Laguna Women's Wisdom Counseling, Mary Franz, Psychotherapist
Laguna Beach, CA

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Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Lic. No. 22196


What is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT)?

Marriage & Family Therapists are psychotherapists and healing arts practitioners licensed by the State of California. The terms 'Marriage, Family and Child Counselors' (MFCCs), 'Marriage & Family Therapist' (MFTs) and 'Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists' (LMFTs) are interchangeable.

Marriage and family therapy is found to be highly effective because of the 'systemic' orientation that its therapists bring to treatment. LMFTs share a belief that an individual’s emotional concerns or issues can be more meaningful and productive when treated within the context of his or her current or prior relationships. LMFTs help with a wide variety of personal issues and concerns, and serve clients who span the ages from childhood through elderhood. LMFTs can effectively counsel in crisis and brief, focused psychotherapy, and they also have therapeutic expertise in intensive long-term treatment.

LMFTs have completed extensive education, training, clinical fieldwork, and successful completion of two rigorous exams to demonstrate professional competency. In addition, they fulfill ongoing requirements to complete Continuing Education Units.

Can counseling really help?
Counseling truly can help. A growing body of research studies reports the real benefits of therapy. Many clients report relief from depression, anxiety, relationship problems and stage of life adjustment difficulties.

It is often a welcome relief for clients to have someone to talk to who does not have an agenda or invested bias in their choices, and truly listens with an open mind and heart. As your therapist, I strive to provide compassionate care through deep inquiry, clear reflections, honest feedback, education, skill building, and the challenge and support that will help you achieve your goals in therapy.

In the process of our work together, you may actually feel worse at times, as memories and feelings are stirred and explored. This is a normal reaction, and as you work through these challenges, you will come to feel a sense of healing and empowerment. You are likely to gain skills and confidence than can generalize to other challenges in your life now and in the future.

Confidentiality is a cornerstone of effective therapy. There are legal and ethical limits to confidentiality which will be reviewed in our initial session.

How can I prepare and get the most out of my therapy?
Counseling is an investment of your time, money and personhood. Therapy works best when you are open to it and are willing to be pro-active and participate in your own healing. What do you wish to gain from therapy? Are you willing to dedicate yourself to this process? Are you confident that your therapist is qualified to help you with the concerns that motivated you to seek therapy at this time?

A primary factor in successful treatment is the therapeutic relationship. Is your therapist a good “fit?” If you have doubts or struggles with the therapist, it will be beneficial to discuss them, and ask questions as they arise.

How long is a session, how often and how many times will we meet?
Our sessions are typically 50 minutes long. At times, longer or shorter sessions may be needed.

Typically, we will meet weekly. If you are in a crisis or prefer, we may meet more frequently. For various reasons, clients sometimes come in less often.

I have no way of knowing what the duration of our work together will be. It is my hope to work with you until you achieve you goals and as long as you find value and purpose in this investment. This may range from a brief to extended period of time. Every client comes in with unique circumstances and means for getting involved in psychotherapy, and we will discuss yours in our initial session. Primarily, it is up to you to decide how long you will participate in therapy.

What are your fees, and do you take insurance?
My fee is $150 for a 50 minute session for individuals and couples. Fees for other services will be determined. Cash and checks are accepted. Payment is due at each appointment.

I am a provider on some insurance panels. For some other insurance plans, I will give you a “Superbill” to submit to your insurance company to obtain reimbursement.

It is your responsibility to assure that you have an understanding of your insurance mental health benefit. Primary questions you will want answered by your insurance company are: What is my deductible? What is my co-pay? How many sessions are allowed per year? Is Mary Franz, MA, LMFT on the provider list? If not, what is the coverage for her services? Are LMFTs qualified providers for this insurance plan?

More questions? I will be glad to discuss your questions and concerns when we speak on the phone and as they arise along the way. I encourage you to be an informed consumer of services as I believe this will add to the foundation of a beneficial psychotherapy experience.

Mary Franz, MA, LMFT
Laguna Women's Wisdom Counseling


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