COMMON CBT QUESTIONS
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Los Angeles
Dr. Gilbert Chalepas – Psychologist Beverly Hills – Therapist Laguna Beach
What if I want to come in for a couples session and my partner/spouse doesn’t?
I invite you to still come in for your appointment. Many people find that as a result of seeking my help and learning new skills as well as more effective ways of interacting, the relationship benefits in multiple ways.
What do you charge?
If you are choosing a relationship/marriage therapist based on price, I am not the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) psychologist for you.
Individual Initial Evaluation = $250 (60 min)
Couples Initial Evaluation = $350 (90 min)
Individual Session = $200 (45 min),
Couples Session = $250 (45 min)
Group Session = $45 (90 min)
For your convenience, I may be able to provide some evening and weekend appointments on a limited basis. To get started, please click here.
I accept checks, cash, and credit cards for payment, which is d, e at the beginning each session. Please be aware that paying via Paypal, debit cards and all major credit cards carries an additional 3% required surcharge. Dr. Chalepas can provide complimentary detailed statements for FSA, HRA, HSA or health reimbursements upon request.
How long is a therapy session?
Sessions typically run 45 minutes. If you feel that you may need longer sessions, perhaps as in couples therapy or a family crisis, I will do my best to accommodate your needs, especially when you let me know in advance. Of course you will be charged accordingly.
What about a psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists attend medical school and receive a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. Treatment approaches employed by psychiatrists are often biologically based and require psychotropic medications. When necessary, in cases of severe depression, debilitating anxiety or psychotic spectrum disorders, psychotherapy with a psychologist is an excellent adjunct to medication in order to increase overall success and consistent med compliance.
For clients who benefit from taking psychotropic medications, psychologists collaborate with primary care physicians, pediatricians as well as psychiatrists on their overall treatment.
How often will I see you?
Typically, I see my clients weekly. Based on their individual situation, some choose more intensive work which requires coming to sessions twice a week. Your commitment and accountability evidenced through regular sessions are essential components of therapy’s success and outcome.
What is exactly the difference between a psychologist and a coach or counselor?
Clinical psychologists are required to be licensed and registered by the state they practice in. Individuals who call themselves “coaches” or “counselors” who may provide “counseling and coaching services” are not to be confused with a licensed clinical psychologist. A psychologist, who has had to have extensive training, provides counseling and psychotherapy, psychological evaluations and diagnostics, as well as a variety of effective and clinically sound techniques based on the best available research. If the need arises, licensed psychologists can also provide neuro-psychological testing along with expert interpretation and reporting of test data.
What training are psychologists required to have?
The great majority of psychologists have had a minimum of seven years of training after acquiring their bachelor’s degree in their chosen field of study. Furthermore, they are required to complete 3,000 hours (half of which pre-doc and half post-doc) of supervised practice in psychology. Upon completion of their psychological assistantship, psychologists have take and pass their national test and then are allowed to sit for their state-administered exams. Additionally, prior to getting licensed, psychologist are required to personally complete a year in psychotherapy as a client in order for them to have a better understanding of themselves as well as the challenges brought in by their future clients into private practice. Dr Gilbert Chalepas has personally had over 20 years of psychotherapy which he considers one of his greatest assets in understanding others as well as one of his most effective tools. Very few other psychologists, therapists or analysts have had such a substantial and extensive adjunct to their training.
Once licensed to practice, psychologists are required to maintain and improve their knowledge base, which is evidenced by annually earning several continuing education hours of relevant training, as required by California’s state licensing board and regulations.
What do psychologists do in private practice?
As a whole, practicing psychologists deal a wide variety of clients and treat many kinds of psychologically based challenges. Some people may seek a psychologist due to feelings of depression, excessive anger or have battle anxiety for some time. Or, they would like to have help and support for a chronic condition that is causing unpleasant and painful outcomes in their lives or overall physical health. Others may have come to realize that there are short-term problems they would like help navigating, such as doing too much, especially when trying to please or impress others and end up feeling overwhelmed by a new position or important relationship, or perhaps they are in the middle of grieving the passing of a beloved family member. Psychologists can support and educate their clients in learning to cope with the inevitably stressful situations life brings, improve communication styles and relationships, overcome substance addictions which affect everyone in their lives, help manage chronic or terminal illnesses and get somehow around perceived barriers that stand in the way of their goals and dreams.
What is psychotherapy?
During psychotherapy with psychologist Dr. Gilbert Chalepas, you’ll have the opportunity learn more about your condition through a renewed and often more insightful perspective which you may not have thought about. Together, you’ll ponder, discuss and process how you got to this juncture in your life and what you can do to have a different outcome. You’ll also talk about how your moods may be sabotaging your efforts, how hanging on to feelings both recent and old may be making your life more challenging, and finally the role of your thoughts, behaviors as well as your history and what impact they have played in your choices and outcomes up to today. Psychotherapy with Dr. Gilbert can help you learn how to take more positive and meaningful control of your life, how to more appropriately and effectively respond to challenging situations as you’re armed with healthier coping skills to transform and overcome your challenges.
Are you taking new clients?
I am currently accepting new clients as I have a few openings available. For your convenience, I can provide also some evening, weekend, phone and Skype appointments to accommodate busy professionals. Additionally, special arrangements can be made to meet at your home, office or alternate destination as an exclusive and premium psychotherapy service for those discerning clients requiring the utmost in privacy and exclusivity. Of course you will be charged accordingly. I also offer prepay therapy packages which offer a financial incentive and increases your commitment to the change process as well as an eventual successful outcome. We can discuss the different options available and which will best suit your needs during our phone consultation.
What if I am ready to get started?
Call/text me now at (310) 500 8442, or if you prefer you can also email me directly at email@example.com to share your story and schedule an appointment in my Beverly Hills or Laguna Beach office.
Can you guarantee that I will feel better after therapy?
I wish I could as I would like everyone to live more satisfying and fulfilling lives. I can tell you that the majority of my clients experience a definite benefit after participating in therapy along with the support and encouragement they receive. Of course, I always invite and welcome your feedback during the entire process. This is helpful for both of us, and ensures that I am guiding you in a direction you want to go so you can experience the maximum benefit during our time together and beyond.
Why can’t I just take some medication instead of going to a therapist?
There are some instances where a combination of therapy and medication can be the most beneficial route to take, for example with chronic and recurring major depression or bipolar disorder. This option has to be carefully considered and will be determined by your primary physician and/or psychiatrist depending on the issues and severity of your current mental health and prior history. Unfortunately the solutions to many long-standing problems are not found in a bottle of pills, but rather in altering behavior and cognitive modification. Therapy and working closely with an effective as well as skilled psychologist can be very beneficial in order to get to the root of the issues standing in your way.
How can a psychologist like Dr. Gilbert Chalepas help me?
Psychotherapy has the power to be life-changing if you are willing to do what it takes. In my case, after spending over 20 years as a “patient,” I am well aware of the challenges and rewards that can come about as a result. Skilled therapists provide support, understanding, acceptance as well as critical and relevant feedback, are a sounding board, a valuable resource for improved problem-solving, including fresh ways to look at situations and providing effective alternatives, which can be vital in your journey to increased happiness and fulfillment.
How can I tell if I’m depressed and not just feeling sad?
All us have felt sad or even depressed at times as it is part of the human experience. Feeling depressed can be a normal and appropriate response to significant loss, life’s struggles and disappointments, or a major blow to our self-esteem. On the more serious side of the spectrum, when feelings of profound sadness that linger for an extended period and include feeling helpless when you can’t see a way out, hopeless when you feel that things will never get any better, and worthless when nothing you have to offer is of any value or consequence to anyone. Furthermore, you cannot seem to shake off these feelings for several days to weeks at a time, your sleep and weight have been noticeably affected, you experience frequent crying spells, you lost interest in many things much of the time including work and finishing tasks, find it difficult to concentrate or make a decision, feeling inappropriate guilt and the marked decline of personal hygiene. When how and what you feel keeps you from living your life and functioning normally, your intense sadness may be indicative of a major depressive disorder or possibly bipolar disorder. You also may be experiencing some of these symptoms to a lesser degree yet feel that you still need professional help, don’t put it off, depression is serious yet treatable, you don’t have to be staying in bed all day to need help. For an accurate diagnosis, please see a mental health professional like Laguna Beach therapist and Los Angeles psychologist Dr. Gilbert Chalepas, who has the experience and appropriate knowledge to make that call. Please do not engage in self-diagnosing based on what Google says, which includes this oversimplified explanation. There are additional symptoms and criteria to be considered and met prior to making any diagnosis.
Why do I need professional help, can’t I handle my own problems?
Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, as people we all encounter inevitable changes in our lives. Some are blessings and some are rather difficult to adjust to. If something has been bothering you for some time and books, tapes, seminars or your friends have not been able to help you in substantive way, perhaps it’s time to consider other options available to you. Life is short and one cannot waste it waiting for things to get better on their own. Sometimes they do, yet often times we have to pull up our sleeves and do the necessary work to make things better for ourselves. Professional help from a competent Beverly Hills and Laguna Beach therapist like Dr. Gilbert Chalepas may also be able to pinpoint some of the blind spots that are standing in your way, something that close friends and family may be reluctant or even unwilling to bring up to you for fear of possibly damaging or losing the relationship entirely. Besides, psychotherapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to be concerned about others “knowing your business” and gossiping, judging or rejecting you because of what you’re going through. Winners get help, why not you? Taking charge of your own life and making it what you want to be by changing what can be changed, as well as accepting what is, and not what you would like it or wish it to be, can be very liberating and a huge relief. You are the captain for your ship, make sure that your voyage can be an enjoyable one. We cannot foresee all the storms but we can certainly avoid some of the unnecessary turbulence with some experienced help.
How do I know therapy is right for me?
There are many reasons why and when clients seek therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues like low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy, or difficulties dealing with excessive worrying, life dissatisfaction or depression. Other times a major life event takes place which they have a hard time adjusting to like a divorce, children leaving the home, career transition or retiring, illness or the loss of a loved one. Therapy can provide a safe place where clients can express their feelings, wants and needs without having to worry about being judged or ignored. Psychotherapy may also provide new insights, needed support as well as new tools to deal with what is going on in their lives. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help address many types of issues including relationship and career challenges, anger, resentment, grief, body-image and weight concerns including their source, anxiety, depression, and effectively dealing with inevitable life changes. Therapy can be a very useful tool in improving one’s quality of life when they are ready to get on board and make the necessary changes in order to have and enjoy the type of life they desire and deserve.
What insurance plans do you accept?
- BlueShield (Not Blue Cross)
- BlueCross (EAP & Medi-Cal Plans – Commercial Plans Out of Network)
- Magellan Behavioral Health
- Aetna (In credentialing phase – Out of network for now)
- HMC Healthworks (In credentialing phase – Out of network for now)
- Cal Optima via Magellan
- Kaiser (Requires prior Referral from PCP, then please call Magellan at 800-327-5479 and request me as your provider with MIS# 600868571 to get a Magellan authorization, which I will need for your billing)
- Humana (Only Out-of-Network)
- PacifiCare (Only Out-of-Network)
- Blue Cross Commercical Plans (Only Out-of-Network)
- Private Pay
Mental health insurance providers require a verifiable and billable mental illness diagnosis, otherwise they don’t pay/reimburse you. Besides you having to meet the medical necessity criteria for mental health coverage of your therapy sessions, you also need to be aware that insurance companies often have a deductible every year, which you have to meet in full prior to them initiating payments for your services, they control the duration of therapy, type of treatment provided as well as require a verifiable mental illness diagnosis, and personal session content information regarding your treatment. If after what you just read you still need and want to use to use your mental health insurance, then it is your duty and responsibility to verify your own benefits and be an informed consumer. Please contact your insurance plan provider and carefully check and find out what and how much your particular plan covers, if you in fact you have any mental health benefits, which insurance company is administrating those mental health benefits, what portion of your annual deductible has been already met if any, get an authorization code for your therapy treatment or referral from your primary physician if necessary, check the number of sessions allowed per calendar year as well as your reimbursement rate for out-of-network providers and coverage amount per therapy session. I will complete reasonable forms to assist you in getting reimbursed for the portion you are entitled to in accordance to your claims and the insurers policies and guidelines (I cannot guarantee what that amount will be, if any. Be sure to perform you due diligence to avoid unpleasant surprises).
What forms of payments do you accept?
Cash and checks are gladly accepted. If however you prefer using Paypal or any major credit card, HSA (Health Savings Account), FSA (Flexible Spending Account), or HRA (Health Reimbursement Account), a 3% processing fee will automatically apply.
How long does therapy take?
Please keep in mind that the actual length of your therapy depends on the type, severity and frequency of your symptoms as well as how long you’ve been dealing with the issue(s) you want to address. Equally important to the efficacy of treatment are your consistent desire, seriousness of commitment, compliance to the process, and intrinsic motivation as well as the quality and consistency of your support system to help you manage and maintain the changes necessary to accomplish your goal(s).
Falling down is part of life, getting back up is a choice.