CATALYST INTENSIVES

A single 2-hour session for 4 weeks to achieve rapid results, it heavily relies on a strict adherence to the TEAM-CBT method. This requires a greater financial and time commitment (in and out of sessions). It is generally focused on 1-2 major concerns. Due to it's brevity, it can also be more emotionally intense to go through.

These sessions come with our Clarity Promise: if you're not satisfied you will be refunded 50% of the cost.

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Clear Answers

What happens in a counseling session?


This varies, but universally starts with a session request form to get basic information about you and the nature of your reasons for contactin us. From there we will either place you or let you know an estimate of how long you woud have to wait to start.
At the first session we complete a more thorough questionnaire, we orient you to counseling and advise you of all the laws and rights that you have as a recipient of professional counseling. Lastly, we begin the conversation of what brought you to counseling in the first place and ask questions about things that may be relevant to the therapists ability to assist you.
During the first or second session goals are set, and our Clarity session structure is used to keep things organized and focused on your goals. We use various tools to measure whether what we are doing is working, and teach you skills that you need to reach your goals.
When the goals have been reached, either new goals are established or counseling is discontinued at that time - though it can absolutely resume again in the future!




What is a licensed therapist?


A licensed therapist has to have a masters or a doctorate degree. While the exact number varies by license type, all licensed therapists have completed thousands of hours of counseling while meeting weekly with a licensed therapist who helps them learn their craft and master proper legal and ethical practices. During this time, a therapist must work for a licensed therapist or a company and cannot work independently (operate their own business). Once they've completed the requisite number of hours, they submit documentation of their experience. Once approved, they have to pass both a laws and ethics test, and a clinical skills test. Once those have both been passed, therapists can apply for a license and begin working working independently (or continue working for a company or non-profit). Therapists licenses can always be looked up via: https://www.breeze.ca.gov/ Click license search, and you can view if they have ever had any complaints against them, or make a complaint to the licensing board about them.




What is an unlicensed therapist?


There are 2 categories of unlicensed therapists: INTERN: The therapist has not yet completed their education, but has completed the required core classes to begin being able to see clients. Interns are not registered with the state (yet), and their schools are responsible for supervising their practice (as well as the organization they are gaining experience with). This is called a field placement. They cannot work independently, and the ratio of hours doing counseling to hours meeting with a clinical supervisor is smaller. ASSOCIATE: The therapist has received their masters or doctorate, and are now registered with the state of California. They are not allowed to practice independently, and must work for a licensed therapist or company/non-profit. They are allowed a higher ratio of hours doing counseling to time with a clinical supervisor. They must complete a bi-annual law and ethics exam to remain current, and accumulate thousands of hours of expeirence before they are allowed to apply for the clinical exam and (therefore) licensure. Associate registrations can always be looked up via: https://www.breeze.ca.gov/
Click license search, and you can view if they have ever had any complaints against them, or make a complaint to the licensing board about them.




What is TEAM-CBT?


TEAM stands for: Testing, Empathy, Agenda, and Methods. CBT stands for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. TEAM is a subtype of CBT. CBT is the most well-researched school of psychology and it holds that what we think and believe (cognitions) have a significant effect on our mood. For example, if you believe there is a stranger in your house it can cause you incredible fear whether there is actually someone there or not. Likewise, if we believe we are totally incompetent, stupid, or awkward it has a significant impact on our emotional health. This theory also holds that the way the world responds to how we act (behavior) shapes the way we act in response to the world. For example, if I often tell jokes that frequently seem to fall flat, I am likely to tell a lot less jokes and feel anxiety when I consider sharing a joke. So CBT works to adjust any distorted thoughts, beliefs, or learned behaviors that impact our mental health. TEAM is an approach to therapy that has CBT at it's core, though it does borrow from some other schools of psychology. Here is the basic approach: Testing: Treatment should be measured every week so you can know that your progress is being made. Think of this as your "labs" - doctor's measure the results of their medical interventions. So do we. Empathy: You should feel a deep connection with your therapist and a sense that they accurately understand the problem. Agenda: Therapy needs a clear plan or it can wander. This is a joint endeavor and each party should know their part. Methods: These are the specific tools and strategies offered by your therapist that really create the change once the stage is set. These are generally well researched and come from various schools of psychology, but many are CBT-based. TEAM-CBT is steeped in research. Here is the url to some of the most compelling research related to this method: https://51633b1f-d31a-4a5b-96b3-bada2344a1fe.filesusr.com/ugd/65f8f2_96a3de15bcf24f88a725c43529ee1df8.pdf




What are psychometrics and/or what is DASS-21?


Psychometrics means tools that measure states of mind and/or emotions. Some can even be used to formally diagnose mental health conditions, but those are typically administered by a psychologist (psychological testing). Clarity selects various tools depending on the goals and nature of your symptoms, but the purpose is to get a general sense of whether your symptoms are getting worse, staying the same, or improving. They are a starting point for conversation and just one way that progress can be evaluated. One tool that Clarity likes to use is DASS-21 (Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale). It is the 21 question version (there is a 42 question version). This is a well researched tool to evaluate depression, anxiety, and stress levels reliably. Every appointment reminder you receive will have a link to this scale, but it can also be completed at the start of session (usually 3 min or less). We can then track progress over time to see how we're doing.




What happens in group counseling?


Group counseling starts similarly to individual counseling. You complete a session request form on our website so we can get some basic history and information. We then meet with you individually for 30-60 minutes to make sure you would benefit from group. Then you would be assigned to a day and time for group. In group, typically each sessions starts with a brief check-in about how each participant is doing, as well as a brief review of their goals and progress. Then group either continues to work on the goals of an individual, or there will be a structured activity to build skills within the group. Though group is often anxiety provoking to think about for most people, it is extremely powerful to go through difficult life experiences with people who are also going through similar experiences. We are (by nature) pack animals and we benefit from connecting with others.




How do I know if I need counseling?


This is truly a personal decision. I would recommend using our online depression, anxiety, and stress calculator (see link above "Clear Answers" section) to get a generalized sense of where your symptoms fall on the spectrum. However, the real litmus test is whether your symptoms are causing you distress or disrupting your ability to function in major life domains (relationships, family, work, etc). Still not sure? Contact us today. If we don't think we can help, we'll let you know.




Can quicker treatment (e.g Catalyst Intensives) be equally as effective?


Yes. Faster does not mean rushed. We can wade through intense emotions and experiences at the pace you need. Also. it is frequently the case that many of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are linked by common distorted thoughts or beliefs about ourselves that we may not even be aware that we have. The core of CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) is to root out those disrtions and clarify them. People often feel significant, global relief when these are corrected, though there are often many complexities to this process (which is why a trained therapist can be immensely helpful). This isn't to say that we'll never be sad or anxious again (that's a normal part of the human experience), but it should get you to a place where you are aware when it's outside of the normal range and also have learned how to respoond.




Can you help with issues that aren't depression or anxiety?


Yes! We also have experience with substance use, relationship issues, and many other challenges. However, our strongest experience and training is in depression and anxiety-related issues. Contact us today. Remember, one of our promises is to never treat someone we don't believe we can help!





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