Elana F. Yadidi, MFT

Licensed marriage & family therapist

Is therapy right for me?  Seeking psychotherapy is an individual choice. There are many  reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with  long standing issues or feelings. Other times, it is in response to a general feeling of being stuck and wanting something different out of life. Or perhaps it is in response to unexpected changes such as divorce, death of a loved one, or work transition. Many seek the guidance of a psychotherapist as they pursue their  own personal exploration and inner growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, increase awareness, and new strategies for all types of life challenges.  Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most  out of his or her life by taking responsibility, creating greater self- awareness, and working towards change in their lives. Do I really need psychotherapy?   Everyone goes through challenges in life.  It's inevitable.  While you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, psychotherapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need support from a professional with an "outsider's" perspective, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and
making a commitment to yourself to change the situation by
seeking psychotherapy. Therapy provides support and long-lasting benefits, giving you new tools to deal with challenges. How can psychotherapy benefit me?  A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies.  Many people also find that a Psychotherapist can be a tremendous asset to accelerating personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Psychotherapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn.

         Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your process, and your purpose,
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships,
  • Finding resolution or acceptance of the issues that led you to seek therapy,
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety,
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotions,
  • Improving communication and listening skills,
  • Changing old behavior patterns/habits and developing new ones,
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems,
  • ​Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence.

What is a session like?  
The Psychotherapist and patient(s) engage in a conversation and discuss the issues and concerns that brought you to therapy. Children engage in a variety of art and play activities depending on their maturity level. Every therapy session is unique and adapts to each individual and their specific goals. Usually a series of weekly sessions are scheduled, where each session lasts around fifty minutes.

Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or making a list.  Completing "homework" is not a requirement, but helpful to the progress of therapy.  It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

  • · Compassion, respect and understanding,
  • · Alternate perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings,
  • · Real strategies for enacting positive change,
  • · Practical guidance and feedback.

Do you recommend medication? Is medication a substitute for therapy?
Generally, medication is a last resort, unless imminent harm is present;, e.g. a person is suicidal. Every case is different. In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.  We can provide referrals for
Psychiatrists. A Psychiatrist can determine if medication is indicated for you. It is well established that the long-term
solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of
just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that interfere with
growth. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?
​To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier.
Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:· What are my mental health benefits?· What is the coverage amount per therapy session?· How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?· How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?· Is approval required from my primary care physician?

Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No
information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.  However, there are some exceptions required
by law to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • ​Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police.
  • ​If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.

We would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Please use the contact page to call or email.


What is Psychotherapy?

The term "psychotherapy" comes from the Ancient Greek words "psyche," which means breath, spirit, or soul, and "therapeia," which means to nurse or cure. Hence, psychotherapy helps “nurse” a person’s spirit or soul by alleviating what is unsettling them. A Psychotherapist engages a patient(s) in conversation, giving impartial feedback to increase awareness of patterns, unconscious behaviors and choices that direct one’s life.

Psychotherapy is not a quick fix. The duration and success of therapy may vary depending on the particular issues being addressed as well as the patient’s degree of wanting to change, commitment, active participation, honesty, exposure of difficult issues, willingness to acknowledge feelings, and openness to applying the Psychotherapist’s suggestions. These aspects are not always present at the beginning. As the relationship and trust between patient and Psychotherapist grows, so too does the depth of each session.  Much depends on the patient's readiness and willingness.

In today’s society, the word “therapy” is loosely used. The term psychotherapy is used to distinguish from other types of therapy such as speech therapy, hypnotherapy, physical therapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy, etc.

What is an MFT?

An MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, requiring a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from an accredited university, 3,000 hours of supervised work experience, and passing two arduous licensing exams given by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.  

The term MFT and Psychotherapist are interchangable. MFT’s are not limited to working only with married couples and families. They are licensed psychotherapists who work with children, adults, couples at any stage of a relationship, groups, and families using a ​variety of therapeutic techniques.