Individual Therapy

Individual Therapy in Newport Beach

Why is Therapy Important?

You did it. You made it here – to this page. This is a big deal. So many people toggle back and forth with the idea of finding a psychologist and reaching out for help. They search, delete the search tab, search again, call but hang up – over and over, sometimes for years. It’s an act of vulnerability to ask for professional help and society’s stigma doesn’t make it any easier. 

Contrary to the old American mythology of “pride in strength”, you are not weak in asking for help – its actually an act of courage. I mean, what is “strength” really? The ability to push up against something you feel is an obstacle. It’s so much easier to stay stuck and to hide what hurts. You don’t need to change anything then, but ignoring the problem or pattern does not make it go away. Thats the easy way. Reaching out IS an act of strength and courage. It requires pushing past your own personal vow of silence, moving past pride or denial, through fears of shame, and into the care of someone who can help. Congratulations, you are there. I really mean this. Welcome to your new and improved version of strength.

We have found that what brings people into therapy are not typically encapsulated problems – although they are often described in these terms (e.g. I have anxiety, I am lonely, depressed, angry). They are woven into the fabric of their lives. They are embedded in, and inseparable from, the persons characteristic ways of thinking, feeling, behaving, coping, defending, and relating to others – ones personality. Understanding and unpacking these patterns in terms of where they came from and how they operate now are critical to creating long-lasting change. Only through this process can you gain control over these patterns and become less vulnerable to the certain kinds of suffering they produce.

Our patterns create our emotions and our emotions form the core of who we are—understanding them improves the quality of our lives.  While we incorporate a variety of modalities into our work, we tend to focus on the here-and-now. This means that we pay a lot of attention to what’s happening not just in your life between sessions, but also what’s happening in the room, between you and the therapist, during our sessions. Your past will come up so that we can uncover motives, feelings, and patterns outside of your awareness, but we don’t believe that spending years talking about your folks is the most effective way to help you. Eventually, after facing what was, we can face what is. 

As primarily psychodynamic clinicians we understand personality as the ways in which we learned to regulate our emotional lives. In fact, this is the underpinnings of describing someones “personality.” Our emotional life is constructed at an early age and the ways in which we interact with our own feelings and experiences lies in these early templates. We learn in our families which emotions are allowed, attended to, validated, and feared. Our job as children is to keep connected to caregivers and we learn how to manage our emotions to best suite a stable connection. Through these experiences we develop an implicit template, parts of us grow, other parts are cut off. Understanding your own story and learning, in the context of a therapeutic relationship, how to experience emotions fully, regulate them, and stay connected to another person at the same time is a critical healing element of psychotherapy.

We take a creative and practical approach that allows you to understand more experientially what drives and restricts you, and to identify more useful ways of being – in the here and now. The idea isn’t to get bogged down in analysis, but to quiet the “noise” that distracts you, so that you can focus your energy on what’s meaningful, productive, and fulfilling.

When to Consider Therapy

The secret agreed upon by most experienced clinicians is that targeting symptoms is unproductive. However, unearthing the personality patterns that underlie the productions of those symptoms is where the therapeutic magic happens. This is not just clinical wisdom; it’s a scientific fact. A very specific cluster of personality factors are often the driving factor for psychiatric symptoms. For example, the personality issues most often reported by experienced clinicians as clinically significant include the following concerns: 

  • problems with intimacy, relatedness, or commitment in close relationships
  • difficulties with assertiveness or expression of anger
  • problems with separation, abandonment, or rejection
  • problems with self-esteem
  • problems with authority
  • shyness or difficulty getting close to people or making friends 
  • perfectionism or high self-criticism

What to Expect

First and foremost, you can expect to be heard and understood on a deep level. The beginning of therapy always consists of developing meaningful, accurate and insightful understandings of the current issues you are facing. Issues are often more complicated and complex than we know. This may take some time to identify as we are profoundly wedded to and soothed by the power of the familiar. Even if it’s good, what is new can be difficult. 

We establish patterns of addressing issues in our lives during challenging times (often early in life in par with our unique inborn traits) but we don’t drop those skills/habits when the issues are over. In fact, we often find familiar people, places, and things to re-enact our hard won skillsets for better or worse. The world feels safe and familiar that way and familiar misery is always preferred to the misery of unfamiliar insecurity as you venture a new path. In therapy, it also takes a little time to warm-up, feel safe, and begin the process of taking a certain pain (e.g. anxiety, depression, anger) and begin peeling back the layers of the onion around it. Be patient in the beginning. People who have completed a meaningful therapy often say something to the tune of “I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today without that time in therapy.” This can be your story too.

Finding a Good Therapist

In terms of what makes therapy effective – research shows that the most significant factor in a successful outcome is the relationship with the therapist—that feeling of “they get me.” It’s important to find the kind of therapist that has the ability to connect in this way, someone who feels “real”. This element is more important than any learning that could occur. It matters even more than the therapist’s training, the kind of therapy they do, or what kind of problem the person has. Connection leads to safety which leads to the process of therapy unfolding, its effortless when this is at the base of things.

As active, involved therapists, our goals are to help you look at your life more clearly and join you in the discovery of all the complexities that make up you. We want you to leave our practice with an ongoing sense of honesty with yourself. By claiming and understanding your own history, you can be freed of the traumatic auto-pilots of the past and avoid recreating old painful scenarios. 

In the process of therapy your basic personality will not change but come into fullness – small, yet extremely meaningful modifications can create an entirely different life without having to create an entirely different person. Getting better, regardless of diagnosis, centers on finding your inner voice, gut reactions, and then learning to follow them in a constructive way. However, psychotherapy isn’t always about changing yourself, sometimes it’s about accepting what cannot be changed. The power of this cannot be overstated – understanding, acceptance, and grief are vital in healing for some. 

In the course of therapy, you can expect to learn some new tools and skills to do so. This often includes developing language to better describe your inner world, finding healthier boundaries in relationships, learning to trust your intuition and communicating more effectively with the important people in your life. We find that most pathology ends up being expressed through denying ones own perceptions, needs, and feelings. In other words, people come out better equipped to say what they feel, and feel what they say. They leave with depth and insight. They report that they know themselves more fully, and utilize their insights and self-discovery to better navigate life’s challenges. 

A key feature in successful therapy is that over time one is able to develop a “third eye” (also called an “observing ego” or “reflective function) for their lives and more readily pick up on their own habits, patterns, and ways of being in the world – be it with themselves or how they show up in relationships. Ultimately, they are able to embrace the risk of being all that they are and find enjoyment in love, work, and play.

Our Approaches to Therapy

  • Psychodynamic
  • Humanistic
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT)
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Read more anxiety therapy on our blog at Anxiety Disorders: What you need to know 

Frequently Asked Questions

The best way to find a psychologist is to spend some time doing a little research. Our advice is not to rush into therapy with just anyone. When you are struggling it can be so easy to take the first available somewhere but we encourage being patient while you search. 

Finding a therapist is different from finding other types of healthcare providers. Start your search on google by using terms like licensed mental health professionals, licensed professional counselors, therapists near me, or various types of therapy. Use websites like Healthgrades, Yelp, and Psychology today too. Look for someone who you think you might connect with and whose approach to a therapy session and general philosophy speak to you. Keep an eye out for those associated with the American Psychological Association (APA) as an additional badge of qualification. 

After compiling a short list, narrow it down to one or two choices and then reach out to the person and schedule your first session. If they can’t get you in right away it may be worth waiting, you will be glad you did in the long run. The exception to this advice if you are in immediate danger and feel a danger to yourself or others, in that case, please go to the nearest Emergency Room (ER) and they will be able to get you into acute care and stabilized. After that, it would be appropriate to bridge your care to an outpatient clinic like ours.

The best way to schedule your first session for individual counseling or individual psychotherapy is via our online calendar using the link above under the Book Now tab.

If you have any additional questions please feel free to reach out directly and we would be happy to answer those for you and get you connected to a psychologist here.

Like most psychotherapy practices, we use a preferred provider organization (PPO) superbill reimbursement format.

This allows us to provide therapy from a trained professional, unencumbered by the limits of insurance—allowing us to provide the highest quality care possible tailored uniquely to your mental health issues.

In regards to payment, we bill you directly for each session and provide a superbill to submit to claims. Please refer to the “Insurance Information” Tab Under “Appointment Details” for detailed information regarding how this works.

A “therapist” is a broad term for mental health care providers. Each has various levels of training and strengths. 

Psychologists are doctoral-level therapists and are the most trained and experienced mental health professionals with typically six to seven years of schooling and specialization. They are often the best at depth-oriented psychotherapy.

Marriage and family therapists (MFT’s) possess a master’s degree and are the second most trained, with three to four years of training and experience. They focus primarily on individual therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy.

Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) are next with two to three years of training and experience and provide therapeutic approaches on individual therapy in addition to specializing in community services. 

Psychologists are experts in providing psychotherapy or “talk therapy,” with specific skills in identifying and treating underlying causes. They are the most qualified at providing psychotherapy. A Psychiatrist, on the other hand, goes to medical school and is trained in using medication to treat mental illness.

At Keil Psych Group, we have a close network of quality psychiatrists and regularly refer to and coordinate care directly with these prescribers. Within our network, we know who works best with each particular mental illness or mental health issue and streamline your psychiatric care by working directly with them. As a general approach, we like to and are typically successful at treating issues without medication. However, at times medication is a necessary and helpful adjunct to treatment.

When medications are involved in your mental health care it’s best to have all of your providers connecting and coordinating treatment. We take extra time to connect with those dedicated to your care with the goal of providing a holistic, collaborative, and unified approach to your mental health. 

Our group specializes in treating anxiety, depression, addiction,  relationship issues, and trauma. Additionally, we specialize in working with adults, teens, and young adults.

Whitney Fielder, LMFT is our dedicated and expert couples therapist. The other clinicians in Keil Psych Group do not see couples but can help you navigate all issues pertaining to relationships on an individual basis. 

Our providers set their own fees so it varies by clinician and type of therapy, whether it is individual or for a couple.

You can read out therapists bio’s on this website to determine who might be the best fit for you. Feel free to reach out to them directly on the phone numbers and emails listed. You can also give us a call to discuss your particular issues and we can aid in helping you make the right decision about who to see. Out therapists will call you back directly so you won’t need to go around a receptionist to speak with a clinical team member here. 

At Keil Psych Group we practice according to the standard of care in psychotherapy which is once weekly sessions. In the beginning, it is sometimes good to meet more frequently to jumpstart therapy before moving to weekly sessions, however, weekly sessions are the typical starting place.

Meeting less frequently often results in less than adequate care. By nature and design, therapy is a weekly endeavor and anything less tends to become crisis management or as one patient called it “fire extinguisher therapy” rather than targeting deeper issues at play. Those who have attempted less frequent session in other clinics report slow to no progress and a lengthier time in treatment. We actually want to help you quickly to get better and stay better. It’s hard to imagine if you haven’t been in therapy before but weekly sessions are a must when it comes to making real progress. 

We want to get you back on your feet and in the most timely, cost effective manner possible. As an exception to the rule, at the end of therapy, we have an open door policy and offer sessions intermittently on an as-needed basis. 

We recommend in-person meetings if possible. Virtual therapy is still helpful but in our experience, not to the degree in-person sessions provide. We suggest finding a psychologist near you who can see you in person.

However, we would be willing to accommodate you if you are constrained with disabilities, fragility of health, etc., and want to start therapy in our group. Please keep in mind, psychologists can only practice within their state. So, if you are not a California resident, we would be unable to help. 

We have created specific pages around our specialties and detail how we approach psychotherapy regarding these issues.

Our specialties are listed under the “Individual Therapy” tab at the top of this browser. Please browse these specific pages and reach out if you are still feeling that you need more information.