapy session. For all other services, the hourly rate is the same and is billed in blocks on a retainer basis at the commencement of service. Discounts on services can be obtained through our Support Membership.
What if I pay for a block of hours but do not use all of the time I’ve paid for?
It is not unlikely that our work together will involve the delivery of service at several points along the timeline of your loved one’s stabilization and rehabilitation. Our practice is to credit paid, unused hours toward future services. If it is clear that no further need for services is foreseen, any remaining balance will be refunded.
How do I set up an initial appointment?
You can call, email or send a request via our contact form here.
What is your cancellation policy?
Canceling or postponing an appointment on short notice deprives other clients of the opportunity to make use of that time. Please notify us of any cancellation or postponement at least 24 hours in advance to avoid being charged for the session. Emergencies occurring within 24 hours of a scheduled appointment are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
What age range do you work with?
We work with adults 18 and older.
Can we use just one of your services, or are they available only as a suite?
Everyone has their own particular needs, determined by a range of variables such as acuity, severity, history, existing resources and supports, and/or current level of engagement with the local mental health system, if any. We will never offer you services from which you cannot benefit, and of those services we recommend, you are free to use only those which you prefer at any given time.
What therapeutic modalities do you practice?
There are a number of different models of therapy out there, and any model that works for anyone is a great model. In the thousands of groups Joseph conducted with severely mentally ill clients in locked hospital settings, it was usually most effective to utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques because they were well-matched to the fast pace and turnover of that environment and produced practical results in a population characterized by impaired cognition, preoccupation with psychotic or mood symptomatology, and frequent inability or unwillingness to share personal history. However, in personal and family therapy with those functioning at a higher level, Joseph relies on an eclectic synthesis of Existential, Narrative, and Feminist models. These reflect his commitment to helping clients determine and strive for what is truly meaningful to them, rewrite their own stories so that their lives are rich with possibility, externalize the problems they’ve come to regard as defining features of their identities, and identify and overcome unjust, culturally-enshrined norms and power imbalances which have hindered their voices and authority.
What is your professional training and experience?
Joseph is the only mental health professional in San Diego County, and likely California, to have worked in every major context wherein or whereby clients receive involuntary psychiatric service as authorized by the LPS Act, set forth in the California Welfare and Institutions Code: in LPS-mandated intensive case management, on locked acute-care psychiatric units, in a locked long-term psychiatric hospital (IMD), and as an LPS Investigator in the Office of the Public Conservator for San Diego County. He has worked in psychiatric day treatment as well, and briefly in other related settings.
In building this unique clinico-legal work record, Joseph has cultivated unsurpassed expertise in the acquisition, planning, and delivery of involuntary service for and to the severely mentally ill. His aggressive systemic approach to making things happen for under-served clients is informed by an extensive history of creative collaboration with every category of professional who influences whether and what mental health treatment and care will be provided, from PERT to policy-makers.
For twenty years before establishing this consultancy, Joseph waged an ongoing fight – on the streets, in locked hospitals, and in court – for the dignity, rights, basic needs, and treatment of the severely mentally ill. He calls it guerilla social work. But healthcare providers in the most privileged region on the planet shouldn’t have to fight for the treatment and care their catastrophically ill clients need. Our private LPS consultancy arose from a vacuum: there is no other service like it, and our concept, methods, and documentation are strategic and proprietary, the trademarked products of years of direct experience, research, advocacy, and activism.
How often do you see clients?
Individual/Family Therapy: Typically, therapy will be most helpful on a weekly basis, though in some cases biweekly sessions might be appropriate and effective. We’ll learn what schedule best suits your needs during your initial session.
Family Action Consultation, Crisis Intervention, and/or Client Advocacy: These services are custom-tailored to your severely mentally ill loved one’s circumstances. Their necessity and nature inevitably change with your loved one’s experience of illness and the mental health system’s response, and they could be required over the course of several weeks or several months. Your first meeting will be an information-gathering session, after which we’ll have a better idea of how much time we’ll need to spend together versus communicating by phone and e-mail.
Does my experience really warrant therapy? Haven't people been through much worse?
Viktor Frankl wrote that suffering behaves like a gas, expanding to fill a space of any size: “suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little.” We all know someone who is or appears to be worse off than we are. This does nothing to diminish our own need to share, learn, and heal.
Are you available for workshops and public speaking?
The short answer is, yes! For more on public speaking, visit my speaking website here.
Are your results always better than families achieved before they consulted you?
While the public mental health system cannot give everyone what they need when they need it, they are always giving a lot of people at least some of what they need. If you have been told by PERT or hospital personnel that your loved one is not an appropriate candidate for more restrictive treatment, it’s possible that Joseph will agree. If you’ve been told this by an LPS investigator, it’s not only possible: it's likely. All of these people are, after all, experts at what they do, and in such cases we can talk about how you will adapt to an unwelcome reality. If your loved one meets criteria for more restrictive treatment but has not been getting it, Joseph’s interventions will create the best possible odds of obtaining the treatment and care they need, however if for whatever reason some service provider is unshakably committed to withholding appropriate service, Joseph cannot force them to do otherwise.