Personalized Therapy Sessions

Compassionate, research-based therapy to help you make meaningful changes in your life.

Approach

I often receive feedback from my clients that they experience me as warm, collaborative, and genuinely invested. I’ve also had many clients express that they leave our sessions feeling motivated to take positive action.

I believe these qualities that my clients perceive, and experiences they have in our therapy, reflect my guiding values as a psychologist: Partnership, Autonomy Support, Empathy and Compassion, and Empowerment.

Partnership: I work with my clients to help leverage their strengths and collaboratively determine a path forward to address needed areas of change.

Autonomy Support: I have expertise in human psychology and behavior and will readily share my perspective and expertise with my clients. I also recognize that individuals ultimately have autonomy in choosing their path. I support my clients in selecting and walking the path that is congruent with their personal values.

Empathy and Compassion: To be helpful as a psychologist I need to have a deep understanding of my client’s experience and perspective. It is my experience that compassion naturally flows from empathic understanding.

Empowerment: I support my clients in identifying and building upon their existing strengths, restructuring self-limiting beliefs, developing confidence, and taking action towards their goals.

Specialities

I have expertise in treating a wide range of mental health issues. The following are issues with which I have the most training, and that I most enjoy tackling with clients.

Anxiety and Stress: This can include frequently feeling nervous or “on edge,” difficulty controlling worry, difficulty relaxing, trouble sleeping due to worry/anxiety, or a feeling of overwhelm. The umbrella term of “anxiety” can also include specific fears and phobias. Anxiety and stress may be something you’ve struggled with for a long time, or you may be experiencing significant anxiety/stress for the first time in your life.

Trouble Adjusting: Sometimes when we go through a major life change, we might struggle to adjust. These could be classic “negative stressors” (think: getting divorced, death of a loved one, job loss), or they could be positive life events that nonetheless have been difficult to adapt to (think: getting married, welcoming a new child/family member, starting a new job, moving to a new city). Therapy can be helpful to troubleshoot difficulties with adjustment, and to identify opportunities to lay down positive new habits and coping strategies.

Trauma/PTSD: Sometimes after a traumatic event, we might find it difficult to move forward with our lives. We might discover that we keep replaying the traumatic event in our minds, try to avoid internal or external reminders about the event, experience significant changes in how we see ourselves or others, have trouble experiencing positive emotions, or feel hypervigilant and have trouble letting down our guard.

The event may have occurred recently, or it may have occurred many years ago. Either way, if you find that the event is making it difficult to move forward in your life, therapy is likely to be helpful.

Emotional Eating: Emotional eating is a broad term that applies to eating behavior that we engage in for reasons other than physical hunger. Emotional eating can be brought on by emotional triggers (like feeling lonely, bored, or stressed), environmental triggers (for example: driving by Wendy’s every day on your way home and getting a craving for a Frosty…definitely not a personal example), or thoughts (“What’s the point…I just blew it by having that pasta, I may as well get dessert, too”).

I work with clients to identify their personal triggers for emotional eating, address the underlying issue/need (like feeling stressed or wanting connection), and modifying environmental triggers to work for you, not against you.

Coping with Cardiac Issues: As a former cardiac psychologist at Stanford, I have expertise in working with cardiac patients on a wide range of issues including, but not limited to: psychosocial adjustment after a cardiac event, diagnosis or surgery; managing anxiety about one’s heart; managing anxiety about palpitations and other cardiac symptoms; and learning how to communicate more effectively with family, friends, and the healthcare team.

Interpersonal Challenges: Relationships are a big part of where many people find the most meaning in their lives. Relationships can also be a source of great distress when they aren’t going smoothly. I work with clients to identify the source of the distress/conflict in relationships and develop tools for navigating the issue. I also enjoy working with clients who may struggle with anxiety or avoidance in relationships and are looking to develop a more secure attachment style.

Types of Therapy

I have training and expertise in the following research-based therapies. I tailor these approaches to meet the particular needs of my clients.

What to Expect

Schedule an Assessment

Make a Treatment Plan

Track Your Progress

Schedule an Assessment: We’ll schedule 1 to 2 initial sessions in which I’ll conduct a comprehensive assessment, which includes gathering information about the issue that brings you to therapy, as well as information about your relationships, mental health history, and other background information. You are free to not answer any questions that you choose, but in general the more information I have, the more I can be of help.

Make a Treatment Plan: After the initial assessment is complete, I will provide feedback and recommendations for a plan to help you move forward. Recommendations may include, but are not limited to, therapy (either with me, or referral to another therapist if I determine that the issue is outside my scope of practice), referral for medication evaluation (typically to a psychiatrist or to your primary care provider), and/or connection to other resources.

Track Your Progress: During your initial assessment, and periodically throughout treatment, I will ask you to complete questionnaires to assess your symptoms/functioning and progress towards your therapy goals. I will also check in with you periodically about your general satisfaction with our sessions and your progress.

Fees & Insurance

My fees are based on $250 per 50-minute session. While I do not contract with insurance companies, if your insurance plan provides Out-of-Network benefits, your insurance company may provide reimbursement for a portion of your treatment costs.  If this is the case, I can provide a monthly billing summary that you can submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement.  If you have questions about Out-of-Network coverage, please feel free to reach out, I am happy to assist. I know this stuff can be hard to navigate.

Get Started

To request a free 15-minute phone consultation, or to request an appointment, please complete the form below, or reach out directly at (650) 642-3297 or drvaleriehoover@gmail.com.